News Archiv 2020 ECMWF Fellowship awarded to Christian Grams

With the fellowship, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) acknowledges Christian Grams pioneering scientific research. It will allow him and his group to collaborate more closely on process-oriented research of sub-seasonal prediction with colleagues at ECMWF. It will involve regular scientific exchange, joint publications, and access to the databases and computing facilities of ECMWF. “We, thus, hope to make rapid progress in expanding and better exploiting forecast skill on sub-seasonal timescales,” says Grams. ECMWF is an independent intergovernmental research institute and an operational weather service.

ECMWF Fellowship
Operando X-ray spectroscopy shows what happens in each single part of a working catalyst.Nature Catalysis: Operando X-ray spectro-scopy shows 3D view of catalysts in action

Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions in order to reduce energy consumption and undesired by-products as in emission control. “To really understand how these materials function, we need to take a look inside the reactor when the catalyst is working,” says Thomas Sheppard. With a newly developed setup, the operando X-ray spectroscopy, his team succeeded in tracking the complex 3D structure of an active catalyst in cooperation with the Swiss Light Source of Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France. The results are published in Nature Catalysis.

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Tonya Vitova setting up the X-ray emission experimentERC Consolidator Grant "The Actinide Bond" - 5th ERC for Helmholtz group leaders at KIT

Actinides are radioactive elements needed for specific cancer treatment or new remediation methods for radioactively contaminated areas. For her ERC project “The Actinide Bond – Actinide Bond Property in Gas, Liquid and Solid State”, YIN alumna Tonya Vitova concentrates on the relationship between covalency and the strength of the chemical actinide bonds. To this end, she combines synchrotron radiation-based X-ray spectroscopy methods with quantum chemistry calculations. Within YIN, she is the 14th ERC grantee and the 5th Helmholtz group leader to secure an ERC grant.

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Biodegradable displays adhere to the skinCompostable displays for sustainable, environmentally friendly electronics

Electronic waste that is biodegradable? For printed displays, it has become a reality. Gerardo Hernandez-Sosa's group used biocompatible materials of mainly natural origin for this purpose. The inkjet printing process also enables customised, cost-effective and material-efficient production with high throughput. Sealing with gelatine makes the displays adaptable and adherent. Thus, they can be worn directly on the skin and are suitable for use e.g. in medical diagnosis or food packaging. The researchers published their results in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.

DOI: 10.1039/d0tc04627b
Catalyst used in emissions control are structurally complex. Multiscale tomography can address these structures from the macroscale to the nanoscale.German Research Foundation funds new Collaborative Research Centre TrackAct

Heterogeneous catalysis plays an important role in emission control, converting harmful pollutants to inert products: e.g. nitric oxids to nitrogen. However, the relationship between catalyst structure, function, and the mechanisms which drive such chemical reactions are highly complex, and still largely unknown. Thus, the goal of the new SFB is to get an holistic understanding of catalytic processes. As PI of a subproject, Thomas Sheppard will derive structure-activity relationships and relate local structure observations to catalyst performance using synchrotron-radiation-based hard X-ray microscopy and (electron) tomography.

DFG - press info
Karlsruhe Supercomputer (HoreKa)KIT will be Center for National Supercomputing

To understand and simulate natural or technical processes, scientists increasingly depend on enormous computing capacities for handling vast amounts of research data. Admission of KIT to the National Supercomputing Alliance implies secure funding for the support of the Karlsruhe Supercomputer (HoreKa) becoming operational in summer 2021 and its successors. As one of the PIs, Hartwig Anzt will coordinate the performance engineering and sustainable software development team. The project will also profit from his expertise in developing the crossplatform sparse linear algebra library Ginkgo for GPU architectures.

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Katrin Schulz and Philipp SchusterTwo more YIN members have taken up a professorship position

Katrin Schulz and Philipp Schuster have started their positions as full professors at the University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe and the University of Stuttgart respectively. Congratulations! Katrin Schulz has been a long standing member of YIN. Joining as a Young Investigator Group leader funded by the first Excellence Initiative in 2012, she successfully applied for the Margarete-von-Wrangell Habilitation Program 4 years later, and has now been appointed professor for engineering mechanics and material science. Philipp Schuster has led a KIT Junior Research Group since 2017, finished his habilitation on business administration in 2020, and now holds the Chair of Finance. The appointment ratio from YIN is about 50%.

