Professor Gerhard Abstreiter has been named as the new director of the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technische Universität München (TUM-IAS), effective April 1. World renowned in the fields of semiconductor research and nanotechnology, Abstreiter has been a full professor in the TUM Department of Physics since 1987 and has served as director of both the Walter Schottky Institute and the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials since their inception. He succeeds Prof. Patrick Dewilde, founding director of the TUM-IAS, who will be returning to his native Belgium upon retirement.
The TUM Institute for Advanced Study was created as the centerpiece of the university's institutional strategy in the first round of the Excellence Initiative, a massively funded and highly competitive program aimed at sharpening the profile of Germany's research universities. The TUM-IAS was designed to generate new fields of research in technology and science and to give creative researchers – up-and-coming as well as established talents, both local and international, from industry as well as academia – the freedom they need to develop innovative, even risky ideas. Since 2006, the TUM-IAS has cultivated a community of well over 100 researchers, 70 of whom have been awarded long-term (three-year) fellowships, and has won significant funding from the European Union to further strengthen its programs. Through a new fellowship category named after TUM Nobel laureate Rudolf Mößbauer, the IAS is taking part in the university's push to create 100 new tenure track professorships by the year 2020.
"Talents in all their diversity are at the heart of our push to renew the university and make it more competitive globally," says TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann. "This is exemplified not only by initiatives such as the TUM-IAS and the TUM Faculty Tenure Track System, but also by the contributions of extraordinary individuals. Patrick Dewilde and Gerhard Abstreiter are recognized worldwide as leading lights in their respective scientific fields, and both have also distinguished themselves as innovative and highly effective research managers."