News from the ZWU

Find out about current activities and news from the ZWU network.

Congratulations!Dr. Christian Donner becomes honorary professor at the UDE's Department of Urban Water Management and Waste Management.

April 2022 

Dr. Christoph Donner has been a lecturer at the University of Duisburg-Essen for over 10 years in the Urban Water Management Unit. His expertise ranges from the basics of water management to specific topics such as asset management.
Dr. Donner is involved in numerous national and international projects on water management, including the research college "Future Water" (see picture).

We look forward to welcoming an interdisciplinary thinker, practitioner and pioneer in water management!

 

Registration is now openInternational Chrysophyceae Symposium

April 2022 

The Chrysophyceae Symposium will be held this year at the University of Duisburg-Essen, from 8.8. to 11.8.22.Preparation is now well underway for our Symposium, which will be an in-person meeting format following a two-year delay due to the global COVID-19 crisis.

Following the focus of several previous symposia it will provide a forum to present work on all aspects of chrysophyte investigations including biodiversity, evolution, ecology, systematics, and experimental morphology. Although the overriding theme of the symposium will focus on chrysophytes, investigations of allied taxa as well as of other mixotrophic algae are welcome.

More information ...
© j-mel - stock.adobe.com

5.3 million euros for power-to-X platformClimate-neutral chemistry

April 2022 

Electricity from fossil fuels should disappear from the production chain as far as possible - not only to protect the environment, but also to become less dependent on imports. NRW wants to get a little closer to this goal and is now funding the construction of a power-to-X test platform at the UDE with 5.3 million euros. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the overall leader of the SPIN* project. Other project partners are Evonik Industries and Fraunhofer (FhG) UMSICHT.

"With the Power-to-X test platform, we are connecting the electricity, heat and gas grids as well as the mobility sector. This so-called sector coupling is a key technology on the way to the energy transition and the targeted climate neutrality," explains Professor Klaus Görner, the scientific director of the project. At the same time, the UDE researchers have the necessary infrastructure with the plant to manufacture further products whose intermediate component is energy in the form of hydrogen. The project will initially be funded for three years.

© J. Strackbein

WDR Lokalzeit visits SFB ResistFilm about the ExStream project

April 2022 

WDR Lokalzeit visited the Collaborative Research Centre SFB Resist to film a documentary on research into multiple stressors.

The WDR reported on ExStream, which uses mesocosms to test the effects of three stressors on groups of organisms and on ecosystem functions.

For this purpose, stream water is pumped into collection tanks from which it feeds up to 128 circular mesocosms. In the mesocosms, several stressors can be applied simultaneously in a full factorial design with eight replicates per stressor combination.

© Yassin Kasparei

From students for studentsHydrological-Water Management Conference (HYWATA) 2022

March 2022 

The hydrological-water management conference, HYWATA, is a four-day interdisciplinary networking event for students of all disciplines related to water (hydrology, hydrobiology, water management, cultural engineering, hydraulic engineering, geosciences, process engineering for water treatment and civil and environmental engineering).

HYWATA was held for the first time in 2012 at the Technical University of Dresden. Due to its success, there were further "HYWATAs" in Dresden and in Vienna in 2015, 2017 and 2018. In 2022, a group of students from the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) will bring this successful concept to Essen for the first time. The UDE team consists of students from the DVGW university group AquaSmarTech, the study programme "Management and Technology of Water and Wastewater" and the study programme "Water Science".

The unique history and landscape of the Emscher and Ruhr region is the reason for the many water management associations and societies, and it also explains the high presence of corresponding cultural and research institutions - most of which are in intensive cooperation with the diverse water study programmes at the UDE. HYWATA 2022 will be held from 8 to 11 June at the Essen campus under the motto "The Challenge of Water Management in the Emscher and Ruhr Region - History, Present and Future".

Registrations from internal and external students are open from 8 March to 8 April.

More information ...
© Land NRW/Ralph Sondermann

75 million for researchStart of the Research Alliance

February 2022 

At the NRW State Chancellery, the Rectors of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the Technische Universität Dortmund and the UDE signed the extended cooperation agreement for the establishment of the "Research Alliance Ruhr". Minister President Hendrik Wüst and Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen also handed over the allocation letter for funds amounting to 75 million euros for the start-up phase. The new research alliance was developed within the framework of the Ruhr Conference initiated by the state government.

The three universities are now setting up four new Research Centres and a "College for Social Sciences and Humanities". The four research centres deal with the topics "Future Energy Materials and Systems", "Chemical Sciences and Sustainability", "Trustworthy Data Science and Security" and "One Health". The latter is supported by the participation of the ZWU in the area of Ecosystem Health.

In total, up to 50 new professorships will be created, as well as numerous positions for mid-level researchers. Preparations for the first appointment procedures have already begun.

The full expansion of research centres and colleges is to be achieved by 2025. The goal is to establish a top-class international research alliance.

More information only available in german...
© Didem Denizer

Recognition of personal achievment and social commitmentDAAD Award for Hasan Idrees

February 2022 

The International Office of the UDE awards Hasan Idrees the DAAD Prize 2021 on behalf of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for his achievements and social commitment. Mr. Idrees studies water technology at the UDE and has, among other things, co-founded the university group AquaSmarTech.

AquaSmartTech has been up and running at UDE since 2015. The university group, founded with the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW), aims to connect UDE students and teachers with the professional world. To this end, it informs first-year students individually about their studies or offers information seminars and support in the search for internships, theses and jobs in the fields of water, environmental technology and hydraulic engineering.

In addition, the native Syrian runs a blog in which he addresses questions about living and entering Germany, health policy issues or labor law. The blog is not only aimed at students, but also at migrants from all countries. At the moment, however, it is only available in Arabic.

The ZWU congratulates very warmly on the award!

Find out more...
© Sophie Simon

Nature publicationGreenhouse gas fuel for microbes

January 2022 

With an ejection height of up to 60 meters, the geyser in Andernach is the world's largest cold-water geyser. Dr. Alexander J. Probst, biology professor at the UDE Faculty of Chemistry, found out which single-celled organisms live there and how they bind CO2. The results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

For Probst and his doctoral student Till Bornemann, what is particularly interesting is what happens at the very bottom of the geyser. The UDE researchers most frequently found so-called altiarchaea. Professor Probst is also researching these single-celled organisms in a sulfur spring near Regensburg.

The interdisciplinary study involved UDE scientists from analytical chemistry (AG Schmidt), geology (AG Schreiber) and microbiology (AG Probst). Geysir.info gGmbH provided support, for example, with long-term measurements of water chemistry. Further analyses are planned in the "MultiKulti" project, which is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 2.5 million euros over three years.

Find out more...

Save the dateWater Research Horizon Conference 2022

December 2021 

On June 21-22, 2022, the Water Research Horizon Conference (WRHC) on the topic: "Aquatic Ecosystems between Conservation and Exploitation" will take place in Essen, Germany. In 2022, the WRHC will be organized by the Water Science Alliance and ZWU.

The Water Research Horizon Conference (WRHC) is a platform for dialogue on the major challenges in water research. Within its framework, the scientific community meets annually to discuss interdisciplinary issues to be addressed through integrated approaches.

The program and further information will be published soon.

Find out more...
© D. Schulze-Makuch

International StudyMicrobes and viruses found in the Atacama Desert

November 2021 

The Atacama Desert stretches along Chile's Pacific coast over 100,000 square kilometers. It is one of the most arid places in the world. Annual precipitation averages 0.5 mm, less than Death Valley in California.

Prof. A. Probst (Aquatic Microbial Ecology, UDE) and his international team have now discovered unicellular archaea there that have developed numerous resistances. They occur under rock-covered parts of the desert, where they are protected from UV radiation. The boulder-covered areas comprise up to a quarter of the extremely dry core of the Atacama Desert. So far, no life has been searched for there.

