Press Release 060/2009

Excellent in Research

Erna Scheffler Award Granted to Two Young Female Scientists from KIT – The Prize Winners Are Working in the Fields of Biomedical Technology and Particle Physics
Der Erna-Scheffler-Preis würdigt wissenschaftliche Leistungen junger Frauen
Excellent: The Erna Scheffler award is granted for scientific achievements
of young female scientists.
(Photo by:

For the 7th time, the Erna Scheffler award is granted by the So-roptimist Club Karlsruhe for excellent scientific achievements of two young women at the Universität Karlsruhe. The award that is granted every two years is named after the first female judge at the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany, Dr. Erna Scheffler, who was a committed fighter for the equality of women. The award ceremony will take place on June 19, 17 hrs, at the Federal Constitutional Court. Journalists are cordially invited.

The Erna Scheffler award is divided into a sponsorship award in the amount of EUR 4000 and a diploma award in the amount of EUR 1000. This year’s sponsorship award is granted to Dr. Nicole Kikillus from the Institute for Biomedical Technology. Within the framework of her Ph. D. thesis, she developed a method for the better identifi-cation of atrial fibrillation patients. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most frequent cardiac arrhythmias. About 1 million people are suffering from cardiac arrhythmia in Germany alone. Her new method allows for the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation irrespective of the occurrence of this cardiac arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation does not have any immedi-ately life-threatening effect, but it may have serious consequences, for instance, a stroke. One of six strokes is caused by atrial fibrilla-tion.

The Erna Scheffler diploma award goes to the physicist Jennifer Girrbach from the Institute for Theoretical Particle Physics. The standard model of particle physics very precisely describes the fundamental components of matter and the forces acting between them at the energies that are experimentally accessible today. Still, there is substantial evidence of physical relationships beyond this standard model. In her diploma thesis, Girrbach expands the above model and comprehensively analyzes the effect of supersymmetrical particles on so-called processes violating the lepton number. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva, that will start opera-tion again in autumn this year, will provide an opportunity to find supersymmetrical particles.

With more than 91,000 members and 3100 clubs in 125 countries, Soroptimist International (SI) is the largest international service or-ganization of working women. The first club was founded in 1921 at Oakland/California. The name “Soroptimist” is derived from the Latin “sorores optimae“ (the best sisters). The German union of Soropti-mist International comprises 181 clubs with about 5300 members. The club at Karlsruhe was founded and chaired by Dr. Erna Schef-fler in 1963. Presently, it has 35 members. SI grants financial and personal help for a number of care projects on the local, national, and international level.

The awards ceremony will take place under the auspices of the President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Professor Hans-Jürgen Papier. The opening speech will be made by Professor Lerke Osterloh, judge at the Federal Constitutional Court.

Note: For security reasons, prior registration with the Federal Constitutional Court is required under:

protokoll does-not-exist.bundesverfassungsgericht de (please register until Wednesday, June 17). Kindly bring along your identity card for the entry check by the Federal Police.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading innovation partner of industry.

lg, June 12, 2009


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Monika Landgraf
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-21150
Fax: +49 721 608-41150
monika landgraf does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.