Prof. Marquardt is New Chairman of the Board of Directors
Jülich, 1 July 2014 – As of today, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Marquardt is the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich. He succeeds Prof. Achim Bachem, who was at the head of Forschungszentrum Jülich for eight years and has now retired. The new chairman took up office in the presence of Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Svenja Schulze, Minister of Innovation, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association, before an audience of more than 400 guests from science, politics, and industry.
"Forschungszentrum Jülich has undergone a radical transformation and with far-sightedness has successfully aligned itself with topics that are important for the future. Its achievements in science and for society are internationally recognized and highly acclaimed. With Prof. Marquardt, the research centre has gained a new chairman, who, with his passion for research, will continue to drive progress forward." These were the words of Federal Research Minister Wanka as she welcomed Wolfgang Marquardt to his new role.
Marquardt himself said that at Jülich he intends to do just what he enjoys doing, namely helping to bring new things into the world. He described himself as a passionate scientist. “I will take this passion with me into my new role as chairman in order to create framework conditions here at Jülich conducive to outstanding research in the context of the grand challenges.”
Prof. Marquardt (left) and Prof. Bachem
With Marquardt at its helm, NRW Science Minister Svenja Schulze foresees a very promising future for Forschungszentrum Jülich. "With his experience as a researcher and university lecturer, as well as his in-depth knowledge of the science system, Wolfgang Marquardt will make his mark on Forschungszentrum Jülich."
Wolfgang Marquardt, a qualified process engineer, was appointed professor of process systems engineering at RWTH Aachen University in 1993. In 2001, he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize by the German Research Foundation in recognition of his research work. He became a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities in 2010 and in February 2011 he was elected chairman. In this function, he played an active role at the interface to science policy. Prof. Marquardt has acquired broad-based experience in science, in his own research, in cooperation with other disciplines, in the creation of an institute, and finally in the development, implementation, and management of large-scale collaborative research projects at RWTH Aachen University. During his term of office as chairman of the German Council of Science and Humanities, this advisory body to the German federal government and the federal states was concerned, amongst other aspects, with the interdisciplinary evaluation of large-scale research infrastructures, with the structural and financial perspectives of the science system, and with demographic change. The resulting demands for qualified specialist staff, equal opportunities for men and women in science, and ensuring the quality of PhD work were other topics dealt with by the German Council of Science and Humanities.
Achim Bachem said that he hoped his successor would retain his passion for research and wished him every success in expanding the diverse competences of Forschungszentrum Jülich. “I would also like to thank all of my colleagues in the science system who have supported me in many different ways over the years,” he said. Prof. Bachem, a qualified mathematician, was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich since 1 October 2006. Prior to that, he was a member of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) between 1996 and 2006, and from 1998 to 2002 he was also German delegate to the European Space Agency (ESA).
Minister Wanka thanked Prof. Bachem. “He played a key role in the reorientation. Today, Forschungszentrum Jülich is one of the top addresses for supercomputing. Its supercomputers consistently feature among the top ten in the world ranking.” She went on to say that during his time as chairman, Forschungszentrum Jülich refined its identity and raised its profile, consolidating its position in the research community. For example the Nobel Prize in Physics went to Jülich researcher Peter Grünberg in 2007 while Bachem was in office.
NRW Science Minister Schulze looked back on Bachem’s achievements in expanding the key technologies and helping to structure Forschungszentrum Jülich more clearly. "Characteristic of Bachem's era is the opening up of Jülich and its cooperation with universities. Inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation has since become a natural part of successful research," said Minister Schulze.
Representing the Helmholtz Association, of which Forschungszentrum Jülich is a member, was its president Prof. Jürgen Mlynek. "I am looking forward to working with Wolfgang Marquardt – he is a major asset to the Helmholtz Association. As a researcher and former chairman of the German Council of Science and Humanities, he knows the world of science better than most others," said Mlynek. This wealth of experience, he added, will benefit Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Helmholtz Association in several ways. Mlynek thanked Bachem for a very enriching eight years. "Achim Bachem was an important companion for many years during my time as president."
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