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Physical Sciences Science Education and Career Insights

Unifying Systems in Catalysis-Revolutionizing Catalysis, A Cluster of Excellence Presents Itself

Exzellenzcluster UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin | Franziska Hess, Beatriz Roldan Cuenya, Arne Thomas, Cordula Weiß, Inez Weidinger, Maria Andrea Mroginski, Marius Horch, Silke Leimkühler, Tobias Gensch, Ingo Zebger

An exploration of how current catalysis research is driving 'green chemistry' and contributing towards sustainability and resource conservation.

The UnisysCat cluster of excellence will give an insight into the revolutionary research in catalysis and its contribution towards sustainable chemistry. Can we go from Green House Gas to fuel? Arne Thomas will enable the audience to experience live how exciting current catalysis research is, and which new and important research areas are intensively being explored. Also hear from Dr. Silke Leimkühler, University of Potsdam, and Dr. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya, Fritz Haber Institute, as they discuss their work exploring the potential to produce energy from CO2 in the future.
Further insights into the current research work of UniSysCat will be provided by short introductory talks from the junior researchers Franziksa Hess, Marius Horch and Tobias Gensch. This will be followed by interviews exploring how to become a female professor, with panellists sharing their experiences from their career journey.

The program will conclude with a Science Party at which the speakers and the staff of the UniSysCat office will personally introduce themselves.

PUBLIC LECTURE AND RESEARCH INSIGHT ON ZOOM. PLEASE REGISTER.

This is a digital event. If you would like to attend please book your spot in advance. Please register here.

The access to the event will be provided through the organiser and after registration.

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Franziska Hess

Institut für Chemie / UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin

Junior professor

Franziska Hess is junior professor for chemical catalysis at Technische Universität Berlin since April 2020 at the Institute of Chemistry. Her area of work lies in the modeling of heterogeneous catalysts and catalyst stability. The goal of her research is to develop theoretical models for the long-term stability of catalyst systems and suitable descriptors that are able to predict catalysts which are both active and stable. Furthtermore she focuses on the optimization of existing simulation methods for chemical kinetics by taking into account the influence of lateral interactions between adsorbed molecules.

Beatriz Roldan Cuenya

Interface Science Department, Fritz Haber Institut

Director

Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldan Cuenya is the Director of the Interface Science Department at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society. The research of her eight working groups is focused on the fundamental understanding of structure/composition-reactivity correlations in thermal catalysis and electrochemistry. She is an expert in theoperando investigation of the unique structural, electronic, vibrational and chemical properties of size- and shape-selected nanostructures and thin films and their interfaces with gas and liquid environments under realistic reaction conditions.

Arne Thomas

Exzellenzcluster UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin

Professor TU Berlin, Speaker of the Cluster

Arne Thomas studied chemistry in Gießen, Marburg and Edinburgh. He earned his doctorate with Markus Antonietti at the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam/Golm in 2003.  Subsequently he worked with a Feodor Lynen fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara / USA in the laboratory of Galen D. Stucky. In 2005 he returned to the MPI of Colloids and Interfaces as a research group leader and scientific coordinator for the project: “EnerChem – Nanochemical concepts for a sustainable energy supply” a research partnership of five Max-Planck institutes. In 2009 he accepted the position as full professor of inorganic chemistry (Functional Materials) at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin). In 2011 he received an ERC starting grant and the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award. Since 2019 he is the chairman of the Cluster of Excellence “Unifying Systems in Catalysis – UniSysCat” combining the expertise of 9 universities and research institutes in the Berlin area (www.unisyscat.de). Arne Thomas is listed as a Highly Cited Researcher since 2017 (Clarivate Analytics).

The main interest of the Thomas group is the synthesis and application of nanostructured materials, with a special focus on the generation of porous functional materials for catalytic applications.

Cordula Weiß

UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin

PR and Communications Manager

Dr Cordula Weiß studied Chemistry and Management at Ulm University, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg and Monash University, Melbourne before completing her PhD at the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. She has always had a keen interest in science communication and was involved in many projects in Germany and Ireland. Having worked with Waterford Institute of Technology’s Science Engagement Centre for several years, she joined UniSysCat in September 2020.

