Senior Professor Distincta award for Johanna Stachel

Johanna Stachel has been a professor at the Physikalisches Institut at the Department of Physics and Astronomy since 1996. Her research focuses on the investigation of heavy ion collisions, including at the ALICE experiment at the international research centre CERN near Geneva, where she and her working group have been involved in a leading role for many years.  Johanna Stachel is a leading scientist in her field and has played a decisive role in shaping the national and international scientific landscape over the last 30 years. Special honours in her scientific career include the Lautenschläger Research Prize of the University of Heidelberg (2001), the Lise Meitner Prize of the European Physical Society (2014) and the Stern Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society (2019). Johanna Stachel was the first female president of the German Physical Society from 2012-2014 and supported her successor as Vice President from 2014-2016. Her extraordinary commitment to science was honoured in 1999 with the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon and in 2021 with the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class.

In addition to her unparalleled international academic career, Johanna Stachel was involved in numerous functions in the faculty and the university. She was instrumental in shaping the University's application for excellence "Heidelberg : Realising the Potential of a Comprehensive University". As the first female Dean and Vice Dean (2003-2012) of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, she led the Faculty's fortunes during a phase in which many upheavals had to be organised. Among other things, the founding of the Zentrum für Astronomie, Heidelberg (ZAH), the new building of the Physikalisches Institut and the introduction of the faculty-wide teaching load scheme can be traced back to her work.

With the same energy and enthusiasm with which Johanna Stachel shapes the fortunes of the University and physics in Germany and worldwide, she also takes care of the small and large issues at the Physikalisches Institut and in the faculty. She regularly holds tutorials and gives basic lectures, has led the faculty's large physics colloquium for years and gives courses at outreach events such as Girl's Day. She has an open ear for anyone and everyone who would like to benefit from her political skills and foresight. Johanna Stachel is an impressive scientist and university teacher at all levels. She is a shining and very active role model for many young scientists. We can think of no one more deserving of the title of Senior Professor Distincta and are delighted that Johanna Stachel will continue to be associated with us long after her formal retirement.

By MartinFleck - Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, MartinFleck - Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,