Honorary doctorate from Lund University for Thomas Henning

February 11, 2020
Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning, Director of the Planet and Star Formation Department at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the scientific faculty of the Swedish University of Lund.

In its press release, the University of Lund emphasized “Through advanced observations, astronomer Thomas Henning gave the world an increased understanding of how stars and planets are formed.”

The university refers to Henning's work in many different areas in this modern field of research. These activities range from laboratory astrophysics to understand the influence of dust particles on the formation of stars and planets, to the direct observation of young planets outside the solar system (exoplanets) or the analysis of the cold molecular gas in star formation regions of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

The University of Lund also points out the basis of such observations: a series of groundbreaking instruments for observing, the development and construction of which the prizewinner himself was responsible for or significantly involved in.

Thomas Henning has been Director at MPIA since 2001 and heads the Department of Planet and Star Formation (PSF) as well as a laboratory astrophysics group in Jena. His work focuses on the formation of massive stars in the Milky Way, the observation and physical modeling of planet-forming disks around very young stars, the search for exoplanets and their characterization, but also the analysis of the physical and chemical properties of the interstellar medium (gas and dust).

In addition, Thomas Henning launched the Heidelberg Initiative for the Origins of Life (HIFOL) about five years ago and will open new laboratories at the MPIA in Heidelberg this spring. In 2018, he also received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his research.

Thomas Henning will also give a public lecture at the University of Lund on 28 May 2020 on the occasion of the award of his honorary doctorate.

Press Release of Lund University

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