Manfred Frechen to be Acting Director of Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics
The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) officially appoints Prof. Dr. Manfred Frechen as acting director by resolution of its Governing Board. Prof. Dr. Gerald Gabriel takes over his previous position as deputy director. Both currently head the research departments „Geochronology“ and „Seismics and Potential Fields Methods“ at the institute. In addition, the LIAG management was commissioned to define its research line in a framework concept with regard to the initial topics of “Groundwater Geophysics” and “Geohazards”. This is a first step towards an Institute for Environmental Geophysics.
With the decision of the Governing Board, the two highest management positions in LIAG have been filled. Prof. Dr. Manfred Frechen has been head of the Geochronology Section of LIAG since 2001 and has headed the institute as deputy director for the past two years. The position as debuty director is now taken over by Prof. Dr. Gerald Gabriel. He has worked for LIAG and its predecessor organization in the research area „Seismic and Potential Methods“ since 1998 and has headed this department since 2016. In the event that the ongoing negotiations for a permanent directorate are not successfully concluded, the Governing Board will set up a committee to search for a candidate.
„We at LIAG are very motivated to work together and build on the strengths and geophysical expertise of our researchers to find a strategy for the orientation into an Institute for Environmental Geophysics“, explains Prof. Dr. Manfred Frechen. „The decision to further refine our proposed research topics, is also an important step towards a successful scientific future“.
Focus on Groundwater Geophysics and Geohazards
In addition, the LIAG management will concretize the existing approaches to the content and structural realignment in a holistic framework concept by spring. With the help of workshops, among other things with national and international experts from the geoscientific and geophysical fields, and with the recommendations of its Scientific Advisory Board based on these, two potential priority topics for research were identified: „Groundwater Geophysics“ and „Geohazards“. Furthermore, it is to be worked out how influences of climate change or aspects of the upcoming energy transition can be investigated within these two topics. The draft concept provides an important basis for the development of an Institute for Environmental Geophysics.
Since the 1st January 2020, the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics is no longer part of the Leibniz Association. However, the state of Lower Saxony still regards LIAG as an important part of the national research landscape. It considers both the methodological and scientific competence as well as the consulting services of the institute in connection with current social, economic and environmental policy issues concerning the exploration and use of the underground to be indispensable. Since the joint federal and state funding will end at the beginning of 2023, the state of Lower Saxony will take over the financing. By implementing the recommendations from the last evaluation, including those from the “Future LIAG” workshop, the institute is aiming to rejoin the Leibniz Association as soon as possible.
The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG), based in Hanover, Germany, is an independent, non-university research institution. Using methods of applied geophysics, future-oriented questions of public relevance are investigated. The main focus of the research work is the exploration of the usable subsurface and the development of measuring and evaluation methods. The institute has over 50 years of experience in geophysical research. LIAG is unique in Germany due to its many years of specialization in the near-surface application of geophysics, the equipment and data infrastructure and the associated possibility of combining a wide range of geophysical methods within one institute to cover a wide range of topics. https://www.leibniz-liag.de/en/index.html
Figure 1: Prof. Dr. Manfred Frechen
Figure 2: Prof. Dr. Manfred Frechen and Prof. Dr. Gerald Gabriel
Figure 3 (Attachment): The Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (Institute building)