For space exploration, he said, this finding is important. "The Atacama Desert is considered a Mars analog." If terrestrial life strikes the red planet unplanned, it probably spreads widely, as the viruses' dispersal patterns showed. In addition, he said, there could be zones of life possible under Martian debris, just as there are here, despite drought and UV radiation.

The study involved researchers from the Technical Universities of Berlin and Duisburg-Essen, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, and the U.S. universities of Harvard (Cambridge) and Rhode Island, Kingston.

Find out more...
© Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband

MERLIN collaborative project 21 million euros EU funding for renaturation

Oktober 2021 

The MERLIN* collaborative project coordinated by Prof. Hering & Dr. Birk (Aquatische Ökologie, UDE)  is funded by the EU with 21 million euros until 2025. The project involves 44 partners from across Europe, including universities, research institutes, nature conservation organizations as well as stakeholders from industry, administration and muncicipalities.

MERLIN seeks new , widely applicable solutions for restoring the functions of freshwater ecosystems, for example to improve flood retention and store carbon dioxide.

10 million of the EU funding will go to 17 areas from Finland to Israel, where streams, rivers as well as bogs and wetlands are currently  being restored to a near-natural state. These major projects will be expanded and upscaled with EU funding and developed into European-wide models. In Germany, the restoration of the Emscher is one of the supported projects. After the former dirty watercourse has already been cleaned and redesigned in a near-natural way at great expense, MERLIN  is now contributing to the further upgrading of the watercourse environment.

* MERLIN – Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation“

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Prof. Niemann (UDE) successfull with 2 projects in the competition InnovationUmweltwirschaft.NRW

September 2021

34 applicants were able to prevail in the preselection for the competition "InnovationUmweltwirtschaft.NRW" and were recommended for promotion. Two projects by Prof. Niemann (Wasserbau & Wasserwirtschaft, UDE) are among the successful projects:

Abot-Modell-WKA -Validation of a control tool for the fish behavior-related control of hydropower plants coordinated by Büro für Umweltplanung, Gewässermanagement und Fischerei

Smart Green City –Relocate sensors for a smart urban water balance coordinated by Okeanos Consulting GbR

Find out more...
© UDE/Bettina Engel-Albustin

Commitment to science communication Success for Dr. Stéphane Kenmoe

August 2021

The theoretical physicist Stéphane Kenmoe developed the series called: „Science in the City“ which is shown on African television (DASH TV) and YouTube. Now his commitment to science communication is being recognized at the Berlin  „Falling Walls“-Konferenz

Kenmoe, who works as a postdoc at the Chair of Theoretical Chemistry came out on top among 189 submissions and 50 finalists and is one of the 20 winners in the „Science Engagement“ category. At the Beginning of November he is allowed to present his project to a global audience at the  „Falling Walls“-Konferenz and has the chance to secure the title "Breakthrough of the year“.

Find out more...
© freerangestock.com

BMBF joint projectCultivation of aquatic microbes

August 2021

Growing microorganisms and their natural communities in the laboratory - this is the goal of the new research project MultiKulti at the University of Oldenburg. The research team - including members from the Aquatic Microbial Ecology department at the UDE - is developing a bioreactor that simulates the natural living conditions of microbes. The BMBF is funding the project with 2.5 million euros for 3 years.

The UDE researchers will apply bioinformatics methods that make it possible to predict the metabolism of the target microbes. In addition, a method based on DNA sequencing technology for reactor monitoring will be developed.

Find out more...
Viren und ihr Wirt © V. Turzynski, L. Griesdorn, A. Probst

New viruses in groundwater International study on lytic archaeal viruses.

August 2021

Prof. Probst (Aquatic Microbial Ecology, UDE) and an international group of researchers found altiarchaea in the groundwater of the Mühlbach sulfur spring in Isling, Regensburg. They came across the unknown viruses that infect the microorganisms when analyzing water taken from a 35 m deep aquifer at the sulfur spring. In the labaratory, the viral pathogens cannot yet be grown in the laboratory and are therefore nameless.

