Professor Anke-Susanne Müller of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) received the 2022 Baden-Württemberg State Research Award for her achievements in basic research. With her team, Müller is making groundbreaking contributions to enhancing the stability, compactness, and energy efficiency of particle accelerators. The award for applied research goes to Professor Stefan Michael Pfister of the German Cancer Research Center. The award, which comes with 100,000 euros each, is the most highly endowed research prize of a German state.
"Professor Anke-Susanne Müller has achieved a world-leading position in the field of accelerator research. She and her team at KIT have laid the foundations for making new concepts for particle accelerators conceivable," explains Petra Olschowski, Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg. "As a pioneer in the development and application of precise electron beam and photon pulse diagnostics, Professor Anke-Susanne Müller's research contributes significantly to the development of accelerators of the future. These are capable of revolutionizing tumor therapy or the refinement of materials, for example."
"Anke-Susanne Müller is an outstanding scientist who impressively transfers her results from basic research to applications - both at KIT and at other accelerator facilities. As Deputy Chairwoman of our Supervisory Board and representative in many other bodies, she decisively influences the development and strategy of KIT," says KIT President Professor Holger Hanselka. "With this award, the state honors a committed scientist. I warmly congratulate Anke-Susanne Müller on the State Research Award."
At KIT's Institute for Beam Physics and Technology, Müller and her multidisciplinary team have made pioneering contributions to the generation of high-intensity, ultrashort electron bunches in particle accelerators.
"The goal of our work is to control the nonlinear dynamics of electron beams. The challenge is to understand and control the behavior of compact highly charged relativistic particle bunches in external fields. This will not only open up new fields of application, but also allow us to make particle accelerators more stable, compact, and energy-efficient," Müller explains.
Particle accelerators are indispensable tools in basic research, applied research, and for diagnosis and therapy in medicine. The key to realizing the next or next but one generation of accelerators is a profound understanding of the nonlinear dynamics of particle beams far from equilibrium. Müller and her team of the "Accelerator Technology Platform" (ATP) at KIT are pioneers in the precise measurement and modeling of such beams. They have developed hardware and software components to control particle beams with the help of artificial intelligence, for example. KIT provides researchers with state-of-the-art infrastructures and test facilities for this purpose, such as the particle accelerators KARA (Karlsruhe Research Accelerator) and FLUTE (Far Infrared Linac and Test Experiment).
Müller was the driving force behind these technological advances. Many accelerators in Europe are already benefiting from the resulting physics insights.
About the Person
Professor Anke-Susanne Müller, born in 1972, was appointed founding director of KIT's Institute for Beam Physics and Technology in 2016. Already in 2013 did she become Professor of Accelerator Physics at the KIT Department of Physics. Before that, from 2012 to 2016, she was a member of the board of directors of KIT's ANKA synchrotron radiation source. Her scientific career started with studies of physics at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and subsequent PhD studies at the European Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics CERN in Geneva and the University of Mainz. At CERN, she also took up her first postdoctoral position. In 2002, she moved to KIT, where she headed a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group from 2007 to 2013. Anke-Susanne Müller also is spokesperson of the KIT Elementary Particles and Astroparticle Physics Center and the Accelerator Technology Platform (ATP) at KIT. In addition, she is member of advisory boards of various national and international institutions. She has been a member of the KIT Supervisory Board since 2019 and its deputy chairperson since 2020.
Baden-Württemberg State Research Award
Every two years since 1989, the State Research Award has been granted in recognition of outstanding scientific achievements in all disciplines. Previous award winners have come from a wide variety of fields - from biology to philology to finance. It is the most highly endowed research prize of a German state. 100,000 euros are awarded to a basic and an applied researcher each. The award winners are given the opportunity to pursue a research project of their choice.
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 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 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.