Awardee Interviews | Biography: Hans-Peter Steinrück

Hans-Peter Steinrück

Hans-Peter SteinrückHans-Peter Steinrück, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany “for his pioneering studies on the properties and reactivity of the surfaces of ionic liquids employing the methods of surface science.”
Hans-Peter Steinrück is Full Professor for Physical Chemistry at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in Germany, and is investigating the chemistry and physics of surfaces since more than 30 years. He studied physics at the TU Graz, Austria (PhD: 1985), was a postdoc in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, USA (1985–1986), and received his Habilitation at the TU München, Germany in 1992. After a sabbatical at Rutgers University/USA, he became Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Würzburg, Germany in 1993. In 1998, he was appointed to the prestigious Chair of Physical Chemistry II at FAU and built up an active interdisciplinary and internationally visible research group with presently 25 scientific coworkers. He is involved in numerous collaborative research projects, and is Principle Investigator in the Cluster-of-Excellence “Engineering of Advanced Materials” at the FAU (2007–2017). From 2009–2015, he was Guest Professor at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, China. In 2016, he received a very prestigious ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.
Prof. Steinrück’s track record includes more than 310 publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 200 invited lectures at international conferences and institutions. He performs ground breaking research in the area of surface and interface science. His main interests are the development of new materials with novel electronic, geometric and chemical properties, the investigation of elementary steps of surface reactions, and the construction of advanced scientific apparatus. A large variety of experimental methods is applied, including synchrotron radiation-based photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and molecular beam methods. He contributed to a variety of quite different fields. In the last 10 years, his focus has been on the surface and interface properties of ionic liquids, the surface chemistry of tetrapyrroles, in situ studies of surface reactions, hydrogen storage in liquid organic molecules, and chemically modified graphene layers.
Hans-Peter Steinrück is member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Academia Europaea. He is Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2015, he received an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Szeged, Hungary.
Prof. Steinrück served the academic and scientific communities in multiple ways. At FAU, he was member of the Senate, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences II, and Vice-President. For the science community, he was chairman of the Surface Science Division of the German Physical Society, and member of the Scientific Advisory Committees of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Berlin Storage Ring for Synchrotron Radiation (BESSY), and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). He was chairman of the “German Committee for Research with Synchrotron Radiation” and member of the “German Committee for Research with Large Scale Facilities.” Since 2010, he is chairman of the Fachbeirat of the Fritz-Haber-Institute and since 2016 member of the DFG Senate Commission for Collaborative Research Centers. He also organized numerous international conferences, including the Gordon Conference “Chemical Reactions on Surfaces,” and presently is Editor of Surface Science.