In 2017, the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV strengthened its strategic collaborations at institutional and research level. It was an intense year of scientific achievements and research planning. Here we present the highlights of the year.
1. RUB and TUDO apply together. In view of the next funding phase of Germany’s Excellence Strategy, RESOLV involved the partners within the University Alliance Ruhr (UARuhr). That decision has paid off, as in September RESOLV went through the 1st evaluation round, and started to prepare the full application for 2018. RUB and the Technical University (TU) of Dortmund are jointly applying as cluster hosts, with significant involvement from the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE).
2. Publications soar. The collaboration among scientists also progressed remarkably. In 2017 RESOLV surpassed the 700 publications on referred journals, with more than 100 papers being cooperative efforts involving at least 2 RESOLV groups. Is it possible to make biodiesel for conventional engines? What effects do solvents have on chemical reactions? Can we follow the solvation of a molecule as it happens? How do key enzymes produce molecular H2? And can carbon atoms behave like waves, and cross energy barriers? These were just some of the questions that RESOLV scientists successfully tackled in 2017.
3. International Awards. RESOLV scientists won many prizes in the solar year. Among them the Junior Faculty Award from the America Biophysical Society, the GDCh award for best presentation by an early career chemist, the Robert-Wichard-Pohl prize in science communication from the German Physical Society. And the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (Mercur) turned the professorship of Martina Havenith, speaker of RESOLV, into an inter-institutional UA Ruhr professorship, aimed at developing new laser spectroscopy methods.
4. More RESOLV worldwide. The cluster continued to strengthen its relationships outwards. Thanks to the Humboldt Research Award, spectroscopist Yuan-Pern Lee from the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan will collaborate with the Sander group at RUB. The International Female Faculty of NCCR MUST and RESOLV organized the third Gender and Science Meeting at the ETH Zürich, to discuss science and the current initiatives to counter gender imbalance in research. Theoretical chemists Teresa and Martin Head-Gordon, founders of RESOLV’s sister research consortium California explores Solvation (CALSOLV) at UC Berkeley, were guest at the RUB for one month.
5. A window open to the world. All events and scientific achievements have been covered by the new RESOLV website and twitter account, which are online since May 2017. RESOLV scientists prepared a special issue on Solvation Science in the magazine ‘Chemie in unserer Zeit’, the most read publication among German teachers. And the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) led a delegation of prominent scientists from US and Canada to visit the Cluster and the ZEMOS research building.
Stay tuned in 2018 for RESOLV's next highlights!