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Another Humboldt Professorship for the FAU

Prof. Dr. Enrique Zuazua (Image: FAU/Kurt Fuchs)

Mathematician and FAU Ambassador Prof. Dr. Enrique Zuazua receives Germany's most prestigious international research award

For the fifth time, FAU has won the highest endowed international research prize in Germany. The FAU nominated mathematician Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. Enrique Zuazua has been selected for an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship endowed with up to 5 million euros. If he accepts it, he will be awarded the prize in May 2019. This is not the only positive news from the Humboldt Foundation for FAU this year – linguist Prof. Dr. Ewa Dąbrowska accepted her Humboldt Professorship in May. She started her research at FAU this winter semester.

The world can be understood as an accumulation of ‘shapes in motion’. And Enrique Zuazua wants to contribute to the development of new mathematics to better understand the sophisticated dynamics of nature, simulate them better with the aid of modern computers, and, as far as possible, to design, control and guide them. For this to be done new mathematical methods are needed to, on one hand, anticipate and predict and, on the other, build optimal strategies. The Spanish academic is a world leader in the field of Applied Mathematics with a particular interest in partial differential equations, control theory and numerical analysis. These mathematical fields seek to improve the modelling, simulation and control of processes deriving from the engineering sciences in many forward-thinking areas such as aviation, power networks, or social behaviour. For predicting natural phenomena, like tidal waves, which is becoming ever more important in the face of climate change, the quality of mathematical models and the available images, measurements and data in Enrique Zuazua’s research field is also crucial.

As a Humboldt Professor at FAU, Enrique Zuazua will assume a chair in “Applied Mathematics”. The chair is designed to build a bridge between modeling, analysis, simulation and data-driven applications and thus drive forward innovative research projects in a multidisciplinary environment. A new center for data sciences and imaging will be initiated as a FAU-platform, centered in Applied Mathematics, in order to launch and coordinate cooperate research initiatives.

About Prof. Enrique Zuazua

Born in Eibar in 1961, the native Basque Zuazua began his academic career at Universidad del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), where he obtained his PhD in 1987 and initially worked as an Associate Professor. He also obtained a PhD at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 1988 before moving to Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Autonomous University of Madrid) as Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Analysis. In 1990, he was appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Complutense University, Madrid), where he was Head of the Applied Mathematics Section at the Faculty of Chemistry and of the Applied Mathematics Department. He returned to Universidad Autónoma de Madrid as Professor of Applied Mathematics in 2001.

From 2008 to 2012, Zuazua was the Founding Scientific Director of the BCAM – Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, in Bilbao, created by the Basque Government, with the aim of promoting interdisciplinary research in mathematics – with a focus on computational, applied and multi-disciplinary aspects of mathematics. Furthermore, during the period 2008-2015, he was the leader of the research line ‘Partial Differential Equations, Control and Numerics’, as a Distinguished Research Professor of Ikerbasque, the Basque Foundation for Science. Zuazua also holds an honorary doctorate from Université de Lorraine, France.

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards professorships to internationally leading researchers from all disciplines who are currently working abroad. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is intended to allow German universities to bring top talent to Germany and to offer them long-term career prospects in Germany. The professorship, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is endowed with up to 5 million euros over a five-year period.