Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, Professor Johanna Wanka, and the President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Professor Helmut Schwarz, have today conferred one of six prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorships to theoretical physicist Professor Jairo Sinova of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). In addition, Professor Stuart S. P. Parkin, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in Halle, Germany, a Fellow of the JGU Gutenberg Research College (GRC), and an external member of the Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, is also among the award winners. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is Germany's best-endowed research award. In 2014, the Humboldt Foundation confers it on six leading international researchers from all disciplines.
Jairo Sinova is considered to be one of the leading specialists in the field of theoretical solid-state physics. At Mainz University, he holds a professorship for Theoretical Physics focusing on Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Condensed Matter. In the context of the extended funding provided to the JGU Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" in the 2012 Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments, this research area was created in order to promote work in this field.
"The Humboldt Professorship represents a major success for Physics at Mainz, which is internationally renowned with major research centers such as the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA and the MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence. The award thus also confirms the global relevance of our scientists in this research area, something that has already been apparent for years in view of their publications, prizes, and excellent results in national and international rankings," stated University President Professor Georg Krausch. "For Mainz University, it is a particular pleasure and honor to have been successful for the second year in a row in obtaining one of the renowned Humboldt Professorships." Last year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded a professorship to Professor Wolfram Ruf, renowned in blood coagulation research, who transferred from the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, USA to the Mainz University Medical Center.
Jairo Sinova - recognized authority in the field of magnetism
Professor Jairo Sinova is a recognized authority in the field of magnetism and the use of magnetic properties for the development of micro-electronic components. He has written some groundbreaking publications, particularly on the theoretical functioning of magnetic materials. Sinova is seen as an extremely creative and effective researcher who has acted as a trailblazer in initiating new developments and has thus inspired both experimental and theoretical working groups. This has resulted in pioneering work, such as the prediction and discovery of the intrinsic Spin Hall Effect.
Over the next five years, the Humboldt Foundation will provide up to EUR 3.5 million in funding to the Humboldt Center for Emergent Spin Phenomena, in which experimental and theoretical work groups cooperate. The center will become part of the CINEMA (Center of INnovative and Emerging Materials) State Research Center at Mainz University, which the state of Rhineland-Palatinate will finance starting in 2014 and which will bundle all aspects of materials science in Mainz.
Stuart Parkin - expert on spintronics research
Professor Stuart Parkin's field is that of spintronics, an advanced technology to which he and his research team have contributed many significant discoveries and developments. "By appointing Stuart Parkin a Fellow of the Gutenberg Research College, Mainz University made a significant contribution towards enhancing the potential of our materials science research focus and further enhancing the university's scientific profile. This year's award of an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship to Stuart Parkin once again confirms that we took a good decision and we would like to congratulate Stuart Parkin on this achievement," stated Professor Matthias Neubert, Director of the Gutenberg Research College and head of the Theoretical High Energy Physics group at JGU.
Parkin is an IBM Fellow, IBM's highest technical honor, and also Manager of the Magnetoelectronics Group at the IBM Almaden Research Center. He is a consulting professor at Stanford University and, since 1 April 2014, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in Halle, Germany. Stuart Parkin received the Gutenberg Research Award by the Graduate School of Excellence "Material Science in Mainz" (MAINZ) in 2008. He has continued to collaborate closely with scientists and doctoral students in Mainz ever since. In May 2011, he was appointed a Fellow of the Gutenberg Research College with the aim of promoting cooperation.
The Gutenberg Research College (GRC)
The Gutenberg Research College (GRC) was established in 2007 as a central strategic tool to attract excellent researchers to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - a milestone on the path to excellence-oriented university governance. Its executive committee is made up of outstanding researchers from JGU and its non-university partner institutions. Committee members are appointed by the University President in consultation with the University Senate based on their research achievements. The GRC advises the University Administration and the Senate on strategic aspects of research and also promotes individual excellence by awarding fellowships to outstanding researchers.
The Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ)
The MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence was initially approved in the first round of Germany's Excellence Initiative in 2007 and received a five-year funding extension in the second round in 2012 - a huge success for the Mainz materials scientists and a massive boost for the promotion and mentoring of young research talents. The MAINZ Graduate School is a joint project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the University of Kaiserslautern, and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. The field of spintronics is a special focus of research at MAINZ and benefits from the cooperation with leading international partners. MAINZ provides for the excellent training of outstanding doctoral candidates from Germany and abroad in the field of materials science.
Professor Jairo Sinova
photo/©: Peter Pulkowski, JGU
Professor Mathias Kläui (left) and Professor Stuart Parkin (right) in front of the new Rotaris industrial deposition machine
photo/©: Thomas Hartmann, JGU