GÃ¼nther Hasinger, an expert in astrophysical studies whose work has been instrumental in the operation of x-ray satellites and the development of future observatories, has been appointed director of the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) at UH MÄnoa, effective January 2, 2011.
Hasinger is currently the scientific director at the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching, near Munich, Germany. His work there focused on the synergies between astrophysics and plasma physicsâ€”introducing modern x-ray diagnostics into fusion physics, with the aim of reproducing the sunâ€™s source of energy in a fusion power plant.
He received his Physics Diploma from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and a PhD in Astronomy from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. Prior to his tenure at Max-Planck IPP, he was involved in the preparation of the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, among other major projects and contributions to the field.
Hasinger has received numerous awards for his research and scientific achievements, including the Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the most significant research prize in Germany, and the international Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Award for his outstanding contributions to space science.
He has authored numerous scientific papers and an award-winning book, â€œFate of the Universe,â€ which explains astrophysics and cosmology to a wider audience.
â€œWe were delighted and grateful for the many outstanding candidates interested in this tremendously important position,â€ said Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw. â€œDr. Hasingerâ€™s exemplary international space expertise and his enthusiastic approach to partnering with our Hawaiâ€˜i community members and university colleagues created much excitement about his leadership, so we warmly welcome him into our â€˜ohana. The opportunities for the future are truly exciting and we are confident he will lead and partner in the best of ways for UH MÄnoa and all of Hawaiâ€˜i.â€
Added Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Gary K. Ostrander, â€œWe are pleased to have someone of Dr. Hasingerâ€™s caliber to lead IfA forward on its many important projects.â€
Chaired by Dean Brian Taylor of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, the 15-member search committee consisted of noted individuals from Oâ€˜ahu and the Big Island.
Hasinger will replace Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, who will relinquish the IfA directorship at the end of the year. Kudritzki will use a 2010 Humboldt Research Award during a 2011 sabbatical in Germany to investigate the physics of galaxies.
The University of Hawai`i at MÄnoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH MÄnoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu.