Professor Metin Tolan is next President of the University of Göttingen

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Metin Tolan Photo: University of Göttingen/Jan Vetter

Metin Tolan Photo: University of Göttingen/Jan Vetter

Senate and University Foundation Committee vote for 55-year-old physicist

The physicist Professor Metin Tolan will become the next President of the University of Göttingen. The Senate of the University unanimously agreed this decision today. The University Foundation Committee also approved this proposal unanimously. Tolan succeeds Professor Reinhard Jahn, who held the office until 31 December 2020. Since that time, full-time Vice-President Dr Valérie Schüller has been Acting President of the University on an interim basis. Tolan’s term of office is expected to begin in the spring.

Senate spokesperson Professor Nicolai Miosge said: "Both as spokesperson of the Senate and personally, I congratulate Metin Tolan on his upcoming presidency of the University of Göttingen. I am looking forward to his being able to bring about real change and a new beginning with the strong support of the staff of the University. This is especially relevant as we should all be ready, when the pandemic has been overcome, to channel the diverse experiences we have had over the long months into the future direction of our University."

The Chair of the University Foundation Committee, Professor Peter Strohschneider, said: "I warmly congratulate Metin Tolan as well as the University on this decision. With its future president, the Georgia Augusta will gain someone who is both a highly respected scientist and an experienced university administrator. He will lead the University prudently and wisely to enable it to develop highly successfully as a diverse and many-faceted entity in its various functions. I hope that the new president will take office as soon as possible and I am very much looking forward to beneficial collaboration."

"I am very pleased to be elected and to have your trust placed in me, and I thank all those involved for making this possible under the strict conditions due to the coronavirus," Tolan said. "It is a great honour to have been elected president of a top university. This momentum must now be carried forward to prepare the University for the tasks ahead."

Metin Tolan, born in 1965, studied physics and mathematics at Kiel University, where he also received his doctorate in 1993. As a postdoc, he conducted research in the USA for several years, and in 1998 he completed his habilitation promotion in experimental physics at Kiel University. Subsequently, he worked as a lecturer, and again in the USA. In 2001, he accepted a Professorship in Experimental Physics at the Technical University of Dortmund, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Physics from 2004 to 2008. From 2008 to 2020, he was a member of the Rectorate of the TU and, from 2016, also permanent representative of the Rector. In the rectorate, he was responsible for research for three years, teaching for five years and finance for four years.

Tolan is a member of numerous committees and advisory boards, and in addition to his professional publications, he has published four popular, non-fiction science books to date. He has received several awards for his work, including the Communicator Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. In 2010, the journal Unicum Beruf elected him Professor of the Year in the field of natural sciences and medicine, and at the Göttingen Literaturherbst 2016, he received the Science Communication Medal for scientists who are particularly committed to communicating current research findings to the public.


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