Prof. Dr. Ingolf Volker Hertel
Acting as the speaker of the board of IGAFA, the former director of the Max Born Institute has significantly contributed to form the present shape, function and image of Berlin-Adlershof
Ingolf Volker Hertel was born 1941 June 6, and lived in Radebeul during his early childhood. From the age of 10 he grew up in Freiburg in the South-West of Germany. He attended a traditional grammar school, and - finding this boring after some time - he took up an apprenticeship as physics laboratory assistant, studied in Lübeck (at a University of Applied Sciences as it would be called today) and received a degree as engineer of physical techniques (ing. grad.) in 1963 - at the age of 22 then one of youngest engineers of the German federal republic. At the same time he received what was then called a "limited higher education entrance qualification".
Second-chance education was then not yet a matter of course and - in spite of an excellent exam - substantial efforts where required before Hertel was allowed to study physics at the Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg. 3 1/2 years later he received the Diploma Degree in Physics, went to Southampton, England, to scatter electrons from alkali atoms and wrote his doctoral thesis on this topic. He received the PhD degree (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1969, only two years after the Diplom, at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg.
After a short time as assistant in Mainz, he became associate professor at the University Trier-Kaiserslautern. He was actively involved in building up this newly founded university, e.g. as first dean of physics and as spokesman of the first Collaborative Research Centre in Kaiserslautern on "Energy Transfer in Atomic Collisions".
In 1978 he became full professor of Physics at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU-Berlin) and in 1986 Ordinarius for Physics at his Alma Mater in Freiburg. During these years he also spent time in foreign research laboratories, e.g. as visiting professor at the Universidad Nacional in Bogota, Columbia (1973), as Visiting Fellow at JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA (1983/1984) and as Directeur de Recherche at Laboratoire Aimé Cotton of the CNRS in Orsay near Paris (1990).
After the German unification he felt drawn back to Berlin, where he worked since 1992 as director at the Max Born Institute in Berlin-Adlershof. Since July 1993 he is also university professor at the FU-Berlin. In September 2009 he became emeritus. On 2010 January 1st, Ingolf Hertel started to work at Humboldt University Berlin as a Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Senior Professor for the advancement of teachers education in physics.
During his whole academic career, Hertel has worked for a multitude of national and international bodies in science and science politics and acted as scientific referee, e.g. as a rapporteur for the Collaborative Research Centres of the German National Science Foundation (DFG). He served as Editor of scientific journals and was actively involved in the formation of the European Physical Journal.
He played a crucial role in founding research institutes (e.g. FMF) and research networks (e.g. OpTecBB), as the first president of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft he contributed to the development of the German research landscape after the unification and from 1998 to 2000 he served as under-secretary of state for the science administration in the government of the Land Berlin.
During this time he has successfully advanced the relocation of the science faculties of the Humboldt University to Adlershof. Already in May 1992 the Joint Initiative of Non-University Research Institutions in Adlershof, IGAFA, was founded. Acting since then as the speaker of the board of IGAFA, Hertel has significantly contributed to form the present shape, function and image of Berlin-Adlershof. After 2009 October 1st he continued to be connected with IGAFA as honorary chairman.
Since 1997 Hertel is an ordinary member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and received the cross of merit first class of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2004.
Ingolf Hertel is married since over 40 years with Erika Hertel, born Schneppat, and has four children: Tobias, physicist in Würzburg, Ivonne, musician in Berlin, Melanie, physicist in Frankfurt and Cornelia, physical chemist in Den Haag. Five grand children wait for their grandpa to find more free time for them.
The scientific work of the experimental physicist Ingolf Hertel today includes more that 300 peer-reviewed original papers, book-contributions and reviews. His general field of research is chemical physics, his present specialty ultrafast physics of molecules and clusters.
His latest work concentrates on the interaction of intense, short laser pulses with large but finite systems such as C60 or model peptides. Hertel is confident to be able to conclude some more exciting pieces of work in this field of research. Similarly, water as molecule, cluster or liquid beam continues to fascinate him.
However, the main efforts of his present scientific activity focuses on writing a major text book on atoms, molecules and clusters (together with his long time scientific companion Dr. Claus-Peter Schulz). Volume 1 has already been published (s. Fig. on the right), the script for Volume 2 is nearly finished. Volume 3 will be a callenge for the coming years along with his duties as senior professor at the HU-Berlin.