Hall of Fame

An overview of the pioneering scientists in the virtual Hall of Fame.

The concept behind the Hall of Fame

Since 2009, the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung has been distinguishing exceptionally successful people from the worlds of academic and industrial research. They are experts who were curious and courageous enough to enter into unknown territory and solve problems of our time. The Hall of Fame is not for rock stars or basketball players, but rather men and women who are making outstanding contributions to the further development of research and securing the future of Germany as a business location. Normally, the laureates of the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung have made at least one major contribution that has revolutionized an entire industry or else their work has transformed individual companies into global market leaders.


These forward-thinking scientists, innovators and lateral thinkers are the extraordinary members of the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung.

Karsten Danzmann

2019 Awardee
Laser Interferometry & Gravity Wave

Franz-Ulrich Hartl

2018 Awardee
Cellular Biochemistry

Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker

2017 Awardee
Biochemistry, Gene and Bio Technology, Research Organization

August-Wilhelm Scheer

2017 Awardee
Information Systems

Franz Pischinger

2016 Awardee
Mechanical Engineering, Combustion Engine

Jens Frahm

2016 Awardee

Manfred Weck

2015 Awardee
Machine Tools

Gerhard Ertl

2015 Awardee
Surface Chemistry, Catalytic

Ludwig Pohl

2014 Awardee
Combustion Engines

Stefan Hell

2014 Awardee

Klaus von Klitzing

2013 Awardee
Solid State Physics

Hans-Jörg Bullinger

2013 Awardee
Research Organization

Axel Ullrich

2012 Awardee

Chr. Nüsslein-Volhard

2012 Awardee
Development Biology

Joachim Milberg

2011 Awardee
Mechanical Engineering

Theodor Hänsch

2011 Awardee
Quantum Optics

Karl Ziegler ✝

2010 Awardee
Organic Chemistry

Günter Spur ✝

2010 Awardee
Automation Technology

Harald zur Hausen

2010 Awardee

Manfred Eigen ✝

2010 Awardee
Biophysical Chemistry

Feodor Lynen ✝

2009 Awardee

Werner Heisenberg ✝

2009 Awardee
Quantum Mechanics

Peter Grünberg ✝

2009 Awardee
Quantum Physics

Karlheinz Brandenburg

2009 Awardee
Digital Media Technology

How laureates are identified and chosen

Inductions into the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung are made in accordance with a two-stage selection process.

The first step is to define the scientifically excellent achievements of relevance to the further technological development of the German economy. A Board of Trustees of internationally renowned researchers suggests candidates who have rendered outstanding services to this effect. The presidents of three internationally renowned research organizations are represented on this Board of Trustees.

In a second selection step, an independent jury of top executives from German industry evaluates the utility and commercial potential of the scientist’s life's work. The jury then awards points to determine the researcher who will then be inducted into the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung as a laureate. 

Board of Trustees “Interdisciplinary”

  • Reimund Neugebauer
    President of the Fraunhofer Society
  • Dieter Spath
    President of Acatech, the German National Academy of Science and Engineering
  • Martin Stratmann
    President of the Max Planck Society

Board of Trustees "Specialists"

  • Barbara Albert
    Professor for Chemistry at TU Darmstadt University
  • Lutz Eckstein
    University of Institute for Automotive Engineering at RWTH Aachen University
  • Ursula Gather
    Former President of TU Dortmund University and Professor for Mathematical Statistics and Industrial Applications
  • Holger Hanselka
    President Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Uwe Clausen
    Director of the Fraunhofer Institute Material Flow and Logistics
  • Horst Domdey
    Innovation Center Martinsried
  • Anton Grabmaier
    Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems 
  • Bernhard Schölkopf
    Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
  • Andreas Tünnermann
    Director of the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • Johann-Dietrich Wörner
    Director General of the European Space Agency ESA


  • Ingmar Hoerr
    Co-Founder CureVac AG, Tübingen
  • Roland Busch
    Member of the Managing Board Siemens AG 
  • Lars Hinrichs
    CEO Cinco Capital GmbH, founder of Xing SE
  • Ola Källenius
    CEO Daimler AG
  • Jürgen Kluge
    Consultant Kluge & Partner
  • Peter Leibinger
    CTO Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG
  • Martin Noé
    Chief Editor manager magazin
  • Stefan Oschmann
    Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany


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