Willeke came to Brookhaven from Hamburg, Germany, where he has spent most of his career leading the activities at HERA, a large accelerator facility at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY). Born in Schwalbach, Germany, he studied physics at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, writing his Ph.D thesis on nuclear solid state physics.
He has experience working at national laboratories in the United States, having spent eighteen months working on the Tevatron collider at Fermilab. He previously spent time at his new workplace when serving on various BNL committees, starting in 1992 with the RHIC Machine Advisory Committee. He also collaborated with BNL scientists on a special magnet for HERA in the late 1990s.
Dr. Willeke earned his Ph.D. in 1980 in nuclear solid states physics at the Freie University in Berlin. He was involved in the design, development, and operation of the PETRA, DORISII, and DESYII accelerators, and in the preparations of a wakefield accelerator, from 1980 to 1983. Dr. Willeke participated in the commissioning of the TEVATRON and the TEVATRON collider operation in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Since 1985, Dr. Willeke has been part of the HERA electron proton collider design and construction team. Dr. Willeke coordinated the commissioning of the HERA proton ring in 1991 to 1992. Dr. Willeke was responsible for the operation and development of the HERA. Since August 2007, Dr. Willeke has been Director of the NSLS-II Accelerator System Division.