Curriculum vitae

Volker Bothmer is a physicist at the University of Göttingen’s Institute for Astrophysics and head of the solar, heliospheric and space weather research group. He is coordinator of the EU FP7 space weather project AFFECTS and project lead of the German contributions to the NASA STEREO and Solar Probe Plus missions.


1980   German High School Degree on 04-06-1980
1981-1989  Study of Physics at “Georg-August-Universität” Göttingen, Germany, started 01-10-1981.
Physics Diploma received at University Göttingen on 25-04-1989.
1989-1990  Since 26-04-1989 research assistant and student supervisor for Geophysics and Meteorology practical courses at University Göttingen.
1990-1993  Since 01-10-1990 Max-Planck Scholarship at Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie (MPAe), Germany. Dr. rer. nat. received at University Göttingen on 15-04-1993.

Positions held

1993-1994  From 16-04-1993 until 31-08-1994 Post-Doc at MPAe, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. Projects: Helios Mission, Stereo Mission Development, Yohkoh Mission.
1994-1996  From 01-09-1994 until 28-02-1996 ESA Research Fellow at ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Center), Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
Projects: Ulysses Mission, Stereo Mission development, SOHO Mission.
1996-2001  From 01-03-1996 until 28-02-2001 research staff at University Kiel, Germany.
Projects: SOHO, Ulysses Missions, Stereo Mission Development.
2004   Project leader of Stereo/Corona and of two EU-Intas projects at Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie (MPAE) (since 01-07-2004: Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung (MPS)), Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. Stereo/Corona is a science and hardware contribution for the NASA STEREO Mission. The team includes a project engineer, technical staff and two PhD-students.
Since 2005 Project lead for Stereo/Corona and one EU-Intas project at Institut für Astrophysik, University of Göttingen, Germany.

Funding Acquisitions

  • Stereo and Solar Probe Plus projects funded by DLR, total amount over 3 ME (hardware, manpower, etc.), EU Intas and FP7 projects with a total of over 3 ME. Other small non-profit funding through bilateral projects with US Institutions/Industrial partners.
  • Teaching and Education Experience

  • Student supervisor for Geophysical practical courses, University Göttingen 1986-1990. Supervisor for Meteorology practical courses 1989-1990.

  • Supervisor of PhD-students in collaboration with Universities Göttingen, Braunschweig (since 2001) and Kiel (1996-2001).

  • Lectures at Institut für Astrophysik at University of Göttingen (formerly “Sternwarte Göttingen”) since spring 2004 together with Prof. Franz Kneer: Einführung in die Physik der Sonne und Heliosphäre; Plasmaphysik der Sonnenkorona; Astrophysikalische Datenanalyse; Astronomie zum Studienanfang; Instrumentelle Methoden der Astrophysik; A Window to Space: Erforschung des Sonne-Erde-Systems mit den Weltraumsonden STEREO und SOHO. With Prof. W. Kollatschny: Astronomie und Astrophysik für alle Studienfächer. With Prof. J. Büchner: Heliophysik und Space Weather; Einführung in die Physik der Sonne, Heliosphäre und des Weltraumwetters I/II.

  • Supervision of informatic students of Fachhochschule Neubrandenburg (Prof. A. Wehrenpfennig) in collaboration with Planetarium Hamburg on Implementation of the European Real-Time Online Data Archive for the NASA STEREO-Mission at Planetarium Hamburg for the scientific analysis and visualisation of the STEREO observations and integration of the required software and internet interfaces, HD-graphic applications and 3D visualisations within the Stereo/Corona and SOTERIA projects.

  • Ph.D. project with Hefei University on 3D reconstruction of coronal mass ejections observed by the STEREO mission as part of the Max-Planck Society student exchange program with China.

  • Project lead of “Sonnen und Ionosphären MOnitoring Netzwerk (SIMONE)” as national IHY project since 2007 in collaboration with DLR, Astrium, Planetarium Hamburg and various high schools in Hamburg, Niedersachsen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

  • Education and public outreach representative for German high-schools at MPAe 2001-2004.

  • Education of German high school teachers at Astrobux (organised by „bundesweiter Förderkreis für den Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Unterricht“) 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.

  • Education of high school pupils within current research projects at University Kiel and at MPAe.

  • Frequent presentations at German schools and at German Planetaria.

  • Collaboration with “Experimentallabor für junge Leute – XLAB”, Göttingen (Invited Organiser of ESA/NASA/DLR Sun-Earth-Connection Days in 2003).

