TUM – Latest news / Latest news of TUM en TUM Sat, 25 Sep 2021 01:29:58 +0200 Sat, 25 Sep 2021 01:29:58 +0200 “Parties are neglecting the social policy aspects of AI” /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36927 Which issues do the parties highlight with regard to artificial intelligence?

The electoral platforms mention AI mainly in connection with the economy, foreign policy and the area of education and research. The proposals are mostly framed in the context of the competitiveness of German and European companies. The need for better international cooperation on AI and the issue of whether the technology should be used in military intelligence are mentioned with similar frequency. Another important topic is research funding. In general, positive paradigms outweigh the statements with neutral or negative connotations. However, the proposed measures tend to be non-specific and do not go beyond conventional instruments such as public investments or state regulation, for example in connection with automatic face recognition to fight crime.

Where do the parties differ?

FDP and the Greens place the strongest emphasis on the positive aspects of AI, while the policies of the SPD and especially the Linke focus on the potential challenges and risks. The CDU/CSU are more neutral, but lean towards a positive outlook. The program of the AfD make few mentions of AI, and is thus difficult to assess. State investments in AI-based technologies are advocated above all by the CDU/CSU, Free Democrats and the Green Party, whereas the Linke and the SPD prioritize state regulation – consistent with the latter parties’ emphasis on the social policy risks. In some areas there are also explicit differences. For example CDU/CSU strongly support autonomous, AI-based weapon systems for the German military, but also call for international condemnation of such systems. The SPD, the Linke and the Greens generally rule out the use of such weapons. Similar differences are evident in other areas, for example in the balance between the right to privacy vs. the use of AI-based surveillance.

How do you see the range of policies, given the importance of the issue?

It is significant to note what the party programs do not address, both in terms of the topics covered and the proposed measures. With few exceptions, key issues such as the use of AI technologies in healthcare, the consequences for the working world, or the protection of individuals against discriminatory algorithms play a secondary role. More complex political instruments to manage the development of artificial intelligence such as the creation of platforms and institutions to bring together the various societal actors or with the goal of educating the public on AI are also lacking. It appears that the political debate is centered around the familiar fault lines, especially that of state regulation vs. market freedoms. But it was surprising to see such big gaps in one of the most important dimensions of AI: the need to shape the related social policies.

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Artificial Intelligence Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36926 Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:20:29 +0200
New potentials of the traditional raw material wood /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36918 Wood is renewable, multifaceted and multifunctional. These three properties made the raw material one of the most important materials for mankind for centuries. It was only with the industrial revolution and the development of fossil resources that wood temporarily lost its importance as a material. But in the meantime, wood is once again valued as a sustainable resource. Currently, the raw material is in great demand and is becoming more and more expensive.

Prof. Klaus Richter heads the Chair of Wood Science at the TUM School of Life Sciences. In his lecture (in German), he will show how wood is structurally and chemically constructed and how the material is used, for example, as a material for the construction industry. He also addresses the question of how wood can be used as efficiently as possible in a forest-based bioeconomy and how the technologization of this natural resource can succeed. 

After the lecture, all participants are invited to put their questions to the speaker. The Q&A session will be moderated by TUM professor J. Philipp Benz.
 
Lecture date: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 7:00 p.m. 

The event will take place on site in Freising, in the pavilion of the Freising Music School, Kölblstraße 2, and will be simultaneously broadcast via Zoom. Due to Corona regulations, advance registration for the on-site event is required. Interested parties can register online; the information can be found at www.freising.wzw.tum.de.

You will also be able to ask the speaker in Zoom (password: 707568).

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Sustainability Campus news Event katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36917 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:09:37 +0200
News on fine cocoa flavor /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36916 The new method is already suitable for practical use in companies and can be applied at any point along the value chain from cocoa beans to chocolate. In addition, the initial research results obtained using the new method lay the foundation for a world map containing comprehensive data on flavor-relevant cocoa ingredients.

