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11-20120401 swtr benz willy

Brief profile

Willy Benz studied physics at the University of Neuchatel and in 1984 he received his PhD in natural sciences at the University of Geneva for his doctoral thesis in astrophysics. He then went on to post-doctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA) and at Harvard University where in 1987 he was appointed assistant professor by Harvard University. He later taught at the University of Arizona and at the University of Geneva.

Willy Benz has been a professor at the Physics Institute at the University of Bern since 1997 and became institute director in 2002.

His commitment to teaching and research was recognized in 1988 with the Milton Fund Award and a year later with the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2007 he was appointed external scientific member of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Willy Benz was or is active in several advisory bodies, amongst others as president of the Science and Technology Committee of the European Southern Observatory ESO (2009-2011), since 2008 as a member of the Eidgenössische Kommission für Weltraumfragen EKWF and since 2010 as president of the Space Science Advisory Committee of the European Space Agency ESA.

Willy Benz has been a member of the Swiss Science and Innovation Council since 2004.

He was born on 6 July 1955 in Neuchatel. He is married and father of three children.

Prof. Dr. Willy BENZ
Physics Institute
University of Bern
Sidlerstrasse 5
CH-3012 Bern

Tel: +41 31 631 44 11
Fax: +41 31 631 44 05

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Homepage: Universität Bern