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    Second honorary degree for Alfred Forchel


    A renowned physicist and good friend of Israel: Prof. Dr. Alfred Forchel, the President of the University of Würzburg, has received a special honour in recognition of his research and commitment to international research partnerships.

    JMU-Präsident Professor Alfred Forchel (mitte) bei der Verleihung der Ehrendoktorwürde in Haifa mit Technion-Präsident Professor Peretz Lavie (links) und Technion-Vizepräsident Professor Adam Schwartz. Foto: Doron Shaham, Technion
    Alfred Forchel, the President of the University of Würzburg, (centre) at the awarding ceremony of the honorary doctorate in Haifa with Professor Peretz Lavie, the President of the Technion, (left) and Technion Vice President, Professor Adam Schwartz. (Image: Doron Shaham / Technion)

    Alfred Forchel, the President of the University of Würzburg, has been awarded a honorary doctoral degree by the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa on 17 June. In addition to his "excellent contributions" to physics research, the Israeli university commended Forchel's "indefatigable commitment to Israel and the scientific collaboration with Technion researchers".

    "Professor Forchel is an advocate of international collaborative research on a large scale in the fields of nanofabrication, photonics and electronics, physics of semiconductor nanostructures and semiconductor lasers," said Professor Peretz Lavie, the President of the Technion, in his laudatory speech and he added: "He has always had a special place in his heart for the scientists of the Technion." Forchel has been committed to promoting the cooperation between the University of Würzburg and the Technion over the past years.

    "It's a great honour"

    In a video message, the Israel Institute of Technology highlighted Forchel's research achievements, such as the establishment of the Microstructure Laboratory at the University of Würzburg which he developed to become "one of the worldwide leading research centres for state-of-the-art semiconductor micro and nano structures". Or "nanoplus", a company founded by Forchel, which is a "global leader in infrared semiconductor lasers".

    In his thank you speech, the Würzburg physicist said: "The cooperation with colleagues at the Technion, especially with the Russel Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, has enabled scientific studies that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. It is a great honour for which I am deeply grateful. The honorary degree from the Technion will encourage me to further enhance the cooperation in science between the two institutes and beyond this to fuel the exchange between people in Israel and Germany in general."

    Second honorary degree

    The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa was established in 1924 and has close links with Germany: Already in 1923, the German Technion Society for the promotion of the university was established in Berlin. In the 1930ies, the Israeli institute took in many German-Jewish scientists. Today, around 13,000 students are enrolled at the university.

    It is the second honorary degree for Alfred Forchel. The 67-year-old scholar already received a honorary doctorate from the University of Wroclaw in Poland. Forchel studied physics at the University of Stuttgart from 1972 to 1978, completing his doctorate in 1983 and his habilitation in 1988. In 1990, he joined the Chair for Applied Physics in Würzburg. He is one of the fathers of the nanostructure technology study program, the first engineering degree course at the University of Würzburg. Alfred Forchel has been the President of the University of Würzburg since October 2009.

    By Kristian Lozina