Supervisory Award for Oliver Junge

TopMath Supervisory Award 2020

1 March 2021
Matthias Caro und Oliver Junge stehen in Herrn Junges Büro vor einem kombinierten Wandschrank-Bücherregal und blicken in die Kamera. Matthias Caro hält die Urkunde in den Händen, Oliver Junge die gläserne Trophäe.
TopMath Supervisory Award 2020: For the outstanding supervision of its doctoral students, the TopMath thematic graduate center honors Prof. Oliver Junge.

The TopMath Supervisory Award

The TopMath Supervisory Award was launched in 2018 together with the ISAM Supervisory Award and the TUM Supervisory Award of the Graduate Council and the Graduate School. The common goal of the awards is to honor members of the TUM who excel in excellent doctoral supervision and, at the same time, to raise awareness of criteria for good supervision. The latter include, for example, the availability of supervisors for their doctoral students and support in developing a publication strategy as well as the research question. For the supervision of TopMath PhD students who start working on their dissertation already in the Master's program, further criteria are essential: for example, the early support of these still very young junior scientists in the development of their mathematical personality.

The selection process for the TopMath Supervisory Award goes hand in hand with that for the TUM Supervisory Award. Doctoral students nominate their supervisor. They then discuss the qualities with the TopMath doctoral representatives, supported by the TopMath coordination. The doctoral representatives finally vote on who will receive the award. The TopMath Supervisory Award is presented every two years. It comes with prize money of 500 Euros, which the award winner can spend for the benefit of his or her doctoral students.

The winner of the TopMath Supervisory Award 2020 is Professor Oliver Junge from the Department of Complex Systems Numerics.

"Teaching does a lot, but encouragement does everything"

Text: Matthias Caro, Fabian Roll

Three aspects of Oliver Junge's mentoring style particularly impressed the selection committee.

  • First, Professor Junge attaches great importance to a healthy working atmosphere. He not only ensures a familiar atmosphere in his research group, but also reminds his doctoral students to pay attention to their individual needs and find a good work-life balance.
  • Oliver Junge regards his doctoral students as individuals and is always willing to adapt his supervision style to their personalities. It should then be emphasized that he supports his doctoral students very intensively in organizing stays abroad and, for example, takes care at an early stage that they find a host institution that suits them, their research and their plans.
  • Finally, Professor Junge is particularly characterized by how much time and effort he invests in providing his doctoral students with continuous, high-quality feedback. Detailed questions can be discussed in weekly meetings, and for shorter questions there is always an opportunity for discussion in between as part of a successfully established "open door policy".

About his motivation in supervising doctoral students, Oliver Junge says: "I enjoy pondering open questions and discovering new paths together with my doctoral students." He sums up a basic principle of his supervisory style in a Goethe quote: "Teaching does a lot, but encouragement does everything."

And this is what his doctoral students say about him: "Professor Junge manages to do what is by no means a matter of course: he adapts the supervision to the individual doctoral students and thus makes it very individual."

Congratulations to the award winner, who will use the prize money to further improve the situation of his doctoral students!

Winners of the TopMath Supervisory Award

2020: Oliver Junge, Professor for Numerics of Complex Systems

2018: Prof. Dr. Boris Vexler, Professor for Optimal Control