TUM – Latest news https://www.tum.de Latest news of TUM en TUM Sun, 18 Apr 2021 15:30:22 +0200 Sun, 18 Apr 2021 15:30:22 +0200 Effects of climate change on nature visualized https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36528/ We understand that Green Climate or Warming Stripes can illustrate nature’s responses to global warming, but how can we decode the colored stripes?

Blue colors represent years with cold weather and their consequent later flower or leaf development. Green Stripes represent warm years with earlier plant development. We have created the Green Warming Stripes for Bavaria and some historical observation series in other areas of Central Europe.

Many people probably know similar images - only in different colors- from the coverage of the “Fridays for Future” demonstrations...

The Green Climate Stripes or “Green Warming Stripes” are a further development of the well-known “Warming Stripes” by Ed Hawkins, which simply visualize the warming over the last decades in blue and red color and communicate it without frills.

Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36526 Wed, 14 Apr 2021 13:42:00 +0200
Facts against fake news https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36564/ "VACCtion" started in 2019 as a one-woman show. How did that come about?

Katharina Tartler: I have three brothers, and they kept sending me YouTube videos of vaccination opponents and making fun of them. Then, conspiracy theories started popping up in my personal environment as well – which made me sad, because vaccinations belong to the most important scientific achievements. In 2019, the WHO stated that vaccination opponents are to be seen among the top ten threats to global health.

And you weren't going to accept that?

Right! Vaccination brings with it a paradox. As vaccination rates increase, disease incidence decreases – but the rarer a disease gets, the less the people are aware about it. There is less fear, and vaccination rates plummet. The United States, for example, had already been declared measles-free. In the 2019 measles outbreak in the U.S., more than 700 cases were reported in just the first four months of the year. Globally, the number rose to over 870,000 reported cases in 2019, with more than 200,000 deaths.

You gave the very first talk at your parish's senior citizens club in August 2019, when you were still on your own. By now, you have grown into a group of eight people…

I wasn't completely alone back then. My boyfriend is a PhD student of Chemistry, and he provided support, proofread, and edited videos for me. After the lectures, I was able to advertise my project –and I'm super happy that there are so many of us now.

What is the composition of the group?

We come from different disciplines within the natural sciences, which helps a lot. There are doctoral students and student teachers. We prepared all the other lectures together, almost everyone has already held a presentation, and we are almost always complete when we hold lectures. Prof. Dietmar Zehn, Professor of Animal Physiology and Immunology at the TUM School of Life Sciences has also taken a lot of time for us.

How do you structure your lectures?

It differs from audience to audience – but we start off by describing, in general terms, how the human immune system and how active and passive vaccines work, that they exploit the body's own mechanisms and "forewarn" the immune system, so to speak. We distinguish active vaccines in live, dead, and gene-based vaccines, such as the Corona vaccines.

What concerns about vaccinations do you come across?

That there are many harmful additives, that there are severe side effects, and even the view that "vaccinations are just a way for the pharmaceutical industry to make money". We then try to refute these opinions or put them into perspective, for example by showing charts of the top-selling drugs. In fact, there is only one vaccine among the top ten.

Which one?

The vaccine against pneumococcus …and it is at the bottom of the list. With the gene-based Corona vaccines, the biggest fear is that they will somehow alter our genetic makeup. The mRNA vaccines don't come into contact with our own genome at all, and they also degrade very quickly. The AstraZeneca vaccine also degrades quite quickly, and it is not inserted into our genome either.

How do the public lectures differ from the school lectures?

In the school lectures, we explain the immune system and the different pathogens in more detail, and we are more interactive. We use the mentimeter-app to get real-time feedback from the students, which is visible to everyone in a word map. During the lecture, it is possible to ask questions in the chat. Our team collects them, and we try to answer them in the best possible way after the lecture.

You are still looking for reinforcements, aren't you?

Yes, always. For example, we are urgently looking for someone from the field of Computer Science who could build a website so that we have more than just our Instagram channel.

(Interview: Barbara Link)

Covid-19 Campus news news-36563 Tue, 13 Apr 2021 14:22:42 +0200
"The infection needs to be controlled at an early stage" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36562/ How does the Human Body manage the Corona Virus?
The activation of the immune system is important so that we can control infectious agents and tumor cells. However, it is just as important to shut down the activated immune cells. This is because excessive activation of the immune system as in Covid-19 has many facets, such as the overproduction of antibodies and messenger substances that are particularly stimulating for further immune responses. These parameters can also be measured very well - there are probably other forms of excessive activation. 
Various organs are damaged, such as the lungs, heart, liver and brain. But above all also the vascular system. Damage to the vascular system in particular has the potential to cause severe disease progression.

