From the official press release of the Bavarian State Chancellery
Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon for Institute Director Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sextl
"Bavaria's Secretary of the Interior Gerhard Eck will hand over the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research Würzburg, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sextl, on Thursday, July 29, 2021 in the Fürstensaal of the Würzburg Residence.
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Sextl is a successful scientist and an authority in his field, both nationally and internationally. He has made his name through his many years of outstanding achievements in the field of materials research, the application-oriented development of innovative inorganic materials, electromobility and also in the field of health research.
After completing his studies and doctorate, Professor Sextl initially worked for various private companies in Germany and abroad from 1988. At the same time, he took on a teaching position at Leibniz University in Hanover in 1998. In 2006, he was appointed to the chair of "Chemical Technology of Materials Synthesis" at the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg and simultaneously took over the management of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research (ISC) Würzburg. Since then, he has developed the institute into one of the most important materials research centers for energy and resource efficiency in Germany, initiated a number of socially significant developments, and played a key role in establishing and implementing them. The Fraunhofer Research and Development Center for Electromobility Bavaria is also located under the umbrella of the Würzburg institute. In 2011, Sextl installed the Fraunhofer Project Group for Recyclables and Resource Strategies IWKS at the Alzenau site, which has since become an independent institution.
As part of a prudent development of the Fraunhofer ISC Würzburg, Professor Sextl has made battery research one of the main areas of research. In addition, he has been instrumental in turning the attention of politicians and industry to Europe's own battery cell production - until now, Europe has been reliant on imports. His collaboration in the "National Platform Future of Mobility" on the topics of value creation, batteries and battery recycling should also be highlighted.
Sextl has also been particularly committed to the traditional ceramics industry in structurally weak northeastern Bavaria. The establishment of the Fraunhofer Center for High-Temperature Lightweight Construction in Bayreuth, which was driven by him, supports the necessary structural change in the industry and the move toward new, technical areas of application for specialty ceramics. Sextl's commitment has enabled new perspectives for this traditional but endangered branch of industry in northern Bavaria.
For some time now, Professor Sextl has been driving forward the expansion of the research focus on health with the Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies TLZ-RT in collaboration with the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Sextl is active in numerous networks and functions. For example, he has been a member of the board of directors since 1996 and chairman of the "Applied Inorganic Chemistry" section since 2010, and has also been chairman of the "Chemical Reaction Engineering" section of the "Dechema Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V." since 2011. In his capacity as an honorary member of the board of the "Industrieverband Materials Valley e. V.", of which he has been a member since 2008 and was chairman from 2013 to 2015, he brought the issue of resource conservation, which is particularly urgent for Germany as a business location, to the attention of politicians and the public with numerous initiatives. Since 2006, he has also supported several renowned scientific institutions as an expert, including the German Research Foundation, the Humboldt Foundation and the Leibniz Association.
Through his dual role as university lecturer and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research, Professor Sextl combines both outstanding scientific and application-oriented expertise. His work makes valuable contributions to addressing key societal challenges in dealing with resources, energy and in the health sector."
The staff of Fraunhofer ISC congratulate Prof Sextl on this prestigious award. For them, too, this is a great honor and recognition of the institute's research work. Fraunhofer ISC is thus making an important contribution to solving the major challenges posed by climate change, the energy transition, resource scarcity and population development.