Logo of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Symbolbild Struktur

Curriculum Vitae of Prof. Dr. Cornelia Denz

Academic Career

Since May 2022
President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the national metrology institute of Germany
Associate Professor, Department of Physics, University of Muenster (UoM)

January 2022–April 2022
Secondment to PTB

Chair of Experimental Physics & Gender Studies in Physics, UoM

Chair of Experimental Physics, UoM

Founding Director of the hands-on pupil’s lab MExLab ExperiMINTe, the overarching institution of the laboratories for pupils of UoM

Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Young Researchers, UoM

Chair of the Board of the Center for Nonlinear Science, UoM

Head of the hands-on pupil’s lab MExLab for physics, UoM

Director, Institute of Applied Physics, UoM

Professor (C4), Institute of Applied Physics, UoM

Professor (C3), Institute of Applied Physics, UoM

Professor (C2), Department of Physics, Darmstadt University of Technology (DUT)

Research Associate (C1), Department of Physics, DUT

Research Associate, Institut d’Optique, Orsay, Francee

1988–1991 Research Associate, Institute for Applied Physics, DUT


December 1999
Tenure in experimental physics, Department of Physics, DUT

June 1993 – August 1994
Various teaching assignments at Darmstadt University of Technology (DUT) and Phillips-Universität Marburg

April 1988 – June 1992
Doctoral degree, Department of Physics, DUT

October 1982 – March 1988
Physics studies, DUT

Prizes and Awards

since 2014
Member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy of Sciences and Arts

“Professor of the Year” award from Unicum magazine

“Landmark in the Land of Ideas”, MExLab Physik, German Federal Government

since 2007/09
Fellow of the European Optical Society and Fellow of the Optical Society of America

Recipient of the “Gender Equality Prize” of the University of Muenster (UoM)

Recipient of the Adolf Messer Foundation’s prize

Recipient of the Lise Meitner Prize of the State Government of Hesse

Current Roles and Memberships

  • Chair of the Board of the Werner von Siemens Ring Foundation
  • Chair of the Board of the Helmholtz Fund e.V.
  • Advisory Board of the BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing)
  • Presidial Board of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN)
  • Supervisory Board of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB)
  • Supervisory Board of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf (HZDR)
  • Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation
  • Supervisory Board of the GSI Helmholtz-Zentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research)
  • Scientific Advisory Council of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena
  • Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
  • Advisory Board of the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB)
  • Technology Board of the Quantum Technologies Initiative of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Advisory Board of the Deutsches Museum (Munich)

Research Interests

Nonlinear photonics
Structured light, soft and hard laser lithography, nonlinear optics, information optics, biophotonics and biophysics, micro and optofluidics, optical pattern formation and complex optical systems

Gender studies in physics
Gender equity, gender equality and gender research

Research on transfer and hands-on learning
Hands-on exhibitions and pupils’ labs, career orientation, promoting girls in STEM, promoting talents, physics for refugees

Teaching Interests

Learning through research
Learning through research in master’s degree studies, experimental education, mini research, assessment procedures for student teachers and pupils

Interactive and participatory learning
University student participation in lectures, student response systems, evaluation of teaching


Cornelia Denz has authored more than 300 international peer-reviewed publications within the physics research fields listed above. Her h-index score is 40 (ISI WoS) or 48 (Google Scholar). She is the author of four books and 24 book chapters. She holds four patents and has published 11 special issues of scientific journals. A complete list of her publications can be found here: Opens external link in new windowwww.nichtlineare-photonik.de