HiSCOREERC Synergy Grant for HiSCORE project by KIT, ENS, and Radboud University

The HiSCORE project promises to develop nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methodology enabling information-rich, high-throughput drug screening. To scan large libraries of drug candidates against a given target, a boost in signal strength would enable a significant reduction in sample size, thus, paving the way towards parallelization. This is where Benno Meier will bring in his expertise on hyperpolarized NMR. Together the HiSCORE team will develop and test a number of technologies at the three sites Karlsruhe, Paris, and Nijmegen. As one of the PIs, Benno Meier is the first YIN member to claim an ERC Synergy Grant and the 13th ERC grantee within the network.

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Science WalkYIN Day 2020 with Prof. Rebecca Harrington - a successful hybrid event

The two highlights of the day were a science walk through the Hardtwald and an invited talk by YIN alumna Rebecca Harrington, professor at the Ruhr University Bochum. During the walk, YIN members and alumni presented their research in short pitches. Between each station, there was plenty of open space for discussion and networking. The first ideas for joined projects have, thus, been born. Rebecca Harrington’s talk on “Using a-typical seismic signals to understand the earthquake problem” concluded the afternoon's online program. A-typical earthquakes occur in unusual depths in the fault zone or away from active plate boundaries.

DFG-KodexYIN on the Project Advisory Board for the Implementation of the DFG Code of Conduct

The freedom of science is closely linked to responsibility and a commitment to scientific integrity and honesty. To this effect, the DFG has adopted a Code of Conduct with Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice. Universities and research institutions must implement these guidelines in order to qualify for further DFG funding. KIT now faces the task of adapting its statutes in terms of content and language by July 31, 2021. With Hartwig Anzt and Manuel Hinterstein, two YIN representatives monitor this change as part of the advisory board of the implementation project.

DFG Code of Conduct
YIN meets at the HIUYIN members from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm presented their research

The Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) is one of the worldwide leading research institutions in the field of electrochemical energy storage. It houses the reseach plattform CELEST, the Excellence Cluster Post Lithium Storage (POLIS) and is also the workplace of three YIN members: Roswitha Zeis, Dominic Bresser, and Helge Stein. On September 21, these three opened their labs for YIN and introduced group leaders from Karlsruhe to their research activities. HIU has been jointly founded in 2011 by the KIT, the University of Ulm, the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Aroniabeeren als StärkeersatzChokeberries as a high-fibre starch substitute in cereals

Fibre-rich substitute products could significantly reduce the starch content in breakfast cereals and, thus, contribute to a healthier end product. "In our pilot study in cooperation with the Max Rubner Institute in Karlsruhe, chokeberries have proven suitable as starch substitutes and are now being tested under real processing conditions," says Azad Emin, project leader at KIT. "Using the extrusion process, we can shape the press residue of the berries into crunchy cereals and add health-promoting ingredients without affecting the taste and stucture of the product. The results are published in the journal:

Food Research International
EPICUR_logoEU Commission now funds research within the European University EPICUR

KIT coordinates the “EPICUR Research” project which will integrate research activities and interaction with society into the “European University” EPICUR (European Partnership for Innovative Campus Unifying Regions). The aim is to initiate and implement novel research alliances between the eight EPICUR partner universities from six countries. YIN members participated in the internal review process of the application and will be on the EPICouncil acting as a sounding board. EPICUR research complements the teaching and learning activities that started in 2019 with the goal to create an inter-university campus.

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Urban trees in KarlsruheParticipative study: How do you value urban trees in Karlsruhe?

Trees and urban forests mitigate heat-stress, purify air, and provide multiple other ecosystem services. Rapid urbanization, however, poses challenges to the maintenance of a sustainable green cover and healthy population of plants inside or near cities. “In the BMBF-funded project Green Lung, we assess the ecological, social, and economic resilience of urban tree species and forests by applying trans- and interdisciplinary approaches in the regions of Karlsruhe and Rheinstetten”, says project leader Somidh Saha. As a resident, your participation in this survey will contribute to the preservation and sustainable design of trees and forests.