Inez Weidinger

UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin

Professor

Inez Weidinger studied physics in Mainz, Glasgow and Berlin. In 2003 she received her PhD in Physical Chemistry at FU Berlin and joined later Peter Hildebrandt’s group at TU Berlin as a postdoc. Since then, her research focus has been on electrocatalytic energy conversion reactions, which she investigates using a combination of electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques. 2007 she received a Liebig Scholarship from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and became an independent research group leader. In 2016 she was appointed professor for electrochemistry at TU Dresden. From 2011 to 2016 she was a project leader in the cluster of excellence UniCat. She is currently supporting the cluster of excellence UniSysCat as an external member in the field of surface-enhanced spectro-electrochemistry.

Maria Andrea Mroginski

Institut für Chemie /UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin

Professor

Maria Andrea Mroginski studied physics at the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste in Argentina. As DAAD scholar, she performed her PhD simultaneously at the Max Planck Institute für Strahlenchemie (in Germany) under the guidance of Prof. Hildebrandt and Dr. Mark and at the University of the La Plata (Argentina) in the group of Dr. Della Vedova. The main focus in her Doctoral thesis was to investigate the Resonance Raman spectra of various compound via experimental and computational approaches. After a short Postdoc stage in Oerias Portugal, she became 2004 junior group leader at the TU Berlin and later, 2009, junior professor for molecular modelling at the same institution. 2015 she was finally appointed to a W2-professor position in biomolecular modelling at the TU Berlin.

Marius Horch

UniSysCat, Freie Universität Berlin

Junior Research Group Leader

Dr. Marius Horch has joined UniSysCat as a Junior Research Group leader in the field of Ultrafast Dynamics in Catalysis in May 2020. As trained biotechnologist with a strong background in experimental and theoretical biophysics, his research focusses on metalloenzymes and other bioinorganic catalysts. Dr. Horch is currently establishing his research group at the Department of Physics, Freie Universität Berlin, to further our understanding of the structure, function, and dynamics of complex catalytic systems by ultrafast, multidimensional, and computational spectroscopy.

Silke Leimkühler

Universität Potsdam

Professor

Silke Leimkühler is a full professor at the University of Potsdam since 2009. She received her Ph.D in microbiology the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany in 1998. After a post-doctoral position in the Department of Biochemistry at the Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC, USA) from 1999-2001, she returned to Germany with an Emmy-Noether grant from the DFG to establish her own research group at the Technical-University of Braunschweig, where she stayed until 2004. In 2005 she accepted a Junior-Professor position at the University of Potsdam, Germany, where she still currently works as a full professor in Molecular Enzymology. Her major research interests focus on molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis, molybdoenzyme enzymology, cellular sulfur transfer mechanisms for sulfur-containing biomolecule synthesis and the role of FeS cluster assembly on molybdoenzyme maturation.

Tobias Gensch

Institut für Chemie / UniSysCat, Technische Universität Berlin

Junior Research Group Leader

Dr. Tobias Gensch has been employed at the Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Chemistry, as junior group leader of UniSysCat since April 2020. With his profound experience in the synthesis and theoretical study of molecular catalysts, he will lead an interdisciplinary research program that integrates experimental and computational chemistry with data science. He is fascinated by the vision of an artificial chemical intelligence, an algorithm that could predict new catalytic reactions before the experiment to facilitate the chemical discovery process and help address synthetic challenges.

Ingo Zebger

Technische Universität Berlin

Senior Scientist in the Department of Biophysical Chemistry

Dr. Ingo Zebger works since 2003 as a senior scientist in the department of Biophysical Chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin. Since 2019 he is involved as group leader in the cluster of excellence UniSysCat. His research interest centers on the elucidation of molecular processes e.g. catalytic mechanisms and electron transfer in metalloenzymes and redox proteins. In this context he adapts vibrational (infrared and Raman) spectroscopic techniques i.a. in combination with electrochemical methods. Further, he supports UniSysCat office team in public relations and science communication.

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