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Joachim Hermann Ullrich is the President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) the German equivalent of NIST with about 2,000 employees. Directly connected to the office of PTB President are his duties as Chairman of the Foundation Council of the Werner von Siemens Ring Foundation as well as Chairman of the Helmholtz-Fonds e. V. In 2013, Joachim Ullrich was elected to be the Second Vice President on the Presidial Board of DIN, the German Institute for Standardization. Within the framework of the Metre Convention, Joachim Ullrich is a Member of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM), has been a Vice-President of the CIPM since 2015 and, at the start of 2014, was appointed as the President of the Consultative Committee for the International Units (CCU).
Joachim Ullrich studied Geophysics and Physics at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, where he graduated in 1983. He received his Ph.D. in 1987 and attained the highest academic qualification (habilitation) in 1994. From 1989 to 1997 he was a Research Scientist at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt (a member of the Helmholtz Association). After a period as a Visiting Scientist at Kansas State University and being appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Missouri in 1995, he held the Chair of Experimental Physics at the University of Freiburg from 1997 to 2001. In 2001 he was appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg, heading the "Experimental Few-Particle Quantum Dynamics" Division. As the Managing Director of the MPIK from 2002 to 2006, he was significantly involved in shaping the future scientific directions of the institute, initiating among other things the design and construction of a "cryogenic storage ring," the CSR for investigating cold molecules. He furthermore actively contributed to teaching at the University of Heidelberg as an Honorary Professor from 2002 onwards. From 2006 to 2011, he was the Head of the Max Planck Advanced Study Group at the Hamburg Center for Free Electron Laser Science (CFEL), which was supported by the Max Planck Society, DESY and Hamburg University. As a CFEL Board Member and, after 2008, as Chair of the CFEL Management Board, he was able to substantially help shape the construction of the CFEL building and the development of science within CFEL.
His main research interest is in few-particle quantum-dynamics as well as in the structure of atoms, ions and molecules. During his thesis, he initiated the development of Recoil-ion Momentum Spectroscopy (RIMS) and, as a researcher at GSI, he invented, together with Robert Moshammer, the "reaction microscope" (COLTRIMS), which allows the performance of kinematically complete experiments of atomic and molecular reactions. Later, his interest turned to precision spectroscopy of highly charged ions using and developing a suite of electron-beam ion traps (EBIT) as well as to the interaction of intense short-pulse lasers with atoms and molecules. Among his recent accomplishments is the development of the CAMP multi-purpose measuring instrument, which combines a reaction microscope with forefront X-ray semiconductor detectors, and was first used at the X-ray laser LCLS in Stanford. Here the focus was on the investigation of basic energy transfer mechanisms from intense X-ray pulses to atoms, molecules and matter in general. Moreover, CAMP enabled ground-breaking structural imaging experiments on increasingly complex systems, molecules, clusters, biomolecules and biological samples such nano-crystals and viruses.
His scientific work is documented in more than 500 publications, among them about one hundred in the Physical Review Letters, Science, and Nature. In 1999, Joachim Ullrich was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation. He received the David Bates Medal from the London Institute of Physics in 2004 and the Philip Morris Research Award in 2006. He has been a Consultant Professor at Fudan University Shanghai since 2003, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and a Member of the "National Academy of Science and Engineering", acatech. He is a Member of the Advanced Science Institute Advisory Council (ASIAC), Japan, a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Linac Coherent Light Source, LCLS, at SLAC operated by Stanford University, and of several institutions of the Helmholtz Association.
It is my strong conviction that curiosity-driven research, with excellence being the exclusive requirement, is the basis of international innovation, economic and cultural growth. As an APS International Councilor, having hands-on experience and excellent connections with all major research institutions in Germany, including the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, various universities and governmental research institutions like PTB and standardization bodies like DIN, along with significant knowledge of the research landscape in the European Union, in Japan, in the United States as well as worldwide within the Metre Convention, I will strive to foster increased international, interdisciplinary and excellent collaboration in basic research and science across the disciplines.