POTENTIAL

Every year, the resources, skills, ideas and energies at KIT produce inspiring results. Employees, graduates and ideas have an impact far beyond the campus.

2020

FASTER DEVELOPMENT OF EFFECTIVE MEDICATIONS

Scientists from Prof. Pavel Levkin's work group at the Institute of Biological and Chemical Systems – Functional Molecular Systems have created a drug discovery platform that enables the synthesis of numerous compounds, their characterization and screening within one surface.

The Covid 19 pandemic has send a signal to large segments of society what people with rare diseases have long known: Providing the world's population with targeted medicines and rapidly developing new compounds poses major challenges for the pharmaceutical industry.

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HOLISTIC RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT

With the Kadi4Mat platform, the Institute for Applied Materials at KIT has created a way to combine access, management and exchange of large amounts of research data with their analysis, visualization and transformation.

There are countless research facilities worldwide where experiments and simulations generate both, many and large research data sets. This data contains information that provides answers to current research questions. The increasing amount of research data and its complex interrelationships require deliberate and organized handling to enable its accessibility, reproducibility and use. Loss of information during data processing, for example due to the change of doctoral generations, are avoided by a well-structured research data management.

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2019

SOLAR POWER AT ITS BEST

As soon as one part of a series-connected solar system is in the shade, the current flow of the complete string is minimized. Sergej Koch wants to remedy this situation with an effective string combiner and maximize the output of large photovoltaic systems.

Anyone owning a garden hose knows following phenomenon: if there is just one bend, no water gets through. It is comparable to the electricity in a photovoltaic system whose solar modules are connected in series.

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2018

STORAGE IN SUSTAINABLE HANDS

KIT, the University of Ulm and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg are researching next-generation energy storage systems. The CELEST platform therefor creates a cross-location framework.

Lithium and cobalt are precious raw materials. They form the basis of lithium-ion batteries, which not only supply cell phones and laptops with power, but also feed more and more electric vehicles with energy.

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UNDER POWER

Transporting electricity without loss – superconductors make it possible. With a new manufacturing process, KIT scientists want to pave the way for mass production of the technology.

The energy turnaround requires the expansion of the German power grid by more than 5,000 kilometers. It is the only way the required energy, which is largely generated in the north of Germany with the help of renewable energy sources such as wind power, can be transported to the south.

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2017

ROBOTS WITH SENSTIVITY

Professor Ph. D. Bjoern Hein and Hosam Alagi are developing tactual proximity sensors that enable robots to better perceive their surroundings.

Industrial robots that make people's lives easier are no longer science fiction. For example, they help with assembly, welding, gluing, stacking or painting in industrial processes. Until now, however, they have almost always been placed behind barriers or protective grids to avoid the risk of a collision between humans and robots and the resulting injuries.

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ON THE WOOD PATH TO THE FUTURE

Prof. Christoph Syldatk wants to use innovative biotechnology to make biomass more profitable as an alternative to petroleum. In doing so, he is specifically focusing on the use of raw materials that do not compete with food or animal feed.

It is not without good reason that crude oil is called "black gold". The fossil raw material is the world's most important energy supplier and, when processed into plastics, forms the basis of countless everyday objects. However, as economical as its use may be, the dangers for the environment are equally high, during extraction and during industrial utilization.

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2016

SENSITIVE SMALL TALK ON THE ROAD

Together with his research team and regional partners, Prof. Frank Gauterin is shaping the autonomous future of automobility by testing the vision of autonomous driving.

Practically everyone has experienced it: you get into a car accident through no fault of your own. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, around 2.5 million accidents occur on German roads every year. One of the main reasons for these accidents is human error of the person causing the accident, such as inattention, incorrect driving behavior or inability to react due to acute health problems.

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HIGHTECH GUARDIANS OF THE FLORA

Scientists of KIT led by Prof. Peter Nick are fighting against plant extinction. This is not only interesting for conservationists: His ideas have an impact on industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to viticulture.

It is not exactly known how many plant species die out on earth every year. Although there are studies, such as the "Red List" of the World Conservation Union, the figures fluctuate and it is not entirely clear how many species exist on earth at all. What is certain, however, is that the number of extinct plants is far higher than the number of newly discovered plants.

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2015

SYNTHETICS IN THE TANK

How researchers from Karlsruhe, Munich and Kaiserslautern want to make road traffic cleaner with new diesel components.

Oxymethylene dimethyl ether – OME for short – sounds more bulky than diesel and super. Nevertheless, it is Prof. Joerg Sauer’s, Ph. D. Ulrich Arnold’s and their team’s desire, that it should flow out of gas pumps at gas stations someday. The researchers of KIT believe that these organic compounds could offer a cleaner future in many areas of mobility.

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RADIO HOLE IN PLASMA

How Wilfried Goldacker, Sonja Schlachter and Hong Wu want to protect astronauts as they enter the Earth's atmosphere.

