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KIT Will Continue along Its Path
20 June 2012
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Disappointment after the Excellence Initiative – KIT Succeeds with Proposals for the Two Graduate Schools for Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics as well as for Optics and Photonics
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was not successful in the second phase of the Excellence Initiative due to the failure of both proposals in the second funding line for Clusters of Excellence. “Nevertheless, KIT will continue along its path,” emphasize KIT Presidents Professor Eberhard Umbach and Professor Horst Hippler. “We will realize many of our plans, but not as quickly as we have hoped. We are determined to continue along the promising path started by the first and still unique merger of a university and a national research center in Germany.” KIT was successful in the competition for Graduate Schools, for which two proposals were approved: For Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics and for Optics and Photonics.
The Excellence Initiative Grants Committee, consisting of the joint commission of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities as well as of the federal and state ministers responsible for science and research announced the results of the Excellence Initiative II in Bonn today.
“Of course, we are very disappointed today. Still, we are convinced of KIT. We have achieved the merger into KIT much more rapidly and created far more synergies than we deemed possible,” say the KIT Presidents Professor Eberhard Umbach and Professor Horst Hippler. “With the help of the elements outlined in our Institutional Strategy II “Advancing KIT”, we will continue to sharpen our profile within the limits of the funds remaining. “Among others, it is planned to establish an Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ). The ITZ will enhance the interaction of the humanities, economics, law, and social sciences with natural sciences and engineering groups at KIT and focus on the acceptance of technology by our society, for instance. In addition, cooperation with Heidelberg University under the “Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership” (HeiKA) will be intensified in selected areas of research (e.g. organic electronics, synthetic biology, etc.). Moreover, promotion of young scientists and research-oriented teaching will play a central role.
Graduate Schools for the Promotion of Young Scientists
(First Funding Line)
The Karlsruhe School of Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics: Science and Technology (KSETA) – Elementarteilchen- und Astroteilchenphysik: Wissenschaft und Technologie is a central component of the KIT Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics Center KCETA. Doctoral students in physics and engineering are to cooperate in theoretical studies and at large-scale research facilities for fundamental research and modern tech-nologies. The Ph. D. students are integrated in interdisciplinary pro-jects all over the world, in which KCETA partly assumes a leading role. Among others, these are the Pierre Auger Observatory for cosmic rays in Argentina, the CMS Particle Detector at the Large Hadron Collider LHC of CERN, the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Ex-periment KATRIN, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) on the international space station ISS, and the un-derground detector EDELWEISS searching for dark matter. KSETA offers specialized education, builds bridges between physicists and engineers, and represents an excellent basis for their joint research.
Spokesperson: Professor Johannes Blümer
Funds applied for: EUR 14 million
The Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics (KSOP) meanwhile has turned into an established first-class training and research insti-tution in the field of optical technologies with 14 professors, more than 75 active Ph. D. students, more than 40 alumni, and an interna-tional master program. Optics and Photonics (O&P) are the keys to numerous industrial high technologies and stimulate fundamental research in physics, chemistry, life sciences, and engineering. The master and Ph. D. programs of KSOP are implemented by the four KIT Departments of Physics, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Chemistry and Biosciences, as well as Mechanical Engineering. KSOP research activities concentrate on photonic ma-terials and components, modern spectroscopy, biomedical photon-ics, and optical systems. KSOP is planned to grow quantitatively and qualitatively in the second funding phase. The scope of disciplines covered will be extended by integrating other KIT institutes, for example, the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research. Due to the central role of O&P for the use of solar energy and the latter’s high industrial and societal relevance, activities in the field of solar energy will be pooled and intensified in a new, fifth research area.
More information: www.ksop.de
Spokesperson: Professor Ulrich Lemmer
Funds applied for: EUR 11 million
KIT will continue along its path: Vice President Elke Luise Barnstedt, Presidents Eberhard Umbach and Horst Hippler, and Vice President Detlef Löhe. (Photo: Sandra Göttisheim)
By KSETA, Ph. D. students are integrated in interdisciplinary large-scale projects, for instance, at CERN. (Photo: Markus Breig)
KSOP offers first-class training in the field of optical technologies. (Photo: Andrea Fabry)