Probst, A. et al.: „Lytic archaeal viruses infect abundant primary producers in Earth’s crust”, in: Nature Communications 12 (30 July 2021): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-24803-4

Find out more...
Einfluss von Anionen auf die Emission von völlig anorganischen Goldnanoclustern © CENIDE

Fluorescence of noble metal Nanoclusters.

Juli 2021

In this work, researchers led by Ms. Ziefuss (Technical Chemistry I) demonstrate the size-controlled generation of ligand-free gold nanoclusters by a modern laser-based synthesis method. These species exhibit bright blue fluorescence whose intensity is a direct function of the surface charge density, which can be easily tuned by the pH of the surrounding medium. The researchers have succeeded for the first time in producing such small particles without organic biomolecules on the surface and observing the optical properties.

The study, in which several UDE working groups were involved, was carried out as part of a DFG research project. The research topic offers thematic points of contact for photocatalysis research, which is being carried out as part of the FutureWaterCampus (FWC).

Read publication...

ICRS Honorary Award for Prof. Helmut Schuhmacher

Juli 2021

The ICRS International Coral Reef Society - the most important society for coral reef research - has awarded its honorary prize to UDE Professor Helmut Schuhmacher.

The former head of the then Institute of Ecology, now Aquatic Ecology, at UDE is considered one of Germany's leading coral reef ecologists and made a name for himself primarily through his studies on the effects of climate change and pollution on reefs.

Congratulations!

To the ICRS Webseite...

EU projectMicroorganisms as indicators for oil and gas storage facilities

Juli 2021

Using microorganisms as standard indicators of oil and gas deposits to prevent environmentally damaging test drilling: This is what the "Prospectomics" project aims to achieve. Researchers around UDE professor Alexander Probst are significantly involved. The EU is funding the project for 42 months with 3.4 million euros.

The project takes a molecular biology approach: Changes in sediments above reservoirs should indicate where microorganisms are exposed to hydrocarbons. Using modern bioinformatics methods, "Prospectomics" aims to investigate how changes in microbial communities can be detected using metagenomics, -transcriptomics and -proteomics.

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© Fraunhofer IME

Project "TrenDNA"Funding from the Federal Environment Agency

Juni 2021

Under the leadership of the UDE, researchers in the project "TrenDNA - Investigations on Biodiversity with the Federal Environmental Specimen Bank" are working together with researchers from the University of Trier, the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and the Fraunhofer IME to develop new genetic methods with which samples can be evaluated.

High-throughput sequencing will be used to take a comprehensive look at biodiversity trends over time and develop measures, says Florian Leese, spokesman for the project.

More information about the environmental sample bank...

Start of the renovation work on the Thurmfeld

Juni 2021

Remediation work has begun on the former industrial site at Thurmfeld. The contaminated soil will be processed until fall 2022, after which construction of the FutureWaterCampus will begin.

The Westdeutsche Allgemeine WAZ was present at the site inspection and reported:

Thurmfeld wird von Altlasten befreit

To the article in the WAZ...

New DAAD university cooperation with EJUST in Egypt

Juni 2021

Together with the UDE Chair of Mechanical Process Engineering / Water Technology, the ZWU coordinates the cooperation project "Egyptian-German Academic Excellence in Water Treatment and Desalination (Excel-Water)", which is funded by the DAAD for 4 years.

The aim of the project is the establishment of educational programs for the training of qualified workers in Egypt. The UDE cooperates with Egyptian partners, the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) and the Fayoum University (FU).

More about the project...

Internat. Joint projectSustainable production of drinking water

Mai 2021

The international joint project "Sustainable and cost-effective production of drinking water from eutrophic and micro-polluted water using a membrane hybrid process (SUPREMES)", coordinated by the UDE Chair of Mechanical Process Engineering / Water Technology and the ZWU, will receive three years of funding from the BMBF starting in June 2021.

Partners in the application-oriented research project are the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and Essen-based Cornelsen Umwelttechnologie GmbH.

Informations about the chair of MV...