Press Release 020/2011

Hector Research Award Goes to Jürg Leuthold

KIT Scientist Is Granted Award for Excellent Work in the Field of High-speed Data Transmission
Preisträger Professor Jürg Leuthold ( mit Josefine und Dr. Hans-Werner Hector  (re.) sowie dem baden-württembergischen Wissenschaftsminister Professor Peter Fran- kenberg. (Foto: Marco Schilling)
Laureate Professor Jürg Leuthold (second from left) with Josefine and Dr. Hans-Werner Hector (right) and the Baden-Wuerttemberg Minister of Science, Professor Peter Frankenberg. (Photo: Marco Schilling)

Professor Jürg Leuthold from KIT is one of this year’s winners of the Hector Research Award and now belongs to the group of so-called Hector Fellows. This year, three excellent scientists from excellent German universities were granted the Hector Research Award in the amount of EUR 150,000 each. Apart from Leuthold, these are Professor Stephen Hashmi (University of Heidelberg) and Professor Jens Timmer (University of Freiburg). With its award, the Hector Foundation II with its office at Weinheim acknowledges both pioneer research achievements of the scientists as well as their attitudes as university teachers.

The physicist Leuthold, who has been doing research and teaching at KIT since 2004, is an expert in the field of high-speed data transmission. Recently, he developed an optical method with his group, by means of which the largest amount of data ever encoded on a single laser beam of 10 terabits per second can be encoded and decoded in real time. Three years ago, Leuthold succeeded in building one of the most rapid optical silicon chips. It is four times quicker than the chips available at that time and fifty times smaller than the chips used in today’s telecommunication devices. The Swiss-born Leuthold heads the KIT Institutes of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ) and Microstructure Technology (IMT).

During the ceremony at Heidelberg on February 4, Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector prized the fascinating work of the laureates: “Your fields of research give rise to the miracle of everyday life.” According to Hector, the foundation is pleased to make available funds to promote the best professors. He considers this the logical continuation of the support of highly talented pupils and students, which is also accomplished by the foundation. “Both together make up a reasonable entity,” said Hector.

“Appointment of Leuthold to a Hector Fellow is a big honor for KIT,” underlined KIT President Professor Horst Hippler. “We are very pleased that this year a scientist from KIT was granted the Hector Research Award for excellent research and teaching again.”

Leuthold now belongs to the group of so-called Hector Fellows, a team of specialists working jointly on scientific topics. By granting the annual award since 2009, the donors Josefine and Hans-Werner Hector wish to enhance mutual support of the laureates and to give people an understanding of natural science. Networking of the fellows gives rise to a “round table of top scientists” that now has nine members. Apart from the three laureates of this year, the professors Manfred Kappes (KIT), Franz Nestmann (KIT), Doris Wedlich (KIT), Peter Gumbsch (KIT), Martin Wegener (KIT), and Thomas Elbert (University of Constance) are Hector Fellows.

Further information on the H.W. & J. Hector Foundation and on the Hector Foundation II can be found at .



Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

lg, 07.02.2011


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presseGxh7∂kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Monika Landgraf
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-21150
Fax: +49 721 608-41150
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