Petra Rudolf

Main focus: Nanoscience & technology


Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Dutch

City: Groningen

Country: Netherlands

Topics: women in science, nanoscience & technology


Petra Rudolf was born in Munich, Germany. She studied Physics at the La Sapienza, University of Rome, where she specialized in Solid State Physics. In 1987 she joined the National Surface Science laboratory TASC INFM in Trieste for the following five years, interrupted by two extended periods in 1989 and 1990/1991 at Bell Labs in the USA, where she started to work on the newly discovered fullerenes. In 1993 she moved to the University of Namur, Belgium where she received her PhD in 1995 and then quickly progressed from postdoctoral researcher to lecturer and senior lecturer before taking up the Chair in Experimental Solid State Physics at the University in Groningen in 2003. Her principal research interests lie in the areas of condensed matter physics and nanoscience, particularly molecular motors, graphene, organic thin films and inorganic-organic hybrids. She has published 182 peer-reviewed articles and 26 book chapters, and given 70 invited talks at international / national conferences.
In parallel to her scientific activities she promotes creating a more women friendly environment in science, advises universities on how to keep women (and men) in science and mentors young female scientists in different European countries.
Dr. Rudolf was the President of the Belgian Physical Society in 2000/2001 and elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics (2001), Lid van verdienst of the Dutch Physical Society (2006) and Fellow of the American Physical Society (2010). For her work on molecular motors she received the 2007 Descartes Prize of the European Commission. In 2013 she was knighted by H.M. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.