Dosch heads DESY directorate

Helmut Dosch is to be the new chair of the directorate of the research centre DESY. He will take over from the incumbent, Albrecht Wagner, on 1 March 2009.

A solid-state physicist, Dosch is renowned internationally for research into solid-state interfaces and nanomaterials with synchrotron radiation. He is currently director of the Max-Planck-Institute for metals research in Stuttgart and professor at the University of Stuttgart. He has previously worked at the Institut Laue-Langevin, Cornell University and at the universities of Mainz and Wuppertal.

Dosch is highly experienced in research involving large-scale facilities and he serves on several international committees, review journals and research organizations. He has advised the DESY directorate as a member of the DESY scientific council, and, as a member of the German council of science and humanities, he evaluated the TESLA/XFEL project, which later developed into the European X-ray laser project (XFEL) and the International Linear Collider. He is currently vice-chair of the administrative council of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble.

CERN theorists gather further honours

On 22 September CERN’s Sergio Ferrara was awarded the Amaldi Medal, the European prize for general relativity and gravitational physics, at the congress of the Italian Society of General Relativity and Gravitation.

He received the prestigious award for his continuing research into supergravity, a theory that combines the principles of supersymmetry and general relativity. Ferrara codiscovered supergravity in 1976 with two colleagues: Peter van Nieuwenhuizen and Daniel Freedman. However, he receives this recent award for his work on black holes in supergravity.

Aleksi Vuorinen, also at CERN, has won a Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. These are given to young scientists to build up research groups at the host institute of their choice in Germany and spend five years working on a research project. They are named after the Russian mathematician who lived from 1850 to 1891.

Vuorinen studied theoretical physics at the University of Helsinki, where he completed his doctorate in 2003. Following a three-year research stay at the University of Washington he became a Lise Meitner fellow at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria before coming to CERN. With his award the young Finn has decided to establish his own group in the Physics Department of Bielefeld University to carry out research focused on the properties of the hot and dense matter created in heavy-ion collisions. In particular, he will apply novel mathematical tools, relying in part on general relativity, and he looks forward to confronting the calculations with data from the LHC.