The Max Planck Society mourns the death of Ulrich Gösele

November 17, 2009

It is with great regret that we announce the sudden death on November 8th of Professor Ulrich Gösele, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society. Ulrich Gösele, who was 60 years old, was one of the two founding directors of the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics and had been involved in the development of the Institute since 1993.

Ulrich Gösele was born in 1949 in Stuttgart. Following his undergraduate and graduate studies in physics, he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Stuttgart in 1975. His doctoral research was carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. On the completion of his doctorate he worked as a guest scientist in South Africa and at the IBM Watson Research Center in the USA. He then returned to the MPI for Metals Research where he worked on his Habilitation (German post-doctoral lecturing qualification). Following brief stays at the research laboratories at Siemens in Munich and IBM in Yorktown Heights, he was appointed full professor at Duke University in North Carolina, USA in 1985. He returned to the Max Planck Society from Duke University in 1993 and was appointed honorary professor at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. He held visiting professorships in Japan in 1991 and at Harvard University USA in 2003.

The main focus of Gösele’s work was in the areas of semi-conductor physics and technology, and solid-state nanostructures. Together with many other scientists in his department he researched, among other things, diffusion and defects in semi-conductors, self-organized nanoscale structures, nanowires and nanotubes, photonic crystals, and oxidic functional materials. The results of this research have been published in over 400 papers; he also wrote several comprehensive books. The list of his cooperation partners in industry reads like a Who’s Who of the electronics sector. Ulrich Gösele was a member of the German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina and involved in numerous international expert bodies.

The Max Planck Society and the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics are deeply shocked by the completely unexpected and untimely death of their Director.

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