University of Bayreuth, Press Release 092/2023 - 29 June 2023

First Humboldt Science Scout at the University of Bayreuth

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has appointed Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Schafföner, holder of the Chair of Ceramic Materials at the University of Bayreuth, as a science scout for the field of engineering sciences within the framework of the Henriette Herz Programme. He can now recruit up to three junior researchers from abroad with prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowships. In this way, he contributes to the further internationalisation and global competitive strength of the University of Bayreuth.

Prof. Schafföner can now specifically go in search of international young talents to inspire them for research on ceramic high-performance materials at the University of Bayreuth: "To this end, I would like to use the numerous international contacts and projects of the Chair of Ceramic Materials," he says. "From our point of view, this provides a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen the scientific visibility of the scholarship holders and the University of Bayreuth. At the same time, the chair gains expertise in previously unoccupied areas."

Schafföner's goal is in particular to promote groups traditionally still underrepresented in the engineering sciences: "Despite the extremely productive international cooperation also in the engineering sciences, there have only been a few Humboldt fellows in the field of advanced ceramics in recent years," the scientist reports. That is why he applied for the Henriette Herz Scouting Programme - successfully! "One reason is that an academic career is often considered unattractive for young researchers compared to a career in industry, and the international competition for outstanding young researchers is very high and becoming more intense." The Henriette Herz Scouting Programme now enables Prof. Schafföner to change this. 

Compared to the regular selection procedures of the Humboldt Foundation, as a Henriette Herz Scout he can bring the excellent candidates* to Bayreuth in an accelerated procedure, which makes the recruitment of young talent much easier. "For the Chair and for me personally, I hope that we will make our research activities and Bayreuth as a research location even more attractive through long-term cooperation with the sponsored fellows, if possible over several years, and through integration into the Humboldt Network." According to the convincing concept, this will also be achieved with a substantial accompanying programme, supported by the WiN Academy and the University of Bayreuth's Research Promotion Service Office.

About the programme: With the Henriette Herz Scouting Programme, established in 2020, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables up to 40 research personalities each year to actively recruit excellent junior researchers from abroad for research stays in Germany. The scouts are appointed in a competitive peer review process. (Go to:

About Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Schafföner: Holder of the Chair of Ceramic Materials at the University of Bayreuth since February 2021, previously Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Connecticut (USA). With a DFG research fellowship, he was a PostDoc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In 2015, while working as a research assistant at the Institute of Ceramics, Glass and Building Materials Engineering at TU Bergakademie Freiberg, he was awarded a doctorate with distinction. This was preceded by a degree in process engineering at TU Bergakademie Freiberg. In addition, he completed several stays at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Tsinghua University. In March 2023, Schafföner received the Alfred W. Allen Award from the American Ceramic Society. Other awards and grants (among others): Member of the Young Academy of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz; Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship of the European Commission, doctoral and study scholarships of the German National Academic Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). (Go to:

About Research in Ceramic Materials at the Univerity of Bayreuth

The focus of the chair in research and teaching is on the field of functional and structural ceramic high-performance materials. These include ceramic matrix composites (CMC), ceramic coatings and fibres as well as fracture-tough functional and structural ceramics under extreme conditions. In a large number of basic research and application-oriented projects, the entire production and development chain from material synthesis and material characterisation to the use of model components is dealt with. In addition, the focus is on energy- and resource-efficient processes and the closing of material cycles. Based on state-of-the-art research, young scientists are equipped with skills to work creatively and successfully in industry and science. (Go to:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Schafföner

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Schafföner

Ceramic Materials Engineering
University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921 / 55-6500

Portraitbild von Anja Maria Meister

Anja-Maria Meister

PR Spokesperson University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921  55 - 5300