Bernd Wünnemann was selected for the Friendship Award in recognition of his many years of outstanding research on the climate history and environmental history of China, his teaching achievements, and his contributions to promoting international networking between German and Chinese universities.
For more than 20 years, Wünnemann has regularly conducted research in China. His work deals mainly with the climate and landscape development in arid areas and in the high mountains of China and India. He is the director of the Sino-German Nanjing Integrated Center for Earth Sciences (NICE) that was founded in 2009 at Nanjing University in cooperation with Freie Universität. NICE is an important cornerstone for cooperation between the two universities in both research and education. It provides opportunities for student exchange and attracts other German researchers through its lectures and seminars.
Dr. Thomas Schmidt-Dörr, head of Freie Universität Berlin's liaison office in Beijing, praised Wünnemann's long-standing commitment in cooperating with Chinese academic institutions. "Professor Wünnemann's continuous work in China is very fortunate for Freie Universität." Wünnemann is currently working on the development of a new joint Master of Science in Earth Sciences, which will be taught in English and lead to degrees from Freie Universität Berlin and Nanjing University.