Two RWTH Professors Receive the Most Prestigious German Research Award

RWTH Professors Kobbelt and Waser are to receive the Leibnz Award 2014 Copyright: © Peter Winandy

On December 5, 2013, the Joint Committee of the German Research Foundation, DFG for short, has announced the prize winners in the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz program. Two RWTH professors are among the awardees: Dr. Leif Kobbelt, Professor of Computer Graphics and Multimedia, and Dr. Rainer Waser, Professor of Materials in Electrical Engineering, will receive 2.5 million euros each for their research activities. RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg is delighted with the award: “We are immensely happy about this recognition by the German Research Foundation for these outstanding researchers.”  

  Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Waser Copyright: © RWTH Aachen Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Waser

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Waser

Professor Rainer Waser is the founder and head of the Electronic Materials Research Lab, EMRL for short, consisting of the RWTH Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering and the Institute of Electronic Materials at Forschungszentrum Jülich. Both institutions belong to JARA-FIT, the Fundamentals of Future Information Technology section of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance, JARA.

In teaching, Waser and his team focus on the fundamentals of electronic materials and devices as well as their application in information-, communication-, sensor-, and energy storage technologies. Key research areas at EMRL Jülich include on electronic phenomena in oxides, in particular transition metal oxides, and selected electronically active organic molecules.

The Aachen team is concerned with the development of novel electronic equipment, modeling and simulation, as well as materials research for the development of integrated microdevices. The EMRL researchers investigate topics and approaches that have potential for the creation of future nanoelectronic devices.

Professor Waser is also deputy spokesperson for the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center Resistively Switching Chalcogenides for Future Electronics, or “Nanoswitches” for short. The Center investigates new chalcogenide cells whose properties include ultra-fast and extremely energy-efficient switching capabilities. In particular, the researchers conduct interdisciplinary research on three different switching mechanisms for novel nanoswitches, which have the potential to revolutionize digital storage technologies.

Rainer Waser studied Chemistry in Darmstadt and Southampton. After completing his doctorate, he worked at the Philips Research Lab in Aachen; in 1992, he was appointed as a university professor at RWTH Aachen. In 1997, he became the director of the Peter Grünberg Institute at Forschungszentrum Jülich. Since 2006, he is a member of the NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Leif Kobbelt

The nationally and internationally recognized computer scientist is Chair of Computer Graphics and Multimedia at RWTH Aachen and a member of JARA-BRAIN. After completing his studies and doctorate at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, he took on positions at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken. In 2001, Kobbelt was appointed professor at RWTH Aachen. Earlier this year he already received an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, which is worth over 2 million euros.

Kobbelt’s key research areas include 3D reconstruction, i.e. the faithful digital reproduction of three dimensional real world objects; geometry processing, including 3D model optimization for free form design; real-time image generation, e.g. for computer games; and mobile multimedia applications. The results of the research at the Chair of Computer Graphics and Multimedia can be used for industrial applications as well as in the tourist and gaming industries.

Kobbelt has published well over 200 articles in international top-level journals and at conferences. According to Microsoft Academic Search, over the last ten years, he has been one of the most-quoted authors world-wide in the field of computer graphics. He has received several awards, including the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Award 2000, the Eurographics Outstanding Technical Contribution Award 2004, and the Günther Enderle Award 1999 and 2012.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Leif Kobbelt
Lehrstuhl Informatik 8 – Computergraphik und Multimedia
Phone: +49 241 80 21800

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Waser
Lehrstuhl für Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik II
Phone: +49 241 80 27812