The German Electron Synchrotron, a research centre known as DESY developing and operating a number of particle accelerators, has elected a woman to its Directorate for the first time in its history. In the new year, Professor Beate Heinemann is set to become the Director for Particle Physics.
“It is a great honour for me to be the first female Director at DESY, after having taken my first career steps at DESY while at university,” Prof Heinemann said in a press release. “It is very, very important to me that women have the same opportunities and find the same conditions as men do in all areas.”
Until now, Prof Heinemann has worked as a Senior Scientist at DESY while holding a Professorship for experimental particle physics at the University of Freiburg. She’s been involved in a number of high-profile research projects, such as the H1 experiment at the HERA electron-proton collider at DESY and the Collider Detector experiment at Fermilab in the USA. Currently, she’s part of the ATLAS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, where she and her colleagues are looking to improve our understanding of what matter is made of and how the Universe works.
As Director, she has big ideas for her new research division. “In the next few years, the course will be set for the successor project to the LHC, whose technology and location have not yet been chosen. It’s very important to me that DESY is actively involved in the preparation of this project.”
She also is looking to make her mark on DESY as a place of work. “Another topic that is very close to my heart, both personally and through my new office, is diversity. DESY should remain a cosmopolitan, diverse laboratory, and there’s still room for improvement in many areas, for example the number of women in management positions.”
Prof Heinemann takes over from Joachim Mnich and Ties Behnke, the previous Director and interim Director respectively, on February the first. “We are proud to welcome her to the team,” said Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors.
(© Emilie Steinmark / AcademiaNet / Spektrum.de)