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Press release of November 24, 2020

From the Spree to the Elbe

Dr. Diana Stiller becomes HZDR’s new administrative director

The science manager Dr. Diana Stiller will take over as administrative director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) starting December 1, 2020. She will relieve Dr. Heike Wolke, who had held the office provisionally since the start of July. Stiller, who led the Administrative as well as the Finance and Accounting department at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, is returning to her old place of work: from 2012 to the end of 2016, she headed the department of “Financing, Financial Controlling and Third Party Funds”. Together with Scientific Director Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, she is now responsible for the future of the entire HZDR. With around 1,400 employees and an annual budget of approximately 157 million Euros, the center is one of the largest non-university research institutions in Eastern Germany.

Dr. Diana Stiller, taking up office ©Copyright: HZDR/ André Wirsig

Dr. Diana Stiller

Foto: HZDR/A. Wirsig

“The HZDR has seen outstanding development in recent years and is considered an excellent research location in many fields within the scientific community,” says Diana Stiller. “I’m therefore very pleased,” she adds, “that the selection committees have entrusted me to maintain this high standard and have given me the opportunity to expand it.” Her realm of responsibility includes all administrative-technical matters at the HZDR: finance, legal matters, human resources, social services, controlling, construction and technical building management as well as all infrastructure and properties. The native to Meißen acquired extensive expertise in these areas in her past positions.

“I left Dresden four years ago as a financial expert,” says Stiller. “Now I’m returning as an all-rounder with general expertise in all administrative issues. At the same time, the HZDR has also changed immensely. With the Görlitz Center for Advanced Systems Understanding and the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields in Schenefeld, there are two new branches I’m not yet personally familiar with. Our sites in Freiberg, Leipzig and Grenoble have grown, as has Rossendorf. I therefore look forward on the one hand to bringing my collective experience to my old workplace. On the other, I look forward to getting to know this place all over again.”

An anticipation that Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, the Scientific Director of the Dresden research center, also shares: “With Diana Stiller, the choice has been made for an outstanding administrative expert who is very familiar with both the HZDR and the Helmholtz Association. Her expertise has already been proven during her time at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. I look forward to shaping the future of the HZDR together with her.”

More international and more digital
Stiller views a stable financial planning as the basic prerequisite for the further development of the international research center. Building on this stability, she wants to propel the digitization of basic processes. The corona pandemic in particular has shown that institutions like the HZDR must rely much more on digital solutions in order to be able to compete globally for the best minds. The aim must now be to strategically position the center so that both young talent and experienced leaders in their fields perceive the HZDR as an excellent location for their career path. “Our partially unique infrastructure and the financial situation provide the best conditions to reach this goal,” Stiller ensures.

In order to achieve this target, the doctor of business administration also wants to expand technology transfer through strong partnerships with private companies. In her view, this could be a positive instrument in professional development: “Science lives, on the one hand, from young people who pursue innovative ideas together with experienced colleagues. Career paths, however, can also lead in other directions aside from research. We need to ask ourselves how we can offer a broad spectrum in career development and further qualifications for all staff.” This is the reason Stiller also wants to focus on the topic of diversity, as it is only in this way that the center can take on new approaches from all realms of society.

From business to research – Dr. Diana Stiller’s CV
After studying business administration at the TU Dresden, Diana Stiller initially worked as a senior consultant for the auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers AG. At the end of 2010, she switched to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf: initially she served as consultant to the then administrative director. She later became head of “Finance, Financial Controlling and Third Party Funds”. Her topics of focus lay mainly in commercial accounting and controlling as well as in liquidity planning and budgeting. In parallel, she completed her doctorate at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava in 2015. From January 2017, Stiller has served as head of administration and has led the Finance and Accounting department at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Among other areas there, she has overseen the strategic control and orientation of administrative processes.

Media contact:
Simon Schmitt | Science Editor
Phone: + 49 351 260-3400 | Email: