Short & sweet

RWTH Chemist Sonja Herres-Pawlis Awarded Honor

Sonja Herres-Pawlis, Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry at RWTH, has been inducted into the Chemistry Europe Fellows Program. Herres-Pawlis studied chemistry at Paderborn University and Ecole de Chimie de Montpellier. She received her doctorate in bioinorganic chemistry from Paderborn University and her habilitation (post-doctoral lecturing qualification) in sustainable polymerization catalysis from TU Dortmund University. Several research stays at Stanford University in the USA and at the Ecole de Chimie de Montpellier in France shaped her career. Before becoming head of the Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry at RWTH in January 2015, she was Professor of Coordination Chemistry at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Chemistry Europe is an association of 16 chemical companies from 15 different European countries. The Chemistry Europe Fellow Program honors outstanding members who have made a significant contribution through their support, research, creativity, and innovation.

RWTH Achieves Excellent Scores in the Ranking

RWTH Aachen University has achieved very good scores in the current QS Ranking by subjects: in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, and Mineral and Mining Engineering, RWTH is in the lead among German universities. In Architecture, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University is among the top three German universities. RWTH is also doing well when compared with other universities around the world. In ten subjects it is among the 100 best universities worldwide, with Mechanical Engineering in 19th place and Mineral and Mining Engineering in 16th place. The British information service provider Quacquarelli Symonds published the annual global university ranking on April 6, 2022. In addition, the WirtschaftsWoche university ranking once again attests to RWTH Aachen University’s very good reputation in the business world. Human resources managers from more than 500 companies were asked which universities best prepare their students for professional life. RWTH achieved first place for the subjects of electrical engineering and industrial engineering, whilst mechanical engineering and natural sciences again achieved second place as in the previous year. What's more, computer science improved its position to second place. A good one in four respondents said they preferred graduates from RWTH Aachen University when recruiting.


Rolf Bracke Appointed Adjunct Professor at RWTH

RWTH alumnus Professor Rolf Bracke, director of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG and Chair for Geothermal Energy Systems at Ruhr Universität Bochum, has now been awarded the title of Adjunct Professor at RWTH Aachen University. A key focus of Bracke’s work is the transformation of mining-related technologies in the development of climate-neutral energy systems. Due to the phase-out of coal, oil, and natural gas combustion, the heating market is in need of new energy sources. Geothermal energy, especially heat from geothermal waters from deep rock strata, could supply heating and industrial processes with sustainable, local energy capable of meeting base-load requirements. The regions strongly affected by structural change, including the Rhineland, central Germany, and Lusatia, can benefit in particular from the transition from coal mining to heat mining. ‘Heat is key to implementing the energy transition,’; says Rolf Bracke. ‘As a new adjunct professor at RWTH, I’m looking forward to working with the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering and others to develop solutions that will contribute to making heat in Germany green and sustainable by 2045.’

‘Heat is key to implementing the energy transition.’

RWTH Innovation Award Presented

By presenting the Innovation Award, RWTH Aachen University aims to support ideas from research that could be particularly suitable for strengthening the innovative power of the Aachen region. The award has been presented annually since 2014. In 2021, IonKraft from the Institute of Plastics Processing took first place, with the Compression Guys project at the Institute of Communications Engineering and InCirTals from the Chair of High Frequency Electronics coming in second. The call for entries for the award is supported by RWTH Innovation GmbH. The ideas submitted are evaluated according to technology orientation, innovation potential, customer benefits, planned further development, commercial potential, and overall impression.

Using Hydrogen as a Fuel in the Steel Industry: RWTH Involved in a Joint Project – FlexHeat2Anneal

How can using hydrogen as a fuel reduce CO2 emissions in the steel industry? In the joint project FlexHeat2Anneal, the Department for Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering at RWTH is conducting research headed by Professor Herbert Pfeifer on the sub-project ‘Investigation and Optimization of the Radiant Tube System, Operational Measurements, and Life Cycle Assessments.’ Thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH and WS Wärmeprozesstechnik GmbH are the project partners. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action is funding this research work with around 380,000 euros until March 2025.

A New Association in Peace Research

The global political situation is increasingly uncertain and unmanageable; this is being demonstrated by the Ukraine crisis, among other things. The situation is characterized by increasing multipolarity, great power rivalry, rapid change, and mistrust between states. At the same time, the threat posed by nuclear weapons is still present, with over 13,000 nuclear weapons existing worldwide. With this in mind, RWTH has launched the new research network ‘Verification in a Complex and Unpredictable World: Social, Political, and Technical Processes’ (VeSPoTec). The aim is to establish a new regional center for interdisciplinary peace research. The project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of 3.2 million euros and is being coordinated by the RWTH research group ‘Nuclear Verification and Disarmament’, which is headed up by Professor Malte Göttsche.

Research on Structural Change – in Podcast and Film

With the phase-out of coal-fired power generation, the Rhenish mining area is facing a large-scale transformation process. This structural change poses a huge challenge and impacts all areas of life. RWTH Aachen University is devoting two new communication formats to this topic. In the podcast ‘Tell Me About It, RWTH!’ researchers talk about the region and its future. They give insights into their research and shed light on the transformation process from different perspectives. In the talks, they answer questions such as ‘What makes the region attractive for young companies?’, ‘What are the opportunities offered by structural change?’, and ‘What can RWTH contribute?’ The new film series ‘A Piece of the Future’ shows RWTH’s cutting-edge research and the meaning that it has for society at large. In the first part of this series, WDR moderators Ralph Caspers and Shary.