In 2014 the Bremen Professor Antje Boetius was admitted into the exclusive circle of just 18 outstanding researchers from top-level german universities to have so far received the prize awarded by the Hector Foundation. The coveted science prize is endowed with 150,000 euros. Antje Boetius was also appointed a “Hector Fellow”. Although the areas of research covered by the current number of 18 Fellows are manifold, what they all have in common is a dedication to high-level research activities and academic teaching. Antje Boetius is Professor for Geomicrobiology at the University of Bremen. She also leads research groups at the Bremen Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven (AWI).
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Cause for rejoicing in the Faculty of Physics/Electronics Engineering: one of the three winners of the 2014 Nobel Prizes for Physics is Shuji Nakamura, Professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara – and at the same time an honorary professor of the University of Bremen. The prizewinners, Nakamura, Akasaki, and Amano received the great honour for their work on developing blue light emitting diodes (LED). The Royal Swedish Academy of Science granted the prize in recognition of their “revolutionary” research that produced the “new energy efficient and environmentally friendly light source”. The Nobel Prize for Physics is endowed with 880,000 euros (8 Million Swedish kronor) .
In March the Bremen marine researcher Nicole Dubilier is presented with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in Berlin. This is Germany’s most renowned and highest endowed science prize. She received the prize for her research on the symbioses between micro-organisms and marine animals. Nicole Dubilier, Professor for Microbial Symbioses in the Faculty of Biology/Chemistry, is also Director of the Bremen Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and a project leader at MARUM, the University of Bremen’s Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences .
In May Professor Stephan Leibfried received the Schader Prize from the foundation of the same name. The prize, which is endowed with 15,000 euros, is in recognition of Leibfried’s outstanding contribution to social scientific research on the Welfare State and the State, both within and outside Germany. Leibfried’s research work and public engagement has made an important contribution to resolving some of the pressing issues of modern society. Leibfried has been a professor at the University of Bremen since 1974 and is in no small measure responsible for the University’s successful development.
Practice-related research on international maritime law and mercantile law, and the training of junior law scholars: although only quite recently established, the Collaborative Research Group on International Maritime Law has already left its mark on the Metropolitan Region North West. This earned it the NordWest Award in 2014.
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Marine geologist Professor Heiko Pälike is granted 1.9 million euros by the European Research Council (ERC) to finance his outstanding research in the thematic area of climate and Earth history. The money will be used to fund a project called “Earthsequencing”, which involves tracing the Earth’s climate history over the past 66 million years . Pälike is among the 48 German researchers to receive the grant in 2014.
Article in the Yearbook Theme 2014 about Heiko Pälike
The German UNESCO Commission granted the research project “Offshore- Competence” run by the University‘s Institut Technik und Bildung (ITB) the honour of being named a UN Decade Project in the category “Education for Sustainable Development”. The ITB research team has been energetically occupied for the past three years with the training and further education of technical specialists in the area of wind energy plants.
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A great honour for Professor Gerold Wefer: in 2014 the US-American Society for Sedimentary Geology conferred the Francis P. Shepard Medal on the marine geologist. The society awarded the scientist the honour for his outstanding research. Of special mention is his work on processes of sedimentation around the world’s continental ocean rims; that is the transition zones between coastal waters and the deep sea. Wefer’s research on tracing the climate history of the Atlantic and bordering continents through investigating deep-sea sediments was also mentioned in the laudation .
The production of rotor blades for offshore wind turbines is very time-consuming – and consequently very expensive, too. Some years ago the “mapretec” project was started to research possibilities for streamlining the production process by introducing new automated manufacturing processes. In 2014 the Institute for Integrated Product Development (BIK), the project leader, won the JEC Innovation Award sponsored by the Global-Composite-Gemeinschaft. Winners were also the SAERTEX corporation in Saerbeck and AREVA Blades, Stade.
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Dr. Jens Lehmann, lead scientist of the geoscientific collection in the Faculty of Geosciences, is the first person outside Britain to receive the Richard Owen Award from the Palaeontographic Society in London. The award was conferred on Lehmann for his research on the fossils found in chalk deposits in England and his comparative studies with continental Europe. The scientist is a specialist for the fossils of extinct marine life .
