Hans-Walter Rix is a German astronomer and director of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg. He is the son of the linguist Helmut Rix.
He was educated at the University of Freiburg, the University of Munich and the University of Arizona, Tucson, where he received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1991. He was Hubble Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton 1991-1994, then returned to the University of Arizona, and has been director of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg since 1999.
Rix has been working on the evolution of galaxies. His doctoral thesis was titled Disk Components in Early Type Galaxies and he has, as of 2011, published 290 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has made important contributions to the structure and dynamics of galaxies, to the evolution of galaxies since the early epochs of the Universe, and the formation of our own Milky Way and its satellites.