Klaus Kern is Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany and Professor of Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He also is Honorary Professor at the University of Konstanz, Germany. His present research interests are in nanoscale science, self-ordering phenomena and in chemistry and physics of surfaces and interfaces. He holds a chemistry degree and PhD from the University of Bonn and an honorary doctor’s degree from the University of Aalborg. After his doctoral studies he was staff scientist at the Research Center Jülich and visiting scientist at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill before joining the Faculty of EPFL in 1991 and the Max Planck Society in 1998.
Professor Kern has authored and coauthored 600 scientific publications, which have received more than 40,000 citations. He has served frequently on advisory committees to universities, professional societies and institutions and has received numerous scientific awards and honors, including the 2008 Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize and the 2016 Van‘t Hoff Prize. Prof. Kern has also educated a large number of leading scientists in nanoscale physics and chemistry. During the past twenty-five years he has supervised one hundred PhD students and sixty postdoctoral fellows. Today, more than fifty of his former students and postdocs hold prominent faculty positions at Universities in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.