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The research group “Hands-on Vocational Training” wins two awards at the same time: For “The Wilo-Brain Box Learning System to optimize heating units with multimedia training materials “ it won the Deutsche BildungsmedienPrize “digita 2014”. This was followed in quick succession by a Comenius Award in the European EduMedia competition 2014. In the view of the jury, the Wilo-Brain Learning System is exemplary for the opportunities presented by multimedia in vocational training and can serve as orientation for the further development of other learning and training systems.
International recognition for Bremen mathematics: The book “Distributed Computing Through Combinatorial Topology” by the Bremen Professor of Mathematics, Dmitry Feichtner-Kozlov, made it to number three on the list of the best publications on the subject of “computing”. Feichtner-Kozlov co-authored the book with two of his colleagues. The list is compiled by the American informatics society, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) – the largest society for informatics in the USA .
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The sooner mistakes can be identified when developing computer chips the better. Otherwise it can become very expensive indeed. As chips become increasingly complex, the effort required to trace potential errors also increases. Why? Because there are not enough automated solutions to the problem. This gap is now being closed by the recently established Bremen company GmbH (Solution Verification Technologies). The solvertec team has come up with a process that swiftly and precisely locates the causes of errors in the design of complex digital chips – and shows how to rectify the mistakes. During Germany’s most important specialist fair, the Embedded World held in Nürnberg, the the University of Bremen spin-off received a prize for their innovative idea: the Embedded Award 2014.
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Professor Ekkard Brinksmeier is internationally recognized as a top-level leading researcher in the area of production engineering. For over 40 years he has been engaged in the field of materials-oriented and eco-friendly manufacturing with a special focus on high-precision engineering. Brinksmeier is a founder member and the first fellow of the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (euspen), which counts over 500 members worldwide. In 2014 euspen conferred on Brinksmeier the “Lifetime Achievement Award”. From time to time the prize is awarded to persons who in the course of their research careers make outstanding contributions to the objectives pursued by the organization.
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Dr. Amin Ardestani from the Bremen Center for Biomolecular Interactions in the Faculty of Biology/Chemistry received the FörderPreis awarded by the German Diabetes Society. Ardestani received the 10,000-euro prize for his studies on insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. In the course of his work in the Laboratorium für Molekulare Diabetologie Ardestani he identified the key protein (MST1) believed to be a cause of diabetes. The research group led by Professor Kathrin Mädler is now carrying out experiments to see whether it can be used in therapy to protect beta cells and fight the cause of diabetes .
Our reputation as a university which is particularly strong in research has spread to Canada: In its grounds for awarding the John G. Diefenbaker Prize the jury made specific reference to the excellence of the University of Bremen. The 2014 prize winner is the Bremen romanist and historian, Professor Helga E. Bories-Sawala. Endowed with 95,000 Canadian dollars, the Diefenbaker Prize is awarded b the Canada Council for the Arts/Conseil des Arts du Canada – Canada’s central state institution for the promotion of research. Bories-Sawala will use the money to finance a one-year research project at the Université du Québec en Outaouais.
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Dr. Benny Rievers from the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravitation (ZARM) was awarded a Zeldovich Medal in the category “Fundamental Physics” by the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 1990 the medal, which is in memory of the astrophysicist Yakov B. Zeldovich, is awarded to junior researchers under the age of 36 for outstanding achievement in their respective field. Rievers was granted the honour for his research on the so-called Pioneer Anomaly, the gradual slowing down of the NASA Pioneer space probes 10 and 11 .
In 2014 Professor Yasemin Karakaşoğlu was awarded a double honor: The Vice Rectress for Intercultural and International Affairs was awarded the German Dialogue Prize 2014 endowed with 3,000 euros in the category science. The Bund Deutscher Dialoginstitutionen (BDDI) conferred the honour on the Bremen Professor for Intercultural Education for her illuminating research in the field of intercultural pedagogy. Then, in December she was proclaimed Bremen Diversity Personality of the Year 2014 .
The “Forschungsverbund Windenergie” received the North German Science Prize 2014. The Verbund is a collaborative project involving the universities of Oldenburg, Hanover, and Bremen, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Systems Engineering (IWES) North West, and the German Aerospace Centre. The Lower Saxony Minister for Science and Culture, Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić, presented the prize worth 50,000 euros in Hanover at the end of November. The science ministries of the North German Länder confer the award in recognition of exemplary cross-institutional and interregional cooperation.
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