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| Press release

New Scientific Director at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG)

As of 1st September 2019, Prof. Dr Matthias Rehahn will be taking over from Prof. Dr Wolfgang Kaysser as Scientific Director of the HZG.

As of 1st September 2019, Prof. Dr Matthias Rehahn will be taking over from Prof. Dr Wolfgang Kaysser as Scientific Director of the HZG.

Matthias Rehahn

Prof. Dr. Matthias Rehahn
[photo: HZG/Katrin Binner]

Professor Matthias Rehahn (57) has been Vice President for Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Alumni, and Fundraising at the Technical University of Darmstadt since 2017 and Professor for Macromolecular Chemistry at the same university since 1999. Until 2012, he headed the German Plastics Institute, which is now part of the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability. From 2010 to 2018 Rehahn chaired the “Materials” expert group within the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) and was also Vice President of the AiF from 2012 to 2016.
He was a member of the Technical and Scientific Advisory Board of the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden from 2005 to 2015. Finally, he has been the chairman and vice-chairman of the Dechema “Polymers” Working Committee since 2006.
The centre in Geesthacht is also by no means new to Professor Rehahn: he was Chairman of the Technical-Scientific Advisory Board from 2008 to 2014 and subsequently a member of the Supervisory Board of the HZG.
Professor Matthias Rehahn: “I am very much looking forward to the new tasks, as the issues the HZG is working on today offer solutions for the great challenges of our time and can thus create excellent opportunities to shape our future.”
Rehahn succeeds Professor Wolfgang Kaysser (68), who is handing over responsibility for the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht after 16 years.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaysser  [Foto: HZG/Jan-Timo Schaube]

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaysser
[photo: HZG/Jan-Timo Schaube]

The special developments in research at the HZG over the past ten years include energy-saving functional lightweight constructions, clean mobility through the use of hydrogen and the body’s own regeneration through biomaterials. Coastal and climate research takes a global view of how humans’ choices change their future and the environment. The HZG’s Climate Service Center GERICS, which was founded in 2009, is now one of the most important international institutions working in the field of climate change. Magnesium research at the HZG is also regarded as a success story, making it one of the world’s leading institutions in this field today.
The motto “knowledge creates benefit” has become the trademark of Mr Kaysser’s tenure at the HZG. Numerous results gained from basic research are already being applied in business and industry or are being used as an important basis for decision-making in politics and administration.
Before Wolfgang Kaysser was appointed Scientific Director of the HZG, he had been Director of the Institute for Materials Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne from 1992, combined with a full professorship for Applied Metallurgy of Non-Ferrous Metals at RWTH Aachen University.
“Being originally from the south of Germany, I would never have thought it possible to consider the north my home. I like it so much here that I have decided to stay even after I retire,” says Kaysser.
Professor Matthias Rehahn will be managing the Centre alongside Commercial Director Silke Simon.


Dr. Torsten Fischer

Head of the public relations department, spokesman

Phone: +49 (0)4152 87-1677

E-mail contact

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht