Efficient, large-scale energy conversion and storage are topics of high societal relevance, as is the generation and processing of materials that make efficient energy conversion possible in the first place and that are as sustainable as possible. For future progress on these topics, the scientific fundamentals must be well understood and incorporated into the teaching of young scientists and scholars. Therefore, so research and teaching are closely linked at EMPI.
The Institute for Energy and Materials Processes, EMPI, lays the scientific foundations for energy conversion and storage, the production and processing of functional materials and materials, and the understanding of high-temperature processes. This begins with research into the details in small experimental plants and covers the entire process chain up to the industrial scale. Experimental investigations are accompanied by theory and simulations, as preparation as well as for the interpretation of experimental results.
In research, EMPI covers a wide range of scientific disciplines, including quantum chemistry, reaction kinetics, in situ diagnostics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics modeling and simulation, and provides an experimental platform ranging from materials design to processing, utilization, and optimization, especially for applications in the energy context. A unique strength lies in the multiple cross-connections between the disciplines, the development of versatile scientific tools, and the expertise in the targeted transfer of fundamental findings into practically usable processes. EMPI aims to provide important research impulses internationally and nationally with its work, and also to be a regional cooperation partner for companies in the Rhine-Ruhr region in research and development.
Six chairs with more than 100 scientists are anchored at the institute:
- Thermodynamics (Professor Burak Atakan),
- Fluid Dynamics (Professor Andreas Kempf),
- Applied Quantum Materials (Professor Gabi Schierning),
- Particle Engineering (Professor Doris Segets),
- Reactive Fluids (Professor Christof Schulz) and
- Nanoparticle Process Technology (Professor Markus Winterer)
In addition, internationally renowned scientists with independent profiles work at EMPI, including:
- Professor Sebastian Kaiser,
- Professor Khadijeh Mohri,
- Professor Thomas Dreier,
- Professor Hartmut Wiggers,
- Dr. Torsten Endres,
- Dr. Mustapha Fikri,
- Dr. Fatih Özcan,
- Dr. Irenäus Wlokas.
EMPI has unique equipment: reactors for nanoparticle synthesis and processing from laboratory to pilot scale, one of the largest shock wave laboratories for high temperature kinetics in the world, test benches with optically accessible reaction systems and extensive laser measurement technology as well as powerful and unique in-house software. These systems make it possible to develop processes, analyze reactive flow processes in situ using new measurement and simulation techniques, and transfer them to applications. Research at EMPI is supported by 12 technical staff members with an exceptionally broad qualification portfolio.
In teaching, EMPI covers a broad range: From thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to heat and mass transfer, chemical kinetics, reactive flows, turbulence modeling, laser diagnostics, numerical methods, materials synthesis, and processing. The topics are taught with great dedication in lectures, exercises, lab-classes and seminars. These classes are embedded in various national and international study programs during the bachelor and master studies, and students apply their acquired knowledge in scientific theses to current topics from the above-mentioned areas. With approximately 20 Ph.D. graduates and about 60 undergraduate theses per year, EMPI contributes significantly to the education of the next generation of engineers and scientists who use their science-based education to critically apply it to solve societal problems.