Survey on urban trees
Die in 27Plus6 anvisierte Zellstruktur – eine Perowskit/Silizium-Tandemsolarzelle mit drei Anschlüssen (3T). Der blaue Anteil des Sonnenlichts wird durch die obere Perowskitsolarzelle und der rote Teil durch die untere 3T-Siliziumsolarzelle genutztBMWi project on perovskite silicon tandem solar cells

Solar cells with higher efficiencies under real conditions would sustainably advance the energy turnaround. In the "27plus6" project, researchers now combine silicon and perovskite cells with the aim of achieving efficiencies up to 33 percent. "In order to significantly increase the energy yield, we also develop solar cells with three contacts that are more robust against the solar spectrum, which changes during the course of the day," says Ulrich W. Paetzold. The project is coordinated by the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hameln/Emmerthal and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) with 3.2 million euros.

teifgefrorene FruchtstückeBMWi-AiF/FEI project on the potential for damage to fruits

Whether in yoghurt or jam - visible fruit pieces stand for quality and gentle processing. In the project "Potential for damage to fruits", researchers at KIT and TU Berlin, therefore, investigate how the shape, color, and firmness of fruit pieces can be preserved during industrial processing. Special attention is paid to pipe systems where the pieces are transported in liquid. Here, damage mostly occurs in curves, branches, or in case of cross-sectional changes of the pipe elements. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) funds the project until 2022.

Project overview
Nano MaterialACS Nano: Eigenschaften neuer Funktionsmaterialien vorhersagen

Mit Methoden der Künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) lassen sich die Eigenschaften neuartiger Funktionsmaterialien schnell und kostengünstig analysieren. „Wir ersetzen die aufwändige Bestimmung elektronischer Materialeigenschaften durch vergleichsweise einfach zu messende optische Eigenschaften“, erläutert Pascal Friederich. Aus diesen Messergebnissen könnte die gewünschte Materialeigenschaft mit hoher Genauigkeit vorausgesagt werden. Gemeinsam mit Forschern der Universitäten Toronto und Madrid hat er organische elektronische Nano-Materialien mit neuronalen Netzen untersucht. ACS Nano berichtet.

ACS Nano
AufforstungWaldsterben: Aktionsnetzwerk für nachhaltige Forstwirtschaft

Der Klimawandel bringt Dürren und Waldbrände. Aktuell bedürfen mehr als zwei Milliarden Hektar der Wiederaufforstung. In vielen Ländern Asiens, Afrikas und Südamerikas fehlen jedoch Kenntnisse, wie das nachhaltig gelingen kann. Im europäischen COST-Aktionsnetzwerk wollen Forscher aus 27 Ländern daher erprobte Techniken und Richtlinien zur klimaangepassten Wiederaufforstung über eine Datenbank frei zugänglich machen. Somidh Saha ist mit seiner Nachwuchsgruppe „Sylvanus“ beteiligt und entwickelt Konzepte, um Wälder in unterschiedlichen Gebieten kostengünstig wiederherzustellen.

Aktionsnetzwerk cost
Helmholtz Junior Research Group "Fixed-Point Methods for Numerics at Exascale"Helmholtz group is part of the US Exascale Computing Project

As part of the Exascale Computing Project consortium, the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group "Fixed-Point Methods for Numerics at Exascale" receives funding of more than a million euro until 2022.The team headed by Hartwig Anzt will focus on the development of numerical methods and production-ready codes that can operate in lower arithmetic precision while still producing results of high precision. The consortium aims to provide powerful Exascale supercomputers and develop a sustainable software ecosystem for scientific simulations. It is part of the US National Strategic Computing Initiative which focuses on maximizing the benefits of High Performance Computing.

Mehle auf InsektenbasisAlternative protein source: flours from insect powder

Larvae of mealworms are rich in protein and have a CO2 balance twice as good as beef. Processed as powder and used as ingredient for traditional foods like bread, it is conceivable that they may be introduced on the German market, so Azad Emin. His team uses an extrusion process similar to that used for pasta. This can be specifically adapted so that insect flours, despite their higher protein and fat content, do not differ noticeably in taste, baking properties, and texture from conventional baking flours. At the same time, the process deactivates enzymes, removes residues, and can promote improved digestibility.

KIT Press info
forest fire1,5 Mio. for research to prevent forest fires

Persisting droughts increases the risk of forest fires. Identifying and containing endangered areas as well as sustainably reforesting burnt forests is the aim of the interdisciplinary project "Enhancing the ecological, silvicultural, and technical knowledge on forest fires". To that, Somidh Saha investigates i.a. the regenerative capacity of different tree species. Together with Nadine Rühr, he will test which seeds still germinate after real and simulated fires in a high-tech greenhouse. The Agency for Renewable Resources funds the project consortium with 1.5 million euros overall.

