Prof. Dr. Klaus Pinkau
Former Scientific Director of IPP
Prof. Dr. h. c. Klaus Pinkau Ph.D. D.Sc., born in Leipzig in 1931, studied Mathematics in Tübingen and Physics in Hamburg and Bristol from 1951 to 1956. In 1956 he graduated in Physics from the University of Hamburg, in 1958 he received his Ph. D. from the University of Bristol. From 1958 to 1965 Klaus Pinkau's research concentrated on the fields of high-energy physics and cosmic radiation - from 1958 to 1969 as a Research Assistant at the University of Bristol (UK), following his 'habilitation' in 1960, as a 'Privatdozent' [senior academic assistant] at the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel (Germany) and from 1964 to 1965 as a Visiting Professor at the Louisiana State University (USA). In 1965 he refused a post as Full Professor at the Louisiana State University, whose Consulting Professor he then became, to devote himself to high-energy astrophysics and gamma-ray astronomy as a scientific member of the Max Planck Society at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. In 1969 Klaus Pinkau was offered the Chair Astronomy at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, which he refused in favour of the post of director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. In the same year Pinkau was appointed Professor at the Technical University of Munich. From 1972 to 1977 Pinkau was managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics before turning to plasma physics and fusion research. As scientific director and chairman of the board of directors and the executive of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching (1981 to 1999), as chairman of the JET Council (1987 to 1990) and as chairman of the Consultative Committee for the Fusion Programme (1990 to 1998), he gave important impetus in these fields. Klaus Pinkau has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Bristol (1985), and by the Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald (1998).
Between 1970 and 1980 Klaus Pinkau was a member of the COS group of ESA, an Investigator of ESA's Cos-B experiment, a member of ESA's Science Programme Committee, a member and later chairman of ESA's Science Advisory Committee, chairman of the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology's committee of experts on "Large-Scale Projects in Basic Research". Between 1980 and 1990 he was chairman of the founding committee for an Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin, a member of the Consultative Committee for the Fusion Programme and chairman of the Science Programme Review Team for the ESA Council and vice-president of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin. Between 1990 and 2002 Pinkau was in charge of NASA's EGRET experiments as co-principal and then as principal investigator (until 1999); he was a member of the senate of the Max Planck Society and (until 1994) chairman of its Scientific Council, chairman of the Consultative Committee for the Fusion Programme (CCFP) of the European Union (until 1999), chairman of the Karl Heinz Beckurts Foundation (until 1999), a member of the board of trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, European Affairs Commissioner of the Max Planck Society, chairman of the evaluation committee of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2001) and a member of the Schrödinger Prize Committee of the Helmholtz Association. Klaus Pinkau is a member of the German and European Physical Societies, a fellow of the American Physical Society and a full member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. From 2004 to 2008 he has been academic director of the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg, since 2006 also a member of the executive board of the Stiftung Alfried Krupp Kolleg Greifswald. For his services to science and scientific policy, Klaus Pinkau has been decorated with the Federal Cross of Merit on a Ribbon, the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class, the Bavarian Order of Merit, the Wilhelm Exner Medal of the Austrian Business Association and the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art.