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Leibniz Prize for Prof. Oliver G. Schmidt

Chemnitz nanoscientist was awarded Germany’s most important research prize worth 2.5 million euro in Berlin on March 19th, 2018

Prof. Oliver G. Schmidt, chair of the Professorship of Materials for Nanoelectronics at Chemnitz University of Technology and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden, received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize on March 19, 2018. The prize is the most important research award in Germany and includes a maximum financial award of 2.5 million euros. This endowment is intended to provide funding for future research activities and to promote freedom of research. Prof. Uwe Götze, Vice President for Transfer and Academic Qualification at Chemnitz University of Technology, congratulated the professor on his success: “I am delighted that our university now has a Leibniz Prize winner in our midst”, said Götze. Anja Karliczek, the new Federal Minister of Education and Research, also participated in the festivities and delivered a ceremonial address.

Schmidt received the award for his outstanding work in the field of nanotechnology. Among other accomplishments, the Chemnitz-based researcher laid the foundations and developed technology to enable the manufacturing of powerful micro-motors so small they cannot be seen with bare eyes. Schmidt and his group recently attracted world-wide attention with their design for so-called ‘Spermbots’, single bovine sperm cells equipped with magnetic microstructures and micro-motors, and developed a new therapy approach for cancer cells in the uterus or cervix. Schmidt’s works triggered an outright race to develop the most efficient biological, hybrid, and artificial machines on a micro- and nanometer scale.

“Only imagination limits the field of possible applications for Prof. Schmidt’s research. It is impossible to foresee what specific impacts his microsystems and nanotubes will have, thus we don’t yet know which potential applications are possible”, said DFG president Prof. Peter Strohschneider in his speech at the awarding ceremony.

About: Oliver G. Schmidt

Oliver G. Schmidt completed his doctorate in 1999 at the TU Berlin and subsequently worked as a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. After a research stay at the University of Southern California, he returned to Stuttgart as head of a research group and later received his postdoctoral lecture qualification at the University of Hamburg. In 2007, he was appointed chair of the Professorship of Material Systems for Nanoelectronics at Chemnitz University of Technology and simultaneously accepted the director position for the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden.  

A video profile of Leibniz Prize winner Oliver G. Schmidt is available here: (in German)

Keyword: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is presented annually by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Every year, up to ten prizes can be granted, each carrying an endowment of 2.5 million euros. Including the ten prizes of 2018, a total of 358 Leibniz Prizes have been awarded since the program was established in 1986. 118 prizes were awarded in the natural sciences, 103 in the life sciences, 82 in the humanities and social sciences, and 55 in the engineering sciences. As the prize and prize money can be shared in exceptional cases, the number of award winners is higher than that of the prizes. In total, 385 scientists have received the award, including 333 men and 52 women.

Contact: Prof. Oliver G. Schmidt, Tel.: +49 371 531-33432, E-mail:

Mario Steinebach

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