FNR project
Virtual- und Augmented-Reality-Technologien für die LehreVirtual collaboration labs for teaching and research

Students of natural and engineering sciences will soon be able to learn measurement and simulation techniques in virtual collaboration labs. Platforms with 3D visualization provide a cost-effective and intuitively operable alternative to practical lab work. “At the same time, we best prepare the students for an increasingly digitalized work environment and make interdisciplinary cooperation possible,” says Mathias J. Krause. Funded by the MWK, he works together with researchers at KIT and the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences on further developing technologies to make them applicable for digital teaching and research.

Lattice Boltzmann RG
Kathrin ValeriusProfessorship and alumni status for Kathrin Valerius

Kathrin Valerius has secured a Helmholtz professorship at KIT in the line "Funding of first-time appointments of excellent female scientists (W2/W3)". Congratulations! Since becoming a YIN member in 2014, she has put a lot of time, commitment, and heart into shaping the network and striving for common goals of young academic leaders. For the last two and a half years, she was one of the representative speakers advocating YIN interests at many KIT committees. We are very happy to stay in touch with her as a YIN alumna. At KIT, she will continue the hunt for the neutrino mass and look into the nature of dark matter. Big thanks and all the best for the future!

YIN InsightYIN Insight 2018/2019 with facts, figures, and faces

In our annual journal YIN Insight 2018/2019, the excellence status stands in the focus of the greetings by the Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts Baden-Württemberg Theresia Bauer and is addressed by the lead article, the Hot Topic. Moreover, we report about the latest highlights from our research and from the YIN advanced training program. Of course, we also present the traditional Facts and Figures section: With 9.6 million euros of subsequent funding raised, 289 weekly semester hours taught, 238 theses supervised, and 194 papers published, the academic year 2018/19 was a huge success for YIN members.

YIN Insight magazine
Crystallographic orientation data plotted with TD color coding.Nat.Comm.: Verschleiß bei Reibung besser verstehen

Trotz Schmiermitteln erzeugt jede Reibung Energieverlust und Materialverschleiß. Um die Prozesse auf atomarer Ebene besser zu beobachten, hat das Team von Christian Greiner eine Zwillingsgrenze eingesetzt, an der sich die Kristall-Orientierung des verwendeten Kupfers ändert: Die Atomschichten sind anders ausgerichtet, weisen aber identische Material-eigenschaften auf. Bei Reibung verschieben sich die obersten Atomlagen und die Zwillings-Grenze wird geknickt. Unterm Elektronenmikroskop konnte das Team drei bisher unbekannte atomare Prozesse ausmachen, die langfristig in bessere Modelle zur Berechnung von Reibung einfließen.

Nature Communications
druckbare LichtsensorenAdv.Mat. farbempfindliche druckbare Lichtsensoren

Telekommunikation in Lichtgeschwindigkeit? Die Entwicklung farbempfindlicher druckbarer Lichtsensoren rückt die optische Datenübertragung in greifbare Nähe. Farben entsprechen den unterschiedlichen Wellenlängen des Lichts und können, im Gegensatz zum einfachen Lichtimpulsen, als Code zur Übermittlung komplexer Informationen dienen. Ein Forscherteam um Gerado Hernandez-Sosa hat nun eine neue Materialzusammensetzung entwickelt, bei der organische Halbleiter auf unterschiedlich Wellenlängen reagieren und die sich zudem auf flexible Träger aufdrucken lässt. Das Fachmagazin Advanced Materials berichtet.

Board of DGJMit Deutscher Gesellschaft Juniorprofessur im Bund

YIN und die Deutschen Gesellschaft Juniorprofessur (DGJ) wollen künftig intensiver zusammenarbeiten. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Austausch und Kooperationen zur Interessensvertretung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses sowie die Förderung alternativer Karrierewege zur Professur. Viele YIN-Mitglieder kommen von anderen Universitäten oder werden dorthin berufen. Daher freuen wir uns besonders, uns über die DGJ einer bundesweiten Peer-Community anschließen können und Erfahrungen über die Grenzen der Bundesländer hinweg auszutauschen. YIN-Mitglieder können der DGJ fortan kostenlos beitreten.

Info DGJ
DebatesKIT Senate approved guest seat for YIN representative

For the first time, a represen-tative of the independent junior research group leaders and junior professors at KIT has been welcomed as permanent guest into the KIT Senate. With this decision, the senators give credit to the strategic importance of this target group. As newly elected representative YIN speaker, Hartwig Anzt will size the chance to increase the consideration of junior staff and add their practical knowledge and experiences to the senators' debates. YIN Deputies are Karsten Woll and Katharina Scherf. The KIT Senate issues an opinion on the structural and development plan of KIT as well as on the drafts of the economic and the finance plan.