Online Annual Report 2015
Calendar of Events
January: Europe’s high magnetic field laboratories forge stronger connection
The leading European high magnetic field laboratories from Germany, France and the Netherlands jointly establish the European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL) in Brussels. They thus also form a legal entity. The four EMFL founding organizations – the HZDR, the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Radboud Universität Nijmegen and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter in the Netherlands – offer users the highest magnetic fields as well as unique experimental possibilities with their laboratories in Dresden, Grenoble, Toulouse and Nijmegen. The HZDR’s scientific director, Prof. Roland Sauerbrey, was appointed the first President of the Council.
February: PET equipment moves to the city center
An era of patient care at the Dresden-Rossendorf Center for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) comes to an end with the transfer of the PET/MRI device for full body testing. The facility that combines PET with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is moved to the University Hospital Dresden. Within the OncoRay project, HZDR scientists continue to operate the facility together with the researchers at the site. Cancer patient care in Dresden is thus focused in one location and optimized. At the prior Rossendorf location, three generations of PET devices were used to examine 14,000 patients in the last twenty years.
March: Links with China strengthened
The HZDR signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT). Based on the agreement, both institutions wish to forge cooperation in the fields of research, education and service. The aim is long-term strategic cooperation between the Ion Beam Center at HZDR and the Chinese institution in the area of materials modification and analytics for information technology. For example, projects are planned for producing ultra-thin semiconductor layers with high charge-carrier mobility using ion-based technologies.
April: From biology laboratory to the largest international trade fair
At the Hannover Messe in mid-April, Dr. Tobias Günther and Dr. Jürgen Hofinger present an environmentally friendly coating method for processing plastic surfaces. The industrial sector has so far been using chromosulfuric acid. The two researchers from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, together with three further HZDR colleagues, developed the method, which avoids the use of this chemical that is environmentally damaging and hazardous to health. The scientists now strive to establish the innovative coating technology in the commercial sector via the HZDR spin-off company Biconex. During the start-up phase, the company was supported by the programs Exist and Helmholtz Enterprise.
May: Posters illustrate temporal dimensions of final nuclear waste repositories
HZDR researchers from the Institute of Resource Ecology illustrate, through an art project, the topic of final radioactive material disposal. In Germany, the repository must shield the material from the biosphere for one million years. In order to put this period into context so that it is understandable, the scientists, along with artist Florian Dombois, developed a “time rope”. During a “Flock of Happenings”on the Dresden Postplatz, they project one million years onto a 200-meter-long rope, first based on historical moments into the past, then through fictional periods and disintegration rates of radioactive materials in the future. The rope thus reaches back to the beginnings of human existence.
June: Dresden hosts first German Terahertz Conference
The first German Terahertz Conference lures approximately one hundred participants from both the research and commercial sectors to Dresden. The three-day event, organized by the HZDR together with the Deutsche Terahertz-Zentrum, is concerned with terahertz radiation, which has become increasingly popular due to the construction of many first-rate radiation sources in recent years. This type of thermal radiation with wavelengths between one millimeter and ten micrometers is, for example, ideal for studying new types of materials and for scanning objects. Elementary processes within materials can thus be studied.
July: Helmholtz Association invests 46 million Euros in laboratory platform
The Helmholtz Senate decides to establish a large-scale infrastructure for synthesis and development of new material systems for energy conversion and storage. The total estimated amount is 46 million Euros for 2016 through 2020. The Helmholtz Energy Materials Foundry (HEMF) is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Five additional centers within the research association are participating in the planning and organization: Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Aeronautics and Space Administration), the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, the HZDR and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
August: Apprenticeship year begins with ten new trainees
During the traditional start of the apprenticeship year on August 18th, thirteen graduates from the past class bid farewell while ten new trainees are welcomed to the HZDR: three laboratory technicians (two physics, one chemistry), one electrical engineer in automation technology, an electrical engineer for devices and systems, two technical product designers, two industrial technicians and one radiation technician (Bachelor of Science). Lisa Bauer, biology lab technician, receives the prize for best trainee. Steffen Winkelmann, long-serving instructor in electronics for devices and systems goes into “instructor retirement”.
September: From practice into practice – the HZDR Technikerakademie
The Technikerakademie marks the beginning of a new HZDR educational program aimed specifically at the center’s roughly two hundred technical employees. The new elements are to be tailored and combined to complement the existing training courses. The program encompasses a total of seven topic groups, which are divided into individual training courses: technical qualification, radiation protection, occupational safety, information technology, communication and social skills, internal HZDR topics as well as the expertise forum for instructors. The academy is organized for two weeks each spring and autumn.
October: New Helmholtz President visits Dresden-Rossendorf
During his inaugural visit, the new president of the Helmholtz Association, Prof. Otmar Wiestler, acquaints himself with research undertaken at the HZDR. During the first hundred days in his new position, the prior Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), visited the individual centers. As Wiestler stresses during a speech to HZDR staff, he sees great potential within the Association to cover the entire range of innovation cycles in its fields of expertise. As not even the largest institutions can fulfill this goal alone, he urges closer cooperation between the 18 Helmholtz centers as well as with universities, other non-university research institutions and businesses.
November: Helmholtz Energy Alliance closing symposium in Dresden
Sixty participants from the scientific and commercial sectors present the results of the Helmholtz Energy Alliance “Energy Efficient Multiphase Processes”. The group, which consists of seven partners and is coordinated by the HZDR, has been concerned for the last three-and-a-half years with how process efficiency in chemical engineering can be increased. One special focus lies on the reaction apparatuses with the aim of optimizing the chemical syntheses taking place within those apparatuses. A great deal of potential for saving energy exists in this area.
December: Leading European laser laboratories combine forces
To ensure that scientists across international borders have easy access to lasers, thirty of the most important facilities in this research field from sixteen countries have united in the EU project "Laserlab-Europe". Lund University in Sweden is the coordinator of this project. Prof. Ulrich Schramm, director at the Institute of Radiation Physics, represents the HZDR. The joint research is to further develop existing infrastructures. Europe can thus play a leading role globally in the fields of bio- and nanophotonics as well as in materials analysis.