effects - European Forum for Engineering & Catalysis Towards Sustainability

The SPP2080 is happy to announce that the first European Forum for Engineering & Catalysis Towards Sustainability (effects) targeted at early career researchers ((post-)doctoral researchers) will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany from 23–27 September 2024. The event is jointly organized together with the organizations YEuCat, YounGeCatS and NaWuReT, as well as with the CRC1441 "TrackAct"

This year, the program of effects will be dedicated to “Catalysis at the core of more efficient processes in the chemical industry” and aims to emphasize the importance of collaborative research & development. Thus, the focus will mainly be on interdisciplinary case studies, which the participants will work on in groups and present to the others in the end. Fundamentals and a perspective on challenges in the fields of catalysis and reaction engineering will be provided by four invited speakers working in these areas. Additionally, the participants will present and discuss their own work in either a pitch presentation or in the poster session. To get a broader perspective also from the chemical industry, one full day of the program will be dedicated to a site visit to BASF and hte GmbH

If you are a young professional working in catalysis or reaction engineering, we encourage you to submit an abstract for effects. Abstract submission was extended to 30 June 2024. Participation in the event will be free from costs. Please visit the event webpage for further information.


Report on SPP2080 Status Meeting 2024 in Berlin

The SPP2080 Status Meeting 2024 took place from January, 29th-30th in Berlin at the Harnack House. Despite the railway strike and thus some obstacles in traveling to Berlin, almost everybody managed and around 70 PhD candidates, post-docs and PI’s participated on-site. All 23 consortia were represented and all talks during the status meeting were given in hybrid mode, so that the few SPP2080 members who could not make it to Berlin were able to follow the status meeting on-line.

The first day started with a welcome presentation by the SPP2080 coordinator Prof. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, followed by a short welcoming speech by Prof. Beatriz Roldan Cuenya from FHI. After that, the status meeting was successfully opened with the first scientific talk given by the invited guest speaker Prof. Anatoly Frenkel from Stony Brook University, New York. He elaborated on the dynamics of catalytic active sites for CO and CO2 conversion reactions, as corresponding active species, sites and reaction mechanisms are strongly debated in the field of catalysis and also very relevant to the SPP2080 related research. As an expert in operando characterization techniques, he gave new insights in related studies monitoring the formation of nanoparticles and specifying single atom catalysts. Besides this first invited lecture, the program of day 1 was accompanied by a poster session with vivid discussions at the posters, as well as six consortium talks. These highlighted the excellent project progresses related to the dynamics in CO2-methanation, CO2-hydrogenation and methanol synthesis. Finally, the first day was completed by a dinner at the Harnack House, a venue very rich in history which is intended for a meeting place for the (international) scientific community.

The second day continued with an invited lecture by Prof. Charlotte Vogt from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv. She reported on correlating transient events at the electrified solid-liquid interface relevant to electrocatalysis, which is similar to the talk by A. Frenkel highly relevant to the research conducted in the SPP2080. Followed to this inspiring start of day 2, further six consortia presented their project progresses related to electrochemistry. These included investigations on electrocatalysts under operating as well as transient working conditions. A further highlight was the ECR lecture given by Dr. Sharif Najafishirtari, CAU Kiel, who presented on probing the dynamics of catalyst surface using operando IR spectroscopy of methanol synthesis.

Similar to day 1, the program of day 2 contained another poster session with lunch in order to continue the interesting scientific discussions. These were further stimulated by a poster voting and announced awards for the best five posters. Moreover, the coffee breaks throughout the entire status meeting allowed to exchange ideas and views, and to further discuss on collaborations between the different consortia.

In the final closing and discussion session of the status meeting, the participants discussed on networking within the SPP2080 including data and sample exchanges, as well as further activities for PhD candidates, post-docs and early career researchers like workshops, summer schools or block courses. Moreover, equal opportunity measures and support were communicated. Last but not least, poster awards were given to Tobias Beger (Leipzig University), Johannes Leipold (OVGU), Dennis Weber (FAU), Timo Engl (KIT) and Patricia König (FHI). Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt further thanked Linda Klag for her excellent job organizing this event after stepping into the SPP2080 as coordinating person in January 2024.

After the main status meeting, the SPP2080 school for PhD candidates and ECR’s took place from January, 30th – February, 1st with a highly attractive program focusing on research data management in catalysis. The invited speakers Prof. Dr. Claudia Draxl, Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter, Dr. David Linke, Heike Görzig, Dr. Nikolay Garabedian and Dr. Annette Trunschke gave interesting insights on FAIR data infrastructures, projects and initiatives, which became essential in the field of catalysis. Anton Kaus and Dr. Erisa Saraci led the really inspiring discussion in an excellent way. Several coffee breaks and a joint dinner allowed to further exchange with the speakers and an interactive panel discussion after the invited talks enabled to commonly discuss on the future of RDM. Besides the scientific talks and discussions, the SPP2080 school offered a guided tour on the history of science on the Dahlem-campus, as well as an interactive soft-skill workshop addressing the topics argumentation and logic. The SPP2080 school ended with a feedback discussion of the participants as well as discussions on future activities.

