Innovative engineering approaches to research and teaching are at the core of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, which Heidelberg University founded with the aim of pooling its technical and scientific expertise and expanding its range of research and subjects in an area of competence that is developing dynamically. After its founding at the start of the last winter semester, the new faculty is now to be officially opened at an Academic Ceremony hosted by the Rector of Ruperto Carola in the Great Hall of the Old University on 30 September 2022.
Complementing the traditional engineering disciplines, the new faculty offers an original profile of skills in the field of Engineering Sciences. The cooperation of molecular life sciences, biophysics and biochemistry with scientific computing and machine learning, in connection with novel hardware models, will give rise to new engineering approaches promoting translation from natural sciences into medicine and medical technology, as well as transfer to industrial applications. Examples are biogenic packaging systems for mRNA vaccines, artificial cells as transport systems in the body or a new fibre battery technology, which conducts electricity more efficiently and enables higher currents. Other engineering examples are “portable” technologies such as exoskeletons, which support people with lifting or walking and can prove useful in industry, rehabilitation or for generally providing support and assistance.
At present the Faculty of Engineering Sciences has 26 professorships with around 350 scientists. They carry out their research at the Institute of Computer Engineering (ZITI), at the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR), the Institute for Molecular Systems Engineering and Advanced Materials (IMSEAM), the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB), the BioQuant Center and the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH) – backed up by scientists from other interdisciplinary research centres. In terms of teaching, the new faculty offers interdisciplinary bachelor’s and master’s programmes in molecular biotechnology, the state examination programme in pharmacy, the Master-PhD programme Matter to Life in the context of the Max Planck School of the same name, and the master’s programme in computer engineering. Further study programmes are being planned in connection with mathematics and computer science, as also in the field of bioengineering and medical technology.
Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, will open the Academic Ceremony to inaugurate the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. The festive event will centre around a scientific panel on the topic “Engineering sciences? What for and where to? The new faculty presents itself”. Participants are doctoral student Franziska Grün (IPMB), Junior Professor Dr Daniela Duarte Campos (ZMBH), Prof. Dr Frauke Gräter (IWR) and Prof. Dr Holger Fröning (ZITI). The discussion will be facilitated by the founding dean, Prof. Dr Guido Kanschat, who is a member of the Managing Board of Directors of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing.