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Awards and Honors

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Herzschuh
Photo: AWI/Stefan Kruse

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Herzschuh received the 2024 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for her outstanding work in the field of geoecology, through which she has made numerous contributions regarding the influence of climate fluctuations in recent geological history on the biodiversity and functioning of polar regions.

“The University of Potsdam and Professor Ulrike Herzschuh, who was appointed jointly with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, are delighted to receive this important award,” says University President Prof. Oliver Günther, Ph.D. “With Ms. Herzschuh's field of work, geoecology, recognition is given to an area that has been a central focus of research at the UP for many years. This is also reflected in the international master’s degree program ‘Climate, Earth, Water, Sustainability (CLEWS),’ which is run jointly with AWI, PIK, and UFS and in which Prof. Herzschuh plays an important role.” The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize has been awarded annually by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 1986. The winners receive prize money of 2.5 million euros each.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Herzschuh
Photo: AWI/Stefan Kruse

Prof. Dr. Julia Kraft und Prof. Dr. Carsten Meinert
Photo: Thies Ibold

Prof. Dr. Julia Kraft and Prof. Dr. Carsten Meinert from the Law Faculty at the University of Potsdam jointly received the W. Rainer Walz Prize of the Institute for Foundation Law and the Law of Non-Profit Organizations at Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), sponsored by the Humanistic Foundation. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros and is intended for academics who have made a significant academic achievement in the fields of foundation law, the law governing associations, cooperatives or charities, other civil, criminal and public law governing non-profit organizations as well as law and economics. Prof. Dr. Julia Kraft, LL.M., was honored for her habilitation thesis entitled “Armut und Vertrag – Über den liberalen Wert eines sozialen Vertragsrechts” (Poverty and Contract - On the Liberal Value of a Social Contract Law). Prof. Dr. Carsten Meinert, Diplom-Finanzwirt (FH), was honored for his habilitation thesis “Die ‚gemischte Schenkung‘ – Eine Studie zum Schenkungsbegriff und zur Teilentgeltlichkeit im System des BGB” (The 'partial gift' - A study on the concept of gifts and partial remuneration in the BGB system).

Prof. Dr. Julia Kraft und Prof. Dr. Carsten Meinert
Photo: Thies Ibold

Prof. Dr. Reimund Gerhard
Photo: Frank Hegeler

Prof. Dr. Reimund Gerhard, former professor at the Institute of Physics, received the Eric O. Forster Distinguished Service Award from the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS). The award recognizes “outstanding contributions and continued leadership in the development of the field of dielectrics and electrical insulation.”

Reimund Gerhard has been a member of the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Society (DEIS) since 1980 and an IEEE Fellow of the technical-scientific society DEIS since 1993, in which he has worked in a wide variety of roles: among other things as chairman of several international symposia, as editor of a series of issues of the international journal IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation (TDEI), and as a conference participant with many of his own scientific contributions, some of which keynote speeches. The research focus of Eric O. Forster, who was born in Vienna in 1918 and for whom the award was named, was rheology and, above all, the electrical properties of petroleum products, from their physical and chemical foundations to their specific applications. “As I was able to get to know Eric O. Forster personally and experienced his encouragement and support as a colleague for more than a decade, this award means a great deal to me personally,” says Reimund Gerhard.

Prof. Dr. Reimund Gerhard
Photo: Frank Hegeler

Gruppenfoto
Photo: MWFK

Dr. Ugur Öztürk, who works at the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Geography, was recognized with the Postdoc Award of the State of Brandenburg for his publication entitled “How climate change and un-planned urban sprawl bring more landslides” in the leading research journal “Nature.” In it, he describes his new model-based solution that can be used to integrate man-made landscape changes and climate change into a simulation of slope stability in order to predict landslide risks.

“Every year, an average of 4,500 people worldwide lose their lives due to landslides, a risk that will continue to rise in the future due to two growing trends - climate change and increased urbanization," says the award winner. “For the article, we investigated modeling solutions to help quantify the increasing hazard and risk. This can inform and support local and international stakeholders in the mitigation of these devastating effects.” Brandenburg’s Minister of Science, Dr. Manja Schüle, confers the award, worth 20,000 euros each, to scholars and scientists who have published outstanding research results shortly after completing their doctorate.

Gruppenfoto
Photo: MWFK