“In the future, such a map could help to further optimize processing and production processes by making the flavor profiles of cocoa-containing products, such as chocolate, objectively predictable on the basis of molecular parameters,” says food chemist Andreas Dunkel of the LSB, who played a leading role in the study

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Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36908 Fri, 17 Sep 2021 09:27:00 +0200
"Our hospital prepared very early" /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36915 What were the main measures hospitals relied on in the Corona pandemic to protect patients and staff?

Prof. Prazeres da Costa:
The main pillars of the strategy were spatial and organizational measures, and the use of personal protective equipment for hospital staff. This was supplemented by a comprehensive testing strategy: Sars-CoV2 infected patients had to be identified as quickly as possible to prevent infection. We also implemented a local vaccination strategy with the aim of quickly protecting particularly vulnerable groups among our employees.
 

How did you meet this challenge at Klinikum rechts der Isar in particular?
 

Prof. Prazeres da Costa: Our hospital prepared very early and put together an interdisciplinary team of experts. In the first few months of the crisis, these experts met every day, because at that time it was completely unclear what we were facing. It had to be possible to react on a daily basis. It was necessary to discuss and implement the new scientific publications that appeared every day, as well as the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute and the health authorities. In our presentation, we report on some highlights from the daily routine, especially from the perspective of prevention and hospital hygiene. But we also talk about the new networks of university medicine (NUM) that have emerged in the meantime and about research projects in this field.
Dr. Wantia: Of course, there have always been difficulties in implementing measures. Communicating the state of knowledge and the measures derived from it, as well as training all affected employees, were major challenges. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, this was made even more difficult by supply bottlenecks, for example of protective equipment and ventilation supplies. In short, the fact that all employees at the hospital always knew what to do in which situation - that was a major joint achievement.

Sometimes, looking back at the past helps to better master a current situation. Are such comparisons also worthwhile with regard to pandemic pathogens?

Prof. Prazeres da Costa:
This is an enormously relevant and important question. In the lecture, we therefore also take a historical look at other pandemics, such as those caused by influenza: the Spanish flu in 1918/19 and the swine flu in 2009. We will also assess the relevance of the SARS CoV-1 and MERS outbreaks. For example, we will discuss the intriguing question of why there was not a pandemic with the very closely related pathogen SARS-CoV-1 in 2003. We will talk about what role the so-called reproductive number, virus shedding and mobility played in this. Furthermore, about what measures were taken in different countries, which of them were successful, and which were not. Our aim is to show how important it is to work through the current pandemic as well - especially since it is highly likely that this will not be the last.

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Covid-19 a.schmidt@tum.de news-36914 Thu, 16 Sep 2021 09:26:08 +0200
The proteins of Covid-19 /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36913 How does the SARS-CoV-2 virus manage to evade immune defense and replicate itself in patients suffering from COVID-19? To shed light on this question, an international research team has assembled the most comprehensive view to date on the precise, three-dimensional shape of each SARS-CoV-2 protein – including the well-known spike protein.

To assemble this map, the team used high-throughput machine learning, an approach that enabled them to predict structural states likely to occur in coronavirus proteins, based on states that have been seen in related proteins. The final map consists of 2,060 atomic-resolution 3D models involving the coronavirus’s 27 proteins. All structural models are freely available through the Aquaria-COVID resource.

“This provides an unprecedented wealth of detail that will help researchers better understand the molecular mechanisms that cause COVID-19, and will help in developing therapies to fight the pandemic, for example, by identifying potential new targets for future treatments or vaccines,” says Burkhard Rost, professor of bioinformatics at the Technical University of Munich.

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Covid-19 Artificial Intelligence Research news andreas.battenberg@tum.de news-36912 Wed, 15 Sep 2021 10:51:19 +0200
Molecular Achilles heel of cancer cells discovered /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36911 Some past measurements have also indicated significant differences in how fat is metabolized by healthy and cancerous cells. However, the results of this work have been highly inconsistent. Some investigations appeared to support such differences while others reported contrary results. “This question has been hotly debated”, says Prof. Klaus-Peter Janssen, a biologist at TUM’s university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar.

