July 13, 2022

Luciano Rezzolla receives Laureatus Professorship

The Walter-Greiner-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der physikalischen Grundlagenforschung (for the support of foundational research in physics, WGG) awarded two Laureatus professorships for outstanding achievements in research and teaching. As a part of the 24th academic summer ceremony of the physics department at Goethe-University, the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) and the WGG several physicists were honoured. Prof. Dr. Luciano Rezzolla received the prestigious Carl Wilhelm Fueck Laureate Professorship for his work in the field of theoretical astrophysics. For many years he has conducted research as a Senior Fellow at FIAS and has been a part of the board of directors.

Rezzolla sees the Laureatus Professorship not only as a scientific honour: "Being acknowledged by a society that explicitly supports research in Frankfurt makes me feel more welcome in the city than ever before." He emphasizes, "Scientific work is my greatest source of energy." On the same day he received another award: the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation (ISGRG) appointed Rezzolla a fellow - the first fellow from a German institute. He is honoured for his "leading contributions to the development of robust numerical relativity simulations of astrophysical objects" – such as calculations that made the image of the black hole Sagittarius A* at the center of our Milky Way possible. As an ISGRG-Fellow he is joining the ranks of many famous scientists such as Stephen Hawking and noble price holder Roger Penrose.

The Walter Greiner Society is dedicated to the conceptual and financial support of fundamental research in physics at Goethe University and FIAS. It awarded also Prof. Dr. Roser Valenti of Goethe University with the Stefan Lyson Laureate Professorship for her research achievements in the field of theoretical solid state physics. The internationally renowned nuclear and heavy ion physicist Walter Greiner (1935-2016) and Wolf Singer founded FIAS together in 2003.

As part of the ceremony, the Fueck Foundation awarded two Walter Greiner Prizes for each the best theoretical and experimental PhD theses in 2021 and 2022 (Kilian Fehre, Bernhard Irsigler, Julian Schmidt-Engler, Karim Zantout). FIAS Fellow Prof. Dr. Jürgen Struckmeier presented the 2022 Science Award of the Fueck Foundation to Dr. Alejandro Cruz-Osario and Dr. Kang Lin. Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilhelm, who received the award in 2021, delighted the audience with a stimulating lecture on new didactic concepts in teaching.

The Niko-Claus Teaching Awards for 2021 and 2022 went to Julia Sammet and Dr. Dr. Matthias Hanauske –  researchers at Goethe University and FIAS. The Rolf and Edith Sandvoss scholarships support Bachelor's and Master's students, the Sättele couple rewarded the five best Master's theses of each year, and the Equal Opportunities Council awarded prizes for gender and diversity engagement.

After the speeches and honours, the physicists celebrated happily in the cafeteria "Pi x Gaumen" until about midnight.

Laureatus 2022 (c) Fabian Feldmann