Honors, rewards, awards

24 November 2017

CFEL Division Leader, Angel Rubio, is to receive the German Physical Society’s Max Born Prize 2018.

The Society (the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, or DPG) is honoring Rubio, who is the head of the MPSD’s Theory Department at CFEL, for his leading role in computer-based condensed matter physics and his predictions on the properties of matter in low dimensions.

In its citation, the DPG describes Rubio’s work in the fields of carbon-based nanotubes and nanoscale science as “outstanding”. It also praises his publications in a wide range of areas, from cluster theory to complex materials and chromophores in biological systems.

The Society further highlight’s Rubio’s work on the open source project Octopus, which facilitates research on excited electron ion states. “Angel Rubio has made computer code for research on density functional theory widely accessible,” says the DPG. The award ceremony is due to take place in London next year.

27 October 2017

R. J. Dwayne Miller has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo in Canada for his scientific achievements. He is a director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), located at CFEL, in Hamburg, Germany, where he leads the Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department.

The University cites Professor Miller’s success in creating the first camera to observe atoms in motion during structural changes, or molecular movie, based on a novel concept using “ultrabright” electrons to light up atomic motions in real time. The first atomic movie of the simplest process of melting revealed how to ablate or cut material with no nucleation or shock waves to completely avoid collateral damage to adjacent regions.

26 October 2017

Andrea Cavalleri has been awarded the 2018 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids by the APS.

APS cites 'pioneering contribution' to ultra-fast optical spectroscopy

The Frank Isakson Prize is awarded biennially for outstanding optical research which leads to breakthroughs in the condensed matter sciences.

The prize citation quotes Cavalleri’s “pioneering contributions to the development and application of ultra-fast optical spectroscopy to condensed matter systems." His research, says the APS, is "providing insight into lattice dynamics, structural phase transitions, and the non-equilibrium control of solids”.

Cavalleri’s work involves a combination of intense TeraHertz pulses, used to manipulate the properties of solids, and femtosecond x-rays from Free-Electron Lasers, to study their dynamics.

26 September 2017

Henry N. Chapman, Leading Scientist at CFEL/DESY, has been named honorary doctor at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University in Sweden. The title of Honorary Doctor of Philosophy will be conferred on Chapman at Uppsala University in January.

Chapman, who is also a Professor of Physics at Universität Hamburg, Germany, leads the coherent imaging division at CFEL at DESY, where algorithms, instruments and methods for X-ray imaging are developed in cooperation with leading materials researchers and structural biologists.

Together with researchers from Uppsala University, Chapman has conducted innovative experiments where complex biological molecules have been depicted with ultra short and extremely intensive X-ray pulses from the free-electron laser. The collaboration has created a new interdisciplinary research domain, which gathers researchers from various disciplines, ranging from biology to chemistry and physics, to develop new methods for atomic imaging and has resulted in a large number of joint publications.


8 April 2017

Henry Chapman the head of the DESY Coherent Imaging group at CFEL will be awarded the Roentgen Medal by the city of Remscheid on Saturday, 8 April 2017.

The town in which Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was born has been presenting this award annually since 1951 to individuals who have made outstanding contributions towards improving and advancing the use of the radiation discovered by Roentgen. The CUI member Henry Chapman and professor at the University of Hamburg, has been awarded the Medal in recognition of his pioneering work on the application of X-ray lasers for determining the structure of biological macromolecules.

Chapman’s team develops sophisticated new experimental techniques for making use of the excellent new opportunities offered by free-electron lasers (FEL). The X-ray pulses produced by these devices can be up to a billion times more intense and a thousand times shorter than those from conventional synchrotron radiation sources. The aim is to use the laser-like beams to see the structure and the dynamics of proteins and their complexes—the molecular machines of life. But doing so calls for entirely new equipment and methods of 3D imaging, such as X-ray holography and atomic-scale diffraction tomography.

9 June 2016

R. J. Dwayne Miller has been invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Femtosecond electron diffraction uses ultrabright electron sources to watch atomic motions with full structural details in real time. This technique allows obtaining atomic level movies of structural changes, which provided the first atomic movie of a structural transition. More recently, a 20-year effort culminated in the first full atom-resolved observation of the primary motions directing chemistry and how the enormous number of molecular degrees of freedom distills down to a few key motions. It is this reduction in dimensionality that makes chemistry a transferable concept. The long term goal of this research is to extend these observations to greater levels of complexity to directly observe the structure-function correlation in biological systems – to learn how chemistry was optimized to drive biological functions.

