- Ruhr-Universität Bochum
RUB’s Participation in International Max Planck Research School SurMat
Since 2000, International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have been established by the Max Planck Society (MPG) to promote young materials researchers. Talented junior scientists can earn a doctorate degree in excellent research environments. A characteristic feature of IMPRS is a close collaboration between Max Planck institutes and universities. Shortly after the program had been established, the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE) launched the IMPRS SurMat in 2004, with Martin Stratmann and Gunther Eggeler as Spokesmen. Originally, SurMat stood for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials. In its first funding phase the IMPRS SurMat was supported by the MPG, the state NRW and our university, at the time when Prof. Gerhard Wagner was our rector.
In 2004, IMPRS SurMat opened with a scientific symposium with distinguished guests from the national and international scientific community, from politics and industry. Sir Harry Bhadeshia, professor for metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, gave the keynote lecture. IMPRS SurMat started with 15 graduate students from all over the world. After they had obtained their doctoral degrees, they all found attractive positions, some of them successfully applied for academic positions in their home countries.
The IMPRS SurMat proposal was evaluated by international experts, who thoroughly considered criteria like excellence, impact, quality and efficiency of implantation. Establishing IMPRS SurMat clearly helped, when in 2006, our university successfully applied for the RUB Research School in the framework of the first German Excellence Initiative. Over the years, IMPRS SurMat students participated in the Materials Days of our university and helped to make the events more colorful, lively, and interesting.
Over the years, IMPRS SurMat has evolved, both in terms of size and focus, through three funding periods. In the last years, Prof. Dr. Jörg Neugebauer has replaced Martin Stratmann as a chairman and the IMPRS SurMat has changed focus. It is now referred to as International Max Planck Research School for Interface Controlled Materials for Energy Conversion. In its present third and final six-year funding period, two Max Planck institutes (MPIE and the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, MPIK) and two universities (RUB and the University of Duisburg/Essen, UDE) participate in IMPRS SurMat.