Petra Rudolf: finally another lady physicist to lead the EPS

L. Cifarelli   31-05-2018    Leggi in PDF

On April 6-7, 2018 the Council of the European Physical Society (EPS) met in Paris at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie.

On that occasion the elections for the next President of the EPS took place. For the first time in the history of the EPS there were two lady candidates:
– Gloria Platero Coello, Professor at the Institute of Materials Science ICMM-CSIS, Madrid, Spain;
– Petra Rudolf, Professor of Solid State Physics at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Petra Rudolf was elected not only for her internationally renowned scientific value but also for her outstanding managerial talents and her training, "truly European", as she said during her candidate presentation speech to the EPS Council.

Petra was in fact born in Germany, she moved to Italy when she was a teenager where she completed her high school studies and obtained a degree in physics at the University of Rome La Sapienza. Later on she moved first to Belgium and then to the Netherlands, where she is at present Professor of Solid State Physics at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials of the University of Groningen (to learn more about her many achievements, see her interview in Il Nuovo Saggiatore, vol. 33, 2017).

In her speech to the Council, Petra listed the following main points upon which her programme will focus:
– take care of a targeted lobbying activity towards the European Community in order to access to more research funding;
– foster cultural, social and gender diversity in the academy, research and industry;
– make career opportunities more uniform after graduation in physics in different European countries;
– increase the presence and interest of young people in physics meetings and conferences.

In all these aspects the EPS can play a fundamental role, providing appropriate guidelines and strategies for National Physical Societies, organizing ad hoc meetings between physics and industry, on the model of what already happens in some Countries, and, last but not least, enhancing the potential of existing EPS action committees such as the excellent EPS Young Minds.

Petra Rudolf, who will become the second woman President of the European Physical Society, has the charisma and the necessary skills to do a great job, further promoting and supporting European physics.

The SIF will celebrate, at the University of Geneva on September 28, 2018 the foundation of the European Physical Society which occurred there in 1968 thanks to the farsighted initiative of Gilberto Bernardini, then Research Director at CERN. This prestigious 50th anniversary was already marked in my view by this very recent election as EPS President Elect of Petra Rudolf, a woman (for the second time, finally!) who will soon vigorously take the lead of the EPS. To Professor Rudolf our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a two-year period (2019-2021) of successes.


Luisa Cifarelli
SIF President
Past EPS President

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