Chorafas Prize Winners 2020

Fangzhou Liu during poster presentation.

Markus Seeger receiving the Award Certificate from Dr. Katrin Offe, Managing Director of the TUM Graduate School.

The TUM Graduate School announces that Markus Seeger and Fangzhou Liu are awarded with this year’s Dimitris N. Chorafas Prize!

The Prize is awarded yearly to outstanding doctoral researchers worldwide in selected fields in engineering, medicine and the natural sciences. It rewards research characterized by its high potential for practical application and by the special significance attached to its aftermath. Each year TUM may nominate two exceptional doctoral graduates for the Prize.

Dr. -Ing. Fangzhou Liu is awarded with the prize for his thesis Dynamical Processes on Social Networks: Modelling, Analysis and Control.

The main focus of Fangzhou’s work is the dynamical processes on social networks. As an interdisciplinary topic, the study of social networks has become attractive in multitudes of research fields. However, it has remained almost untouched by modern control theory. To this regard, his work paves the way for filling the gap between control theory and social network analysis. By building mathematic models, providing quantitative analysis tools, and designing control strategies, he studies the representative dynamical processes on social networks, i.e., information diffusion and opinion dynamics, from the view of control theory and engineering. This new perspective is beneficial for understanding social networks in a comprehensive and systematic manner and is promising to provide effective control measures for social problems.

Fangzhou obtained his M.Sc. in Control Science and Engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology, China and did his doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Martin Buss, Chair of Automatic Control Engineering, TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Fangzhou will remain at the Chair of Automatic Control Engineering and continue his academic career as a postdoctoral research fellow.

Markus Seeger, Ph.D. is awarded with the prize for his thesis Hybrid microscopy: A novel microscope integrating advanced optical and optoacoustic modalities for multi-modal examinations of biological specimens.

Under the thesis supervision of Professor Vasilis Ntziachristos at the Chair for Biological Imaging, TUM, and the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging, Helmholtz Center Munich, Markus' research is concerned with the development of a hybrid optical and optoacoustic microscopic system to achieve in vivo multi-modal imaging of biological samples. Utilizing the optoacoustic effect (OA) in combination with non-linear multiphoton phenomena, such as Second and Third Harmonic Generation (SHG and THG) as well as Two- and Three-Photon-Excitation-Fluorescence (2PEF and 3PEF), a label-free multi-contrast technique on a complementary scale is achieved. The system demonstrates potential for the simultaneous visualization of a variety of cellular and tissue features, structures, and components in biological organisms regarding the monitoring of developmental mechanisms or spatial heterogeneity of diseases.

Markus obtained his M.Sc. in Biophysics from the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany, during which he completed a research stay at the Fudan University, Shanghai, before continuing his scientific career as a doctoral candidate at TUM. He did his Ph.D. within the international Ph.D. Program Medical Life Science and Technology that is a structured excellence graduate program within the TUM School of Medicine. The program emphasizes international and interdisciplinary research and scientific training at the edge of medicine, engineering and life sciences. In the future, he aims to conceptualize novel approaches for biomicroscopy, thereby providing a versatile platform to exploit the operational capability of advanced microscopy in biological and biomedical research.