Short CV/Education and training

  • 1995
    Abitur (A-levels) at the Hans Sachs Gymnasium (grammar school), Nuremberg, Germany

  • 1995 – 2001
    Diplom degree in physics and Magister degree (MA) in philosophy from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; also studied at the University of Liverpool, UK

  • 2003
    PhD, summa cum laude, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

  • 2003 – 2004
    Research associate, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Münster, Germany. Research topic: Analytical description of turbulent flows

  • 2005 – 2006
    Visiting researcher, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Nice, France. Research topic: Numerical study of the movement of particles in turbulent flows

  • 2006 – 2008
    Senior Research Fellow in global risk modelling, University of Oxford, UK, Faculty of Philosophy. Research topic: Ethical and epistemological aspects of decisions made under risk and uncertainty

  • 2007
    Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. nat.), summa cum laude, University of Münster

  • Since 2009
    Head of the research group Ethics for Energy Technologies (EET) at the Human Technology Centre (HumTec), RWTH Aachen University, Germany; Junior professor, Institute of Philosophy. Research topic: Simulation and models in the sciences, technology assessment

  • 2010
    Acting Chair of the philosophy of science and technology, Institute of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart, Germany (summer semester)

Selected publications

  • Hillerbrand, R.: Technik, Ethik und Ökologie. Ein normativ-ethischer Grundlagendiskurs über den Umgang mit Wissenschaft, Technik und Umwelt, mit einem Vorwort von D. Birnbacher, Mentis: Paderborn, 2005, ISBN: 978-3-89785-436-9.

  • Hillerbrand, R.: On non-propositional aspects in modeling complex systems. Limits of assessing the uncertainty of climate predictions, erscheint bei Analyse und Kritik.

  • Hillerbrand, R.: Epistemic Uncertainties in Climate Predictions. A Challenge for Practical Decision Making, in: Intergenerational Justice Review 3, 2009. S. 94-100.

  • Hillerbrand, R., Ghil, M.: Anthropogenic climate change: Scientific uncertainties and moral dilemmas, in: Physica D 237, 2008. S. 2132-2138.

  • Hillerbrand, R.: Stochastic suspensions of heavy particles, in: Physica D 237, 2008. S. 2037-2050.

  • Bec, J., Cencini, M., Hillerbrand, R.: Clustering of heavy particles in random self-similar flow, in: Physical Review E 75, 025301(R), 4 pages, 2007.

  • Bec, J., Cencini, M., Hillerbrand, R.: Heavy particles in incompressible flows: the large Stokes number asymptotics, in: Physica D 226, 2007. S. 11-22.

  • Hillerbrand, R.: Renormalized perturbation theory for Lagrangian turbulence, in: Peinke, J. et al. (Hg.), Progress in Turbulence, Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 2005. S. 87-90.

  • Hillerbrand, R.: Einheit in der Vielheit oder: Warum der Kreationismus keine wissenschaftliche Alternative zur Evolutionstheorie bietet, in: Kolmer, P., Gott und Natur. Neuer Streit um die Evolutionstheorie. Kritische Beiträge, im Erscheinen.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Ethics of technology

  • Ethics for energy technology

  • Modelling in the sciences

  • Philosophy of simulation

  • Scientific reductionism

  • Capability Approach

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Reviewer for Climatic Change and Science and Engineering Ethics

  • Speaker for the Junge Akademie (academy of young scientists), a joint project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and member of the executive committee, since 2010

  • Student liaison for the German National Academic Foundation and assisting in selection seminars, since 2010

  • Member of the HumTec steering committee, since 2009

  • Member of IESP (International Expert Group on Earth System Preservation), since 2008

  • Member of the advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation, since 2008

  • Member of the review board for research funding (final selection board), The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, since 2007

  • Member of the selection committee for a Research Fellow, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, UK, 2007

  • Member of the physics department advisory board, University of Münster, Germany, 2006

  • Member of the search committee for a professor of applied physics, University of Münster, 2006

  • Equal opportunity representative for the physics department, University of Münster, 2004 – 2006

  • Elected member of the physics department advisory board, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, 1998 and 1999

  • Member of physics department student association, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 1995 – 1999


You can only see the contact information of the academics in the database if you are a registered user of AcademiaNet.
Please register here


  1. Read what our members say about AcademiaNet.

Follow us

No more excuses!

  1. Please download the brochure "No more excuses" and read more about female experts in Europe, and about AcademiaNet.

Similar profiles

  1. Prof. Dr. Conny Aerts

    Physical sciences, Asteroseismology

  2. Prof. Dr. Rosa María Albert

    Humanities, Archaeological Prehistory, Paleovegetation and paleolandscape reconstruction, use of plant resources by past populations, plant diet, fossil plant microremains (phytoliths)

  3. PhD Hala Alarashi

    Humanities, Prehistoric archaeology

  4. Dr. Chantal Abergel

    Biological and related sciences , Physical sciences, Environmental virology, Molecular and structural biology, biochemistry



  1. "The Topic of Ethics Was Hardly Touched"

    Rafaela Hillerbrand discusses her field of technology ethics, her impressions of the German Ethics Commission on a Safe Energy Supply, academic neutrality and the plan to include technology ethics into the engineering curriculum. Hillerbrand is a junior professor for philosophy at the RWTH Aachen and head of the interdisciplinary research group Ethics for Energy Technology (HumTec).