Press release of June 30, 2020

An Experienced Helmholtzian

Dr. Heike Wolke is appointed acting Administrative Director

Engineer Dr. Heike Wolke will take over as acting Administrative Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) on July 1, 2020. She is replacing Dr. Ulrich Breuer, who is scheduled the same day to take the position as Administrative Director of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR). The HZDR statutes stipulate that the Board of Directors must always consist of two members. The research center’s Supervisory Board has therefore asked Heike Wolke to take over provisionally until the official search for Ulrich Breuer’s successor has been completed. The HZDR’s Board of Directors’ ability to act is therefore ensured.

Dr. Heike Wolke ©Copyright: Steffen Weigelt/ MDC

Dr. Heike Wolke takes over as acting Administrative Director.

Photo: Steffen Weigelt/ MDC

“Although the selection process for our Administrative Director is proceeding according to plan, we were unfortunately unable to arrange for a seamless handover,” explains Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, HZDR’s Scientific Director. “I am therefore all the more pleased that Heike Wolke, an experienced scientific manager who knows the Helmholtz Association and its centers very well, has agreed to take over the post for the time being. I’m certain that the HZDR can benefit from her enormous wealth of experience – if only for a short while.” Heike Wolke has worked in several management positions at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig from 1992 to 2007. She then headed the administration at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research for seven years.

Until her retirement in 2018, the native of Saxony shaped the future of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association when she became Administrative Director in 2014. Now she will be working for a short time at another center within Germany's largest research organization. “If you receive a request from an institute like HZDR, then of course you gladly come out of retirement to assist,” says Wolke. “I look forward to helping shape the processes here until the next Administrative Director can take over.” The doctor of engineering’s engagement will end automatically with the appointment of the new Administrative Director.

Ulrich Breuer will meanwhile move to Darmstadt on July 1st as planned. The physicist has been leading the administration part time at the HZDR as well as at GSI and FAIR and will do so until the end of June. Together with the Scientific Director Prof. Paolo Giubellino and the Technical Director Jörg Blaurock, he now forms the joint management team at the Helmholtz center in Hesse. “In his two and a half years at the HZDR, Ulrich Breuer has modernized many processes and placed our center in an excellent position overall – we would like to express our sincere thanks to him,” says Sebastian M. Schmidt, bidding farewell to his director colleague. “At the same time I am also of course happy that we will continue to work together within the Helmholtz Association.”

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