Heino Falcke - Curriculum Vitae#

Higher Education:
  • 1986 - 1988 University of Cologne, Germany
  • 1988 - 1992 University of Bonn, Germany, Diploma studies at Max-Planck-Institute für Radioastronomie
  • 1992 - 1994 University of Bonn, Germany, Doctoral studies at Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

Academic Qualifications:
  • 1992 (Feb 13): Diploma in Physics, University of Bonn, thesis: On the theory of radiation-driven accretion disk winds in quasars, advisor: Prof. P.L. Biermann
  • 1994 (Jul 4): Ph.D. in Astronomy, University of Bonn, thesis: Starved Holes and Active Nuclei - the Central Engine in Galactic Centers, summa cum laude, advisor: Prof. Biermann
  • 2000 (Nov 15): Habilitation & venia legendi, University of Bonn, thesis The Silent Majority - Jets and Radio Cores from Weakly Active Black Holes


Heino Falcke is Professor Astroparticle Physics and Radio Astronomy at the Institute for Mathematics, Astronomy and Particle Physics (IMAPP) of the Faculty of Science.

He studies the role of super massive black holes and jets in glaxies, and accretion physics through theoretical, observational and experimental astronomy. Combining these fields, he wants to test General Relativity and alternative theories in the most extreme strong field limit.

In 2000, Falcke coined the term ‘shadow of the black hole’ for the effect of light bending around the event horizon. Later, Falcke launched the idea of a network of radio telescopes around the world to answer these questions. This became the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), of which Heino Falcke became chair of the science council. In 2013, Falcke, Kramer and Rezzolla secured a Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for ‘BlackHoleCam’: to provide the required instrumentation, organize the effort required to process the data and the accompanying numerical simulations.

In April 2019 the first ever image of a black hole was presented by Heino Falcke at a press conference in Brussels. It shows the first ever image of lensed and relativistic beamed emission on the scale of the event horizon in extreme gravity, and it helps to constrain models for jet formation and energy extraction from black holes.

Falcke was awarded the 2011 Spinoza Prize by the Dutch Research Council, appointed member of the Academia Europaeana in 2013, and became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2014. For his work on black holes Falcke received several international distinctions. In 2021 he received the Amaldi Medal, Henry Draper Medal, Robert M. Petrie Prize, and the Einstein Medal in 2020. He was awarded honorary doctorates at FPTR in Brussels, and University of Novi Gorica. As part of the EHT Collaboration Falcke received the 2020 RAS Team Prize, and the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundament Physics.
Memberships in Academic Societies:
  • Member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • Member of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG)
  • Member of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (AG)
  • Member of the Nederlandse Astronomenclub (NAC)

Previous Employment:
  • 1992-1994: Research assistant, University of Bonn (incl. 6 months parental leave)
  • 1994-1995: Postdoctoral Max-Planck stipendiary, MPIfR Bonn, optical interferometry group
  • 1995-1997: Research associate, University of Maryland at College Park & visit. sci. STScI Baltimore
  • 1997-1997: Postdoctoral researcher, MPIfR Bonn, VLBI group
  • 1997-1999: DFG stipendiary (Habilitations-Stipendium), lecturing at University of Bonn
  • 1999: Visiting professor, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
  • 2000-2003: Staff scientist, MPIfR Bonn, VLBI group
  • 2001-2003: Privatdozent (adjunct lecturer), University of Bonn
  • 2003: Associate professor (Lehrstuhlvertretung, C3), University of Cologne
  • 2003-2007: Senior scientist LOFAR, ASTRON, Dwingeloo (NL) & adjunct professor of high-energy astrophysics, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • 2011: Department Head, Astrophysics Department, Radboud University Nijmegen

Present Employment and Affiliations:
  • 2007-present: Full professor of radio astronomy and astroparticle physics, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • 2007-present: International Project Scientist LOFAR, ASTRON
  • 2011-present: Guest scientist, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
  • 2012-present: Member National Institute for Subatomic Physics (NIKHEF)

Functions in Academia:
  • 1996-2003: Founder and Editor of the Galactic Center Newsletter (GCNEWS,)
  • 2002-2005: Chair of international SKA (Square Kilometer Array) science working group on black holes
  • 2002-2005: Member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee
  • 2006-2012: Member SKA Science Working Group
  • 2003-2004: Chair of international SKA Outreach committee
  • 2011-2012: European Project Scientist for the SKA
  • 2004-2009: Co-Chair of EU FP6 network Scientific Workshops (within RADIONET I3 proposal)
  • 2007-2010: Chair and deputy chair Committee for Astroparticle Physics in the Netherlands (CAN)
  • 2007-2012: Key Researcher and coordinator of NOVA (National Top Research School) Network on High-Energy Astrophysics
  • 2003-2010: Member of various LOFAR technical and sci. committees, LOFAR int. proj. scientist
  • 2010-now: Chair person and NL country representative International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) board
  • 2010-now: Chair person NL LOFAR consortium (NL-LAC)
  • 2006-now: Netherlands country representative and member of AUGER collaboration
  • 2003-now: Spokesperson of the LOPES experiment at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • 2003-now: Spokesperson of LOFAR Key-Science Project (KSP) Cosmic Rays
  • 2003-now: Member LOFAR Survey KSP, council member LOFAR Transients Key Science Project
  • 2009-now: Chairperson IAU working group Astronomy on the Moon
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