Anna Bakenecker Chairwoman of German Physical Society (DPG) Association

The scientist at the Lübeck Institute of Medical Engineering wants to use her role in the German Physical Society to promote interdisciplinarity in physics.

Anna Bakenecker, M.Sc., researcher at the University of Lübeck’s Institute of Medical Engineering, has been elected Chairwoman of the Medical Physics Association at the German Physical Society (DPG). She was elected to the position at the DPG Spring Conference 2019, which was held in Regensburg from 31 March to 5 April.

What will your tasks be as chairwoman of the association?

The main task of the chairperson of the association is to organise the conference programme for each respective field. Every year, the DPG organises one of Europe’s largest conferences for physicists with approximately 10,000 participants at four different locations. It will be my task to organise and shape the programme for medical physics, which consists of both abstracts from submitted participant papers and invited expert speakers.
The association speakers are also members of the Board of the DPG – the society’s “parliament”, as it were. That’s nothing new for me, I have already been a directly elected Member of the Board for the area of higher education. In my role I would like to promote the interests of physicists who work in the area of medical physics and be involved in issues relating to medical physics in the DPG.

What will your particular areas of focus be?

During my term in office, I would like to do more to promote interdisciplinarity in physics. Medical physics is a branch of physics that is becoming more and more interesting to physicists and scientists who work in other disciplines, but also society in general. Physics students also seem to be developing a greater interest in interdisciplinary study programmes and doctoral subjects. I would like to respond to this growing interest. Medical physics is highly diverse and intersects with many areas of physics. I would therefore like to work both with other groups within the DPG and other specialist organisations such as the German Society for Medical Physics (DGMP).

Anna Bakenecker completed her bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Münster in 2008 and her master’s degree in physics at the University of Heidelberg in 2012. She came to the University of Lübeck’s Institute of Medical Engineering in 2015 to do her doctorate. She is working on combining the new tomographic technique known as magnetic particle imaging – which enables real-time imaging without the use of radiation – with magnetic actuation. This involves using magnetic fields to guide objects, and should eventually make it possible to, for example, transport capsules filled with active substances to parts of the body that are difficult to reach.

From 2008 she was a member of the “Young DPG” regional groups in Münster and Heidelberg. In 2010 she was appointed Deputy Chairwoman and Head of the Scientific Programme and was Chairwoman of the “Young DPG” from 2011–2013. In 2014 she was Project Leader of the International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS). In the same year she received an award pin from the DPG. Since 2015 she is a directly elected Member of the Board, since 2019 Chairwoman of the Radiation and Medical Physics Association (

With 62,000 members, the German Physical Society is the world’s largest physicists’ organisation. The Radiation and Medical Physics Association has 1,400 members.

Anna Bakenecker, M.Sc. (Photo: private)