Founded in 1386, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg is the oldest university in present-day Germany. Its excellent reputation in the scientific community is repeatedly reinforced in international rankings. With PD Dr. Simon Steib, previously a Research Associate at the Chair of Human Movement Science headed by Prof. Dr. Joachim Hermsdörfer, the Heidelberg University has gained a new W3 Professor of Sports Science since 1 October 2020.
Following Dr. Melanie Krüger, who moved to Leibniz Universität Hannover on 1 April 2020, Steib is the second member of Prof. Hermsdörfer's chair to receive an independent professorship within a short period of time.
Steib studied Sports Science at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) from 2003 to 2008 and subsequently worked as a Research Associate at the Department of Excercise and Health at the FAU Institute of Sports Science and Sport. In 2014, he received his doctorate under Prof. Dr. Klaus Pfeifer with a thesis on “Interrelationships between sensorimotor control and motor stress on the musculoskeletal system”.
Subsequently, the sports scientist worked as a post-doctoral researcher and dealt with the conception and evaluation of movement-related interventions, focusing on the optimisation of motor control, and learning processes. Further research priorities included the investigation of dose-effect relationships in training. In 2019 Steib qualified as a university lecturer at the FAU with the topic “Motor skills and health throughout the life span”.
On 1 September 2019, he moved to the Chair of Human Movement Science at the Department of Sport and Health Sciences where he worked until September 2020. Steib has now taken up a professorship in sports science with a focus on exercise, training, and active ageing at the Heidelberg University from 1 October 2020.
“The Institute for Sport and Sports Sciences at the Heidelberg University of Excellence is a very prestigious chair. Furthermore, Simon Steib is entering directly into a full W3 professorship for which we sincerely congratulate him”, says Prof. Hermsdörfer. “In doing so, he inherits the legacy of the renowned sports scientist Klaus Roth, who has headed the institute since 1994."
“I am very pleased that I was able to succeed in the face of competition from six other applicants and that I received the appointment from the Heidelberg University at the end of May 2020,” explains PD Dr. Steib. “My time at the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at the TU Munich was unfortunately far too short, nevertheless, it was incredibly valuable and instructive. I particularly wanted to get more involved from a neuroscientific perspective, so it was a great experience for me, both on a professional and a human level."
“Just as with Melanie Krüger, we bid Simon Steib farewell with one eye smiling and one eye crying,” adds Prof. Hermsdörfer. “When he transferred to my professorship in 2019, he was already quite advanced and successful as a postdoc, so I was also conscious of the danger that he might soon find his own professorship. However, I deliberately filled the position offered by my professorship last year with him, as he brought a certain new direction along with him that interested me greatly. However, I think, neither Simon nor I expected it to happen so quickly. Nevertheless, we shall continue to cooperate with him and his new professorship”.
Prof. Dr. Joachim Hermsdörfer
Chair of Human Movement Science
Uptown München, Campus D
Georg-Brauchle Ring 60/62
Text: Romy Schwaiger
Photos: Chair of Human Movement Science/private