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You are here: Home News Wolfgang-Paul-Lecture 2011: Rolf Heuer

2011: Rolf Heuer

wp_heuer.jpgProfessor Rolf-Dieter Heuer was born in 1948 in Boll/Goeppingen. He studied physics at the University of Stuttgart where he graduated in 1974, and obtained his PhD at the University of Heidelberg in 1977 under the supervision of Prof. Joachim Heintze. Prof. Heuer is an experimental particle physicist. Most of his scientific work has been related to the study of electron-positron reactions, development of experimental techniques, as well as construction and running of large detector systems.

In 1977 he became research scientist at the University of Heidelberg working for the JADE experiment at the electron-positron storage ring PETRA until 1983, situated at the Deutsche Elektronen- Synchrotron DESY in Hamburg. From 1984 to 1998, Prof. Heuer was a staff member at CERN, working for the OPAL experiment at the electron-positron storage ring LEP. He was responsible for the coordination of design and construction of the tracking jet chamber and coordinated the whole tracking system during the experiment construction phase. He then became the run coordinator during the start-up phase of LEP1 in 1989-1992 and the OPAL spokesperson in 1994-1998, responsible for all aspects of the collaboration, comprising over 300 physicists, and for its scientific output. His term of office covered LEP1 data analysis and the LEP2 energy upgrade.

In 1998, Rolf-Dieter Heuer was appointed to a chair at the University of Hamburg (C4 professor). He joined the H1 experiment at the HERA collider at DESY and in parallel established a group working on the preparations for experiments at an electron-positron Linear Collider which quickly became one of the leading groups in this area world wide. In December 2004, Prof. Heuer became research director for particle and astroparticle physics at the DESY laboratory, a member of the Helmholtz association. The main emphasis was to maintain DESY as the central particle physics laboratory in Germany, and to strengthen the links to the Universities as well as the links to CERN. To this extent he oriented the particle physics groups at DESY towards LHC by joining both large experiments, ATLAS and CMS. He prepared the path to participate in the LHC luminosity upgrade, fostered the participation in the electron-positron collider project ILC and the detector R&D related to it. He also initiated the restructuring and focusing of German particle physics at the energy frontier with particular emphasis on the LHC. This resulted in the Helmholtz-Alliance “Physics at the Terascale” comprising all German University groups working at the energy frontier together with the Helmholtz centres DESY and Karlsruhe.

In December 2007 Prof. Heuer was elected Director General of CERN taking office January 2009. During the first two years of his mandate (2009, 2010) the LHC was brought into operation and started its very successful physics runs at the high energy frontier. In addition to the flagship LHC much emphasis is put on diversity of physics at CERN using the whole accelerator complex. Prof. Heuer has been member in many scientific committees and advisory bodies where he acquired much expertise in reviewing projects as well as in judging and promoting people.

During his first 15 years at CERN he occupied the highest managerial positions in the OPAL experiment. As a research director at DESY he gained additional managerial experience and established many international contacts. Corresponding Member, Heidelberg Akademie der Wissenschaften, Germany Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Germany Honorary Consul, AGH University, Cracow, Poland Doctor Honoris Causa : University of Debrecen, Hungary University of Victoria, Canada University of Bucharest, Romania University of Liverpool, United Kingdom Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

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