Bayreuth alumnus becomes university president
Bayreuth alumnus Prof. Dr. Stefan Wehner will head the University of Koblenz, which will become independent on Jan. 1, 2023. In UBTaktuell, he looks back on his time at the University of Bayreuth.
Prof. Wehner, why did you decide to study physics in Bayreuth?
Wehner: The decision for the University of Bayreuth was set. On the one hand, I didn't want to leave Bayreuth because of my involvement in the Boy Scouts, and on the other hand, I wouldn't have been able to afford such carefree studies outside my hometown. For a long time I was undecided whether I should study law, chemistry or physics, but then I decided on physics because of the good compatibility of my studies with my voluntary work and I have not regretted it.
When you think back to your student days, what three buzzwords come to mind?
challenging problems - exciting research - good lecturers
You were born in Bayreuth. Do you still visit your hometown from time to time?
Yes, since my parents and my sister with her family live in Bayreuth, I no longer come to Bayreuth often, but at least irregularly. I also had scientific cooperations with Helmut Brand, Sander von Smaalen, Stefan Geimer and Andreas Schönleber for many years, which finally came to an end when I became vice president.
Who would you like to swap places with for a day?
With the Minister of Finance - in the hope of subsequently better equipped universities in the state in general and the universities of Koblenz in particular.
What piece of advice would you like to give students - whether at the University of Bayreuth or at your university?
Study what interests you, then the necessary commitment in your studies will be easier, but also look at the job market later, so that the motivation also remains a whole life.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Wehner was born in Bayreuth. He first studied physics at the University of Bayreuth. His doctorate at the University of Bayreuth in 1999 was entitled "Die Kinetik der Atom-Adsorbat-Reaktion - Eley-Rideal- oder Hot-atom Prozeß??". Wehner then worked at the University of California Riverside before returning to Bayreuth in 2001. He obtained his habilitation (title: "The CO oxidation reaction on Ir(111) surfaces: bistability, noise and spatio-temporal patterns in experiment and modeling.)" in November 2006, also at the University of Bayreuth. In the same year, he was awarded the teaching qualification in experimental physics, whereupon he worked as a private lecturer and then as an academic senior councillor at the Physics Institute of the University of Bayreuth. In 2009, he first moved to Koblenz as a substitute professor of experimental physics, after which he was appointed university professor and head of the physics department at the Koblenz campus of the University of Koblenz-Landau. Since 2019, he has been the University of Koblenz-Landau's Vice President for Research, Transfer, Internationalization and Digitization.
On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Prof. Dr. Stefan Wehner was elected by the Senate of the University of Koblenz as President of the future independent University of Koblenz. He will take office as university president on January 1, 2023, from which time Koblenz University will also be independent. Wehner is thus the last vice president of the one university and the first president of the independent university.