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Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Axel Freimuth

Axel Freimuth was born in Duisburg in 1957. He studied physics in Cologne. After his doctorate and subsequent postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in Cologne, he became professor at the University of Karlsruhe in 1996. In 1998, he accepted the Chair for Experimental Solid-State Physics at the University of Cologne. From 1999 to 2000, he was managing director of the Institute of Physics II, and from 2000 to 2002, head of the Department of Physics. 

From 2002 to 2006, he was the speaker of a Collaborative Research Centre sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Following a research stay in 2002 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, he was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences from 2003 to 2005. Since April 2005, he has been Rector of the University of Cologne. 

From 2008 to 2010, Professor Freimuth chaired both the Rectors’ Conference of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (LRK) and the research alliance Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde. Moreover, he is a member of Cologne University Hospital’s supervisory board.

Since 2007, Professor Freimuth has served as chair of the advisory board of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (Cologne) and as a member of the advisory boards of the Max Planck Institutes for the Study of Societies (Cologne), Radio Astronomy (Bonn), Biology of Ageing (Cologne) and Metabolism Research (Cologne).

In February 2018, Professor Freimuth was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tbilisi State University.