What are the consequences?
Damage to the respective organs is sometimes difficult to repair. This in turn also means long courses of recovery. 

What can be done about it?
The infection needs to be controlled at an early stage, before Covid-19 develops - for example, through vaccination. Once Covid-19 has set in, we unfortunately still only have a few drugs that can prevent organ damage. Good experiences have been made so far with corticosteroids, which switch off all forms of the immune response. In addition, also with antibodies against certain messengers. 

Covid-19 Event a.schmidt@zv.tum.de news-36561 Tue, 13 Apr 2021 10:53:09 +0200
An outlook on the studies in the summer semester https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36553/ Can I study the semester online? Will my exams take place – and how? Can I complete my internship? Will the deadlines for the completion of the minimum credit requirements of the academic progress check be extended? There are many questions about studying in the summer semester and not all of them can be answered. The pandemic remains unpredictable and requires great flexibility as well as foresight. With the experience of the past semesters, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has enacted regulations that will allow all students to study safely and successfully, even if they are unable to be on campus due to the pandemic. The most current information is available at http://www.tum.de/en/corona/studies

What is hybrid teaching?

Teaching in the summer semester will once again be hybrid. This means that online events are combined with on-campus teaching formats. Digital teaching ensures that many courses remain accessible regardless of time and place. This is especially true for lectures in which many students participate.

If the pandemic allows, online teaching is supported by in-person tutorials or project groups. The balance between digital and on-campus can change during the course of the semester. First-semester studnts in particular should be given the opportunity to get to know their campus.

Nevertheless, the planning reliability remains guaranteed: Everything that starts digitally will also end digitally. This means that international students can also reliably plan their semester.

Hygiene concept: tests, mask and QR codes against the virus

Courses such as lectures or seminars digitize well, but some classes can only be held on campus. For example, there are laboratory courses that cannot be completed remotely, even with the greatest effort.

For these cases, TUM has developed a comprehensive hygiene concept to protect the safety and health of students and teachers. Central to this: distance - hygiene - masks. In addition, the QRONITON system is used to record the contact data of all persons who take part in courses or examinations in attendance. The highest standards of data protection and transparency apply.

What about the exams?

TUM continues to rely on electronic remote examinations that all students can take, no matter where they are. In the case of proctored remote examinations, there is still the option to alternatively take the exam on campus.

Which exams will be taken online and which will be taken on campus will depend on developments in the coming weeks and months. One thing, however, is certain: TUM will do everything it can to avoid restrictions on exams wherever possible.

Are examination and other deadlines being extended?

The standard duration of study (Regelstudienzeit) again is extended by one semester for summer semester 2021. It ensures that no one loses BAföG entitlement because of Corona. A corresponding confirmation can be found on the certificate of enrollment.

At the same time, the deadlines to achieve academic progress requirements will be extended - across the board for everyone who is enrolled and not on a leave of absence. This means that everyone will have one semester longer to meet the academic progress requirements.

All of this is in addition to the rules that have been in place for the past two semesters. Already existing extensions of the deadlines to achieve academic progress requirements and of the duration of study will remain in effect.

Mandatory registration for exams is also suspended for another semester. But: All exams you voluntarily register for will count regularly.

The framework for the summer semester 2021 creates more leeway in other areas, for example in Fundamentals and Orientation Examinations (GOPs), fundamentals module examinations, and also in final theses. We provide up-to-date information on the exact provisions at www.tum.de/en/corona/studies.

Campus news goetschel@zv.tum.de news-36552 Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:33:00 +0200
A multidimensional view of the coronavirus https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36559/ When a virus enters a cell, viral and cellular protein molecules begin to interact. Both the replication of the virus and the reaction of the cells are the result of complex protein signaling cascades. A team led by Andreas Pichlmair, Professor of Immunopathology of Viral Infections at the Institute of Virology at TUM, and Matthias Mann, Head of the Department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, has systematically recorded how human lung cells react to individual proteins of the covid-19 pathogen SARS-CoV-2 and the SARS coronavirus, the latter of which has been known for some time.

Covid-19 Research news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-36558 Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:29:09 +0200
Prof. Francis Kéré receives prestigious Jefferson Medal https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36557/ The Burkina Faso-born architect and TUM professor Francis Kéré is world-renowned for his innovative designs, which combine traditional materials with modern engineering. The remarkable architecture of his projects is complemented in equal measure by their social engagement. For his distinguished contributions to architecture and dedication to the common good, he has now been awarded the Jefferson Medal. Past winners of the highly respected prize – jointly awarded by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the University of Virginia since 1966 – have included Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, I. M. Pei, Frank O. Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito and David Adjaye. In Germany he is best known for his designs for the ‘opera village’ created for the theater director Christoph Schlingensief. 

Campus news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36554 Mon, 12 Apr 2021 08:46:41 +0200
COVID-19: Perspectives on current research https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36560/ In addition to medical topics related to vaccination, the role of the immune system, potential new antiviral therapies, the effects of Covid-19 on the nervous system and the question of what the skin reveals about the disease, the lecture series will highlight social, ethical and economic aspects of the pandemic.

How can we stay fit in the home office, for example, and when can we start exercising again after being infected with SARS-CoV-2? And what about the European soccer championships and the Olympic Games? What innovations does the crisis necessitate for business and politics, and what role do digital technologies play in this? How should the issue of data protection in the healthcare system be handled in the pandemic situation? How does the pandemic with social distancing and lockdowns affect the incidence of domestic violence in Germany and worldwide? How does the pandemic affect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the capital markets? And how can artificial intelligence be used to optimize the scheduling of doctors and bed capacities in a way that is both cost-efficient and employee- and patient-friendly?

The lecture series takes place on Wednesdays from 6:15 to 7:50 pm.



14/04/2021 – Insights into Immunopathogenesis of COVID-19

Prof. Percy Knolle, Director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology and Director of the Institute of Experimental Oncology

21/04/2021 – Virus-host interaction – how we can exploit the virus’ Achilles heel for novel antiviral therapies

Prof. Ulrike Protzer, Director of the Institute of Virology
Prof. Andreas Pichlmair, Institute of Virology

28/04/2021 – Sport and Exercise in the Pandemic

Prof. Martin Halle, Director of the Department of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine

05/05/2021 – Data Protection in the Pandemic: An Impediment or a Necessity?

Prof. Martin Boeker, Chair of Medical Informatics
Prof. Alena Buyx, Director of the Institute of History and Ethics of Medicine
Prof. Dirk Heckmann, Chair of Law and Security in Digital Transformation, TUM School of Governance

12/05/2021 – The next chapter of Leadership & Governance: Why we urgently need innovation in business and politics

Prof. Isabell M. Welpe, Chair for Strategy and Organization, TUM School of Management

19/05/2021 – Domestic Violence against Women and Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Prof. Janina Steinert, Professorship of Global Health, TUM School of Governance
Prof. Heidi Stöckl, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

09/06/2021 – Personnel Deployment and Bed Planning in the Hospital

Prof. Alexander Hübner, Chair for Supply and Value Chain Management, TUM School of Management
Prof. Clemens Thielen, Professorship of Complex Networks

16/06/2021 – The Economic Impact of the Pandemic

Prof. Guther Friedl, Chair for Controlling, Dean of the TUM School of Management

23/06/2021 – Reactions to COVID-19 and Corona Vaccination: Keeping an Eye on the Skin

Prof. Tilo Biedermann, Director of the Department of Dermatology and Allergology

30/06/2021 – Why there is Glory in Prevention? Local and National Strategies for Infection Prevention

Prof. Clarissa Prazeres da Costa, Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene
Nina Wantia M. D., Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene

07/07/2021 – Neuro-COVID and Post-COVID: Acute and Chronic Effects on the Neural System

Prof. Andrea Winkler, Department for Neurology
Prof. Paul Lingor, Department for Neurology

14/07/2021 – The Impact of the Pandemic on Capital Markets

Prof. Christoph Kaserer, Chair for Fiancial Management and Capital Markets

Covid-19 Campus news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36551 Fri, 09 Apr 2021 13:47:40 +0200
Losing weight through exercise https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36532/ According to statistics from the German Obesity Society*, around two thirds (67 percent) of men and half (53 percent) of women in Germany are overweight. Accordingly, they have a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 (* international data are given in the section “More information” below).

In addition, according to the Consumption and Media Analysis 2020, around 7.17 million people in Germany want to lose weight. Physical exercise is an important option to achieve this. After all, more calories are consumed through sport than when sitting, standing or lying down.

But what influence does sport have on (in)direct nutritional behavior? This question has now been investigated for the first time by scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, USA). Their results were now published in the journal “Nutrients”.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36531 Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:44:42 +0200
TUM Innovation Networks ready to go https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36529/ TUM President Thomas F. Hofmann is focusing on the exploration of future innovation fields which rise above the confines of specific disciplines and cultures of thought and work: "The TUM Innovation Networks are a part of our effort to promote the pioneer spirit of our scientists in high-potential fields that can only be successfully approached using interdisciplinary research strategies. We are utilizing the creative potential of the entire university by means of new scientific connections among our Schools and Departments, exploring scientifically uncharted territory. And we are accepting a certain amount of risk in the process: We accept the possibility that projects may also fail, but we are at the same time creating the prerequisites for truly groundbreaking innovations."

