The Young Investigator Network is the platform and democratic representation of interests for independent junior research group leaders and junior professors at the Karlsruhe Institut of Technology.

UFZ-Dürremonitor für DeutschlandUFZ-Dürremonitor/ UFZ, Friedrich Boeing
KIT Expert of the Month Somidh Saha: Germany is now a forest fire country

A moment ago, KIT researchers in Brandenburg were studying how the forest and ecosystem recovered from the devastating fires of 2018. Now, the current fires have destroyed a large part of the experimental areas. "As a result of climate change, we are experiencing extreme heat waves and droughts. This naturally increases the risk of fire. Germany is now a forest fire country," says Somidh Saha. Large forest fires that spread over several hundred hectares could now be expected on a regular basis. Saha researches how different tree species react to fire and how to make Germany's forests more resilient to the effects of climate change. In addition, many more resources would need to be allocated to fire prevention and suppression, fire ecology, and forest restoration.

KIT expert Somidh Saha
Walking ScientistsKIT
Walking Scientists at the Annual Celebration of KIT - YIN members engage in dialogue

Inquired! The theme of the current Year of Science also characterized the program of the Annual Celebration 2022 of KIT: At the reception, selected YIN members moved among the guests as "Walking Scientists" and answered questions about their research. Their expertise ranged from didactics (Ingo Wagner) and geothermal energy (Kathrin Menberg) to fuel cells (Jan Haußmann), energy systems (Giovanni de Carne), and energy informatics (Benjamin Schäfer) to artificial intelligence (Michael Färber) and food chemistry (Katharina Scherf). Conversely, the junior executives had the opportunity to talk to guests e.g. from federal and state ministries, for instance. Ingo Wagner was also awarded the Faculty Teaching Prize in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Annual Celebration 2022 of KIT
W1 profesorship for Verfürth-Grams-Willke
W1 professorship for three externally evaluated group leaders in YIN

To ensure the continued stay of excellent young group leaders, KIT may announce a W1 professorship matching their respective fields of expertise. According to the Quality Assurance Concept for Junior Professorships and Tenure-track Professorships at KIT, heads of highly competitive, externally evaluated junior research groups can apply for such a position. This way, three further YIN members asserted themselves against the competition and were appointed: Emmy Noether Group leader Barbara Verfürth now holds a W1 professorship for Numerics of Partial Differential Equations and Helmholtz Young Investigator Group leader Christian Grams for Meteorology. Likewise leading an Emmy Noether Group, Philip Willke become W1 professor for Quantum Control of Spins on Surfaces.