- Ruhr-Universität Bochum
RUB’s Participation in International Max Planck Research Schools RECHARGE and SusMet
In 2011, a new Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) was founded in our area, with Prof. Dr. Robert Schlögl as the founding director. It was decided to launch a second IMPRS on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (RECHARGE), with participation of MPI CEC and MPIK, RUB, UDE and the University Bonn. The IMPRS RECHARGE started in 2015 and is now in its second funding period. The spokesperson of the school is Prof. Dr. Frank Neese, who was director at MPI CEC until 12/2017, and is presently director at MPIK since 01/2018. IMPRS RECHARGE has a stronger focus on the chemical aspects of materials science and on the fundamental mechanisms of relevant energy conversion processes. Its scientific objective is to unify the catalytic concepts towards a rational design of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. Therefore, the training program of the doctoral students ranges from advanced quantum chemical methodologies to suitable in situ spectroscopic methods. In this way, the two IMPRSs, IMPRS for Interface Controlled Materials for Energy Conversion (SurMat) and RECHARGE, are complementary and strongly benefit from each other.
While IMPRS RECHARGE is up and running, IMPRS SurMat now comes to an end. A new IMPRS on Sustainable Metallurgy (SusMet) is planned. The proposed new IMPRS SusMet will address and answer fundamental questions in the emerging field of Sustainable Metallurgy. Metallurgy is one of the core foundations of modern society. In the past, research in metallurgy was mainly directed towards inventing new alloys, advancing mechanical properties through microstructure adjustment and reducing costs. The huge annual production of nowadays about 2 billion tons of metallic materials is not only an engineering success story but has also become the biggest single industrial environmental burden of our generation. The present grand societal challenges in the context of sustainability, energy, transportation, health and pollution therefore require fundamental and disruptive innovations in the field of metallurgy. Key topics that need to be addressed in this context are (i) primary synthesis, which is e. g. for steels one of the largest global sources of greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) secondary synthesis (recycling), (iii) increasing operation and service lifetimes and related to this (iv) prevention and reduction of environmental induced degradation (e. g. corrosion). These challenges do not only encompass mass produced materials such as steels and aluminum alloys but also less common ones, such as copper, lithium, rare earth elements and nickel-titanium based shape memory alloys.