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Dr. A. Hermann Pfund Professorship

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Established in 2010 through an estate gift made in 2008 by Lydia Pfund, the widow of Ledyard H. Pfund, Dr. A. Hermann Pfund's nephew

PfundHermannDr. A. HERMANN PFUND earned his PhD from the Physics Department at The Johns Hopkins University in 1906. He went on to serve as a professor and chair of that department and became part of the pantheon of scholars whose discoveries in optics ultimately led to the birth of the astrophysics program in Johns Hopkins. This enduring legacy began in the late 1800s with Henry Rowland, one of the five original members of the Hopkins faculty. Dr. Rowland’s work provided the foundation for a generation of spectroscopy research and inspired another Hopkins scholar, Robert Williams Wood. In turn, it was Dr. Wood who brought Dr. Pfund to Baltimore in 1903.

In addition to his many discoveries, Dr. Pfund is remembered at Hopkins for mentoring William George Fastie who went on to use his atomic spectroscopy in space exploration. The rocket program that Dr. Fastie developed at Hopkins grew into the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, a NASA space satellite that operated out of the Physics and Astronomy Department, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope, whose science institute is located on the Homewood campus.

As a result of the pioneering work of Dr. Pfund and his colleagues, Baltimore is today one of the premiere world centers in space astronomy. Johns Hopkins owes a great debt of gratitude to Dr. A Hermann Pfund for his tremendous contributions to the field of physics and astronomy and to the university itself. The Johns Hopkins University is honored to serve as home of the Dr. A Hermann Pfund Professorship.

Held by Timothy M. Heckman

HeckmanTimothyTIMOTHY M. HECKMAN, the inaugural Dr. A. Hermann Pfund Professor, is the director of the Center for Astrophysical Sciences in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University. In this role he is responsible for promoting and supporting research in astrophysics, for nurturing large-scale projects and providing them with an organizational structure, for providing a forum and a focus for strategic planning, for fostering cooperation between the different elements of the local astrophysics and space science communities, and for providing a structured career path for the non-tenure-track research staff. The center comprises nearly 80 PhD-level faculty and research staff and 40 graduate students and receives $10M annually in NASA grants and contracts.

Professor Heckman received a BA magna cum laude from Harvard College and a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Washington. He then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Leiden Observatory followed by the Bart Bok Fellowship at the Steward Observatory. In 1982, he joined the faculty in the astronomy program at the University of Maryland. He came to Hopkins in 1989, holding a joint appointment as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and tenured astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He became a full-time Hopkins faculty member in 1994 and has been the director of the Center for Astrophysical Sciences since 2002. Dr. Heckman currently chairs the Pan-STARRS1 Board, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences ASTRO2010 Committee, the Board of the Association for Research in Astronomy (AURA), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Visiting Committee, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) North American Science Advisory Committee, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Advisory Committee. He served as chair of the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Board of Governors from 1995 through 2000 during which time ARC established the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He has served on NASA’s Structure and Evolution of the Universe Subcommittee, and on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Astronomy & Astrophysics. He has also served on AURA’s Space Telescope Science Institute Council, Gemini Oversight Committee, and two Space Telescope Science Institute director search committees.

Dr. Heckman’s research has focused on the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes. He has authored or co-authored over 600 scholarly publications which have been cited over 28,000 times. He has given nearly 100 invited talks at national and international conferences and symposia. He has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and been named the Sackler Distinguished Lecturer.