R. J. Dwayne Miller is Fellow of several learned societies. Since 1998, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, since 2000 a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, and since 2015 a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. He received numerous scientific awards, among them the Rutherford Medal in Chemistry (1997), an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (2012), the E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy of the American Chemical Society (2015), and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Centenary Prize 2016.

8 June 2016

Angel Rubio becomes Member of Academia Europaea. Rubio is Director of the Theory Department at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter at CFEL in Hamburg. His research interests include the theory and the modeling of electronic and structural properties of condensed matter, and the development of new theoretical tools to investigate the electronic response of nanostructures, biomolecules and hybrid materials to external electromagnetic fields. His group is one of the worldwide references in the field of simulation and modeling of materials, nanostructures, and biomolecules.

Angel Rubio is Fellow of several learned societies. Since 2004, he is Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and since 2010 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2014, he was elected Foreign Associate Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He also received numerous scientific awards, among them in 2005 a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, in 2011 and 2016 two Advanced Grants of the European Research Council (ERC), and in 2014 the renowned Spanish Premio Rey Jaime I in the area of Basic Science.

9 May 2016

Dwayne Miller is Director of the Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter at CFEL in Hamburg, Germany, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Toronto.

He works to track chemical reactions on the atomic level using ‘atomic movies’, a method of observing the movements of atoms in real time. By doing so he has shown that chemistry can be distilled down to a handful of key atomic motions. This insight will have profound implications for our understanding of biological processes and how to treat disease. Miller is the Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Prize winner for 2016.

26 November 2015

Cornelius Gati has been awarded a long term postdoctoral fellowship by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO). The CFEL scientist from the group of Prof Henry Chapman is one of 75 excellent scientists who have been chosen from 788 applicants originating from 61 different countries.

HFSP postdoctoral fellowships are given to young scientists who wish to broaden their training in a laboratory in another country. Already in a few days, Gati will start at his new workplace in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at the University of Cambridge in England. “The LMB is virtually the birthplace of modern structural biology – starting with X-ray Crystallography 60 years ago and today leading the field of electron microscopy,” Gati says. He is looking forward to meeting a new challenge: “The topic I am working on is ‘single particle cryo electron microscopy’ which means we are calculating models of individual, non-crystalline biomolecules.”

18 November 2015

CFEL scientists Andrea Cavalleri, Director of the Condensed Matter Dynamics department, and Melanie Schnell, leader of the Max Planck Research Group Structure and Dynamics of Cold and Controlled Molecules,received prizes for their outstanding scientific works. They were awarded during the public anniversary of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities on November 14, 2015.

PD Dr. Melanie Schnell was awarded the Academy Prize for Chemistry 2015 in recognition of her pioneering development of new methods to study the rotational spectra of state-selected molecules in extremely cold conditions. The prize is endowed with 2,500 euros.

18 March 2015

Antonia Karamatskou, PhD student in the group of Prof. Dr. Robin Santra at CFEL, DESY, will participate in this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The junior researcher belongs to the collaborative research centre (SFB) 925 “Light induced dynamics and control of correlated quantum systems” and works in the CFEL-DESY Theory Group. In a multistage process she was chosen out of hundreds of international candidates to take part in the meeting.
From 26 June to 3 July qualified junior researchers from all over the world will gather together at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The aim of this event is not only scientific exchange but also networking. The meeting was launched in 1951  as a European initiative for reconciliation after World War II and will take place in 2015 for the 65th time. Subjects are the natural science disciplines of the Nobel Prize: chemistry, medicine and physics.

05 January 2015

DESY scientist Robin Santra is leading of the CFEL theory group and he is a physics professor at the University of Hamburg. He is awarded for his successful theoretical description of light-matter interactions, especially for processes involving X-ray laser light and inner-shell electrons in atoms and molecules.
With more than 50 000 members, the American Physical Society is the second largest physicists’ association worldwide, after Germany’s Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG). Scientists who made outstanding contributions to research or to important research and technology developments can be elected Fellows. Only half of one per cent of the APS members receive this honor, currently there are 250.
Robin Santra is the third CFEL Division Leader after Angel Rubio in 2004 and Andrea Cavalleri in 2011 that was elected APS Fellow.