To obtain clarity, surgeons at Klinikum rechts der Isar took tissue samples from the surgically removed tumors of 144 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. The samples were immediately prepared onsite and then analyzed using mass spectrometry at the Institute for Food & Health (ZIEL) in Freising and at the University Hospital Regensburg. This is a biochemical procedure for the quantitative measurement of the type and mass of certain molecules in specially prepared tissue samples – in this case around 200 different fat molecules.

To prove that the results were reproducible, and not merely accidental, the patients were divided into two cohorts. The tissue samples were then analyzed separately and the results compared. In addition, the researchers incorporated the analysis of samples from another cohort of 20 CRC patients investigated independently at the University of Dresden.

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Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36910 Tue, 14 Sep 2021 13:49:47 +0200
Bavarian test facility for intelligent mobility /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36909 The Bavarian Minister of Transport Kerstin Schreyer, TUM President Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann, and IABG Managing Director Prof. Dr. Rudolf F. Schwarz signed an agreement for the construction of the test bed today. Construction will begin in Ottobrunn next year on the premises of IABG, an experienced provider of technical services. TUM will assume scientific responsibility, with research to be led by the Chair of Traffic Engineering and Control.

The partners plan to use the test bed to investigate how autonomous driving concepts can be put into practice, in particular with regard to the safe interaction of the various traffic participants and systems. A remarkable feature of the new facility: It will be open to all vehicle manufacturers and operators to conduct scientific investigations, test new technologies and their safe implementation, and develop common standards.

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Mobility Research news news-36906 Mon, 13 Sep 2021 12:07:08 +0200
Eco-efficient fertilization /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36904 Urea helps plants grow. More than half of all synthetic fertilizers used worldwide are based on urea because it is easy to store, transport, and apply. “However, plants can only absorb urea as a fertilizer directly to a small extent.  It is only after it has been converted into ammonium or nitrate that it becomes available to plants as a source of nitrogen,” explains Professor Urs Schmidhalter of the Chair of Plant Nutrition at the TUM.

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Sustainability Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36903 Fri, 10 Sep 2021 10:57:53 +0200
Messengers from gut to brain /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36901 The link between the gut microbiome and the CNS, known as the gut/brain axis (GBA), is believed to be responsible for many things: a person’s body weight, autoimmune diseases, depression, mental illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and LMU University Hospital Munich have now succeeded in making this connection visible for the first time. This is cause for hope – for those suffering from MS, for example. It may offer ways to adapt treatments, and T cells could perhaps be modified before reaching the brain.

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Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36885 Mon, 06 Sep 2021 09:25:00 +0200
Faster, more sustainable and smarter travel /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36898 This year’s edition of the International Automotive Exhibition (IAA), the annual mobility show presented by the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA), features a new concept. The presentations, talks and discussions for industry experts will take place in the Riem trade fair halls. Meanwhile, the Open Space format, aimed at the general public, will present information and discussions on new mobility concepts at various locations around the Munich city center.  

TUM will also be part of this open dialog. In the IAA Citizen Lab, covering a wide range of topics related to the development of public space and future mobility, TUM researchers will present their current projects at Marienplatz, the iconic square outside Munich’s city hall.

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Mobility Sustainability Event stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36896 Fri, 03 Sep 2021 10:21:00 +0200
Go-ahead for technology user center in Bavaria /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36899 The focus of activities at WTAZ is on the use of liquid hydrogen in heavy goods transport. Long-distance trucks are regarded as one of the most promising potential applications for hydrogen in the mobility field. The aim is to establish development, testing and certification facilities at WTAZ which will be unique worldwide and secure a leading role for Germany in zero-emission powertrains with tank systems for cryogenic hydrogen. Plans foresee a research transfer center, a hydrogen testing center with gaseous and liquid hydrogen infrastructure, a standardization platform and education and training facilities with links to a start-up platform.

