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Konferenz „Humboldt meets Leibniz“ lockt internationale Optikforschende nach Hannover

Conference “Humboldt meets Leibniz” in Hannover attracts international experts in optics

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© Sonja Smalian/PhoenixD
This year’s instalment of the conference “Humboldt meets Leibniz” focuses on optical technologies. Uwe Morgner (right), physics professor and spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at Leibniz University Hannover, and his doctoral candidate observe a laser experiment on an optical table.

Junior researchers receive information on career opportunities and present their research – panel discussion on career paths in science

Over the past two years, due to the coronavirus pandemic, international scientific exchange was only possible to a very limited extent. This also affected networking opportunities for young researchers. From 12 to 14 June 2022, the new conference format "Humboldt meets Leibniz" brings together experts in optics from six continents at Leibniz University Hannover, guided by the motto "Connecting Talents across Generations". Twelve research award winners of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from the United States, as well as from France, China, South Africa and Australia will attend the conference. As renowned experts in the field of optics and photonics, they will answer questions of 150 selected junior researchers over the course of two days. "Sharing my passion and experience will hopefully make a difference in the career of a young researcher", explains Jun Ye, a physics professor from the University of Boulder (United States) who has received many awards for his work.

International researchers visit Hannover

The conference is the first instalment of a new event series developed by Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) in cooperation with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation in order to increase the international visibility of Hannover as a science location. The conference "Humboldt meets Leibniz" will be held every two years focusing on a different topic each time. Participants include researchers from Australia, Egypt, Brazil, China, India and South Africa. The conference provides information on career opportunities in science, as well as an opportunity to present their research.

"The researchers of Leibniz University Hannover look forward to in-depth exchange with renowned researchers from all over the world within the framework of the conference Humboldt meets Leibniz. For LUH, this is a unique opportunity to present the university as an open-minded and modern science location in order to intensify international collaborations as well as to attract junior researchers", explains Prof. Dr. Holger Blume, Vice President for Research and Transfer at LUH.

"This meeting enables all participants to network and learn from each other. Especially for young researchers, this is a unique opportunity for direct exchange with internationally renowned award winners of the Humboldt Foundation to benefit from their extensive experience in science and international cooperation", says Dr. Thomas Hesse, Deputy Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Optical Technologies: From smartphones to medical diagnostics

This year''s networking event is held in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence "PhoenixD: Photonics, Optics, and Engineering - Innovation across Disciplines". Therefore, the conference is also part of LUH''s preparations for the next round in the Excellence Strategy. Within the scope of PhoenixD, more than 120 researchers from engineering and natural sciences develop tomorrow''s precision optics. Optical technologies are considered as key technologies of the 21st century. Without them, everyday digital life with smartphone cameras, online streaming via optical glass fibre, laser beam welding of car bodywork or three-dimensional pictures of organs and body layers in medical diagnostics would be impossible.

In recent years, Hannover evolved into one of the most important science locations in the field of optical technologies and gravitational physics. The new research building "OPTICUM - Optics University Center and Campus" worth 54 million euros will be a one-of-a-kind infrastructure for developing complex optical systems and modern manufacturing processes. "Together, we will develop the optics campus in Hannover and establish it as an internationally visible centre of excellence and communication for industry and research partners. We are confident that we will see again many Humboldt meets Leibniz participants at the centre", says Prof. Dr. Uwe Morgner, spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD. Just like in research at LUH, interdisciplinary approaches are particularly important in the master''s degree programme "Optical Technologies" and the bachelor''s degree programme "Optical Technologies: Lasers and Photonics", which prepare students for a career in optics and photonics.

Panel discussion open to media representatives held on campus available via live stream

"Career opportunities, perspectives and challenges in the industry and in science" are central topics of the conference "Humboldt meets Leibniz" and will also be the focus of an international panel discussion. University and business representatives will share their personal experience on Tuesday 14 June 2022, between 10.30 and 12.00 at Herrenhausen Palace (Herrenhäuser Straße 5, 30419 Hannover) and will answer questions of junior researchers.

Panel speakers include:

  • Prof. Dr. Andrew Forbes (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
  • Prof. Dr. Naira Hovakimyan (University of Illinois, United States)
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer (Leibniz University Hannover)
  • Prof. Dr. Anna Lena Giesecke (University of Duisburg-Essen / Fraunhofer IMS)
  • Dr. Hagen Zimer (TRUMPF Laser GmbH)

Media representatives are welcome to attend the panel discussion. Please register in advance by sending an email to An online live stream of the panel discussion will be available at:

Further information on the conference "Humboldt meets Leibniz":

Note to editors

For further information, please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, head of Communications and Marketing and spokesperson of Leibniz University Hannover (Tel. +49 511 762 -5342, Email