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Prize for Excellent Science

Forschungszentrum Jülich awards prize to two young scientists

Jülich, 16 June 2014 – Armel Ulrich Kemloh Wagoum and Benjamin Stadtmüller are this year’s winners of Forschungszentrum Jülich’s Excellence Prize. The two young scientists accepted the award and prize money of € 5,000 each on Saturday. During the official event "JuDocs 2014 – Karriere made in Jülich", Jülich bid farewell to another 45 PhD students.

Forschungszentrum Jülich has been awarding the Excellence Prize since 2009. The winners are young, internationally successful scientists who are among the best 5 % of early-career scientists in their discipline. Through their ideas, they provide decisive stimuli.

Pedestrian simulations for increased safety

For his doctoral thesis, Dr. Armel Ulrich Kemloh Wagoum worked at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) on generating computer simulations of human navigation behaviour in pedestrian flows. He also performed very complex empirical behavioural studies.

The early-career scientist, who hails from Cameroon, currently works at Civil Security and Traffic at JSC, where he continues his research in this area. Kemloh is developing a parallelization strategy suitable for pedestrian simulations that are faster than real time. In addition, he is responsible for the open-source software package JuPedSim, which offers a framework for the development of models for describing pedestrian movements.

On board the science ship “MS Wissenschaft”, which is currently touring Germany, is an exhibit developed by Kemloh’s group at Jülich: it demonstrates how computer simulations can help to prevent dangerous situations at large public events.

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New insights into surface physics

Up until October 2013, Dr. Benjamin Stadmüller, the other prize winner, was part of the research group headed by Prof. Christian Kumpf at the Peter Grünberg Institute of Forschungszentrum Jülich. In January, he joined Prof. Martin Aeschlimann’s group at TU Kaiserslautern, which focuses on surface physics.

His doctoral thesis focused on investigating the fundamental principles of physical processes and materials as they appear in organic electronic components. These elements can already be found in applications such as photovoltaics and LEDs. However, many of the fundamental processes on which they are based are still not fully understood.

In organic electronic components, interfaces can be found between metal contacts and organic layers. Previous studies only deposited and investigated one type of molecule, for example on a silver surface. Benjamin Stadtmüller’s outstanding achievement was simultaneously vapour-depositing two types of molecules on silver and investigating them with a broad range of experimental methods. The expert panel concluded that he made a “fundamental contribution to the further development of surface physics”.

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"Karriere made in Jülich"

In einer Talkrunde mit Moderator Armin Himmelrath gaben Prof. Silke Biermann und Dr. Markus Boner, einst ebenfalls Doktoranden am Forschungszentrum, während der Feierstunde Einblicke in unterschiedliche Facetten einer "Karriere made in Jülich". Physikerin Biermann, früher Doktorandin in Jülich am ehemaligen Institut für Festkörperforschung, berichtete über ihre Arbeit an der renommierten École Polytechnique im Süden von Paris. Neben der Lehre erforscht sie die elektronischen Eigenschaften von Festkörpern. Das Forschungszentrum hat Biermann als "Ort großer wissenschaftlicher Freiheit" erlebt. "Ein sehr wichtiger Punkt ist, mit der Begeisterung auch Verantwortung für die eigene wissenschaftliche Themenwahl und Arbeit zu übernehmen", so ihr Rat an die Doktorandinnen und Doktoranden.

Dr. Markus Boner dagegen blieb in Jülich – aber nicht im Forschungszentrum. Der ehemalige Doktorand ist heute Geschäftsführer von Agroisolab, eine Ausgründung aus dem Forschungszentrum. Das weltweit erfolgreiche Unternehmen bietet Isotopenanalysen zur Qualitätskontrolle an. Anhand seines natürlichen "Fingerabdrucks" kann die Herkunft eines Produktes bestimmt und damit Etikettenschwindel aufgedeckt werden. Boner – studierter Lebensmittelchemiker, der über die Herkunftsbestimmung von Bio-Rindfleisch mithilfe stabiler Isotope promovierte – schilderte anschaulich, wie er den Wechsel aus dem Forschungszentrum in die freie Wirtschaft erfolgreich gestaltete: "Als Unternehmer muss man länger, stärker ziel- und kundenorientiert arbeiten. Der unternehmerische Erfolg befriedigt jedoch ungemein."

GruppenfotoDie Jülicher Judocs 2014
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

Impressions

Pictures of the event

Interviews with former PhD students (YouTube)

More information

Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), "Division Civil Security and Traffic"

Peter Grünberg Institute, Functional Nanostructures at Surfaces (PGI-3)

RWTH Aachen, Central Facility for Electron Microscopy

Press contact

Erhard Zeiss, Press officer
Tel. +49 2461 61-1841
Email: e.zeiss@fz-juelich.de


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