Prof. Dr. Silke Christiansen receives a distinguished visiting professorship at South Korean Chonbuk National University

The president of Chonbuk National University, Suh Geo-Suk, has appointed Prof. Dr. Silke Christiansen “Distinguished visiting Professor” for three years in recognition of her extraordinary services in the field of renewable energies. Christiansen received the certificate of appointment at a ceremony in May together with two other outstanding foreign scientists. As a “Distinguished visiting Professor” at the Faculty of Semiconductor Physics and Chemistry, Silke Christiansen will be promoting the scientific contact between Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), Freie Universität Berlin (FU) and the Korean university.

Since January 2013, Silke Christiansen has been heading the newly established institute “Nanoarchitectures for Energy Conversion” at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, and teaches as a professor in the physics department of FU Berlin. She is an expert on nanostructures and is developing, among other things, methods for integrating nanowires into thin-film solar cells as efficient absorbers.

During the ceremonial bestowal, university president Suh Geo-Suk stressed how important internationalization is for Korean universities. He is dedicated to continually improving the quality of research and teaching as well as promoting the worldwide networking of Korean research. The honorary professorships are an important channel through which extraordinary results achieved by scientists in other countries can be communicated at Chonbuk National University and which can be used in cooperatives at the Korean location. Europe – and especially Germany – is exceptionally strong in research and has a role model function in the development of novel, environmentally-friendly technologies and energies in particular. The materials scientist Silke Christiansen has provided significant impetus for progress in energy research over the past 10 years with numerous internationally renowned publications.

Chonbuk National Universität, located at the heart of a traditional technological location in the south west of South Korea, is one of the five most prestigious universities in the country (Leiden World University Rankings). 32,000 students and 2,600 lecturers work at the university, which is regarded as the flagship and talent factory of South Korea. Silke Christiansen received the honour with great joy: “I am delighted that my research is noticed abroad. I will do my utmost to ensure we establish a good partnership with Chonbuk National University, from which above all young scientists will benefit – for example in the scope of the exchange programmes for PhD students and postdocs.” In particular, links between research at the South Korean university and small to mid-sized companies in the vicinity are much more strongly established than in Germany. Christiansen also expects new opportunities for cooperatives from this.

Silke Christiansen completed her doctorate and habilitation at the Materials Sciences department of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and researched at Columbia University in New York City. She has worked as a scientific employee at the T. J. Watson Research Center of IBM in Yorktown Heights, USA as well as at the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, and the Max-Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle. Now, with her group at HZB, she is researching into novel composite materials that promise many applications in several disciplines of energy research.