On Monday, 20 June 2022, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig from the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems of the faculty has received the honorary degree "Doctor of Engineering" from the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh/UK. A great honour for our faculty, recognising Prof. Helmig's outstanding personal contributions and leadership in promoting visionary interdisciplinary research in porous media and for being a globally respected academic role model. Rainer Helmig was one out of four distinguished recipients presented with an honorary degree as part of the summer graduation ceremonies of the Heriot-Watt University, held at its Edinburgh campus.
Professor Sebastian Geiger, FRSE, Professor for Sustainable Geoenergy and Energi Simulation Chair at the Delft University of Technology delivered Rainer Helmig’s laureation.
Professor Geiger said: ”Professor Helmig is not only an outstanding and visionary scientist who has made game changing contributions to the key challenges society faces today – how we can use our natural resources more sustainably – perhaps more importantly he is also a truly inspiring academic role model: despite his unparalleled success, Professor Helmig has remained very humble and always puts his colleagues and students first, ensuring that those around him have all the support and opportunities they need to reach their full potential.”
After receiving his Honorary Degree, Rainer Helmig said: “It is a great honour for me to accept the honorary degree of Heriot-Watt university. I am extremely happy that today I become a member of this prestigious institution and thank you very much for the recognition. Obtaining this honorary degree makes me very grateful and, in view of my rather circuitous career, I also feel great satisfaction to get this outstanding award. It is thanks to the long and successful collaboration with Sebastian Geiger, his team and the many other good colleagues at Heriot-Watt that I was able to learn a lot about transport processes in porous media over the past years and, hopefully, I can continue learning. Thank you for the support! Heriot-Watt is one of the world's leading universities in the field of energy management in geological formations. Especially under the conditions of climate change we need more and more knowledge about how to use the subsurface for energy storage taking into account e.g. the natural resource groundwater. Therefore, and for many other reasons, I am very pleased to be able to work more intensively with the leading scientists from your university in this field. And, dear graduates, I can only congratulate you for having been trained here. You are excellently prepared for one of the most important challenges e.g. 'storage of green gas from renewable energy sources' of our society.”
About the honorary degree
The honorary degree is the highest accolade of the Heriot-Watt University. At present, the university counts more than 400 honorary graduates. The awards are conferred twice a year within Graduation Ceremonies that provide a worthy framework. Rainer Helmig accepted his nomination for an honorary award already in 2020. However, the ceremony was postponed due to the pandemics. The whole faculty team congratulates Rainer Helmig on this outstanding recognition by a university of such a high renown.