World class researcher honoured with international award

A world class researcher from the University of Sheffield has been honoured with an international award for his superior contribution to his academic field.


Research Associate Dr Benjamin Hennig, 33, from the University's Department of Geography, will receive the prestigious German Study Award (Deutscher Studienpreis) 2012 from the Körber Foundation at an official ceremony at the Parliamentary Society in Berlin next month (6 November 2012).

The award is one of the highest-endowed prizes for young German scholars and will be presented by the patron of the award, Norbert Lammert, the president of the German Bundestag. The accolade honours PhD theses which are not only excellent from an academic point of view, but also of outstanding social importance.

Dr Hennig was selected from hundreds of candidates in recognition of his pioneering work on novel visualisation methods in social sciences with the Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group. He is one of three researchers from separate academic fields to win a first prize that includes a cash award of 30,000 euros for each laureate.

"I feel humbled and am extremely grateful to receive this honour," said Dr Hennig.Medium

"This award acknowledges the hard work and support of so many people. It shows how geography matters more than ever in the complexity of the modern world.

"I feel very fortunate to have the chance to make a little contribution to discover and understand our place on Earth."

Working alongside highly respected Professor Danny Dorling from the University of Sheffield's Department of Geography, Dr Hennig's research has already received significant public interest including a new online population atlas with maps designed to highlight the spaces and impact of humanity.

He is currently working on an innovative project investigating the inequalities and poverty in London which is funded by the Trust for London.

Professor Dorling, who supervised Dr Hennig's PhD research as part of a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, said: "Ben's award gives him a little more freedom to move his future research in the direction that he would ideally go in and not be so completely driven by the immediate need to do what is most cost effective.

"It also shows that his work is taken extremely seriously at the highest level of academia."

Matthias Mayer, Head of Science at the Köber Foundation, said: "We seek excellent research projects that are particularly beneficial to society."

Last year, Ben was also named as a Northern Light in a report by the Institute of Public Policy Research North (IPPR North) featuring on their list of the 50 brightest and most talented people in the North of England.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield's Department of Geography
Department of Geography

The Körber Foundation
The German Study Award (Deutscher Studienpreis) is awarded by the Körber Foundation which was established in 1959 by the entrepreneur Kurt A. Körber. Today it is active with projects and events on a regional, national and international level. It promotes and supports people who are not content with merely keeping the status quo. It focuses on exchange and dialogue, the power of sound arguments and willingness to communicate. By recognising role models, by identifying good examples and by developing paradigms it provides stimuli not only for ideas, but also for actions.
Körber Foundation

The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.

The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 2229859