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Photo by Rainer Arlt/AIP Astronomischen Gesellschaft 2009, Potsdam

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From the Director

Dear Friends of the Institute for Astronomy,

Ten years is a long time. Thus, I have concluded that after 10 years as the director of the IfA, this would be a good moment to step down and continue in my faculty position.

My decision is mostly science motivated. For almost 30 years, I have worked in director positions. During these years, I have always managed, with the help of outstanding collaborators and students, to continue with my science work. It has taken a lot of my own time, energy, sweat and blood, mostly after hours or over weekends, and sometimes during office hours, when I should have been doing the "director job." Over the years, the thought of being a full-time scientist has become more and more attractive. I have developed plans for a most exciting science project, for which my collaborators and I will use every large telescope on this planet extensively, and for which a lot of new theory work will be needed. Of course, as a faculty member, I will also have other things to do. I will certainly teach (I love teaching anyway) and will contribute to the Institute in many ways, just as everybody does.

With the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope, Pan-STARRS, and the existing telescopes on Mauna Kea and Haleakala, the IfA has a brilliant future. We are a vibrant scientific place and certainly one of the leading astronomy institutes in the world. I welcome my successor Günther Hasinger to the IfA. With him as the new director, we will be able to develop our vision and strategy for the next decades and take this world-class institute to the next level.

The really good thing is that this is not a goodbye. I will meet you in the hallways of the IfA and at the many IfA events, and we will have plenty of opportunities to share our excitement about astronomy, as we have always done.

Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Director, Institute for Astronomy


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