Germany, Bad Honnef – On Wednesday, 1 April 2020, Lutz Schröter took over the presidency of the German Physical Society (DPG). Originally, the handover should have taken place as a ceremony during the DPG annual conference in Bonn. However, the annual meeting had to be cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus. The handover took place as a virtual webinar on 1 April from 10 am.
Schröter succeeds Dieter Meschede from the University of Bonn, who was President of the world's largest physics society with over 55,000 members from April 2018 to April 2020 and is now the regular DPG Vice-President.
Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the previous Vice-President and former Director General of the European Particle Research Centre CERN near Geneva, is retiring from office. From 5 April 2016 to 31 March 2018 he was President and then Vice-President of the German Physical Society.
Schröter would first like to lead the DPG safely through the corona crisis and then above all to support the great commitment of DPG members in socially relevant topics. In particular, he would like to expand the cooperation between the associations and institutions especially in the transdisciplinary subject areas of information technologies, energy and environment.
A special focus within his term of office will be on the topic of education and young talent. This applies mainly to the next generation of teachers. In addition, he wants to awaken and maintain an interest in physics and technology among pupils. Furthermore, he would like to increase the attractiveness of the DPG for its members, especially for young professionals and industrial physicists.
Schröter has been closely associated with the DPG for decades. Initially he was secretary in the DPG Working Group on Industry and Business, then (from 2004 to 2008) he was elected to the DPG Council - the "parliament" of the German Physical Society. From 2008 to 2012, Schröter represented the area Industry and Business on the DPG Executive Board.
For his commitment to the DPG he was awarded the DPG's honorary pin in 2012.
Schröter received his doctorate at Bielefeld University with a laser spectroscopic topic on surface physics. He then worked as a technology consultant for the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and a project management agency of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the field of laser technologies. He then learned the controller trade at a pharmaceutical company in Aachen.
Schröter was managing director of the Saarland Venture Financing Company and later head of the venture division at AutoVision GmbH. There, he was responsible for the acquisition and financing of young technology companies as well as for the "Mergers & Acquisition" field of activity and thus for transactions in the corporate sector such as mergers, transfers of businesses, spin-offs or corporate cooperations. Most recently, Schröter held a management position at Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, primarily in finance and product management.
Parallel to his professional career, Lutz Schröter also held supervisory or advisory board positions in various young companies in the bio, IT and material technologies sectors. Furthermore, Lutz Schröter was a member of the jury which instigated the start-up competition of the savings banks (Sparkassen) of the German state Saarland.
The German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e. V.; DPG), which was founded way back in 1845, is the oldest national and, with more than 55,000 members, also the largest physical society in the world. As a non-profit-making organisation it pursues no economic interests. The DPG promotes the transfer of knowledge within the scientific community through conferences, events and publications, and aims to open a window to physics for the curious. Its special focuses are on encouraging junior scientists and promoting equal opportunities. The DPG’s head office is at Bad Honnef am Rhein. Its representative office in the capital is the Magnus-Haus Berlin. Website: www.dpg-physik.de