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Rolf-Dieter Heuer Portrait

Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer is an experimental particle physicist and Chair of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisers as well as President of the German Physical Society. He was director-general of CERN from January 2009 to December 2015.

His mandate is characterized by the launch of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2009 and its energy increase in 2015, the discovery of the Higgs -boson, and the geographical expansion of CERN membership. He also actively engaged CERN in promoting the importance of science and STEM education for the sustainable development of society. In 2004–2008 he was research director for particle and astroparticle physics at the DESY (German Electron Synchrotron) laboratory, where he oriented the particle physics groups toward the LHC by joining two large experiments, ATLAS and CMS. He has initiated the restructuring and focusing of German HEP at the energy frontier with particular emphasis on the LHC. He is designated president of the council of SESAME (Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) in Jordan, and one of the seven members of the high-level group of scientific advisors to the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), established in November 2015.

Prof. Heuer has published over 500 scientific papers and holds many honorary degrees from universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Canada. He is a member of several Academies of Sciences in Europe, in particular the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and honorary member of the European Physical Society. In 2015 he received the Grand Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.