10 December 2014

CFEL scientist Professor Henry Chapman will be awarded one of the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizes 2015 by the German research foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the DFG announced on Wednesday in Bonn. This important research award in Germany honors outstanding scientists. Henry Chapman receives the 2.5-Million-Euro prize for his pioneering work in the development of femtosecond crystallography. It allows decoding the structure of complex biomolecules in its natural environment at the atomic level with the help of X-ray lasers.

08 December 2014

For his "time-resolved measurements of photoinduced phase transitions in correlated electronic materials" Prof. Dr. Andrea Cavalleri, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), is awarded the prestigious Max Born Prize. The prize of the German Physical Society (DPG) and the British Institute of Physics (IOP) commemorates the work of the physicist Max Born. Since 1973, the two organizations jointly award the annual prize to a British and a German researcher in alternation. A the DPG’s spring meeting next year, Prof. Dr. Andrea Cavalleri will be given 3,000 euro prize money, the Max-Born-commemorative medal and the certificate with the dedication "For the most valuable and recent scientific contributions to physics".

14 November 2014

Nicole Teschmit was awarded a prestigious Kekulé Mobility Fellowship from the Chemical Industry Fund (FCI) of the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie, VCI).
In her PhD work in the Controlled Molecule Imaging Group at the Center for Free-Electron-Laser Science, Nicole Teschmit will develop techniques to prepare samples of cold, isomer separated, controlled beams of large molecules for the investigation of their structure and dynamics.

31 October 2014

The award of the Association of the Friends and Sponsors of DESY 2014 is shared in equal parts by Stephan Stern, DESY (CFEL) and University of Hamburg, and Tigran Kalaydzhyan, DESY (Theory) and University of Hamburg. Both are distinguished with the award including a sum of 3000 euros for their excellent PhD theses which they elaborated in the period of 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.

08 October 2014

Professor R. J. Dwayne Miller, CFEL division leader, speaker of CUI and director at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg, will be honored with the 2015 E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society with more than 161,000 members. Chartered by the U.S. Congress, the nonprofit organization is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research. The E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy is awarded annually, to recognize outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied spectroscopy in chemistry.

28 August 2013

Stefan Pabst is one of the winners of the first Helmholtz PhD Prize. The Helmholtz Association is honouring the CFEL researcher together with five other young scientists who are active in one of the Helmholtz research fields. The Helmholtz PhD Prize, which is endowed with 5000 Euro and awarded for first time this year, was created to support talented young scientists early on and encourage doctoral students to pursue a career in science.

1 November 2012

On 31 October 2012 the first PhD Scholarships from the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School were awarded in a festive ceremony. Among the seven outstanding finalists, who can look forward to three years of PhD research funding, were Nele Müller (CFEL/DESY Controlled Molecule Imaging group), Cornelius Gati (CFEL / DESY Coherent Imaging group) and Hong-Guang Duan (CFEL/ MPSD Atomically Resolved Dynamics group). The scholarships are sponsored by the Joachim Herz Stiftung.

1 November 2012

The European Powder Diffraction Conference (EPDIC) honored Kenneth Beyerlein with the 2012 Young Scientist Award in Grenoble, France, this Wednesday. Beyerlein, a postdoctoral scientist in the Chapman group at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), received the highly competitive and prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding graduate research work on modeling and interpreting powder diffraction patterns from nanoparticles.

14 June 2012

Isabella Gierz was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for the discovery of a giant spin splitting on the surface of a semiconductor.
The Rashba-Bychkov effect describes how the spin-degeneracy in different two-dimensional systems such as, quantum well states in semiconductor heterojunctions or surface states on noble metal surfaces can be lifted by the spin-orbit interaction in case of a broken space inversion symmetry.

3 May 2012

Dr. Melanie Schnell, independent Max-Planck research group leader at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg and at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik in Heidelberg, is awarded a Dozentenstipendium of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI). The FCI awards this prize to outstanding younger researchers. The Dozentenstipendium contains 35.000 Euro research support and an annual prize money of 7.500 Euro. The Dozentenstipendium lasts for a maximum of 5 years, but at most until the awardee obtains a call for a W3 chair.

