Wolfgang Sandner

In Memoriam: Wolfgang Sandner, 1949-2015

Professor Wolfgang Sandner, well-known member of the optics and photonics community and OSA member, passed away on 5 December 2015. Sandner was the Director General of the Extreme Light Infrastructure Delivery Consortium (ELI-DC). He was 66.

Sandner, born in 1949, studied physics at the University Freiburg. Following the completion of his PhD in atomic physics, he started working with lasers in 1979 as a postdoc at the International Stanford Research Institute (SRI). After 1985 he held professorships in Wurzburg and Freiburg before accepting a tenured full professor position at the University of Tennessee in 1991. Two years later he was appointed director of the newly founded Max Born Institute (MBI) in Adlershof, and in 1994 also full professor at the Technical University Berlin. Since 2009 he also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Representatives of Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

His most recent work included basic research into light-matter interaction at ultra-high intensities, encompassing the development and application of short-pulse lasers of highest peak and average power for laser particle acceleration, research on and with laser-based UV- and X-ray sources, as well as special lasers for special applications (Free Electron Lasers). He authored more than 200 publications in peer reviewed international journals.

After he became director of the MBI, Professor Sandner was called into many national and international organizations of science and of research policy particularly in the EU, as an advisor to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and as a member of scientific advisory boards of many research institutes.  Since 2003 he has been coordinator of the European Union Research Infrastructure Network LASERLAB EUROPE consisting of 30 of the most important laser research institutes from 19 European countries.

He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1994) and was President of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft DPG (German Physical Society) from 2010 to 2012.