Cornelia Denz takes office as PTB President in 2022
09.06.2021 - Joachim Ullrich, who has held the presidency since 2012, will then retire due to age.
Cornelia Denz is no stranger to PTB – and vice versa. For many years, she has been involved in the PTB's Board of Trustees and is therefore very familiar with the tasks and objectives of the Federal Institute. “I am very pleased about this appointment,” says Denz. “To lead a unique institution like PTB with its long tradition and its future-shaping possibilities is both a challenging task and an incentive. I will work to ensure that PTB, with its far-reaching metrology, will make a pioneering contribution to the systemic challenges of the upcoming technical and societal transformations.”
Her scientific career led her from the Technical University of Darmstadt, where she habilitated with a thesis on structure formation in nonlinear optics, to the University of Münster. There she has held the chair of experimental physics with a focus on applied physics since 2003. She has also been director of the Institute of Applied Physics since 2004. Denz is internationally known for her work on complex light structuring, which she applies in nanophysics, biomedicine and information technologies with her research group Nonlinear Photonics. From 2010 to 2016, Denz was vice-rector for international affairs and young scientists at Münster University.
Denz has received numerous awards, including the Lise Meitner Prize of the State of Hesse. She has been a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2014. Her publications have been selected 13 times in the last ten years among the thirty best papers worldwide in one year by the journal Optics and Photonics News. Denz is an enthusiastic university teacher who is committed to the career development of young physics students and promotes women in physics. In 2012, she was named professor of the year by Unicum magazine. Since 2016, in her additional professorship on gender research in physics, she has been investigating the causes for the low percentage of women in physics and promoting girls’ interest in STEM topics.
In the long tradition of PTB (the predecessor institution, the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt, PTR, was founded in 1887), Denz will be the first woman to hold the office of president after 14 presidents before. But even such a circumstance is not entirely new for Denz as a physics professor. For example, at the beginning of her career, she was for a long time the only female physics professor in Münster. “The fact that there are more enthusiastic, successful and committed female physicists today than twenty years ago is very gratifying. However, there is still a lot to do before equality is achieved. Therefore, I am committed to promoting the careers of outstanding young female physicists. I want to continue this at PTB.”
The outgoing PTB President, Joachim Ullrich, during whose term of office decisive course was set for a metrology of the future, congratulates Denz on her new task: “My warmest congratulations to my colleague,” says Ullrich. “With her diverse competences as an outstanding scientist and experienced manager, the future of PTB is in the best hands with Cornelia Denz.”
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)