04. June 2019

New scientific management at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

As of 1 June 2019, Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech and Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning are the new scientific directors of HZB

Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning, Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech © HZB/P. Dera
Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning (l.) and Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech (r.) have been appointed as scientific directors of HZB since June 1, 2019. Copyright: HZB/P. Dera

As of 1 June 2019, Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech and Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning are the new scientific directors of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. Bernd Rech is responsible for the “Energy and Information” department and Jan Lüning heads the “Matter” department. Thus the HZB Supervisory Board has appointed two internationally recognised experts at the top of HZB.

For the first two years, Bernd Rech will be the spokesman of the scientific direction of HZB. Then he will hand the role of spokesman over to Jan Lüning. The two scientific directors have been appointed for a period of five years. In November 2018, the HZB Supervisory Board made Bernd Rech and Jan Lüning the provisional scientific directors until final contracts could be negotiated. These have now been finalised, making their appointment permanent as of 1 June 2019. 

Bernd Rech, born in 1967, has been a provisional scientific director of HZB since May 2017. Prior to that, he headed the Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics at HZB. Since 2008 he has been the spokesperson for the Helmholtz “Renewable Energies” programme, and coordinates the contributions in energy research of the Helmholtz centres. Rech also worked, among other positions, at Forschungszentrum Jülich and was a guest professor at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Bernd Rech is highly respected internationally as an expert in renewable energies and technology transfer.

Jan Lüning, born in 1967, worked as a professor at Pierre und Marie-Curie University, Paris, prior to joining HZB in late 2018. He also worked as a scientific advisor for the French synchrotron SOLEIL. He is an internationally recognised expert in research with synchrotron radiation. Lüning has been instrumental in promoting the development of new experimental methods at synchrotron sources, both in Paris and at the synchrotron in Stanford, USA, where he worked before moving to France.

“I am delighted to drive the advancements of our outstanding user source BESSY II forward as scientific director. We will also be intensively working out the plans for a successor synchrotron BESSY II in Berlin,” says Prof. Jan Lüning. “We are convinced it is essential for the technological and industrial location of Germany to establish a new, powerful soft X-ray source in Germany.”

Prof. Bernd Rech adds: “Our aim is to always combine our understanding of material science always with a view to future applications of energy technologies. In Berlin, there is a very strong and innovative research environment when it comes to energy and materials research, in which HZB is involved. This enables us to benefit from a varied world of expertise. With its focus on soft X-rays, BESSY II is a great asset for this research.”

Further information:

Dr. Ina Helms
Staff Unit Communication
Tel.: +49 30 8062-42034 / -14626
Email: ina.helms(at)