The University of Stuttgart awarded Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Eberhard Theodor Grün an honorary doctorate at a ceremony on November 11, 2022. Grün's primary position was as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, where he worked until 2007. For 40 years, he has been at the cutting edge of in situ cosmic dust research around the world and was the discoverer of interstellar dust in the solar system and founder of dust astronomy as a science.
As early as the 1970s, Grün was driving the development of dust detectors for space probes, which were used to analyze cosmic dust in terms of mass, velocity, and direction of travel. Grün recorded numerous data as a contributor, initiator, or person in charge of various dust detectors on board interplanetary missions – including Helios, Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini – which enabled him to develop an interplanetary dust model that still bears his name today and is used all over the world.
Grün's other achievements include his identification of dust flows from volcanoes on Jupiter's moon lo, the flow of interstellar dust through the solar system, and the ice particle flows from cryovolcanoes on Saturn's moon Enceladus.
Grün has collaborated with the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Space Systems on numerous research projects since 2005, in addition to playing a decisive role in the relocation and construction of the dust accelerator at the University of Stuttgart.
The honorary doctorate is the highest academic distinction that can be awarded by the University of Stuttgart. The application to award Eberhard Theodor Grün an honorary doctorate was submitted by the University of Stuttgart's Faculty 6: Aerospace Engineering and Geodesy and was unanimously approved by the University Senate and Rectorate this June.
Apl.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Srama, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Space Systems (IRS), Pfaffenwaldring 29, 70569 Stuttgart, phone: +49 711 685 62511, e-mail: srama[at].irs.uni-stuttgart.de