The University of Bremen is presently experiencing a streak of successes: after receiving support of around 12 Million Euros recently from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) for all three Graduate School proposals, they have now been given a green light for two new Collaborative Research Centres (CRC). This means that they will be funded for around 19 million Euros through 2020. At the University of Bremen, in Materials Science, the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) “Farbige Zustände” under the leadership of process engineer Professor Lutz Mädler (Production Engineering Department) was approved for near 10 million Euros. Marine Sciences secured the CRC/Transregio “Energy transfer in the atmosphere and ocean” under the leadership of the University of Hamburg for around 9 million Euros. Bremen’s part in this is overseen by Professor Monika Rhein at MARUM, the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. Both projects will begin on 1 July 2016.

Within the CRC / TRR researchers from Bremen and Hamburg will conduct their experimental work on expeditions on research vessels. The picture shows the Maria S. Merian . Photo : D. IKieke / MARUM

“Within just a few days we have twice achieved 100% successes at the DFG,” says university Rector Bernd Scholz-Reiter. This is an outstanding accomplishment that the University of Bremen and its partners can be very proud of. The competition at the DFG is fiercely contested. “Our scientists have once again proven that their research is carried out at the highest level,” says the rector. The collaboration with the University of Hamburg and other partners illustrates the intensive level of cooperation among the universities and scientific institutes. “This DFG decision also strengthens us in our bid for the Excellence Initiative,” stated the rector. The new Collaborative Research Centres represent an intensification of the cooperative spirit at MARUM, which already has one Excellence Cluster. The work of the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes, which wants to submit a cluster proposal, will be strengthened in the process, production and materials sciences. Here, interdisciplinary methods will be applied to investigate new materials and their manufacturing processes.

The “coffee-cream” and other turbulence effects

If you have ever poured cream into a cup of coffee you know how turbulent currents can contribute to the mixing of the two liquids. This small-scale effect in the coffee cup is analogous to what occurs in the atmosphere and ocean. Physical processes at the most basic level are linked to global winds and currents, and are of vital importance for our global climate. Researchers at the multidisciplinary CRC/Transregio “Energy Transfer in the Atmosphere and Ocean” want to study these turbulent processes and wave actions in order to improve the current climate models and to develop new models with closed energy budgets. “In spite of all our progress, existing climate models still exhibit energy and mathematical inconsistencies, which can lead to significant error in the prediction of climate,” says spokesman for the project Professor Carsten Eden of the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (Centrum für Erdsystemforschung und Nachhaltigkeit – CEN) at the University of Hamburg. “It is time now to bring the activities of the various disciplines together and break new ground in this field.”

Oceanographers, meteorologists and mathematicians are working closely together on this project. The scientists are working to understand and coherently describe energy exchange in the climate system and to develop improved physical and mathematical ocean and atmosphere models. The CRC/Transregio encompasses locations in Hamburg, Bremen and Rostock, and is coordinated at the CEN research center at the University of Hamburg. The Bremen oceanographer Professor Monika Rhein of MARUM and the Institute of Environmental Physics represents the University of Bremen in the steering committee of the CRC/Transregio. She contributes her professional expertise in the area of experimental marine research. Furthermore, there is additional expertise at the University of Bremen in the fields of mathematics and theoretical marine research.

Additional partners include the Jacobs University Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, the Leibniz Institutes of Atmospheric Physics and of Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde of the University of Rostock, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht. From the State of Bremen there are seven scientists participating in leading positions in 10 of the 17 projects.

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