Dr Dilek Gürsoy and Prof. Dr Martin Winter are Unity Ambassadors of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Heart surgeon Dr Dilek Gürsoy and battery researcher Prof. Dr Martin Winter have been appointed as Unity Ambassadors of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) for their outstanding achievements. The medic and the chemist are two of 32 Unity Ambassadors who represent the success, opportunity and challenge of German unity as well as the diversity of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr Dilek Gürsoy and Prof. Dr Martin Winter were appointed following a proposal of Armin Laschet, Governor of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“North Rhine-Westphalia stands for transformation and innovation, for diversity, education and culture. With their pioneering scientific and medical achievements, Dr Dilek Gürsoy and Prof. Dr Martin Winter particularly represent a strong, promising and forward-looking North Rhine-Westphalia,” says Govenor Armin Laschet. “I am sure that they will excellently represent the diversity, the wealth of opportunities and the strength of our country as Unity Ambassadors around the Day of German Unity.”

The German physician Dr Dilek Gürsoy has been working as a heart surgeon for more than 17 years. She is an expert in the field of mechanical circulatory support systems. In 2012, she became the first female surgeon in Europe to implant an artificial heart. Seven years later, the German Medical Club (GMC) named her “Physician of the Year” 2019. Since December 2020, Dr Dilek Gürsoy is working in her own private practice for heart surgery in Düsseldorf and is also the chief physician for cardiac surgery at Clinic Bel Etage in Düsseldorf. “North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of diversity, innovation and equality of opportunity. It offers everyone enormous possibilities to develop. I have used the chances this state has offered me so far with determination, passion and perseverance. Now I am working with the best of my knowledge and conscience for the good of the citizens of my federal state. I am proud to to represent my homeland as a Unity Ambassador,” says Dr Dilek Gürsoy.

© FZ Jülich

Prof. Dr Martin Winter is founder and scientific director of MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Münster and of Helmholtz Institute Münster, a branch of Forschungszentrum Jülich. The chemist has been researching in the field of electrochemical energy storage and conversion for more than 30 years. His focus is on the development of new materials, components and cell designs for lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries as well as for alternative battery systems. Prof. Dr Martin Winter has received more than 50 scientific awards and distinctions, including the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class. Prof. Dr Martin Winter comments: “North Rhine-Westphalia has developed into a hotspot for battery research and development in just one decade. Research and industry are working closely on innovative and sustainable batteries of the future for the energy and transport turnaround to succeed. It is a special honour to represent this dynamic state and this topic, which is so important for the future of Germany, as a Unity Ambassador.”

Highlighting the Diversity of the Federal States

Dr Reiner Haseloff, President of the German Bundesrat and Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, launched the concept of the Unity Ambassadors at the occasion of the Day of German Unity. In the coming weeks, the 32 Unity Ambassadors from the 16 federal states will be presented in short videos and interviews. They will demonstrate their professional achievements as well as the specific characteristics of their respective state. On the Day of German Unity, 3 October 2021, the Unity Ambassadors will take part in the celebrations in Halle an der Saale (Saxony-Anhalt). These will be accompanied by the exhibition “EinheitsEXPO 2021” in which North Rhine-Westphalia will showcase its innovative strength and diversity with various exhibits.