2021 Distinguished RWTH Fellows


Professor Sandra Korte-Kerzel, Institute of Physical Metallurgy and Metal Physics at the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering, and Professor Peter Walter, Chair of Ophthalmology at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen (Faculty of Medicine), have been appointed as 2021 RWTH Fellows. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the official award ceremony has been cancelled and may be postponed to a later date.

  Sandra Korte-Kerzel holding atom model Copyright: © Peter Winandy

Professor Sandra Korte-Kerzel

Since her appointment, Sandra Korte-Kerzel das developed the area of high-resolution analysis of the structural properties of materials with their chemical-atomic complexities into an internationally visible field of research.

Among her exceptional achievements is the establishment of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center "Structural and Chemical Atomic Complexity: From Defect Phase Diagrams to Material Properties", launched in 2020. Professor Korte-Kerzel serves as spokesperson of the Center. In 2019, she received an ERC Starting Grant to support her FUNBLOCKS project.

Furthermore, Korte-Kerzel has been very successful in promoting collaboration between the natural sciences and the engineering fields as well as the transfer of fundamental research findings into industrial applications. Through her ideas and achievements, she has strongly contributed to putting the field of material sciences on the map here at RWTH.

In addition, she has been actively involved in the Department, the Faculty, and RWTH, particularly in committees and other bodies of academic self-government.

In 2016, Korte-Kerzel received RWTH's "Famos für Familie" award, which honors individuals who have made particular efforts in family-friendly management, sustainable leadership, healthy work-life balance, and creativity in the workplace.

  Peter Walter Copyright: © AVMZ

Professor Peter Walter

Peter Walter completed his medical studies and doctorate as well as his further clinical and academic training at the University of Cologne. In 2003, he was appointed full professor for ophthalmology at the Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen University and director of the Department of Ophthalmology at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen.

Walter has developed strategies for electrical stimulation of the visual system in order to give visually impaired individuals the ability to see again. As early as 2008, he implanted the world's first visual prosthesis for the blind, the so-called EpiRET Ill, in six patients with retinopathia pigmentosa, which he had developed together with colleagues from the Department of Micro-and Nanosystems at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

Another highlight of his extraordinary research career is the establishment of the DFG-funded Research Training Group on Innovative Retinal Interfaces for the Optimization of Artificial Vision, jointly led by professors Peter Walter, Wilfried Mokwa, and Sven Ingebrandt.

Peter Walter is also closely involved in teaching and learning, as instructor in the cross-faculty Biomedical Engineering degree program and lecturer on the topic of bionics.

Furthermore, he served as a member of the selection committee for projects in the RWTH's Exploratory Research Space ERS, and he has been spokesperson of the Aachen Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research, IZKF for short, since 2009. One of the key aims of IZKF is to translate fundamental medical research into clinical solutions for patients.