News › Andreas Tün­ner­mann hono­red with Order of Merit of the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Germany

Direc­tor of Fraun­ho­fer IOF hono­red for sci­en­ti­fic and social commitment

Andreas Tün­ner­mann, Direc­tor of the Fraun­ho­fer Insti­tute for Applied Optics and Pre­cis­ion Engi­nee­ring IOF and the Insti­tute for Applied Phy­sics at Fried­rich-Schil­ler-Uni­ver­si­tät Jena, has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Ger­many for his sci­en­ti­fic and social commitment.

The Order of Merit of the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Ger­many is the hig­hest reco­gni­tion awarded by the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Ger­many for ser­vices to the com­mon good. It is awarded for poli­ti­cal, eco­no­mic-social and intellec­tual achie­ve­ments. On behalf of Fede­ral Pre­si­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier, the insi­gnia was offi­ci­ally pre­sen­ted today by Thuringia’s Minis­ter Pre­si­dent Bodo Rame­low at the Wei­mar­halle in Weimar.

»Prof. Dr. Tün­ner­mann is not only an out­stan­ding rese­ar­cher, but also a role model for future gene­ra­ti­ons of sci­en­tists,« explai­ned the Minis­ter Pre­si­dent. »He has made a signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­tion to making Ger­many a lea­ding loca­tion for rese­arch and inno­va­tion in the field of pho­to­nics and quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies. And he has impro­ved the frame­work con­di­ti­ons for secu­ring and fur­ther deve­lo­ping one of the most important cen­ters of the opti­cal indus­try in Germany.«

For Andreas Tün­ner­mann, the award is a very spe­cial reco­gni­tion: »It is a great honor and an extra­or­di­nary sign of app­re­cia­tion for me to be reco­gni­zed with such a high award. With this spe­cial honor, I also see num­e­rous peo­ple reco­gni­zed who have inspi­red and sup­ported me in the deve­lo­p­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of ideas in rese­arch and tea­ching. My sin­cere thanks go to them.«

The order was pre­sen­ted in reco­gni­tion of his over­all achie­ve­ments in rese­arch and sci­ence, inclu­ding his suc­cess in acqui­ring third-party fun­ding, aca­de­mic publi­ca­ti­ons, and super­vi­sed the­ses. Prof. Tünnermann’s suc­ces­ses in the deve­lo­p­ment of inter­na­tio­nal degree pro­grams and his com­mit­ment to poli­ti­cal con­sul­ting and sci­en­ti­fic net­work deve­lo­p­ment in Ger­many as a rese­arch loca­tion were also taken into account.

Inter­na­tio­nally renow­ned rese­ar­cher and sci­ence manager

Andreas Tün­ner­mann dis­co­vered his pas­sion for lasers while stu­dy­ing phy­sics in Hano­ver. He quickly became head of the deve­lo­p­ment depart­ment at the Laser Zen­trum Han­no­ver after com­ple­ting his doc­to­rate in 1992. It was the start of a career that he con­tin­ued in Thu­rin­gia from 1998. Here in Jena, he acqui­red the title of Pro­fes­sor of Applied Phy­sics and with it the direc­tor­ship of the Insti­tute of Applied Phy­sics at the Fried­rich-Schil­ler-Uni­ver­si­tät in Jena. In 2003, he became also direc­tor of the Fraun­ho­fer Insti­tute for Applied Optics and Pre­cis­ion Engi­nee­ring IOF.

Andreas Tünnermann’s work is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by inno­va­tion and ground­brea­king rese­arch. Num­e­rous pio­nee­ring pro­jects were initia­ted under his lea­der­ship. The main focus was on prac­ti­cal appli­ca­ti­ons in the fields of medi­cine, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and industry.

Par­ti­cu­lar mile­sto­nes in his career were the foun­ding and estab­lish­ment of the Abbe School of Pho­to­nics and the Max Planck School of Pho­to­nics. Here, young talents from all over the world receive a first-class edu­ca­tion and rese­arch oppor­tu­ni­ties in the field of pho­to­nics. Prof. Tün­ner­mann has thus paved the way for a large num­ber of young rese­ar­chers to enter sci­ence: to date, he has super­vi­sed a total of six habi­li­ta­ti­ons, almost 120 doc­to­ra­tes and over 100 diploma, bachelor’s and master’s theses.

Quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tion as a secure form of data exch­ange in the digi­tal society of the future is ano­ther field that Andreas Tün­ner­mann is stri­ving to estab­lish. With his rese­arch, he is making a signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­tion to hel­ping this tech­no­logy achieve a breakth­rough. His exper­tise has the­r­e­fore been incor­po­ra­ted into the agenda for pho­to­nics and quan­tum sys­tems of the Fede­ral Minis­try of Edu­ca­tion and Research.

As a mem­ber of the Fede­ral Chancellery’s Expert Coun­cil on Quan­tum Com­pu­ting and the Sci­en­ti­fic and Tech­ni­cal Coun­cil of the Fraun­ho­fer-Gesell­schaft, Andreas Tün­ner­mann con­ti­nues to cham­pion the com­plex sci­en­ti­fic cause and has actively con­tri­bu­ted to making Ger­many a lea­ding loca­tion for rese­arch and inno­va­tion in the field of pho­to­nics and quan­tum technologies.

Andreas Tün­ner­mann was awarded the Order of Merit of the Free State of Thu­rin­gia in 2011. He was also awarded the ERC Advan­ced Grant by the Euro­pean Rese­arch Coun­cil in 2015 and the Gott­fried Wil­helm Leib­niz Prize by the Ger­man Rese­arch Foun­da­tion in 2005.

Prof. Tün­ner­mann cele­bra­ted his 60th bir­th­day in 2023. You can read a review of his career also here in a two-part inter­view.

Read the full press release in the Fraun­ho­fer IOF online press por­tal here: