Distinguished researchers

Outstanding prize recipients of the University of Stuttgart

Over the years, many University of Stuttgart professors have earned prestigious international awards.
[Photo: Fotolia]

Kudos for scientists occupies a place of special importance in German as well international support for science. Outstanding, creative achievements in research in particular are honored in multifarious announcements. Every year, hundreds of University of Stuttgart researchers successfully contend in various competitions. On this page, we introduce a few of our exceptional honorees.

Klaus von Klitzing
Klaus von Klitzing

Nobel Prize in Physics 1985: Prof. Klaus von Klitzing

The Nobel Prize, endowed by the 19th century Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, today is considered as the highest honor in the fields it covers. Physicist Prof. Klaus von Klitzing was awarded the prize for the discovery of the quantized Hall effect.

Professor Von Klitzing since 1985 has been director and scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research and an Honorary Professor of the University of Stuttgart.


Leibniz Prizes awarded since 2000

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis is Germany’s most important research award that is often termed the “German Nobel Prize.” The prize comes with a monetary award of up to 2.5 million euros and nominations for it can only be made by third parties. Since the year 2000, no less than four University of Stuttgart scientists have received this high honor.

Prof. Achim Menges

Prof. Achim Menges, head of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction, has been awarded the Leibniz Prize for his interdisciplinary research on digital planning methods and robotic manufacturing processes in architecture that enable new types of construction. The aim of his reserach is to be able to build much faster with much less material as well as to see this as an opportunity for high-quality architecture that is worth living in.

In recent years, Menges has made a name for himself through his research into sustainable building. He has also played a key role in shaping the Department of Architecture at the University of Stuttgart. Since 2019, Menges has been the spokesperson for the only cluster of excellence for architecture and civil engineering in Germany: “Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture” (IntCDC) at the University of Stuttgart.

Press release: Leibniz Prize for Prof. Achim Menges

Prof. Artemis Alexiadou
Prof. Artemis Alexiadou

Linguist Prof. Artemis Alexiadou received the 2013 Leibniz Prize for developing models and theories in human speech recognition. A world-renowned linguist, she was Professor of Theoretical and English Linguistics at the University of Stuttgart until 2015 and head of Collaborative Research Center CRC 732 of the German Research Foundation (DFG), specializing in the study of double meaning and ambiguities in language.

Prof. Jörg Wrachtrup
Prof. Jörg Wrachtrup

The 2011 Leibniz Prize: Prof. Jörg Wrachtrup, Experimental Physics

Prof. Jörg Wrachtrup, director of the Institute of Physics (3) at the University of Stuttgart, received the 2011 Leibniz Prize for originating a completely novel and highly fruitful area of research where solid state physics and quantum optics intersect. He is credited with detecting the individual paramagnetic nitrogen vacancies in diamond now known as N-V centers. Wrachtrup was the first scientist to realize the significance of N-V centers for quantum information technology and metrology. The research area that he in effect founded continues to have ramifications far beyond solid state physics and quantum optics in both materials science and the life sciences.

The Leibniz Prize is just one of many distinctions conferred on this renowned scientist: In 2004, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society honored Professor Wrachtrup and Professor Robert Schoelkopf (Yale University) with the Max Planck Research Prize; a year later, together with Prof. Fedor Jelezko (University of Ulm), he was the winner of the prestigious 2016 ZEISS Research Award. In addition, in 2010 and in 2016 Wrachtrup was awarded a highly-endowed Advanced ERC-Grants by the European Research Council.

Prof. Frank Allgöwer
Prof. Frank Allgöwer

Prof. Frank Allgöwer, head of the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Systems Theory and Automatic Control, received the 2004 Leibniz Prize for developing methods for analyzing and manipulating highly complex and dynamic physical systems. He worked out the method of nonlinear predictive control, which allows predicting the future behavior of a system under manipulation analagous to how a chess player thinks several moves ahead. His was the first approach to combine theoretical rigor with practicality. By now, the procedure has made inroads into industrial applications, such as the chemical and biotech industries. Professor Allgöwer also took the lead in determining the strength of non-linearities. The approach he developed today is generally accepted as the standard in the field.

Prof. Frank Allgöwer has been Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2012.

Prof. Hans-Joachim Werner
Prof. Hans-Joachim Werner

Prof. Hans-Joachim Werner of the Institute of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Stuttgart received the 2000 Leibniz Prize jointly with Professor Friedrich Temps (University of Kiel). Through path breaking experiments and detailed theoretical investigations, the two scientists each made exceptional contributions to understanding the processes of elementary chemical reactions. Werner has made a name for himself internationally by developing methods and computer applications in theoretical chemistry, especially in quantum chemistry. He also received an ERC-Grant from the European Research Council in 2013.

European Research Council Awards

Eleven University of Stuttgart scientists to date have been honored with prestigious ERC Grants by the European Research Council, including two Starting Grants, three Consolidator Grants, and six Advanced Grants.


[Photos: David Ausserhofer, o.A., o.A., o.A., Wolfram Scheible, Max Kovalenko, Uli Regenscheit, o.A., Uli Regenscheit, o.A., Günther Bayerl, o.A.]

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