Faculty of Chemistry

Cooperation and International Work

Much of the research work described in this report is heavily interdisciplinary, and intensive cooperation therefore exists between virtually all the research groups of the Faculty, as the above examples illustrate, with scientists from other Faculties at our University (in particular Biology, Medicine, Physics, Engineering and Educational Sciences) as well as with other groups of researchers at home and abroad. In the course of their work, our colleagues regularly spend periods of time abroad as researchers and visiting professors, and numerous international scientists in turn research and teach at our Faculty (for example as Alexander von Humboldt fellows).

The Faculty has intensive contacts and co­operates closely with our neighbouring Universities of Bochum and Dortmund and the Universities of applied sciences in Krefeld and Gelsenkirchen. Close research collaboration also exists on all levels with the neighbouring Max Planck Institutes for Carbon Research and Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim and for Physiological Chemistry in Dortmund. Scientists from these institutions also work as professors, private lecturers and assistant lecturers at our Faculty within this cooperation.

Three young scientists from Organic Chemistry have just successfully procured funding for the development of interdisciplinary and cross-site research projects. Both Jun. Prof. Michael Giese and Dr. Jochen Niemeyer were successful in their applications for start-up support for the Mercator Research Center Ruhr. Jun. Prof. Michael Giese convinced backers with his approach to the modular manufacturing of new supramolecular liquid crystals, while Dr. Jochen Niemeyer succeeded in raising funds for a project to produce new DNA-based photoredox catalysts. Also successful was Jun. Prof. Jens Voskuhl, who with his project for the development of supramolecular photosensitizers succeeded in raising funding under the Young Scientists Programme of the "German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development". In addition to a research grant, the programme also encompasses a visit to partner institutes in Israel to enable close scientific contacts and cooperation between German and Israeli researchers.

Our Faculty maintains a strategic partnership with Evonik Industries, by which the doctoral research scholarships of three outstanding students are funded each year. Furthermore, in 2016 an Evonik Endowment Junior Professorship of Colloid and Interface Chemistry was established, which will focus on the exploration and characterization of so-called soft materials. The Professor Werdelmann Foundation, too, is funding several doctoral fellowships at our Faculty and, since July 2014, an Endowment Professorship of Supramolecular Functional Materials, which deals with new approaches to the production of liquid crystals.

The Faculty is represented by its members on various national and international committees and regularly presents its research findings to a broad international public at international conferences and congresses. Our colleagues are often invited to these conferences as keynote speakers. The majority of findings from the Faculty are published in international peer-reviewed journals. International visibility is both a goal and a matter of fact for the Faculty.

The very good reputation of the members of the Faculty throughout Germany is reflected not least in their role in national associations and committees. Prof. Elke Sumfleth is a DFG peer reviewer on the Education Sciences Review Board and Prof. Carsten Schmuck is a peer reviewer in the Chemistry Expert Forum. From 2012 to 2015, he was also on the board of the Liebig Association of Organic Chemistry. Prof. Torsten C. Schmidt is currently chairman of the Water Chemistry Expert Group. Colleagues from our Faculty also sit on the editorial committees of important disciplinary journals. Prof. Stephan Barcikwoski is the editor of the Biomaterials journal. Prof. Stefan Rumann is executive editor of the Zeitschrift für Didaktik der Naturwissenschaften. Prof. Elke Sumfleth and Prof. Carsten Schmuck are members of the editorial board of ChemKon, the journal of the Chemistry Teaching Expert Group of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). Prof. Schmuck additionally was on the editorial board of the European Journal of Organic Chemistry from 2008 to 2016, Prof. Jochen S. Gutmann is the editor of Polymer Bulletin, and Prof. Torsten C. Schmidt is a member of the board of trustees of Nachrichten aus der Chemie, and in 2014 was appointed to the editorial advisory board of the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Prof. Matthias Epple is the associate editor of the RSC Advances journal.