Simon Schmitt

Head Communication & Media Relations
Science Editor
Communication & Media Relations
Phone: +49 351 260 3400

"INSIDER" - Newsletter for Employees

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Current Issue 06, December 2022

Foto: Weihnachtskarte 2022 (Referenzbild) ©Copyright: HZDR / Blaurock

We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Bild: HZDR / Blaurock



Title: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

News: TrAIN program strengthens international alumni network

Portrait: HZDR’s chess artist

Launched: Quantum technologies department established

Interview: Large-scale exercise "Kiefernadel" successfully completed

Awarded: EIT CHANGE Award for HIF doctoral student

Notes: Helmholtz anchors Open Science

Press review: Diamonds from plastic waste


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year …

… to all colleagues and research friends at the HZDR. Between December 23 and January 1, our research center will go into shutdown. Before that, Sebastian M. Schmidt and Diana Stiller look back on an eventful year in our Season’s Greetings and say "Thank you" for your achievements and your commitment. To celebrate the successes of the past months, the Board of Directors brought in some help this time and sent the Christmas letter on a journey around the HZDR. More


Foto: Dinner Talk in der HZDR-Bibliothek während des TrAIN-Programms ©Copyright: HZDR

Dinner Talk at the HZDR library during the TrAIN program

Bild: HZDR

TrAIN program strengthens international alumni network

This fall, the HZDR welcomed twelve alumni from around the world at the first international alumni week. During the innovation and exchange program "TrAIN - Train Alumni from Industry for NEXT Gens", the alumni gained insights into current research topics, innovative projects and spin-offs. They also completed several training courses in the field of research and technology transfer. More

Foto: Psychologische erste Hilfe in Krisensituationen ©Copyright: Shutterstock/Evdokimov Maxim

Psychological first aid

Bild: Shutterstock/Evdokimov Maxim

Psychological first aid in crisis situations

A falling accident, a cut, a heart attack – in these cases first aid is taken for granted. It's a different story with injuries to the soul, which can be triggered by the illness or death of a relative, for example, or by unexpected events in private or professional life. In these situations, HZDR employees can now turn to psychological first aiders who offer confidential counseling. More

Foto: Chemical casing: Complex molecules of rings and functional groups can stably bind radioactive ions such as radium-223/224 and barium-131 in their interior. ©Copyright: HZDR/K.Klunker/

Complex molecules of rings and functional groups can stably bind radioactive ions such as radium-223/224 and barium-131 in their interior.

Bild: HZDR/K.Klunker/

Looking back at the 6th Life Sciences Forum at the HZDR

On December 1, more than 70 representatives from companies and research facilities discussed the future of biotechnology in Saxony as well as the opportunities and challenges of radiopharmacy at the 6th Life Sciences Forum Saxony. The event was hosted by the HZDR. The forum is the annual meeting of stakeholders in the field of life sciences in Saxony. It analyzes current developments and promotes the exchange of information across industries. More

Foto: Mitglieder*innen des LEAPS-Netzwerks am Paul Scherrer Institut ©Copyright: Paul Scherrer Institut / Markus Fischer

Members of the LEAPS network at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland

Bild: Paul Scherrer Institut / Markus Fischer

LEAPS network develops European vision

In light of the energy crisis, scientists from LEAPS infrastructures and policy makers met at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland. At the conference, they outlined a future strategy for accelerator-based photon sources in Europe. LEAPS stands for "League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources". The HZDR is one of the 16 research institutions participating in this network. More


HZDR’s chess artist

Foto: Dr. Silvio Baier ©Copyright: HZDR

When composing, the chessboard is his instrument: Dr. Silvio Baier, world champion in retrochess.

Bild: HZDR

Silvio Baier has a rather special hobby. He thinks up chess problems in which a player has to figure out which moves were played to get to a certain position. He is so good at inventing such puzzles, also called "retros", that he is considered one of the best chess composers in the world. The icing on the cake came at this year's World Championship. In the final round Baier beat 22 other competitors to win the world title for the second time in his career. More


Foto: Single photons from a silicon chip-reference ©Copyright: HZDR/Juniks

Single photons from a silicon chip

Bild: HZDR/Juniks

Quantum technologies department established

At the HZDR Institute for Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research, a new department for Quantum Technologies has been in place since the beginning of November 2022. The department, which is headed by PD Dr. Georgy Astakhov, will address various pillars of quantum technology, including quantum sensing, quantum communication and quantum computing. The strategic goal is to move from basic science to practical applications. More

Foto: Auftakt zur 2. Runde des Cross-Mentorings Dresden ©Copyright: HZDR

Starting the second round of the Cross Mentoring at HZDR.

