Ulrike Diebold wins 2020 Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award

May 06, 2020

The Austrian physicist is honoured for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of surface science.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Diebold

The 13th Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award goes to Prof. Dr. Ulrike Diebold, Professor of Surface Science at the Institute for Applied Physics, Technical University Vienna. The Award Committee, comprised of jurors Prof. Dr. Joachim Sauer (HU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Matthias Drieß (TU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Eckart Rühl (FU Berlin), as well as the Fritz Haber Institute’s Board of Directors and Gerhard Ertl himself, have chosen to honour Prof. Dr. Ulrike Diebold because of her many accomplishments in the fields of surface science, materials and physical chemistry and condensed matter physics. “I’ve known her for many years as an outstanding researcher in the surface science field”, comments Nobel Laureate Gerhard Ertl.

Specialising in surface structures and molecular reactions at metal oxide surfaces, she has added countless invaluable scientific insights to this field for close to 30 years. Prof. Diebold is a distinguished physicist, as is evidenced by her exceptional publication output of outstanding scientific quality. She has also accumulated numerous prestigious prizes in the course of her career, such as the Wittgenstein Award in 2013, which is the most highly endowed science prize in Austria.

Prof. Diebold is delighted to receive this honour. “As a surface scientist, Prof. Ertl has been my personal hero for a long time. I admire him for both his scientific accomplishments and his wonderful personality. I feel deeply honored to be selected for the Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award 2020, and I very much look forward to the event,” she says.

The Ertl Lecture Award was established in 2008 by the three Berlin universities (Humboldt University, Technical University and Free University) and the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society to commemorate the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Gerhard Ertl in 2007. The prize, which is sponsored by BASF, includes a one-week research stay at the participating Berlin institutions and a festive evening lecture. “In our 155-year history, collaborations with academic partners have played a decisive role from the very beginning. Innovations require both excellent fundamental research and strong partners who can transfer this knowledge into products and processes. It is therefore a great pleasure and an honor for us to present the Gerhard Ertl Lecture Award to Prof. Ulrike Diebold, an outstanding scientist in her field,” said Dr. Detlef Kratz, President Process Research and Chemical Engineering, BASF SE.

The award ceremony is currently scheduled to take place on Thursday, 10 December 2020, the anniversary of the Nobel Prize award to Gerhard Ertl. Prof. Diebold will give a lecture with the title “Oxide Surface Chemistry at the Atomic Scale”.

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