The conferral of the honorary doctorate will take place on July 11, 2008, during a Festkolloquium. The laudatory speeches will be given by the scientists Paul Corkum and Ferenc Krausz. In 2000 the two of them began the first experiments based on Bandrauk's work. In March, 2008, Corkum and Bandrauk were the recipients of a prestigious research award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
In 1995 Bandrauk predicted the generation of attosecond laser pulses, thereby creating the foundation for attosecond chemistry. An attosecond is 0.000 000 000 000 000 001 seconds. It takes electrons about 10 to 1000 attoseconds to move around in molecules and, while being driven by laser pulses, to "jump" from one quantum state to another. Worldwide, Bandrauk is the leading theorist in attosecond chemistry. He has developed various concepts for the observation and manipulation of electronic motion in molecules on attosecond time scales. As a Humboldt Research Award winner, he maintains close collaboration with researchers from Freie Universität.
André Bandrauk, the son of a Ukrainian mother and German father, was born in 1941 in Berlin. During the war years, he experienced a very difficult childhood in Berlin. After the end of the Second World War, the possibility of deportation from the Soviet occupation zone of Germany to Siberia was a serious threat for his family. He and his mother managed to flee, first to France and then on to Canada. During the Festkolloquium, Professor Bretislaw Friedrich from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society will hold a lecture on emigration and immigration.