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Dresden Researcher Gets “Starting Grant” from the European Research Council (ERC)

Press release published on July 4, 2012

Dr. Markus Schubert from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) was selected by the European Research Council (ERC) for an "ERC Starting Grant.“ He successfully participated in a call for proposals designed for Europe’s up and coming research leaders. With the requested funding of almost 1.2 million euros, the scientist wants to visualize for the first time ever the complex flows inside chemical reactors and study their impact on the process behavior. These flows have considerable influence on the energy efficiency of chemical plants.

Outstanding young European investigators are encouraged to apply for an “ERC Starting Grant” of the European Research Council (ERC). Beyond the submission of an excellent research proposal, the scientists have to furnish proof of a scientific track record that has been impressive so far and continues to be very promising in the future. Dr. Markus Schubert from the Institute of Fluid Dynamics has accomplished all of this. He is the first researcher at the HZDR to be awarded with an “ERC Starting Grant.”

Markus Schubert studied process engineering and earned his doctoral degree in this scientific field at the TU Dresden [Dresden University of Technology]. He joined the HZDR in 2007, intermitted by a one-year research sabbatical in Québec/Canada. With the prospective funding from the European Research Council, he wants to set up his own research group which will focus on multiphase chemical reactors and the complex flows occurring inside them.

Many products run through chemical reactors

“A large number of products and commodities which we use every day such as, for example, low-sulphur fuels or plastics run through these chemical reactors during their production. But what does really happen inside these reactors that have been inaccessible so far because of the opaqueness due to pressure-resistant reactor walls? Is the flow adjusted in such a way that the processes run at optimal conditions? There’s still a considerable need for research and that’s exactly where we want to start our work. With the help of new advanced methods, we’d like to access and understand the fluid dynamics inside such reactors and, thus, further develop simulation models,” says Dr. Schubert. “Eventually, the goal is to find out how these processes and systems can be designed in the best possible way to enhance the conversion of the desired products which, in turn, saves resources and energy,” continues the scientist. The chemical industry is the third largest industrial branch of Germany’s manufacturing industry.

Initially, Markus Schubert wants to thoroughly investigate the flows under industry-related conditions in a specific type of chemical apparatus, a bubble column reactor. In these apparatuses, gas is dispersed in liquid as homogeneously as possible for chemical conversion. The junior researcher will use the research infrastructure at the Institute of Fluid Dynamics for his experiments and visualize the flows with X-rays.

Information on ERC Starting Grant

Ultrafast X-ray tomography at the Institute of Fluid Dynamics

Further information

Dr. Markus Schubert
Institute of Fluid Dynamics
Phone +49 351 260-2627

Media contact

Anja Weigl
Phone +49 351 260-2452