Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang M. Heckl

Generaldirektor, Deutsches Museum München

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wolfgang M. Heckl became Director-General of the Deutsches Museum München in 2004, which is one of the largest science and technology museums in Europe with 1.5 Mio visitors per year. He is currently heading a 750 Mio € project of reconstructing the Museum. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Biophysics, Dr. Heckl continued his post-doctoral work at the University of Toronto, and then at IMB with nobel prize winner G. Binnig. In 1993, he was appointed professor for experimental physics after habilitation with nobel prize winner T. Hänsch at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in München. Since 2009, he holds the Oskar von Miller Chair for Science Communication at the Technical University of Munich`s school of social science and technology, and in the physics department. He has been Chairman of the Board of the Max-Planck-Institute for the Science of Light since 2012, and Chairman of the Board of the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics since 2015.

He serves as a jury member of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the Bundesumweltpreis and the European Inventor award, as well as in the board of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien and the Ludwig Erhard foundation. As a co-founder, he became president of the Friends of Geriatronics e.V. at the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. His research in Nanoscience and molecular self-assembly led to more than 200 peer review publications with an H-index of 60.

He owns a dozen patents and the Guinnes Book of Records for drilling the smallest hole in the world, synonym for writing an atomic bit. Being a bestseller author and frequent keynote speaker, Dr. Heckl has appeared regularly in Bavarian television and was invited to give a presentation at the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in 2015. Dr. Heckl received the European Union’s René Descartes Prize for Science Communication, the Philip-Morris Research Award and the Communicator Prize awarded by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. In 2008 he received the order of merit of Germany and the Eduard Rhein Ring in 2015. As an artist, he combines scanning tunnelling microscopy images from his research on self-assembled molecules in his experimental physics lab with his molecular art paintings.