The WTAZ is part of a national hydrogen Innovation and Technology Center (ITZ). The intention is to create a 12.8-hectare location for commercial and industrial companies in Pfeffenhausen, particularly SMEs and component suppliers, with close links to education and research, in order to accelerate the transition to zero-emission drive technologies and systems in Germany. At TUM, the Institutes for Technical Electrochemistry and Plant and Process Technology are the main protagonists that will be involved.

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Mobility Sustainability Campus news news-36895 Thu, 02 Sep 2021 15:29:11 +0200
TUM now among the top 10 in Europe /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36897 Compiled by the British magazine Times Higher Education (THE), the rankings take various factors into account: Scientists and scholars worldwide are surveyed on the research and teaching reputations of the universities. Other criteria include the number of publications per researcher, citations per publication, the teacher-student ratio, third-party funding raised from the private sector and the degree of internationalization.

TUM moved up again this year, advancing to number 38. As a result, the two Munich universities are the EU leaders in the rankings. On a Europe-wide basis, TUM is ranked 10th.

In the most recent THE World University Rankings by Subject, TUM placed 14th in computer science, 24th in engineering, 25th in physical sciences (comprising most natural sciences subjects) and 46th in life sciences. TUM also regularly achieves excellent results in other international rankings, including 12th place worldwide in the Global University Employability Ranking, in which companies rate the quality of graduates.

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TUM in Rankings klaus.becker@tum.de news-36894 Thu, 02 Sep 2021 14:39:01 +0200
Deadwood in the global carbon cycle /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36878 Living trees absorb a considerable amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and therefore play an important role in the protection of our climate. Little is known about the role of dead trees in the global carbon cycle, though. The decomposition of wood and the recycling of the nutrients it contains are among the most important processes to take place in forests.

How much carbon is released from decaying wood worldwide? What role do insects play in this process? These questions have now been studied in a global research project established by the Bavarian Forest National Park and coordinated by the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (JMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

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Sustainability Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36876 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 17:00:00 +0200
Using machine learning to understand complex auctions /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36893 Life is a game – at least from the perspective of game theory. This branch of mathematics provides tools for describing the behavior of actors in strategic interactions and computing optimal behavioral responses. Applications extend from board games such as chess to the analysis of international climate negotiations. An important subfield of game theory is auction theory, which is used in economic theory to model markets. Several Nobel Prizes in Economic Sciences have been awarded in this area, most recently to Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom in 2020.

Auctions are based on the following principle: Bids are submitted by several parties seeking to purchase goods. The parties can take a strategic approach, for example by bidding less than they are willing to spend in order to maximize their profits. However, they must be prepared for the other parties to act strategically, too.

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Artificial Intelligence Research news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-36890 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 09:15:00 +0200
“We play ping pong with the tree” /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36889 Sustainability Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36886 Thu, 26 Aug 2021 11:35:00 +0200 New approach identifies T cells in Covid-19 patients /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36882 T cells play an important role in the human immune system. The blood cells classified as lymphocytes are formed in the bone marrow. From there they travel through blood vessels to the thymus gland in the breastbone. They then form receptors on their cellular surface to identify and fight foreign matter. The T cells also stimulate the formation of B cells, which produce antibodies to attack viruses. Virus-specific immune responses by T cells can be detected in the blood months or even years after an infection.

In view of the millions of people infected by Covid-19 and the emerging fourth wave of the pandemic, it is of great interest to learn more about the T cells that fight the virus. The T cells are enormously important for protecting against a SARS-CoV-2 infection or preventing serious illness. “We’re especially interested in how many of these specific T cells are present in the body of an infected person, the qualities that enable these cells to respond to the virus, and how long the T cells last,” says Dr. Kilian Schober of the TUM Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene.

