Petersen Excellence Professorship for internationally renowned climate scientist
Dr. Frederike Otto is honored at the anniversary event marking the 25th anniversary of the Prof. Dr. Werner Petersen Foundation
"We are delighted about the long-standing commitment of the Prof. Dr. Werner Petersen Foundation, thanks to which many international contacts have been established and new ties strengthened," says GEOMAR Director Professor Dr. Katja Matthes. "Once again, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the outstanding support and congratulate the award winner on the well-deserved award." The Foundation has been supporting GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel for many years as part of its Excellence Initiative and the promotion of young scientists.
"The anniversary event underlines how important it is to continue to realize the founder's legacy - the promotion of young scientists as well as research, in equal measure in the fields of science as well as technology," said Dr. h. c. Klaus-Jürgen Wichmann, chairman of the foundation. "This legacy is at the same time an obligation for future action. I would like to thank all the people who have actively supported the work of the foundation during the 25 years of its existence."
The foundation, which is based in Schleswig-Holstein, aims to promote science, research, technology and culture. One of the funding lines is the Excellence Professorships, in which international scientists with outstanding achievements are honored. Components are the commitment to the promotion of young scientists as well as a close cooperative collaboration with GEOMAR. The prize for the professorship of excellence is endowed with 20,000 euros.
This year, the Petersen Professorship of Excellence goes to Dr. Friederike Otto from Imperial College London. A senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, Otto already has a diverse record of achievement. She serves as lead author on important international bodies, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As an excellent climate researcher, she is also the author of a large number of high-ranking scientific publications in renowned journals and was recognized by the science journal Nature as one of the ten people of 2021 whose work has had a particular impact on research. Time magazine also counts her among the "Time 100 of 2021" – a list of what the news magazine considers to be the 100 most influential people of the year.
Since 2015, the World Weather Attribution Initiative, founded and led by Friederike Otto, has been conducting real-time analysis to attribute extreme weather events around the world. Her cutting-edge research is part of her presentation honoring her professorship of excellence. In it, she looks at the global inventory of climate change impacts and reads from her book, "Angry Weather," in which she presents the link between individual weather events and human-induced climate change. The laudatory speech for the award of the 26th Excellence Professorship will be given, thematically fitting, by climate scientist Professor Dr. Mojib Latif, Head of Maritime Meteorology at GEOMAR. Another lecture with the topic "From Nano Materials to Data Science: The Spectrum of Engineering Sciences" will be contributed by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Kiel University, Professor Dr. Reinhard Koch.
Dr. Christian Zöllner, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, emphasizes that a foundation's raison d'être is to make a difference in line with its objectives: "The Prof. Dr. Werner Petersen Foundation has achieved a great deal with its diverse funding activities, for which more than eleven million euros in foundation funds have been used to date. It has explicitly promoted young talent in the STEM subjects, for example. Important concerns of the foundation are to strengthen Schleswig-Holstein as a science location and to increase the competitiveness of our state. One example of this is the Innovation Transfer Prize 2023, which the foundation is presenting this evening. It is intended to honor innovative achievements in which companies and higher education institutions have jointly developed and applied pioneering products, devices, services, including design and processes."
The event will be acoustically accompanied by the Orchestra Academy Kiel, which has also been sponsored by the Prof. Dr. Werner-Petersen Foundation for many years.