Finally, we thank all the SPP2080 members for their participation and scientific progress since the last status meeting. Moreover, we look forward to seeing everyone again at the final status meeting next year, which will be announced soon.

Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya elected to the Leopoldina

Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya, Director of the Interface Science Department at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society and Member of the Board of the SPP 2080, has been elected as new member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The election recognizes her outstanding scientific work, leadership strength as well as her contribution to promote science for the benefit of society. Congratulations from the entire SPP 2080! 

Block Course - Technologies and Resources for Renewable Energy

We are happy to announce the 8th Interdisciplinary Block Course Technologies and Resources for Renewable Energy: From Wind and Solar Power to Chemical Energy Storage will take place on April, 08 - 12, 2024 at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, ITCP. The Block Course will include interdisciplinary discussions with experts of various fields (e.g., catalysis, chemical engineering, energy business), interactive workshops as well as site visits to energy-related industries. More detailed information can be found here. Deadline for registration is March 2nd, 2024 and registration should be conducted via ILIAS (KIT students) or via mail to KIT-P2X-blockcourse∂

New Scholarship, apply by March 2024

To promote and support female scientists in Germany, we are happy that we can again announce the SPP 2080 “DynaKat” Early Career Research Scholarships for Female Scientists. Please note that not only female scientist within the SPP2080, but also outside of the SPP2080 are eligible to apply! Deadline for applications is Sunday, the 31st of March 2024. Applications should be sent to grunwaldt∂ (applications to other Email addresses will not be considered). For detailed information klick here.

Next status meeting in Berlin: January 29 - 30, 2024

The next Status Meeting of the SPP2080 will take place from 29.01.2024, starting 12.30 p.m. to 30.01.2024, ending at 4.00 p.m. It will be held at the Harnack House of the Max Plank Society in Berlin. Subsequently, special programs are planned for the PhD candidates and the Early Career Researchers (ECR). All rooms are reserved as a contingent reservation until November 28, 2023 but it may happen that all are reserved earlier - for further information please contact us.

PhD Summer School of the SPP2080 in Frankfurt a. Main: September 20 - 22, 2023

From 20th to 22nd of September2023,  the doctoral candidates and early Post-Docs of the SPP2080, met in the NAAM conference Hotel in Frankfurt Main. Frankfurt was the first choice of the participants as the chemical industry was the focus of this third SPP PhD school in the second funding period.

The first day started with a talk given by Hans-Georg Weinig from GDCh and Christian Lange from VAA. Both gave insights into the situation for a career outside academia for doctoral candidates in natural sciences. Not only did they provide facts and statistics on this topic, but also gave advises what to look for when approaching companies for an employment. In the evening, the group of 19 young researchers headed into the Frankfurt city center for dinner.

The second day started with a trip to industrial parc Höchst. A 90 minutes guided bus tour through the parc was provided by Infraserv, the operating company of the site. The participants could see the dimensions of the plant’s infrastructure, as well as the 50 kilometers of pipes for gases and chemicals running through the parc and connecting all kinds of chemical production sites. After a relaxing lunch in the old town of Höchst, the SPP 2080 researchers were invited by the company Siemens, also located in the industrial parc. Topic of the presentations and lively discussions between the host and the doctoral candidates /PostDocs were strategies for higher levels of sustainability for chemical companies. The group later on headed to an apple wine tasting, exploring the background of the pressed beverage traditional for this region. On the last day of the event, Alumni were invited to give insights into their recent research or their pathway into chemical industry. After answering the many questions, both current and former SPP2080 PhD candidates and PostDocs headed to a restaurant in city for a joined lunch together. After the traditional German dishes, ideas for future SPP events were discussed and planned. Therefore, the PhD school ended looking forward to more scientific excursions in the frame of SPP events in the next year.

The participants of the Summer School 2023
The participants of the Summer School 2023

EUROPACAT in Prague, September 2023

The EUROPACAT 2023 in Prague was an excellent conference with more than 1500 participants, also for meeting within the SPP2080. We are happy to report that the Special Session during EuropaCat2023 in Prague dedicated to SPP2080 titled: “Catalysts and reactors under dynamic conditions for energy storage and conversion” was very well attended and very successful. The 2-day session was filled with excellent talks from all over Europe and even abroad. Contributions from SPP2080 were numerous and many exciting new results were presented also at the poster session. Thanks to the organizers, and to everyone who supported, participated and contributed to make this special session a success.

The participants at the Special session at the EuropaCat2023 in Prague dedicated to SPP2080 with the title “Catalysts and reactors under dynamic conditions for energy storage and conversion”.