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Covid-19 Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36881 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 07:42:00 +0200
TUM and Singapore to work together in plastic recycling /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36883 A corresponding Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Tuesday (17 August) by Prof. Juliane Winkelmann, TUM Senior Vice President International Alliances and Alumni, and Grace Fu, Singapore's Minister of Sustainability and the Environment. On the occasion of the signing, Senior Vice President Winkelmann said: "The partnership sealed today between TUM and PRAS clearly continues the close and long-lasting collaboration of our university with Singapore – an elementary part of our TUM Global Strategy – in a future-oriented research field. The Memorandum of Understanding is another example of how international collaboration is helping overcome challenges of an increasingly global nature."

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Sustainability Campus news news-36880 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 09:42:00 +0200
From self-interest to the social enterprise /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36871 Social enterprises offer products and services intended to have a lasting impact on social problems. They seek to serve the common good and reinvest any financial returns. Research has confirmed the widespread belief that they tend to be launched by people with a strong sense of empathy. But researchers have recently questioned whether a prosocial outlook provides the sole explanation for why social enterprises are founded.

To explore this question, a team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Notre Dame spent eight months studying 13 social enterprises established in the Munich area in 2015 after the arrival of thousands of refugees. The companies arranged private housing, trained refugees for certain jobs, prepared them for appointments with the authorities, set up internet connections in accommodations, operated a bicycle repair shop and organized the distribution of donations, among other activities. The research team conducted interviews with the founders and with staff, volunteers and refugees, watched the start-ups at work, and analyzed company materials such as presentations and reports.

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Sustainability Entrepreneurship Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36870 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 09:25:00 +0200
"Shanghai Ranking": TUM improves once again /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36884 TUM is one of only four German universities to make the ranking's top 100, together with Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (48), Heidelberg University (57) and the University of Bonn (84). TUM also enjoys a leading position within the EU, ranked eighth.

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Campus news TUM in Rankings news-36879 Mon, 16 Aug 2021 14:31:08 +0200
Taking aim at skin bacteria /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36873 In many skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and acne, the bacterial layer protecting the skin is damaged. “Our goal is to learn the role played in such illnesses by the various kinds of skin bacteria,” says Dr. Martin Köberle, head of the Dermatoinfectology Laboratory at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Past efforts by dermatologists to investigate the detailed composition of the microbiome have hit roadblocks. The reason: In conventional cultures grown on agar plates, not all bacteria thrive and multiply equally well. As a result, some slow-growing species can be overlooked entirely. The disadvantage of more recent genetic analytical methods is that large quantities of DNA sequences from skin cells and fragments of dead bacteria are captured. This reduces the information value of the results.

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Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36872 Tue, 10 Aug 2021 10:26:00 +0200
A post-quantum chip with hardware trojans /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36835 Hacker attacks on industrial operations are no longer science fiction – far from it. Attackers can steal information on production processes or shut down entire factories. To prevent this, communication between the chips in the individual components is encrypted. Before long, however, many encryption algorithms will become ineffective. The established processes that can fight off attacks launched with today’s computer technologies will be defenseless against quantum computers. This is especially critical for equipment with a long lifespan such as industrial facilities.

For this reason, security experts around the world are working to develop technical standards for “post-quantum cryptography”. One of the challenges is posed by the enormous processing power needed for these encryption methods. A team working with Georg Sigl, Professor of Security in Information Technology at TUM, has now designed and commissioned a highly efficient chip for post-quantum cryptography.

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Artificial Intelligence Quantum Technologies Research news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-36832 Wed, 04 Aug 2021 10:00:00 +0200
More diversity for our farms and forks /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36841 Our planet is home to a rich treasury of plant species. Some 300,000 edible plants are available to feed the world’s population, although only a fraction of them is consumed. The three major crops rice, wheat and maize feed half of the world’s population.

These cereals have high yields and are staple crops. They are rich in carbohydrates, and thus are efficient calorie sources. In some countries however, they are often the only food source for the poor, and because certain grain crops such as rice contain very few vitamins and minerals, malnutrition and resulting diseases are the outcome.

