Beate Heinemann to become new Director in charge of Particle Physics at DESY

Physics professor completes the Board of Directors of the Research Centre

The first woman on the DESY Board of Directors: Beate Heinemann. Image: DESY / Anja Schönsee

Beate Heinemann, Senior Scientist at DESY and Professor of Physics at University of Freiburg, will take over the High Energy Physics division at DESY as Director on 1 February. This was unanimously decided by DESY's supervisory body, the Foundation Council, at its meeting on 7 December. Heinemann is the first female Director in DESY’s history.

"Beate Heinemann is a true asset to the research centre," says Dr. Volkmar Dietz from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Chairman of the Foundation Council. "With her international experience, broad knowledge, reputation and forward-looking ideas, she will certainly lead the particle physics research field into the next exciting era. As the first woman on the Directorate, she will also make DESY history!"

Beate Heinemann is a true Hamburger, having grown up very close to DESY in Hamburg. She earned her spurs in particle physics experiments and at universities and research centres all over the world. After completing her doctorate at the University of Hamburg on an experiment at DESY's HERA accelerator, she joined the CDF experiment at Fermilab near Chicago as a scientist at the University of Liverpool before becoming a professor at the University of California Berkeley working on the ATLAS experiment, a giant particle detector at CERN in Geneva. From 2013 to 2017, she was deputy spokesperson for the ATLAS experiment. She then returned to Germany to continue her research with ATLAS as a senior scientist at DESY and professor at the University of Freiburg.

"I am very pleased that Beate Heinemann will be part of the DESY Directorate in the future," says DESY Director Helmut Dosch. "Her excellent expertise in particle physics and experience in managing large, international teams are the perfect match for the many facets of fundamental research at DESY and in the Helmholtz Association. We are proud to welcome her to the team and very much look forward to shaping the future with her."

Heinemann succeeds Joachim Mnich, who moved to the European research centre CERN as research director at the beginning of 2021, and Ties Behnke, who led the research division as interim director. At DESY, the particle physics division includes not only the particle physicists and technicians involved in the international experiments, but also theorists, the DESY IT department, the library and many service groups such as electronics development.

"DESY is a world-class laboratory and I am delighted to take part in shaping its present and future," says Heinemann. "There are many topics and projects that are very close to my heart – from fundamental research and developments in future technologies to sustainability and diversity. The next decade offers many exciting challenges, both scientifically and socially, and I am looking forward to the decisive contributions DESY will make to these challenges."