Statusmeeting in Erlangen, March 2023


The SPP2080 status meeting for 2023 was held at the south campus in Erlangen on March 6th and 7th, with over 70 participants in attendance. In fact, all consortia were present, and so the talks drew a large audience. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt and Tanja Franken gave a brief welcome presentation, with Franken serving as the host for this meeting. Evgenii Kondratenko opened the scientific talks, focusing on the hydrogenation of CO2, which has gained momentum in recent months due to the potential for creating sustainable and green fuels. Following the successful opening, many exciting talks with vivid discussions on methanation, methanol synthesis and related topics. As for all topics within the SPP2080, a strong focus lied on the behavior of the catalysts under dynamic conditions, the investigation of the systems by advanced characterization methods and the utilization of these data for the preparation of improved catalyst materials.

The highlight of the first day was an invited talk by Karl Mayrhofer, whose research complements that of several consortia within the priority program. He discussed a high-throughput setup for investigating catalysts for electrochemical reactions, including oxygen evolution reactions. Mayrhofer also demonstrated how electrochemistry can be applied to the synthesis of organic molecules and uncover new production routes. After a successful first day, in the evening, participants gathered in the historic center of Erlangen for dinner at Alter Simpl to continue the discussions.

The second day focused on several consortia presenting their work related to electrochemistry. Topics included catalysts for oxygen evolution reaction for PEM electrolyzers and solid oxide fuel cells, as well as recent results on the behavior of electrochemical CO2 reduction catalysts under dynamic conditions. The highlight of the second day was a talk by Elena Savinova from Strasbourg University, who presented different applications of operando techniques on electrochemical systems. Similar to Mayrhofer, Savinova is not directly involved in the priority program, but her research holds significant relevance for the SPP. Therefore, it is not surprising that her presentation generated a high level of interest.

The scientific sessions were punctuated by small breaks and poster sessions, which provided opportunities for scientific discussions and establishing new collaborations. Students from Tanja Franken’s research group helped to refresh the participants with coffee, cold drinks, finger food, and cakes. Poster awards were given to Muzaffar Maksumov, Hannah Türk and Eric Liberra.

In the final session of the status meeting, participants discussed further projects and ways to improve collaboration within the SPP2080. They also focused on equal opportunity, family friendliness, and diversity. Following the main meeting, separate sessions were held for early career researchers and PhD candidates. A leadership course was held for early career researchers, led by Conor John "CJ" Fitzsimons, which covered conflict resolution and communication improvement.

Within sessions of “students-teach-students”, the PhD candidates and Postdocs from all consortia of the SPP2080 presented their research and scientific approaches. This initiated a lot of fruitful discussions and exchanges, also throughout coffee and lunch breaks. An award for the best presentation was given to Patricia König. Together with the early career researchers, the group of 21 PhD candidates attended a talk of the Nature communications team manager Dr. Prateek Dongare speaking about his view on publishing in high-impact journals. This talk was followed by an open podium discussion with the guests Prof. Dr. Martin Hartmann, Prof. Dr. Tobias Unruh and Prof. Dr. Michael Engel from FAU Erlangen about important aspects of successful publishing. Many thanks to their contribution to the discussion about important aspects of successful publishing. As a social event, the PhD candidates gathered in teams to succeed shred hunts in Erlangen city. The SPP2080 school was able to support and strengthen the network between the young scientists.  

We extend our thanks to Tanja Franken and all others involved in organizing the meeting, as well as all members of the SPP2080 for their valuable scientific progress since the last status meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone (latest) again at the next status meeting in Berlin!


New Scholarship, apply by March 2023

To promote and support female scientists in Germany, we are happy that we can again announce the SPP 2080 “DynaKat” Early Career Research Scholarships for Female Scientists. Please note that not only female scientist within the SPP2080, but also outside of the SPP2080 are eligible to apply! Deadline for applications is Sunday, the 12th of March 2023. Applications should be sent to grunwaldt∂ (applications to other Email addresses will not be considered).

September 21-23, 2022: SPP20280 Summer School in Berlin.
This summer school features lectures on scientific writing and publishing. An introduction course about Python and a short seminar on Data Management are included in the program as well as on-site visits of different facilities and laboratories.


Highlight 27.04.2022

We congratulate Prof. Dr. Roger Gläser as Prorector at the University of Leipzig – press release (link)

31.05.2022 to 01.06.2022 Status Meeting of the SPP2080 with talks and posters, on-site in Karlsruhe, dinner on 30.05.2022 and start at 9.00 h on 31.05. The event runs until 15.30 h on 01.06.2022. The location is Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Registration deadline: April 4, 2022 (please reserve hotels well in advance)

16.03.2022, On-line Kick-Off Meeting, 14.00 h, Zoom-Conference with overview and poster session in with posters by all consortia

09.01.2022 to 13.01.2022, 758. WE-Heraeus-Seminar "From Wind and Solar Energy to Chemical Energy Storage: Understanding and Engineering Catalysis under Dynamic Conditions" (Link to Homepage), accepted applicants should register (Deadline December 12,2021) as per individual e-mail.