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| Press release

Opening of the Materials Science Graduate School:

Developing Interdisciplinary Understanding – Highly Qualified Emerging Scientists Educated for Research and Industry

The new “Materials Science Graduate School” at the Centre for High-Performance Materials will open on March 18th, 2016. The first thirty-two of approximately sixty doctoral candidates are expected to attend the inaugural ceremony at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht. The emerging scientists will introduce their doctoral projects in the morning and will use the afternoon as a forum to meet and network with guests from industry.

ZHM Grad School

The participants of the Graduate School. Photo: HZG/Heidrun Hillen

The graduate school’s governing body, the Centre for High-Performance Materials (ZHM), was founded a year ago as a shared establishment within the Technical University Hamburg (THH) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG). As a northern German centre for materials science and materials technology, it is distinguished by international projects and cooperation in the area of basic research as well as by industry collaboration through transfer of this basic research into application. The scientists involved at the ZHM are researching new materials that will have applications in a wide range of fields, including medical and energy technology or in automotive engineering.

"The Graduate School is a central platform for all individuals working on a doctorate at one of the ZHM institutions," explains Prof. Norbert Huber, ZHM directorate chair. “Thanks to close cooperation with the TUHH Graduate Academy, we can now proceed to the next step and offer a graduate school for the field of materials sciences that serves the entire Hamburg metropolitan region. We are thereby building on a wealth of experience from four years work within the Integrated Research Training Group of the Special Research Programme 986, Tailor-Made Multi-Scale Materials Systems. We are also expanding the educational concepts with measures that have been adapted to the academic breadth and needs of those working on doctorates. Our emerging talent thus receives the best possible education and support during their three to four year doctoral period.”

Dr Alette Winter from the TUHH Engineering Education Research Group explains, "It is our goal to fully prepare the doctoral candidates for their subsequent professions in science or industry. We are therefore developing a program that meets the needs of emerging scientists, takes their working situation into consideration and simultaneously prepares them for academic competition.”

The Graduate School represents a complementary opportunity with additional educational and networking possibilities that are provided within a balanced relationship. This is accompanied by the necessary concentration on the doctoral candidate’s scientific work.

One goal of the Graduate School is to foster an interdisciplinary understanding between researchers and engineers working in different fields of science and engineering. Members of the Graduate School maintain close contact with doctoral candidates in other academic fields and research centres through joint events. This interaction provides individuals with the opportunity to expand their academic horizons, to mutually support one another through their expertise and even to develop new interdisciplinary project ideas.

In workshops as well as in the annual Summer School, students can moreover learn a variety of core competencies such as time management and self management or how to write scientific publications. The workshop topics are different for each of the three doctoral study years and will be adapted after querying candidate needs. All graduating doctoral students receive a diploma for attending the Graduate School, a qualification that assists them when entering their science and industry careers.
Website of ZHM


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Huber

Institut für Werkstoffforschung/Zentrum für Hochleistungsmaterialien

Phone: +49 (0)4152 87-2500

E-mail contact

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Max-Planck-Str. 1

21502 Geesthacht

Dr. Alette Winter

Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH), Abteilung für Fachdidaktik der Ingenieurwissenschaften am ZLL

Phone: +49 40 42878 4620

E-mail contact

Zentrum für Hochleistungsmaterialien / Graduiertenschule „Materialwissenschaft"
Am Schwarzenberg-Campus 3 (E)

D-21073 Hamburg


Heidrun Hillen

Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Phone: +49 (0) 4152 87 1648

E-mail contact

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Max-Planck-Str. 1

21502 Geesthacht