  • Organization of the MPAe seminar on Heliospheric Physics, 1993-1994.
  • Research Topics

  • Solar and heliospheric physics, space plasma physics, solar energetic particles, cosmic rays, physics of the earth’s magnetosphere, science and technology studies to develop future space missions and instruments.

  • Current prime research topic: Physics of coronal mass ejections and their impact on the heliosphere, including geospace; physics of space weather.
  • Relevant Expertise

  • Instrument lead of “Implementation Design Study of Space Weather Instruments” proposed to ESA by Astrium GmbH Friedrichshafen and University Göttingen, selected by ESA for SSA SWE ITT II, 2010.

  • Lead of AFFECTS project selected by EU for funding 2011-2013 within the FP7 framework. Started.

  • Co-Investigator of the “Wide-field Imager for Solar PRobe (WISPR)” for NASA’s Solar Probe Plus Mission, seleceted by NASA 2010.

  • Lead of German contribution CGAUSS (Coronagraphic German and US Solar Probe Plus Survey), 2010.

  • Co-Investigator on the Heliospheric Imager for the Solar Orbiter Mission (SoloHI), preselected for the payload of the ESA Solar Orbiter Mission in 2009.

  • Co-Investigator on the Sun Earth Connection and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI) and the In-situ Measurements of Particles and CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) Transients (IMPACT) for the NASA Stereo Mission since 1999.

  • Co-Investigator of the Solo-Heliospheric Imager, selected for ESA’s preliminary Solar Orbiter payload in 2009.

  • Research scientist in the Helios (1990-1994), Ulysses (since 1994) and SOHO (since end of 1995) projects.

  • Participation in various space mission and instrument proposals: SOLO-HI (A Heliospheric Imager for the Solar Orbiter Mission, preselected); SuMo (Sun Monitor) proposal for ESA Proba 3 mission; Solar Luminosity Irradiation Monitor proposal for ESA Solar Orbiter Mission; SHARPP (Solar Heliospheric And Research Prediction Program) an imaging package comprising EUV and white-light telescopes, selected for Phase A study for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission in 2002; NEXUS (Normal Incidence Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer) proposed for SDO in 2002; ASCE (Advanced Spectroscopic and Coronagraphic Explorer) proposed as NASA MIDEX mission in 2002; ISIS (Integrated Solar probe Imaging Suite) proposed for the NASA Solar Probe payload selection in 1999.

  • Project lead and management of Stereo/Corona, including technical/science collaborations and contracts with major international institutions and space industry (e.g., technology development with Lockheed-Martin, Swales Aerospace, NASA/GSFC, NRL, JPL, USA; with national industries (Ferchau engineering, DLR, FHG). Subjects: Design and technical drawings, surface coatings, vibration tests, electronic and mechanical parts, material properties, documentation, etc. Experience with technical working benches and equipment (e.g., CAD, ProE, technical drawings, materials, cleanroom facilities).

  • Project Lead of the EU-Intas-ESA projects “Geo-effective interplanetary structures: Their origins on the Sun and in the solar wind” (99-727, 2001-2004) and “Solar and Interplanetary Disturbances Causing Severe Geomagnetic Storms” (03-51-6206, 2004-2007).

  • Project Lead of WP3 for the EU FP7 SOTERIA (SOlar-Terrestrial Investigations and Archives) project,funded 2008-2011.

  • Project Lead of UN-IHY project SIMONE (Sonnen & Ionosphären Monitoring NEtzwerk) in collaboration with the Unversity of Stanford, DLR, Planetarium Hamburg and German High Schools (

  • Ph. D. supervisor and research project within the Max-Planck-Society research exchange program with the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) 2008 in collaboration with School of Earth and Space Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui.

  • Leader of joint EU-ERASMUS exchange program “Life long learning programme ASPE – Academics Students Placement in Europe” between University of Göttingen and University of Calabria, Rende, Italy, Physics Faculty (Prof. Gaetano Zimbardo).

  • Lead of ERASMUS exchange program with Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Austria, 2010 to 2011.

  • Supervisor of diploma students establishing through a joint project of University Göttingen with Planetarium Hamburg and University Neubrandenburg the “Implementation of the European Real-Time Data Archive for the NASA STEREO-Mission to enable scientific analysis and visualization of STEREO observations, implementation of software packages and interfaces for HD graphic applications and 3D visualization.

  • Space Weather Mission study and advice for Astrium, Friedrichshafen, Germany, 2001 to present.

  • Member of the Science Consortium for SWAP and LYRA (SCSL) for ESA’s Proba 2 mission to be launched in 2007.