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Sustainability Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36840 Tue, 03 Aug 2021 11:31:00 +0200
Mix-and-match vaccines against Covid-19 tested /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36839 Researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and Universitätsklinikum Köln have now investigated immune response of mix-and-match vaccines within the framework of a retrospective scientific study. They took blood samples from 500 people who received a second vaccination with the mRNA vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer nine weeks after their first AstraZeneca vaccine. The result: The neutralising antibody response was much higher in these people than in those who had received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The immune response to mix-and-match vaccines has proven to be just as good as the antibody response after two vaccinations with the mRNA vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer. The study has now been published in the journal ‘The Lancet Infectious Diseases’.

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Covid-19 Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36838 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 12:28:18 +0200
Munich rated second-best university city in the world /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36837 To compile its rankings about the best cities for studying abroad, the British university service provider QS Quacquarelli Symonds surveys former students on their experiences, prospective students on where they would like to study, and companies on how they see the quality of universities. Along with employment opportunities of young people in the cities, the survey evaluates the cost of living for students, openness of universities to international students and the percentage of students in the local population. In addition, the ranking incorporates several international indices for such criteria as tolerance and inclusion, safety, environmental quality and other factors in the quality of life.

In the latest edition of the QS Best Student Cities Ranking, Munich placed second in the world. Along with top-ranked London, the top 10 included Seoul, Tokyo, Berlin, Melbourne, Zurich, Sydney, Paris, Montreal and Boston (with the last three tied for ninth). Since the last edition in 2019, Munich overtook Tokyo and Melbourne.

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TUM in Rankings klaus.becker@tum.de news-36836 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:33:18 +0200
Urban planning: Precious resources far below the surface /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36831 Dr. Zosseder, why do we need to manage the underground?

Projections indicate that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. But cities not only expand outward and upward, but also downward – for example through development of the underground rail network or the construction of underground garages. The underground also provides important resources for cities, including groundwater, which is needed as industrial and drinking water or geothermal heat as a renewable energy source. In addition, it offers heat storage potential, which is urgently needed for greater flexibility in the heat supply. Naturally these many potential uses of the underground result in conflicting demands where multiple uses are not possible. Some uses can complement one another, however. Consequently, the development planning must be sustainable to ensure optimal utilization of the potentials.

How can we ensure this?

In our GeoPot project, funded by the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment, we have produced a 3D underground model of Munich that presents the various potentials in detail. It gives the city an invaluable tool for planning civil engineering projects and groundwater use. The municipal works department is already using the model to optimize the planning of the subway network. At certain locations, the tunnel walls can be double up as geothermal energy storage. This is possible only if we know how things look underground.  

„We also want to extend our model to lower depths”— Dr. Kai Zosseder

How did you go about creating the 3D underground model?

We spent five years collecting data in a team of seven researchers by analyzing information collected from around 20,000 boreholes. The city already had this material, but had been using it only for certain projects. For these boreholes we have geological data – in other words, information on the soil conditions. We translate these descriptions into graphs known as grain size distribution curves. They show us which percentages of various types of material such as clay, gravel or sand are present in the bore section. Where there is a lot of gravel, this also indicates the presence of larger quantities of water due to the higher water permeability. Or if the sand percentage is high, thermal conductivity is higher and we have better heat storage potential. The models obviously include uncertainty factors. One can create conservative models to ensure greater certainty for planning purposes or somewhat more optimistic models.

Did you make any surprising discoveries when analyzing the model?

A very important relationship is seeing how bodies of groundwater are interconnected – for example to calculate how far a certain pollutant will spread. Or, when deciding on planning permission for a drinking water source, it is important to know whether groundwater locations are linked. It was always assumed that these interaction zones occurred only at certain locations. But we were able to show that they are in fact much more common – which was sometimes surprising.

Will more work be done on the model?

New data obtained from drilling work, for example on the new main underground rail line now being built, are continually entered in the system to improve the precision of the model. We are currently working on the documentation of storage potentials, too. Underground thermal storage is very interesting for energy providers. But it can only be used efficiently with an underground planning tool. We also want to extend our model to lower depths where other utilization potentials are located.   

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Mobility Sustainability Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36830 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:22:00 +0200