15 November 2010

Henry Chapman was awarded the Bjørn H. Wiik-Prize 2010 on Monday 15. Nov. 2010.     The Bjørn H. Wiik-Prize is presented every two years. It aims to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the advancement of research programmes or technical development projects at DESY.

ERC - European Research Council

14 April 2016

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced today the list of the 277 top researchers to be awarded with one of its prestigious Advanced Grants. In the current call, the European Union supports excellent research projects in the areas physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and social sciences and humanities with a total funding of €647 million. A total of 1,953 proposals were handed in, of which about 14 per cent have been selected for funding.

The CFEL-based researcher Angel Rubio is one of the awarded scientists. In his project “Quantum Spectroscopy: exploring new states of matter out of equilibrium” (QSpec-NewMat) – funded with €2.5 million – he and his groups in Hamburg and Spain plan to develop novel theoretical and computational tools allowing to understand and control quantum phenomena in complex molecular systems. The project starts on October 1, 2016 and runs for a period of five years.

15 December 2014

Prestigious support for young scientists in Hamburg: Melanie Schnell, Sebastian Loth and Francesca Calegari - currently working at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at CFEL - successfully applied for EU resources. As the ERC announced, all three will receive funding through ERC Starting Grants, to start their individual project work.
With the annually awarded and highly coveted Starting Grants, the European Research Council recognizes and fosters young scientists at the beginning of their independent career. They need to have already proven their excellence in conducting research, and their activities shall promise to open novel prospects. The financial support enables them to build up their own research group and/or to expand their fields of research. For a period of five years, the scientists may pursue a specific project at a research institution of their choice. Per project, the ERC allocates a budget of up to € 1.5 million, in some circumstances up to € 2 million.

17 December 2013

To trace and understand chemical and biological processes taking place in just some quintillionths of a second with full atomic detail: this is the goal of a research project of four scientists of the University of Hamburg, DESY, and Arizona State University receiving 14 million euros from the European Research Council ERC for the coming six years.
With a so-called ERC Synergy Grant, the research council supports the project “Frontiers in Attosecond X-ray Science: Imaging and Spectroscopy” (AXSIS) of Professor Franz Kärtner (Center for Free-Electron Laser Science CFEL, DESY and University of Hamburg), Professor Henry Chapman (CFEL, DESY and University of Hamburg), Dr. Ralph Aßmann (DESY) and Professor Petra Fromme (Arizona State University).

13 November 2013

European Research Council supports Professor Jochen Küpper from the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science with an ERC Consolidator Grant for his COMOTION project.
For his work on the control of complex molecules, Professor Jochen Küpper from the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL, DESY and the University of Hamburg) is granted two million euros by the European Research Council (ERC). The council supports Küpper’s project "Controlling the Motion of Complex Molecules and Particles" (COMOTION) through an ERC Consolidator Grant for five years starting in early 2014. The aim of the project is to develop methods to control, e.g., to transport, to sort, and to align complex molecules like peptides and proteins, but also larger objects, such as virus particles or picoplankton

20 December 2012

Prof. Dr. Andrea Cavalleri from the University of Hamburg and three scientists from Oxford, Geneva and Paris have been awarded one of the first eleven Synergy Grants conferred by the European Research Council (ERC) for their "Frontiers in Quantum Materials' Control (Q-MAC)" research cooperation. They will receive about ten million euros over the next five years for the research on ultra-high-temperature superconductors. Roughly 2.7 million euros will go to the group of Andrea Cavalleri in Hamburg.

19 March 2012

The European Research Council has granted Professor R. J. Dwayne Miller, CFEL, MPSD and Department of Physics at the University of Hamburg, 2.5 million euros worth of funding over five years for a joint research project with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). Advanced Investigator Grants are awarded to outstanding scientists and their innovative research projects throughout Europe.

With the Picosecond-Infrared-Laser (PIRL) system, the new laser technology developed by the Miller Group, minimal invasive, more precise, less scaring surgery will be made possible in the future. Removed tissue like tumor cells can get analyzed in an inactive state.

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