  • Member of the ASPIICS (Association de Satellites Pour l’Imagerie et l’Interferometrie de la Couronne Solaire) – Formation Flying Coronagraph – Consortium for ESA’s Proba 3 mission.

  • Lead Editor “Space Weather – Physics and Effects”, Co-editor: I.A. Daglis, Springer/Praxis press.

  • Lead Editor “Solar Variability and its Magnetic Origin” (IAUS 233), Co-editor: A. Hady, Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union Symposia and Colloquia, Cambridge University Press, in press.
  • Professional Services

    Since 2010  Member of “Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate” (SWSC) Advisory Panel, 2010.
    National Space Weather Representative for ESA.
    EU-Erasmus program officer for University Göttingen for the exchange program with Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck.
    2010 Main Organiser “German Science Pavillon” for COSPAR 2010, Bremen, Germany.
    Since 2008 EU-Erasmus program officer for University Göttingen for the exchange program with the Università della Calabria, Rende/Cosenza, Italy.
    2008 Member of NASA-HQ Helio-B Review Panel (ROSS-2007 Solar and Heliospheric Physics SR&T Program Proposals).
    Member of Bentham Open Editorial Advisory Board “The Open Plasma Physics Journal”.
    Co-Chair of Third National Space Weather Workshop and national resolution for “Space Situational Awareness Program”, Freiburg, September 11-12.
    Co-Chair first national “SIMONE” meeting, DLR Neustrelitz, September 25.
    Since 2007 National Space Weather Deputy Representative for ESA.
    Project lead SIMONE (Sonnen und Ionosphären MOnitoring NEtzwerk, Solar Ionospheric MOnitoring NEtwork),
    Since 2006 Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Space Weather: The International Journal of Research and Applications (AGU).
    Member of Springer/Praxis Editorial Board.
    Member of the Editorial Board for IAU Symposium Proceedings Series IAUS233-IAUS241.
    Since 2005 Member of the International E/PO Advisory Committee for the International Heliophysical Year 2007.
    Member of the Science Consortium for the SWAP and LYRA instruments as payload of the ESA Proba 2 mission to be launched in 2007.
    2005 Member of NASA-HQ LWS (Living With a Star) Proposal Review Team D.
    Since 2004 Co-Chair of COSPAR Sub-Commission D2/E3 COSPAR Liaison Intercommission Panel D-E The Transition from the Sun to the Heliosphere.
    Member of NASA’s Solar Probe Science & Technology Definition Team (completed 2008).
    Leader of Working Package 14000 for EU project COST 724 – Monitoring and Predicting Solar Activity for Space Weather, coronal Mass Ejection Analysis.
    Since 2003 Member of the Advisory Committee Planetarium Hamburg.
    Since 2002 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of ESPERE (Environmental Science Published for Everybody Round the Earth) – Subject: Sun, Earth and Solar Cycle (
    Since 1999 Solar Physics Secretary for the European Geophysical Union (former EGS).
    Member of the ESA Space Weather EURO News Group.
    1998 Member of the ESA Assessment Group for the development of a solar/heliospheric mission beyond 2000.
    Chairman of the European Solar Stereo Steering Committee.
    1997 Member of NASA’s Science Definition Team for the STEREO mission.
    Since 1991 Referee of more than hundred publications submitted to JGR Space Physics Section, Solar Physics, Advances Space Res., Annales Geophysicae, Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics (JATP), Astronomy and Astrophysics, Astrophysical Journal, Geophysical Research Letters, AGU Space Weather, AGU book series, Astrophysics and Space Science, various conference proceedings and various articles submitted for scientific books. Various peer reviews of scientific projects for the US NSF, Swedish Space Board, ESA, etc.. Evaluator of application for staff position at K.U. Leuven, various national and international diploma and thesis reviews and participation in review committees.

