2010 COPERNICUS Scientific Award Winners:

  • Prof. Jan Misiewicz of Wrocław University of Technology

Prof. Jan Misiewicz is a specialist in solid state and semiconductor physics. He received his doctor’s degree in 1979 from the Wrocław University of Technology with which he continues to work closely to this day. In 1989 he was awarded the degree of Assistant Professor. One of the initiators of the Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Centre at the Wrocław University of Technology. In 1996-2002 he was the Director of the Institute of Physics and in 2002-2008 vice-chancellor of the Fundamental Technological Research Department at the Wrocław University of Technology. He has been for many years in charge of a research group composed of several researchers and the Laboratory of Semiconductor Physics and recently re-appointed as Director of the Institute of Physics. Four times awarded the Award of the Minister of Science. 2005 winner of the prestigious Subsidy for Professors – MASTER – awarded by the Foundation for Polish Science.

  • Prof. Alfred Forchel of the University of Würzburg

Prof. Alfred Forchel is a physicist. His major areas of interest include semiconductor structures and nanomaterials. He entered on career in science at the University of Stuttgart where he received the doctor’s degree in 1983, and subsequently became Assistant Professor in 1988. Since 1990 onwards, he has been closely associated with the University of Würzburg. He supervised the university Laboratory of Microstructures and also was one of the originators of the first engineering course at the University of Würzburg – Technology of Nanostructures. Since 1994, he has also held the position of Director of the Institute of Physics for four terms in succession. He is a co-creator of the university Nanotechnology Centre established in 2008 and initiator of the Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen Research Centre for Complex Materials Systems which has been under his supervision since 2007. Since autumn 2009, he has been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Würzburg.

Prof. Jan Misiewicz and Prof. Alfred Forchel have collaborated for 10 years in physics of semiconductor nanostructures designed for optoelectronic devices. The scientists have initiated joint research projects and stimulate successful scientific exchange between Wrocław and Würzburg involving both students and senior researchers.

As a result of their cooperation, Polish researchers from Prof. Jan Misiewicz’s team (e.g. Grzegorz Sęk, PhD) contributed to the breakthrough discovery in quantum electrodynamics of micro-cavities which was described in “Nature” in 2004. The relevant study showed that a photon in a micro-cavity can coherently exchange energy with an electron-hole pair trapped in a quantum dot.

Another essential element of the collaboration between both universities is scientific exchange which enabled undergraduates and PhD students of the Wrocław University of Technology to participate in Summer Schools of Nanophotonics in Würzburg during which the department of Prof. Forchel organised post-doctoral internship programmes and professors from Würzburg held visiting lectures for the participants from Wrocław. The collaboration between Polish and German scientists included also joint European projects related to state-of-the-art solutions in telecommunications. In December 2009, when Prof. Forchel took the position of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Würzburg, both universities have entered into a formal agreement of cooperation which shows the importance of their joint achievements thus far and stimulates further research projects in the future.