Mainz University receives approval for an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in Physics

Jairo Sinova chosen for Humboldt Professorship in Theoretical Physics


In response to an application submitted by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), theoretical physicist Professor Jairo Sinova from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, USA has been selected for an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, one of the most eminent and highest endowed research posts in Germany. Since 2008, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has awarded up to ten professorships each year to internationally acclaimed foreign academics who would like to continue their work in Germany and thus contribute to the competitiveness of the country as a research hub. Academics working in theoretical fields receive funding of up to EUR 3.5 million for up to five years.

Jairo Sinova is considered to be one of the leading specialists in the area of theoretical solid-state physics. At Mainz University, he will be appointed as a Professor of Theoretical Physics focusing on Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Condensed Matter. In the context of the extended funding provided to the JGU Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" in the 2012 Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments, this research area was created in order to promote work in this field.

"I am delighted the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship scheme has made it possible to appoint an internationally renowned scientist like Professor Jairo Sinova to a position in Mainz. His research activities will undoubtedly significantly raise the profile of the Rhineland-Palatinate science hub and enhance its international competitiveness," said Minister of Science, Doris Ahnen. "This award also demonstrates that the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is on the right track with its policy of targeted funding of materials research under the Rhineland-Palatinate Research Initiative."

"This Humboldt Professorship represents a major success for Physics at Mainz, which is internationally renowned with major research centers such as the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA and the Graduate School of Excellence MAINZ. The award thus also confirms the global relevance of our scientists in this research area, something that has already been apparent for years in view of their publications, prizes, and excellent results in national and international rankings," stated University President Professor Georg Krausch. "For Mainz University, it is a particular pleasure and honor to have been successful for the second year in a row in obtaining one of the renowned Humboldt Professorships." Last year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded a professorship to Professor Wolfram Ruf, renowned in blood coagulation research, who transferred from the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, USA to Mainz University Medical Center.

Professor Jairo Sinova is a recognized authority in the field of magnetism and the use of magnetic properties for the development of micro-electronic components. He has written some groundbreaking publications, particularly on the theoretical functioning of magnetic materials. Sinova is seen as an extremely creative and effective researcher who has acted as a trailblazer in initiating new developments and has thus inspired both experimental and theoretical working groups. This has resulted in pioneering work, such as the prediction and discovery of the intrinsic Spin Hall Effect.

"The ability to work with experimental groups is very important for us here in Mainz and for our graduate school. Professor Jairo Sinova and his team will provide theoretical contributions to the already important experimental work being undertaken at our university, thus ideally supplementing this," emphasized the Director of the MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence, Professor Mathias Kläui, who coordinated the JGU application to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Over the next five years, the Humboldt Foundation will be providing up to EUR 3.5 million in funding to the Humboldt Center for Emergent Spin Phenomena, in which experimental and theoretical work groups cooperate. The center will become part of the CINEMA (Center for INterdisciplinary and Emerging MAterials) State Research Center at Mainz University, which the state of Rhineland-Palatinate will finance starting in 2014 and which will bundle all aspects of materials science in Mainz. "Spin phenomena are one of the core fields being studied at this center and we are thrilled that we will be able to significantly promote this ongoing research with the aid of the Humboldt Center and Professor Jairo Sinova," emphasized Professor Angelika Kühnle, Director of CINEMA.

The appointment of Jairo Sinova will help enhance the profile of the work being undertaken in the fields of physics and materials science in Mainz. In addition to his research achievements, Sinova has also received a number of teaching awards and will thus also represent a welcome addition to the staff from the point of view of JGU's students.