Martina Havenith, spokesperson for RESOLV, welcomed the 100 participants of the New Year's reception, especially the guest speaker, Ferdi Schüth, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research. Representatives from the chemical industry and economic development were also present.
Representing the rectors of the two guest universities, Martin Paul emphasized the significance of RESOLV for both universities. He congratulated RESOLV on its achievements in terms of scientific excellence, internationalization, and the promotion of young scientists, serving as a role model for the two universities.
Transformation of the chemical industry
The chemical industry is currently facing significant challenges in terms of sustainability and a transition to non-fossil carbon sources. Ferdi Schüth, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research and a sustainability expert at the national level, presented his vision during the keynote address on how the chemical industry can be realigned with comprehensive strategies and innovation to meet climate policy goals within the specified timeframe. He emphasized that, in addition to replacing fossil sources in energy provision, the manufacturing processes need to be rethought to transition to renewable raw materials for chemical production.
Schüth highlighted that in many cases, solution approaches already exist. Many individual chemical steps are replaceable, and solution strategies have been developed in recent decades. Now, there is a need for the consistent use of these concepts beyond established procedures and implementation through modernized large-scale process technology. Through skillful adaptation, the obtained basic materials can be integrated into the subsequent production chains of the chemical industry. He provided an exciting overview of the existing knowledge in the field of sustainable chemistry and urged for its faster and more consistent implementation. He emphasized that science has developed and will continue to develop solutions for the chemical industry to successfully achieve its transformation. In his concluding remarks, Schüth echoed Martin Paul's optimistic words, assuring that he looks confidently towards a sustainable future.
All good things come in threes
With this motto, RESOLV spokesperson Martina Havenith guides us through her annual retrospective and outlook. For the third time, RESOLV will reinvent itself and apply for further funding as an Excellence Cluster. Also, for the third time, the RESOLV PhD Award was presented. Dr. Niklas Sülzner received this award for his outstanding doctoral work in the Excellence Cluster. The award donor, Dr. Klaus Engel, personally presented the accolade. Engel, who studied chemistry in Bochum himself, particularly emphasized in his laudation how excited he was that Sülzner had investigated the topic of his doctoral thesis from both a theoretical and experimental perspective. This holistic approach is in line with RESOLV's spirit and demonstrates how an excellent environment influences talented young researchers.