The Theodor-Hänsch-Promotionspreis is donated by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation for the Faculty of Physics and is endowed with 4,000 euros. It is named after Professor Dr. Theodor W. Hänsch (Nobel Prize winner 2005) and is intended to honor particularly outstanding dissertations in the field of physics.
The Theodor-Hänsch-Promotionspreis 2020 was awarded to Dr. Isabella Graf on February 8, 2021 online during the Munich Physics Colloquium. Dean Professor Dr. Ralf Bender and Professor Dr. Jan Lipfert, Organiser of the colloquium led through the award ceremony, which was very well attended with almost 100 interested participants.
Professor Bender's introductory words on the doctoral award and the choice of the award winner were followed by the managing director of the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, Dr. Stefan Jorda, who introduced the foundation. Professor Dr. Erwin Frey, with whom Ms. Graf completed her doctorate at the Chair of Statistical and Biological Physics, emphasized in his subsequent laudation the outstanding and above-average achievements of the award winner during her studies and doctoral period, her excellent specialist knowledge, her creativity and what a great pleasure and enrichment it was to work with her.
In her subsequent presentation, Ms. Graf thanked Professor Frey in particular, as well as Professor Dr. Chase Broedersz and their research groups for their support of her work. In her talk, the awardee vividly summarized the main results of her dissertation, which aimed to investigate principles of biological self-assembly and self-organization by means of theoretical modeling, considering several conceptual models inspired by different biological settings.
As of July 2020, Dr. Graf is a Postdoctoral Associate with Ben Machta at Yale University. The Physics Department wishes Dr. Isabella Graf all the best for her future research and work life!