Born in 1958 in Corner Brook, Nfld., Canada, Don Dingwell received his B.Sc. (1980) in Geology/Geophysics from the Memorial University of Newfoundland and his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Alberta (1984). Next followed two years as a Carnegie Research Fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and one on the Faculty of the University of Toronto. In 1987 he was recruited to Germany as assistant to the director of a newly-founded research institute in Bayreuth. There he obtained his Venia Legendi in Geochemistry in 1992. In 2000 he was called to the Chair in Mineralogy and Petrology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. There he founded the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of which he is Director.
Dingwell's principal research interest is the physico-chemical description of molten rocks and their impact on volcanic systems. He has contributed largely to the development of the new and expanding field of experimental volcanology. He has published ca. 350 papers whose impact is reflected in ca. 10,000 citations.
That research has also been recognised by numerous scientific awards, including the Norman L. Bowen Award of the American Geophysical Union, the Otto Schott Research Award of the Ernst Abbe Foundation, the Robert Wilhelm Bunsen Award of the European Geosciences Union, the Viktor-Moritz-Goldschmidt Award of the German Mineralogical Society, the MSA Award of the Mineralogical Society of America and the Gerhard-Hess Research Prize of the German Research Council (DFG).
He has led several major national and European research project and initiatives in the solid earth sciences.
He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Mineralogical Society of America, the Geological Association of Canada and an honorary fellow of the Societa di Mineralogia e Petrologia Italiana.
He is an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada (Canada´s national academy), the Academia Europaea, (Europe´s academy of science, arts and letters) and ACATECH (the German national academy of science and technology).
Dingwell has had honorary degrees of Doctor of Science bestowed upon him by the University of Alberta and University College London.
He has held office in numerous national and international societies, most recently serving as President of the European Geoscience Union. He currently chairs the section of Earth and Cosmic Sciences of the Academia Europaea and serves on its Board.
The president of Germany has bestowed upon him the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Prof. Dingwell recently completed his term as 3rd Secretary General of the European Research Council, Europe´s flagship research funding organisation where he initiated and conducted a global internationalisation campaign and defended the interests of Europe´s premier bottom-up, individual, excellence-based research program both internally and externally.