    Convener, Co-Convener, Chairman, Organizer, Co-Organizer, Working Group Leader and Scientific Advisory Activities at National and International Conferences and Workshops

    2010  EGU General Assembly Vienna, May 02-07.
    COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) 38th Assembly, Bremen, Germany, July 18-25.
    International Advanced School on Space Weather Modelling and Applications, Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), October 18-29, opening lecture.
    2009  Member of SOC for STEREO-3/SOHO-22 Workshop, Three Eyes on the Sun, April 27-May 1, 2009, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
    EGU General Assembly, Solar Physics Programme, Vienna, Austria, 19-24 April 2009, Session ST1 “Open Session on the Sun and Heliosphere”.
    Member of SOC for IAGA Symposium No 2, entitled "Solar Wind-Space Environment Interaction" at Cairo University, Egypt, December 4-8.
    Invited report „Sonnenstürme und Stromnetze“ to SSK, German Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, October 5, 2009.
    2008  First Middle East-Africa, Regional IAU Meeting, Cairo, Egypt, April 5-10 EGU General Assembly Vienna, April 13-18.
    IAGA International Symposium "Space weather and its effects on Spacecraft", Cairo, Egypt, October 5-9.
    2007  SOHO 20 - Transient Events on the Sun and in the Heliosphere, 27-31 August 2007, Ghent, Belgium.
    2006  Space Weather and its Planetary Connection, European Planetary Science Congress, 18-22 November, Berlin, Germany.
    IAU Symposium 233, Solar Activity and its Magnetic Origin, Cairo, Egypt, March 31 – April 3.
    EGU General Assembly, Solar Physics Programme, Vienna, Austria, 2-7 April 2006, Session ST5.1 “Magnetic variability of the Sun and heliospheric consequences”, Session ST1 “Open Session on the Sun and Heliosphere”.
    2005  2. Nationaler Space Weather Workshop, Neustrelitz, Germany, 26.-27. September.
    Local Organizing Committee, Chromospheric and Coronal Magnetic Fields, Scientific Conference, MPI für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany.
    SEE STEREO – A Science, Education and 3D-Exploration Meeting for the NASA STEREO Mission, International Science Working Group Meeting, Planetarium Hamburg, Germany, May 01-04,
    Open session on solar and heliospheric physics, Session on “Magnetic restructuring and dynamic processes in the solar atmosphere, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 24-29 April, 2005.
    2004  International Space Science Institute Workshop on Coronal Mass Ejections, Bern, Switzerland.
    Towards the Science of Solar-B and STEREO, International Community of Space Research (COSPAR) conference, Paris, France.
    COSPAR related International Symposium on "Solar Extreme Events", Moscow, Russia.
    IAU Symposium 226 - Coronal and Stellar Mass Ejections, Beijing, China.
    Open session on solar and heliospheric physics; Special session: Joint science with SOHO nand Cluster, 1st EGU conference, Nice, France.
    2003  Open session on solar and heliospheric physics, including STEREO subsession, 1st joint AGU, EGS, EUG conference, Nice, France.
    2nd International Workshop on Coronal Mass Ejections, Elmau, Germany.
    International Solar Cycle Studies Symposium 'Solar Variability as an input to the earth’s environment', Tatranska Lomnica, Slovak Republic.
    NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Effects of Space Weather on Technology Infrastructure (ESPRIT).
    2nd International Coronal Mass Ejection Workshop, Elmau, Germany.
    2002  1st STEREO Workshop, Paris, France.
    2001  Joint SOHO-ACE Workshop on Solar and Galactic Composition, Bern, Switzerland.
    Open session on solar and heliospheric physics; session: The science of space weather: Observational results, session: The solar atmosphere: Coupling coronal activity with the interplanetary medium; European Union INTAS/ESA Project Meeting "Geoeffective interplanetary structures: their origins on the Sun and in the solar wind", EGS, Nice, France.
    2000  Open session on solar and heliospheric physics; session: Space Weather Session, session: The solar atmosphere – Coupling coronal activity with the interplanetary medium, Business meeting on ESA/NASA solar/heliospheric space missions (STEREO, Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter), EGS Millenium Conference, Nice, France.
    Sun-Earth Connection Workshop, Crete, Greece.
    1st International Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) Workshop, Elmau, Germany.
    S-RAMP, Japan, International Symposium on CMEs & Coronal Holes.
    National Space Weather Workshop for DLR, Neustrelitz, Germany.
    1999  ESA Solar/Heliospheric Orbiter plannings, SOHO 8 WS, Paris.
    European participation in the NASA STEREO Mission / Status of the ESA Solar Orbiter mission development, Space weather efforts in Europe - Coordination of current and future plans between scientists and users, The solar atmosphere - Multi-Instrument campaigns to study solar coronal mass ejection onsets and developments, EGS, The Hague, Netherlands.
    1997  Solar Mass Ejections, EGS, Vienna, Austria.
    2nd International Workshop on Corotating Interaction Regions, Elmau, Germany.
    1996  1st International Workshop on Corotating Interaction Regions, Elmau, Germany. International Solar Stereo Workshop, NOAA Space Environment Lab., Boulder, CO, USA.
    Future Prospects in Solar and Heliospheric Physics: Monitoring the Sun and Heliosphere in Stereo, Assembly of European Geophysical Society (EGS), The Hague, Netherlands.

    Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) Services

  • ESA/NASA invited organizer of Sun-Earth-Connection days for SOHO’s 5 years anniversary with exhibitions, shows and video live-conferences in collaboration with SOHO-EOF at NASA/GSFC, Washington, DC, USA, at Planetarium Hamburg, April 2001.

  • Workshops for German teachers at Astrobux 1999, 2001, 2003, including live-conferences and real-time space observations from SOHO with NASA (B. Thompson, J. Gurman) and ESA project leaders (B. Fleck, P. Brekke).

  • Development of the European STEREO EPO (education and public outreach) program.

  • Web-chat on solar physics for, April 2001.

  • Articles about SOHO Science Highlights, STEREO Mission and Space Weather Aspects for Focus and Stern in 1999 and 2000, for “Astronomie und Raumnfahrt im Unterricht”, 1999.

  • Various newspaper and weekly magazine articles and TV/radio documentations.

  • Invited talks at Planetarium Hamburg, e.g., “Stürmt die Sonne überAll”, May 2004 ́, Sun and Earth – A stormy affair, April 2001.

  • First ever presentation of STEREO 3D observations of the Sun at Planetarium Hamburg in collaboration with NASA, NRL, in April 2007; National and International Media coverage including all prime stations and newspapers.

  • Contribution on Space Weather to IHY Special Volume for “Sterne und Weltraum”, Die Sonne – Motor des Weltraumwetters, 2007.

  • Production of various TV reports on the STEREO mission for „nano“, “Galileo”, etc.

  • Special view screen presentations and full dome shows have been produced for permanent presentations at Planetarium Hamburg.

  • Erasmus Program representative University Göttingen, University della Calabria, Cosenza, Italy.

  • Supervisor of high-school students for the exchange program of the Hainberg Gymnasium Göttingen with the Lycee Paul Langevin, Suresnes France.

  • Supervisor of BA students at Hochschule Neubrandenburg with Prof. A. Wehrenpfennig “Development of a European Realtime-Online-Data Archive for the NASA STEREO-Mission.

  • Major contributions to several prime TV reports on “Solar Storms and Space Weather Effects”, e.g., ZDF Abenteuer Wissen, Sonnenstürme - Bedrohung aus dem All, 19.05.2010; SAT 1 Planetopia: Sonnenstürme - wie groß ist die Gefahr für die Erde?.
  • Memberships

  • European Geophysical Union (EGU)

  • American Geophysical Union

  • International Astronomical Union
  • Awards

  • NASA “STEREO Group Achievement Award” for outstanding work in the design, development, test, and launch of the STEREO twin Observatories which image the Sun in 3-D; 08-May-2008.

  • Annual Alan Berman Research Award, Naval Research Laboratory, Washinton, D.C., October 2008, Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI).
  • Presentations

  • Invited/highlight talks presented since 1993 at major national/international conferences, symposia, workshops and meetings related to solar/heliospheric physics (list will be provided on demand) as well as at major national/international Institutes (e.g., Los Alamos Nat. Lab., Jet Propulsion Lab., French Telecommunication Ministerium, Stanford University, University of Birmingham, etc.).
  • Computing and Technical Expertise

  • Windows, Unix, Linux and VMS operating systems on different workstations/PCs and within networks.

  • Programming knowledge in IDL (Interactive Data Language), Fortran, DOS, etc.

  • Various graphic and word processing applications (Latex, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Paintshop, Word, Word Perfect, Corel Draw, 3D StudioMax, etc.) to help establish and handle documents in all common formats (jpeg, ps, pdf, doc, dvi, etc.).

  • Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft Project, Powerpoint, Excel.

  • Stereographic display technologies (e.g., shutter glasses in combination with special graphic cards and workstations) for Stereo project developments. Partially in collaboration with NASA’s solar system visualization group at JPL, Pasadena, USA.

  • Internet and network applications (html, ssh, etc.).

  • Various video/telecommunication applications used in Tele/Video-conferences as well as WLAN, Bluetooth, LAN, VPN, etc.

  • Multimedia applications to handle common video/audio formats (wrml, DivX, mpeg, quicktime, mp3, etc.) to help visualize scientific remote sensing observations from SOHO, TRACE, etc.
  • Languages

  • German (mother tongue)

  • English (speaking/writing fluent)

  • French (basic)