CeremonyPresentation of the Lautenschläger Research Prize

Press Release No. 146/2018
4 December 2018

The award endowed with 250,000 euros goes posthumously to the physicist Karlheinz Meier – For the first time, a prize for junior researchers is also awarded

The Lautenschläger Research Prize will be awarded on 7 December at Heidelberg University. Experimental physicist Prof. Dr Karlheinz Meier, founder of neuromorphic computing at Ruperto Carola, is being honoured posthumously. The 250,000-euro prize will go to his research group at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics. For the first time this year, award sponsor and Honorary Senator at Ruperto Carola Dr h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger is also awarding a prize to a junior researcher. The prize endowed with 25,000 euros will go to the material chemist Dr Claudia Backes, who is working on the production and further development of new ultrathin substances at the Institute for Physical Chemistry.

Manfred Lautenschläger praised this year's award winner as an “internationally exceptional researcher”; Karlheinz Meier passed away just days after the award was announced. “His enthusiasm for experimental physics, his curiosity for the fundamental questions of physics, and his courage to forge new technological pathways were the driving forces behind his extraordinary life in science,” states the award sponsor. The recipient of the inaugural Lautenschläger Junior Researcher Prize is being awarded to an “excellent young scientist, whose work is distinguished by particularly innovative approaches,” comments Manfred Lautenschläger.

The Lautenschläger Research Prize – the most highly endowed research prize from a private sponsor in Germany – is awarded every two years for special accomplishments in leading-edge research. The distinction is intended to honour scientists from Heidelberg University as well as other national and international researchers with special ties to Ruperto Carola through scientific cooperation. Entrepreneur Manfred Lautenschläger established the award in 2001 to foster active researchers in the discovery process. The very first junior researcher prize is being awarded in 2018 to support excellent young researchers in their personal scientific development and their research activities.

Heidelberg University President Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel will open the Lautenschläger award ceremony. Afterwards Indologist Prof. Dr Axel Michaels, recipient of the 2015 Lautenschläger Research Prize, will speak. The address honouring the research work and impact of Karlheinz Meier will be given by the award's first recipient, physicist Prof. Dr Johanna Stachel. The Executive Director of the Centre for Advanced Materials, Prof. Dr Jana Zaumseil, will present the award-winning work of Claudia Backes. Award sponsor Manfred Lautenschläger will hand over the prize and address the audience.

Note to press desks

The Lautenschläger Research Prize of Heidelberg University will be awarded on Friday, December 7, 2018, in the Great Hall of the Old University. The ceremony will begin at 5pm. Members of the media are cordially invited. Please register by phone (06221) 54-2311 or e-mail at presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de.