Prestigious Röntgen Medal for Beatriz Roldán Cuenya

May 28, 2021

The Director of the Interface Science Department, Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya, has been elected as the 2021 winner of the Röntgen Medal.

Prof. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya in front of an UHV system equipped with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy © FHI / Amin Akhtar

Prof. Roldán Cuenya receives the Röntgen Medal for her pioneering fundamental work using X-ray methods to understand catalytic processes, particularly electrocatalysts being employed in sustainable energy source applications.

The Röntgen Medal was awarded for the first time in 1951 to honor the 50th anniversary of the first Physics Nobel Prize that was given to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1901. This award was created because neither the centenary celebration of Röntgen’s birth on 27 March 1945 nor the 50th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays on 8 November 1945 could be commemorated due to World War II.

During its 70-year history, this award has become a highly respected and coveted scientific prize. The large number of illustrious prior winners encompasses nine Noble Prize laureates, among them another FHI director, Prof. Max von Laue (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1914), as well as other eminent X-ray scientists including Prof. Sir William Lawrence Bragg (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915), Prof. Arthur Holly Compton (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927) and Prof. Ada Yonath (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009).

Prof. Roldán Cuenya is honored and delighted about winning this important award. “The nomination is done without the candidate knowing, so this came as a wonderful surprise for me when it was communicated on my birthday”.

Due to Corona reasons the award ceremony will take place next year, on September 10, 2022, at the Röntgen Museum in Remscheid. The Award has associated general audience talks in the Museum and at Remscheid’s Röntgen Highschool.

Röntgen Medal of the City of Remscheid © Deutsches Röntgen-Museum

Each year, the German city of Remscheid, in which Nobel Prize laureate Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born in 1845, honors a person that has made a significant contribution to developing and spreading Röntgen’s scientific legacy. The Society of Friends and Benefactors of the German Röntgen Museum in Remscheid-Lennep e.V. selects an appropriate scientist from across the world and proposes her or his name to the Lady Mayoress or Lord Mayor, who awards the prize.

Prof. Roldán Cuenya has been the Director of the Interface Science Department of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin Germany since 2017. Her research program explores physical and chemical properties of nanostructures, with emphasis on advancements in nanocatalysis based on operando microscopic and spectroscopic characterization with a focus on X-ray spectroscopy.

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