History of the Institute


The Institute of Crystallography of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen was founded in 1963 with the appointment of Prof. Theo Hahn. It was one of the first geosciences crystallographic institutes in Germany. At the RWTH - as a technical university - mining, metallurgy and geosciences are combined in one faculty.

The Institute of Crystallography at the RWTH Aachen University has become internationally known primarily through the activities of Prof. Hahn as editor of the International Tables for Crystallography (Vol. A: Space-Group Symmetry).

The institute's experimental research was shaped by the work of numerous professorships:

  • Prof. Mirijam Zobel (since 2021) - Head of the institute: Structure and dynamics of nanoscale solid-liquid and solid-gaseous interfaces, structure elucidation of nanomaterials; X-ray and neutron scattering
  • Priv.-Doz. Lars Peters headed the Institute of Crystallography from August 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021 as a deputy chair: Substitution effects in ionic solids and in situ diffractometric and spectroscopic methods.
  • Prof. Georg Roth (1996 - 2020) - Teaching and Research Area Applied Crystallography and Mineralogy and managing director of the institute (2009 - 2020): Single crystal diffraction studies with X-ray and neutron radiation, neutron instrumentation and structure-property relationships in modern functional materials.
  • Prof. Gernot Heger (1994 - 2009) - Head of the institute: Further development of the institute's experimental possibilities, especially through the strengthening of neutron scattering with branch offices in Jülich, Saclay and Munich.
  • Prof. Eduard Woermann (1971 - 1994) - Teaching and Research Area Applied Crystallography and Mineralogy: Investigation of phase equilibria in complex oxidic systems.
  • Prof. Theo Hahn (1963 - 1993 retired) - Head of the institute: cement minerals, Li-Al-silicates, tetrahedral structures and the formation of twins in crystals; in addition, he was interested in the symmetry of crystals, especially the space groups.