IRIS Adlershof
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Zum Großen Windkanal 2
12489 Berlin

Prof. Dr. Jürgen P. Rabe

phone:+49 30 2093-66350
fax:     +49 30 2093-2021-66350



06.09.2023Prof. Stefan Hecht was honored by Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger for Entrepreneurial Commitment

The member of IRIS Adlershof, Professor Stefan Hecht, Founding Director of the Center for the Science of Materials Berlin (CSMB) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, was honored on September 6, along with 19 other university professors, with the #UNIPRENEURS Award for his dedication to university spin-offs.

The prestigious award ceremony was hosted by Federal Minister for Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, and Dr. Anna Christmann, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Startups at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
Stefan Hecht, a Berlin native, pursued his chemistry studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Following several academic stints he returned to his alma mater as an Einstein Professor and the Founding Director of the newly established Center for the Science of Materials Berlin (CSMB).

"When research addresses genuinely relevant issues, commercial applications naturally follow," says the patent holder. As a specialist in photoswitchable molecules, he found a way to cure liquid specialty plastics with two intersecting beams of light. He co-founded Xolo GmbH with two colleagues and is currently developing 3D printers of which the first ones are being used by researchers. He generously shares his expertise with other startups and collaborates closely with them in his labs.

As the founding director of the CSMB on Humboldt-Universität’s science campus in Berlin-Adlershof, he aims to realize his vision: "We want to be not only a place for enquiring minds but also for innovative minds. The center should attract researchers who not only answer questions but also translate their answers into practical applications." The ideal place to develop sustainable energy materials that are well thought out from beginning to end: from design and sustainability considerations to validation and implementation.

Minister Stark-Watzinger expressed enthusiasm:"We want to strengthen entrepreneurship at our universities. Professors play a pivotal role in this. They significantly contribute to the entrepreneurial culture at universities and are crucial drivers of Germany's innovation and future viability." (Original: "Wir wollen das Gründungsgeschehen an unseren Hochschulen stärken. Professorinnen und Professoren spielen dabei eine zentrale Rolle. Sie tragen maßgeblich zur Gründungskultur an Hochschulen bei und sind wichtige Impulsgeber für die Innovationskraft und Zukunftsfähigkeit Deutschlands.")

Commissioner Christmann also praised the professors' achievements: "The distinguished professors from UNIPRENEURS embody the outstanding combination of academic excellence and entrepreneurial spirit. Their contributions to transferring innovations to the business world are invaluable to Germany's innovation landscape and deserve the highest recognition."
(Original: "Die ausgezeichneten Professorinnen und Professoren von UNIPRENEURS verkörpern die herausragende Verbindung von akademischer Exzellenz und unternehmerischem Geist. Ihre Verdienste für den Transfer der Innovationen in die Wirtschaft sind von unschätzbarem Wert für den Innovationsstandort Deutschland und verdienen höchste Anerkennung.")

UNIPRENEURS is an initiative aimed at bolstering university spin-offs in German universities and awards the highest recognition in Germany for outstanding commitment to entrepreneurship at universities. The "Award for the Best University Professors for Entrepreneurs" by UNIPRENEURS seeks to honor entrepreneurial engagement at universities and raise the prominence of entrepreneurship within higher education. Out of nearly 700 nominations, 20 exceptional professors were selected by a prestigious board.

IRIS Adlershof congratulates its founding member Stefan Hecht very warmly on this wonderful award.

Prof. Stefan Hecht
Humboldt University in Berlin
CSMB, IRIS Adlershof, & Department of Chemistry
Tel.: 030 2093-7365

20.08.2023Prof. Dr. Valentina Forini back at HU

Dr. Valentina Forini has accepted the call to join Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin  as a W2 professor for "Theoretical particle physics: Gauge fields and string theory" at the Department of Physics. The professorship is initially funded by the DFG within the framework of the Heisenberg Program.

With a background in theoretical physics, Valentina bridges the gap between mathematical and high-energy physics, particularly focusing on string and quantum field theory. She is known for developing advanced methods to quantitatively analyze their quantum behaviors and their relationship through the AdS/CFT correspondence, exploring the interplay between space-time and matter.

Currently serving as a Lecturer in Mathematics at City, University of London since 2018, Dr. Forini is also affiliated with Humboldt-Universität as a Principal Investigator and Guest Professor, supported by the Kolleg Mathematik Physik Berlin.

Her career includes roles as Project Leader in the European Network EuroPLEx, Principal Investigator in the RTG 2575 "Rethinking Quantum Field Theory”, as well as prestigious research grants like the Simons Emmy Noether Fellowship 2018/19 at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo (CA), the Einstein Junior Fellowship  from 2018 to 2021 at Humboldt-Universität. Here she also has served as Emmy-Noether Group Leader from 2012 to 2017. She became a IRIS Junior Member in 2018 and is a full member of IRIS Adlershof since 2021.

Her academic journey has encompassed diverse institutions, including the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Golm and the University of Barcelona. Dr. Forini earned her PhD in Physics from the University of Trento in 2006 and habilitated in Theoretical Physics in 2017. Her qualifications also include a Laurea in Physics from the University of Perugia and a Diploma in Piano from the Perugia Conservatory of Music.

The announcement of Dr. Forini's appointment is met with the warmest congratulations, and she will begin in the upcoming winter semester.

Even if you were never really away:
Welcome back, Valentina!

04.08.2023Einstein International PostDoctoral Fellow at the Department of Physics and IRIS Adlershof

Dr. Pietro Marabotti

Pietro Marabotti obtained his PhD in Energy and Nuclear Science and Technology at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. With the Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellowship, He will join the Emmy-Noether group "Physics of low-dimensional systems" of Dr. Sebastian Heeg at IRIS Adlershof and the Department of Physics at HU Berlin and conduct research on confined carbyne, which are linear chains of carbon atoms inside carbon nanotubes.

Pietro Marabotti will set up a near-field scanning optical microscope that performs infrared spectroscopy using entangled photon pairs at nanoscale resolution. He will study how structural non-linearities like defects, kinks or bends affect the optical and electronic properties of confined carbyne, and explore its potential for nanoscale light transduction. The Einstein Foundation funds Pietro Marabotti for 3.5 years with a total funding of 375,000 euros.

We look forward to working with Pietro and welcome him to IRIS Adlershof .