Bild: HZDR

Cross Mentoring continues into second round

18 managers from ten companies and organizations in Dresden have embarked on an exciting experience: In tandem with a person previously unknown to them, they regularly exchange ideas about their work for a year. The goal: a hierarchy-free exchange across organizational boundaries. The second round of the project "Cross Mentoring" started at the HZDR this fall. More

Foto: Teilnehmer*innen des Kickoff-Meetings von NIMFEIA ©Copyright: HZDR

Participants of the NIMFEIA kick-off meeting

Bild: HZDR

Kick-off for the EU project NIMFEIA

Many technical systems rely heavily on automatic pattern recognition, as for example autonomous driving. Currently, this is done by software that runs on traditional computer systems. Yet this solution is energy-hungry and cannot be scaled down as needed. Neuromorphic chips are about to change that, as they will be able to recognize patterns on their own, not unlike our brains, using only a fraction of the energy required by conventional systems. Katrin and Helmut Schultheiss from the HZDR Institute for Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research have found an innovative approach to this new technology. In partnership with an international research group, they have launched the EU-funded project NIMFEIA to develop a prototype for industrial production. More


Foto: Großübung 2022: Medizinische Versorgung ©Copyright: HZDR / Mario Dethloff

Medical supplies at the large-scale exercise in September

Bild: HZDR / Mario Dethloff

Large-scale exercise "Kiefernadel" successfully completed

In September, the HZDR fire brigade rehearsed an emergency together with authorities from the state capital of Dresden. A forest fire was simulated in the eastern part of the site during the large-scale exercise "Kiefernadel" (English: "pine needle"), in which more than 170 emergency personnel were involved. In an interview, security officer Mario Dethloff explains what led the emergency response team to undertake this complex exercise and what insights it brought to light. More


Foto: Eva Kaili (left; Vice President of the European Parliament) and Anna Vanderbruggen at the award ceremony of the EIT CHANGE Award in Brussels ©Copyright: EIT/Gregory de Leeuw, photographer for David Plas Photography

Anna Vanderbruggen (right) at the EIT CHANGE Awards ceremony in Brussels.

Bild: EIT/Gregory de Leeuw, photographer for David Plas Photography

EIT CHANGE Award for HIF doctoral student

Every year, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) recognizes the achievements of its innovators in the fields of industry and society with the EIT Awards. PhD student Anna Vanderbruggen received the CHANGE Award for her innovative method of recycling graphite from old lithium-ion batteries. She is writing her doctoral thesis on this topic at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF). More

Foto: Moritz Schmidt erhält Fritz-Straßmann-Preis ©Copyright: Uni Köln / Erik Strub

Moritz Schmidt (left) receives the certificate from Prof. Clemens Walther (University of Hanover).

Bild: Uni Köln / Erik Strub

Fritz Straßmann Prize awarded to Moritz Schmidt

In October, the Fritz Straßmann Prize, which is awarded only every four years, went to PD Dr. Moritz Schmidt (left) from the Institute of Resource Ecology. The Nuclear Chemistry Division of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) awards this prize for outstanding achievements in nuclear chemistry. Schmidt achieved this in the field of the actinide element group. The certificate was presented to him at the annual meeting of the GDCh group More

HZDR graduate receives award for PhD thesis

Foto: Dr. Vineet Vishwakarma at EFCE Excellence Awards ceremony ©Copyright: Martine Poux

Dr. Vineet Vishwakarma (center) at the "Distillation & Absorption Symposium 2022".

Bild: Martine Poux

The European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) has honored Dr. Vineet Vishwakarma with the "EFCE Excellence Award" in the field of fluid separations. The 33-year-old researcher received the prestigious award for his outstanding PhD research conducted at the HZDR, which he defended last year at TU Dresden. Vishwakarma accepted the award on Wednesday, September 21, at the "Distillation & Absorption Symposium 2022" in Toulouse, France. It comes with a prize money of 1,500 Euros. More


Foto: Lesesaal der HZDR-Bibliothek ©Copyright: HZDR

Reading room of the HZDR library

Bild: HZDR

Helmholtz anchors Open Science

Open science can stimulate innovation, improve transfer to society, and ensure quality and transparency in research. To further support open science practices, the Helmholtz Association has now adopted a new guideline at its General Assembly. It stipulates that scientific articles, research data and research software are to be published openly. Open science is thus to become the standard in publication practice. More

Foto: Logo der Helmholtz-Klima-Initiative ©Copyright: Helmholtz
Helmholtz Climate Initiative Logo

Bild: Helmholtz

Helmholtz Climate Initiative: Current facts on climate change

The summer of 2022 once again demonstrated the drastic effects of drought, heat and heavy rain. As global warming continues, such extreme weather events will become more frequent in the future. The Helmholtz Climate Initiative, together with five other organizations, has now published an updated collection of facts about all findings on climate change that are undisputed in science. More

Foto: #PurpleLightUp in the entrance area of the HZDR ©Copyright: HZDR

#PurpleLightUp in the entrance area of the HZDR at the Rossendorf site.

Bild: HZDR

A purple glow

In the evening hours of December 2 and 3, 2022, the entrance area at the Rossendorf campus was illuminated in purple. Through this action, the HZDR supported the global campaign #PurpleLightUp, which raises public awareness of the rights and concerns of people with disabilities on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. "Our center stands for diversity, because diversity means wealth," Administrative Director Dr. Diana Stiller points out. "By participating in the 'PurpleLightUp' campaign, we want to emphasize that our six sites are safe locations for all people to work and research without disturbance." More

Press review

Foto: Making nanodiamonds out of bottle plastic ©Copyright: Blaurock / HZDR

Nanodiamonds from PET plastic

Bild: Blaurock / HZDR

Diamonds from plastic waste

What's going on inside planets like Uranus and Neptune? To find out, a team under HZDR leadership conducted a novel experiment. The researchers used a laser to bombard a foil made of PET plastic and examined the events with intense X-ray flashes. Plastic represents the atmospheric elements. This allowed them to confirm their hypothesis that rivers of diamonds are probably moving between the surface and the core of the ice giants, as research leader Prof. Dominik Kraus explains in an interview with the BBC. More