On February 1, 2003, seven people died at an altitude of just under 70 kilometers above Texas when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart on entering the Earth's atmosphere. A heat tile that fell off unnoticed during launch was resposible for this tragedy; the resulting hole in the wing became Columbia's Achilles' heel.

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2014

DEPARTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN

How Christof Woell and Hartmut Gliemann are pioneering a new molecular platform technology.

What if you had an idea for a shelving system that was better than available shelving? How do you sell a system that is suitable for all kinds of room sizes, loads and volumes and has many additional functions, but is still not produced because the sheer number of ways the system can be used makes its usefulness for different applications seem abstract?

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ELECTRICITY FROM THE FACADE OF A HOUSE

How Alexander Colsmann and his team want to turn urban surfaces into power plants with organic photovoltaics.

The facade shines in beautiful colors, the windows let in light and the roof blends in with the architecture. Hardly anything indicates that the entire house is equipped with solar cells and that every hour of sunlight is used to produce electricity. Entire streets and the entire urban surface serve as a power plant. This vision of a "better city" is outlined by PH. D. Alexander Colsmann from the Light Technology Institute at KIT.

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2013

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PARTICLES

How Marc Weber, Hartmut Gemmeke and Nicole Ruiter turn basic research into new products for the world market.

The search for answers to fundamental questions in our universe does not leave Prof. Marc Weber peace. With his institute at KIT, the physicist is on the trail of the tiniest particles that form the basis of all existence.

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NANO-FUR IN THE FIGHT AGAINST OIL SPILLS

How Hendrik Hoelscher and Matthias Worgull want to clean up the oceans.

Today, 25 years after the oil tanker disaster off Alaska, the name Exxon Valdez still stands for one of the biggest environmental disasters in maritime history. After the ship struck a reef, 37,000 tons of crude oil spilled into the open sea, contaminating more than 2,000 kilometers of coastline.

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LIFE UNDER THE MAGNIFIFYING GLASS

How Gerd Ulrich Nienhaus and his team make biological processes visible at the molecular level.

Researching molecular interactions within living cells, tissues and living organism forms the basis for countless developments in modern biomedicine. To develop new drugs, improved diagnostic methods and more efficient therapeutic approaches, the pharmaceutical industry and medical research industry require insights into cellular processes at the smallest level.

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2012

THE COUNTRY NEEDS NEW GRIDS

How Mathias Noe wants to make the power supply in large cities fit for the future.

According to the United Nations, 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity. While population figures are rising worldwide, the development and expansion of a stable power supply is faltering. China itself invests billions in the construction for thousands of kilometers high-voltage lines every year. Also in Germany, the energy transition calls for modern, expanded grids.

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HOUSTON, WE HAVE ALGAE SALAD

How Clemens Posten and Klaus Slenzka want space travelers to breathe with algae oxygen in the future.

The longest manned space mission by an astronaut lasted 437 days: over a year in weightlessness under harsh conditions. When it comes to supplying the astronauts with oxygen, chemical tricks are used. Since there is almost no oxygen in space, oxygen has to be carried along or needs to be produced on site.

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HUMAN UNDERSTANDERS

How Tanja Schultz turns human biosignals into helpers for everyday life.

Speaking is a complicated matter. To convert acoustic signals into words, humans need more than 100 muscles. Tiny contractions of the muscles result in different sounds. Communicating through speech is a years-long learning process in childhood. However, acoustic communication can also be a barrier, for example, for mute people, in situations where loud environmental noise makes normal conversation impossible or when speaking in quiet environments disturbs others.

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2011

THE SETTLERS OF E

"The future belongs to electric cars" – that was how German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented on the second progress report of the national electromobility platform in May 2011 and identified battery production as one of two major challenges to catch up with the Asian market to become a lead market in the field of electromobility. A goal for which Prof. Horst Hahn, Ph. D. Andreas Gutsch and PH. D. Olaf Wollersheim from KIT can offer solutions: as founders, leaders, networkers and coordinators of "Competence E".

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REVOLUTION IN A DUET

It was an inspiring encounter: Ph. D. Pavel Levkin and Ph. D. Urban Liebel exchanged ideas by chance in the coffee kitchen of the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics at KIT in 2010. Chemist Levkin was conducting research on cell surfaces, while biologist Liebel was investigating new methods for high-throughput screening. At the end of the conversation, they agreed that they could revolutionize genetic research together.

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WATER FROM DIAPERS

The horrific images of the drought catastrophe in East Africa were with us in 2011. Water shortages threatened the lives of millions of people, not just in Somalia and Kenya. Natural disasters such as the tsunami eight years ago in Thailand leave behind destroyed supplies and contaminated water spreads diseases. Prof. Manfred Wilhelm from Karlsruhe wants to produce drinking water in a mobile, fast and uncomplicated way with an unusual idea.

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