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Launch of Centre for High Performance Materials

TUHH and HZG establish a research partnership

The Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) based in Schleswig-Holstein are together establishing the Centre for High Performance Materials. During a press conference held today at Hamburg City Hall, Hamburg Science Senator Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt and Schleswig-Holstein Science Minister Kristin Alheit introduced this new research partnership alongside researchers from both institutions. With the founding of the new centre, HZG and TUHH hope to promote a sustained network of top scientific names in the field of materials research in northern Germany. The partners expect the new centre to expand teaching facilities and to better exploit the benefits of maintaining joint faculty. The Centre should also benefit from increased funding opportunities.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Huber, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaysser, Kristin Alheit, Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Prof. Dr. Garabed Antranikian, Prof. Dr. Gerold Schneider

Prof. Dr. Norbert Huber, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaysser, Kristin Alheit, Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Prof. Dr. Garabed Antranikian, Prof. Dr. Gerold Schneider (f.left t. right)

“The new Centre for High Performance Materials is an important next step in the development of the extensive cooperation between the Technical University and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht within the field of materials research. It is also a prime example of promoting science strategically across state borders," says Hamburg's Science Senator Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt. Schleswig-Holstein’s Science Minister Kristin Alheit stresses, “The new research network contributes to the further advancement of scientific excellence at the Helmholtz- Zentrum and at the Technical University. It represents the exemplary cooperation in research and science between Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.”

Logo Tentrum für Hochleistungsmaterialien 11. Februar 2015, HZG, TUHH

“The pioneering project was undertaken by the researchers in Hamburg and Geesthacht within the state excellence cluster ‘Integrated Materials Systems’ and in the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Tailor-made Multi-Scale Materials Systems’ and is now being strategically expanded into a visible materials science establishment,” says Scientific Director of the HZG, Prof. Wolfgang Kaysser.
“The new centre will pool energy and create structures that will be open to interested partners. We wish to create the largest northern German research centre for high performance materials,” explains Prof. Garabed Antranikian, president of the TUHH. "The objective is to make our materials research centre into one of the top five facilities in Germany.”

Cooperation between the TUHH and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht reaches back to 1982. In order to further develop the collaboration, the two partners appointed joint institute directors and faculty. Using this approach within the new centre will provide advantages such as drawing high-calibre experts. Inter-establishment research groups are more attractive to joint faculty members than groups limited to only one institution. This is largely influenced by better financial resources and more extensive infrastructure.

The partners also expect to gain better access to industrial projects because larger and more complex projects can be more effectively managed as cooperative endeavours. In addition, the establishment of a master’s degree program in the winter semester of 2015 as well as a graduate school dedicated to materials science is planned.

The TUHH and the HZG are equally represented within the centre’s four-person directorship, which is supported by an expert advisory committee. The designated directors from the HZG are Prof. Norbert Huber, Director of the “Materials Mechanics” division in the Institute of Materials Research and Prof. Thomas Klassen, Director of the “Materials Technology” division, also in the Institute of Materials Research.
The TUHH is represented by Prof. Gerold Schneider, Director of the Institute of Advanced Ceramics and Prof. Bodo Fiedler, Director of the Institute for Polymer Composites.

Both institutions will bring a majority of their present resources, know-how, research infrastructure and equipment to the new centre and will each contribute an additional 100,000 Euros per year.

A long-term goal is to erect a central building for the scientists and for educational purposes.

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Heidrun Hillen
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Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung GmbH