Simon Schmitt

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

Current Issue – 01, March 2023

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Foto: Special Laser Symposium: Prof. Roland Sauerbrey & Michael Kretschmer, Minister President of Saxony ©Copyright: HZDR / André Wirsig


Bild: HZDR / André Wirsig


Title: Standing on the shoulders of giants

News: HZDR presenting itself at SPIN2030 kick-off

Started up: Majority of postdocs satisfied with career outlook

Explored: On track of the Big Bang

Inquired: An important boost for our transfer culture

Awarded: TUD Teaching Award for Sylvia Maus

Invitation: International Conference “Building Bridges for the Next Generations“

Noted: A versatile measuring method

Press review: Record finding in Sweden

Full articles mostly in German.


Standing on the shoulders of giants

With the Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer in attendance, the HZDR bid farewell to its former Scientific Director, Prof. Roland Sauerbrey, with a special laser conference. The physicist led the research center from 2006 to 2020, a period during which he managed the transition from the Leibniz Association to the Helmholtz Association, established new sites, further developed large-scale research facilities and strengthened technology transfer. About three years ago, Roland Sauerbrey resigned from his post as planned to subsequently establish the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) for the HZDR. The guest of honor at the symposium was the Physics Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Donna Strickland. We look back at the festive event with a photo gallery. More


HZDR presenting itself at SPIN2030 kick-off

How can science in Saxony succeed in taking the next big step in its development? The Saxon State Government has launched the campaign “SPIN2030 - Agenda for Science“ to support universities and research centers on this path. In February, Minister President Michael Kretschmer presented the strategy paper for the campaign at the Leipzig Congress Hall. Two projects from the HZDR were represented at the subsequent science fair. More

Foto: Exhibition of HZDR scientific images at the lecture hall entrance ©Copyright: HZDR

Exhibition of HZDR science images in the foyer of the main lecture hall

Bild: HZDR

Exhibition shows finest HZDR science images

Research images are often fascinating and sometimes even artistically valuable. This is proven by an exhibition that has recently been on display in the entrance area in front of the large lecture hall in Rossendorf. The seven images that now decorate the foyer were taken by HZDR employees who took part in last year's Best Scientific Imaging Contest organized by Helmholtz Imaging. The call for entries for this year's competition is open until March 15. More

Thorsten Jentsch appointed Corruption Prevention Officer

The position of the Corruption Prevention Officer at HZDR was reassigned at the start of the year. Dr Thorsten Jentsch from the Occupational Safety and Radiation Protection Department is now responsible for preventing corruption at the center. As a person of trust appointed by the Board of Directors, he trains and advises HZDR employees on this topic. On the intranet you can find more information about his tasks and how to contact him. More

Foto: Dr Ajay Patil, Department Leader Process Metallurgy at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology ©Copyright: privat

Dr Ajay Patil, Department Leader Process Metallurgy at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

Bild: privat

New Department Leader Process Metallurgy at HIF

Since the beginning of March, Dr Ajay Patil has headed the Process Metallurgy department at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at HZDR. Thus, a key role at the institute and on the way to a sustainable circular economy for mineral and metalliferous raw materials has been reoccupied. In this interview, Dr Patil introduces himself and outlines his short- and long-term goals within Process Metallurgy. More

Started up

Survey: majority of postdocs satisfied with career prospects

At the beginning of the year, the Personnel Affairs Department presented the results of the first postdoc survey. The Postdoc Center HZDR-TUD conducted the survey last year among junior scientists from the HZDR and TU Dresden. Over 400 postdocs, roughly a quarter of them from the HZDR, took part. The survey shows that a majority of them is positive about their own career planning and appreciates the existing support services. What the respondents hope for is more help through individual counselling interviews. More


Foto: Steffen Turkat in the

Steffen Turkat in the “Felsenkeller“ underground laboratory next to the most sensitive detector for measuring radioactivity

Bild: Max Osswald


On track of the Big Bang

The “Felsenkeller“ underground laboratory in Dresden now hosts the most sensitive setup for measuring radioactivity in Germany and one of the most sensitive setups in the world. With the new detector, researchers at the Technische Universität Dresden and the HZDR will in future be working at the highest international level on some of the most exciting questions in astrophysics, such as dark matter, stars or the Big Bang. More


“An important boost for our transfer culture“

To what end are we conducting research? For many scientists, the answer to this question is that they want to put their ideas into practice quickly so that society can benefit from them. For this to succeed, entrepreneurial skills are needed in addition to scientific competence. In many cases, these skills first have to be learned. The Technology Transfer Department has therefore set up the HZDR Innovators School, which will start with its first courses in March 2023. In this interview, Dr. Björn Wolf, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at HZDR, explains what the new qualification program has to offer and for whom it is suitable. More


Foto: Verleihung des TUD-Lehrpreises 2022 an Dr. Sylvia Maus ©Copyright: TUD/Michael Kretzschmar

Presentation of the TUD Teaching Award 2022 to Dr. Sylvia Maus

Bild: TUD/Michael Kretzschmar

TUD Teaching Award for Sylvia Maus

The TU Dresden (TUD) has honored Dr Sylvia Maus with the university's teaching award. The employee of the HZDR Board Office received the award in December 2022 for her innovative teaching concept on the topic of sustainability, which she developed together with Dr Martin Gerner from TUD. The aim of the seminar was to provide students with the knowledge and skills to get involved in the sustainability of institutions and companies in the non-profit sector. More

Events March 2023

Career Dinner Talk: Women's careers and role models

March 15 | 4.30 p.m. 
At the next Career Dinner Talk, five women will give insights into their successful careers. The panelists are Dr Babett Gläser, Head of the Research Department at the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK), Prof. Martina Zimmermann, Professor of Materials Mechanics at TU Dresden, Maria Piechnick, co-founder of the Dresden-based company Wandelbots, and Yvonne Keil, Director and Site Manager Procurement at Globalfoundries. The venue is the staff restaurant at the Rossendorf site. More

HZDR Innovation Contest: Award ceremony

March 28 | 11 a.m.
In December last year, 17 scientists and technicians competed in the HZDR Innovation Contest 2022 and presented their innovative ideas to the jury at the HZDR library. The three winning teams have now been selected. The Technology Transfer Department will hand them their certificates during an online award ceremony at the end of March. After a welcome by the Scientific Director Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt, each team will give a presentation based on their pitch from the contest. More

Company Visits: Elbe Flugzeugwerke

March 29 
The Company Visits offer junior researchers at HZDR the opportunity to get to know exciting employers in the region and to establish contacts in the corporate world. The next company visit will be at Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH: The Dresden-based company is one of the few aircraft manufacturers in Europe that produces and delivers full-size large aircrafts. Those interested can register for the internship at More


Foto: Conference

Conference “Building Bridges for the Next Generations“

Bild: Congressa

International Conference “Building Bridges for the Next Generations“ | May 16-17, 2023

As a neutral mediator, science has always been able to build bridges and cross borders – whether they are geographical, disciplinary or societal. In times like these, it is more important than ever to strengthen already existing connections among international partners in Central Europe and to build new alliances among the younger generations. This is why the Free State of Saxony initiated the international science conference Building Bridges for the Next Generations, which will be organized by the HZDR. This May, scientists from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic will come together and discuss how to solve urgent research questions especially in the areas of Health, IT and Energy & Climate. We cordially invite you to participate in this dialogue! Please visit our website for the program and registration. More

Save the Date

Girls’ Day & Boys’ Day at DeltaX School Lab | April 27, 2023

What does work at a research center look like and what exciting professions does science have to offer? Young people from the 7th grade onwards will find answers at the “Girls’ Day | Boys’ Day“, to which the HZDR School Lab DeltaX invites on Thursday, April 27, 2023. Participants can discover the modern workplaces and high-tech laboratories of the HZDR both in person and online. Registration is now open and will continue as long as free spots are still available. An overview of the program and the various job stations can be found on the School Lab's website. More


Foto: Helmholtz Resonator Podcast Logo ©Copyright: Helmholtz

Helmholtz Resonator Podcast Logo

Bild: Helmholtz

A versatile measuring method

How old is the Earth and how is this being researched? By combining particle accelerators and mass spectrometers, researchers can determine the isotopic signature of chemical elements, which can be used, for example, to calculate the age of organic matter. The numerous possibilities in accelerator mass spectrometry, AMS for short, and its technical background are explained by HZDR physicist Dr Anton Wallner in the new episode of the Helmholtz Resonator. More

Corporate Benefits: Attractive offers for employees

The HZDR has a platform where employees can discover products and services from high-quality brands at permanently attractive conditions. The Personnel Affairs Department provides the offer in cooperation with the company “corporate benefits“. Use of the platform, which is continuously being expanded, is free of charge. Only a one-time registration is required before the first access. More

Press review

Record finding in Sweden

The largest known deposit of rare earths in Europe has been discovered in northern Sweden. The state-owned company LKAB announced in January that the deposit near the city of Kiruna contains more than one million tons of rare-earth oxides. How do the valuable metals now come to the surface and what does the discovery mean for the European supply of raw materials? Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) asked Prof. Jens Gutzmer from HZDR's Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) about this. More