Press Release 152/2013

Hector Fellow Academy Connects Excellent Scientists

Foundation Ceremony at KIT’s International Department – Promotion of Young Scientists Is an Objective

A new science academy is to be established at the International Department of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Honorary Senator Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector founds the Hector Fellow Academy to foster networking of excellent scientists and exchange of information beyond their scientific realm. The academy is funded by the Hector Stiftung II (Hector Foundation II) and aimed at strengthening the activities of the Hector Fellows.


The group of Hector Fellows has been growing since 2009. So far, fifteen excellent scientists at German universities have been appointed Hector Fellows by the Board of Trustees of the Hector Foundation II. This is to acknowledge excellent research achievements of highly dedicated engineers and scientists and their commitment to Germany as a location of science and education.


“With the establishment of the Hector Fellow Academy, Dr. Hans-Werner Hector gives an important signal: The challenges of the future can only be mastered by close networking of top research and its scientists. The Hector Fellow Academy is an ideal forum for this exchange and, at the same time, a chance for the highly qualified young scientists in Germany. For this, our thanks are due to Mr. Hector,“ says KIT President, Professor Holger Hanselka. According to Hanselka, it is an honor for KIT that the academy will be opened at KIT’s International Department in Karlsruhe.


The Hector Fellow Academy will support the activities of the Hector Fellows. Through their networking, added values are to be created for society. Moreover, ten young scientists will be given the opportunity to present own projects to the members of the Academy and to work on these projects as doctoral students under the supervision of the Hector Fellows. Additionally, four post-doc positions will be established under interdisciplinary projects of several Hector Fellows. Highly qualified young scientists may apply for these positions. Annually, the Hector Fellows will meet at symposia, report about their research results, and work on joint topics. These activities are aimed at identifying research areas of common interest and initiating a trend-setting socio-political discourse.


The group of holders of the Hector Science Award presently consists of the following professors: Immanuel Bloch, Peter Gumbsch, Thomas Elbert, Stephen Hashmi, Manfred Kappes, Jürg Leuthold, Axel Meyer, Franz Nestmann, Nikolaus Pfanner, Hilbert von Löhneysen, Jens Timmer, Doris Wedlich, Martin Wegener, Günter Ziegler, and Eberhard Zrenner. Doris Wedlich, Peter Gumbsch, Manfred Kappes, Franz Nestmann, Hilbert von Löhneysen, and Martin Wegener are scientists working at KIT. Former KIT researcher Jürg Leuthold moved to ETH Zurich this year.


The total budget of the Academy amounts to EUR 5 million at least. The project is scheduled for five years for the time being.


Program of the Opening Ceremony:


Dr. Judith Elsner, Managing Director of the Hector Fellow Academy


Welcome Addresses
Dr. Simone Schwanitz, Undersecretary at the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts
Senator e.h. Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector, Hector Foundation
Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT


Concept of the Hector Fellow Academy: Professor Doris Wedlich, Hector Fellow, KIT


Keynote Lecture
Chancen und Herausforderungen für die Akademien im deutschen Forschungs- und Politikumfeld: Professor Hermann Hahn, ehemaliger Präsident der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften
(Opportunities and Challenges for Academies under the Framework Conditions of German Research and Politics: Professor Hermann Hahn, Former President of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences)


Hector Fellow Presentation
Weitverbreitete Missverständnisse über die Evolution - aber wie funktioniert sie wirklich? Professor Axel Meyer, Hector Fellow, Universität Konstanz


(Widespread Misunderstandings about Evolution – But How Does It Really Work? Professor Axel Meyer, Hector Fellow, University of Konstanz)


Reception (18 hrs)



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 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 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, 27.11.2013

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.