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Semenov Medal awarded to Professor Rudolf Bock

Photo: G. Otto/GSI

Award ceremony



In July 2018 the Semenov Medal in gold was awarded to Professor Rudolf Bock at FAIR and GSI in the framework of a small ceremony. The medal was presented by Professor Vladimir Fortov from the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), member of the FAIR Council, in the presence of the FAIR and GSI Management Board – Professor Paolo Giubellino, Ursula Weyrich and Jörg Blaurock – as well as Professor Boris Sharkov, former Scientific Director of FAIR.

Professor Bock receives this high-ranking award for his outstanding achievements in the field of heavy ion research. In his laudatio Fortov commended Rudolf Bock on his accomplishments in the fields of heavy ion physics and as one of the founding fathers of GSI. In addition, he emphasized the important contributions of Rudolf Bock to the Russian-German collaboration in research over several generations, in particular his support for young scientists.

Rudolf Bock studied physics at Heidelberg University, where he received his PhD in 1958 with a thesis on nuclear reactions, supervised by Nobel Prize winner Professor Walther Bothe. Afterwards, as a member of the newly founded  Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Research in Heidelberg, he started heavy ion research at the new Tandem accelerator, the first one in Germany. In 1967, he became professor at Marburg University from where he pursued the founding of the new heavy ion research center GSI, jointly with other Hessian professors. After its foundation in 1969 he belonged to the board of directors from 1970 to 1995. From the beginning he took care of many international collaborations, in particular with Russian research institutes, since 1982 also in the framework of a research project on energy production via intertial fusion driven by heavy ion beams.  Since 1979 he is External Scientific Member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics, since 1979 he is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was awarded with a Honorary Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Science in 1987, and an honorary doctorate at the University of Frankfurt in 2000.

The Semenov medal is named after Nikolai Nikolayevich Semenov (1896-1986), one of the founders of physical chemistry, creator of polymer theory and author of many publications on chemical kinetics, awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1956. The Semenov medal can awarded by RAS to Russian or foreign scientists who have made major contributions to the development of physical and chemical sciences.

Award ceremony
From left: Jörg Blaurock, Technical Managing Director FAIR and GSI; Professor Vladimir Fortov, Russian Academy of Science; Professor Rudolf Bock; Professor Boris Sharkov, former Scientific Director FAIR; Ursula Weyrich, Administrative Managing Director FAIR and GSI; Professor Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director FAIR and GSI.
Photo: G. Otto/GSI