Creating the Future
Press release
Hector Science Award 2010


4. February 2010

A round table of top-level scientists

Research award of the Hector Founda­tion II goes to profes­sors from Heidel­berg, Karlsruhe and Freiburg

HEIDELBERG/WEINHEIM. Three outstand­ing scien­tists received the Hector Science Award on Febru­ary 4, 2011: Profes­sor Stephen Hashmi (Heidel­berg Univer­sity), Profes­sor Jürg Leuthold (Karlsruhe Insti­tute of Technol­ogy) and Profes­sor Jens Timmer (Univer­sity of Freiburg). Thereby, the Hector Founda­tion II recog­nizes both the pioneer­ing research work of the scien­tists and their attitude as univer­sity teachers.

Hashmi is honored for his pioneer­ing work in the field of homoge­neous gold catal­y­sis. Hashmi discov­ered that, contrary to the gener­ally accepted doctrine, certain chemi­cal reactions occur faster in the presence of small­est amounts of gold and use less energy than with conven­tional catalysts such as platinum or silver. Poten­tial appli­ca­tions are, for example, in the manufac­ture of medica­ments and materials.

Leuthold, as an expert in the field of high-speed data trans­mis­sion, and his team devel­oped an optical process to encode and decode the at that time largest data rate of 10 terabits ever encoded on a single laser beam in real time. Three years ago, the physi­cist succeeded in build­ing one of the fastest silicon optical chips.

Timmer is one of the first scien­tists in Germany dedicated to work in the field of systems biology. This approach promises a new, more accurate under­stand­ing of life processes, as it incor­po­rates the research work of biolo­gists, physi­cists and mathe­mati­cians. Profes­sor Timmer repre­sents biolog­i­cal processes in mathe­mat­i­cal formu­las that can decipher signal­ing pathways of impor­tance in carcinogenesis.

Hector Science Award 2010