The three most innovative project ideas, selected in a competitive process from among 32 proposals, will now be launched as TUM Innovation Networks on April 1, 2021:

  • Neurotechnology for Mental Health (NEUROTECH)
  • Artificial Intelligence Powered Multifunctional Material Design (ARTEMIS)
  • Robot Intelligence in the Synthesis of Life (RISE)
Artificial Intelligence Campus news news-36527 Wed, 31 Mar 2021 14:00:36 +0200
New early warning system for self-driving cars https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36509/ To make self-driving cars safe in the future, development efforts often rely on sophisticated models aimed at giving cars the ability to analyze the behavior of all traffic participants. But what happens if the models are not yet capable of handling some complex or unforeseen situations?

A team working with Prof. Eckehard Steinbach, who holds the Chair of Media Technology and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM) at TUM, is taking a new approach. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), their system can learn from past situations where self-driving test vehicles were pushed to their limits in real-world road traffic. Those are situations where a human driver takes over – either because the car signals the need for intervention or because the driver decides to intervene for safety reasons.

Artificial Intelligence Mobility Research news christine.lehner@tum.de news-36508 Tue, 30 Mar 2021 10:15:00 +0200
Strong weld joints for aerospace applications https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36511/ The friction stir welding process is increasingly common in applications requiring particularly strong and leakproof joints such as aircraft fuselages, automotive cooling systems or rocket fuel tanks. In contrast to other welding processes, friction stir welding requires no additional consumable materials and temperatures generally remain below the melting point of the workpieces. Consequently, the process is especially suitable for heat-sensitive materials such as aluminum.

Once the workpieces are clamped in place, the rapidly rotating welding pin is moved along the joint between the materials. The pin softens the material through frictional heat without melting it. While moving forward, the pin intermixes the two workpieces at the joint, producing a strong joint after cooling.

The problem with this process, invented just 30 years ago, is a lack of empirical data. With every new component and material, the equipment setup needs to be redefined through trial and error. An automatic control system that would select and adjust the settings itself would enormously improve the efficiency of the process. With that goal in mind, Dr. Andreas Bachmann has developed a control concept in his research work at TUM.

Research news presse@tum.de news-36510 Mon, 29 Mar 2021 10:38:00 +0200
Hybrid bike increases autonomy https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36505/ "To me handbiking means both free time and freedom," says Anna Schaffelhuber, seven-time Paralympics monoskiing victor, adding that the handbike also represents nature to her: "I can take the handbike into the mountains." The exceptional athlete, who has even traversed the Alps by handbike, was thus the first person engineer Emil Wörgötter thought to contact: His Master's thesis at TUM deals with improving this piece of athletic equipment for people with disabilities. 

Currently existing systems have their disadvantages: They work well as long as the driver sits in them: It's not possible to dismount. A rider in the midst of a tour doesn't bring along a separate wheelchair and therefore has to depend on outside help when it comes to taking a break for a restroom visit or stopping to buy some refreshments. "The ideal piece of sports equipment for those with walking disabilities, uniting freedom of movement and autonomy, would be a handbike with an integrated wheelchair function," says Wörgötter. But there is as yet no such hybrid bike on the market.

Mobility Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36499 Thu, 25 Mar 2021 11:11:00 +0100
How activated T cells destroy the liver https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36506/ Fatty liver disease (NASH) is often associated with obesity. However, our understanding of the causes has been very limited. A team working with the immunologist Prof. Percy Knolle of TUM has now explored this process step by step in model systems based on mice – and gained promising insights into the mechanisms causing NASH in humans. “We have seen all of the steps observed in the model systems in human patients,” says Prof. Knolle. The team’s results will be published in Nature.

Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36502 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:05:00 +0100
“6G will be human-focused” https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36507/ The 6G Future Lab Bavaria at TUM is regarded as Germany’s largest university research project for the sixth wireless communications generation. The project is part of the Bavarian 6G initiative, for which the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs will provide at least 5 million euros in funding. Over the next three years, 12 research professorships will develop fundamental mechanisms for 6G and draw up a roadmap for its standardization and rollout. Project leader Prof. Wolfgang Kellerer is also one of the two spokesmen for the Thinknet 6G platform, which will be launched today by Bayern Innovativ as another building block in the Bavarian initiative to promote the networking of all relevant actors.

The 5G wireless standard is not yet available everywhere – and you’re starting work on the next generation. Is 5G already obsolete?

5G will still be there even after the next wireless generation is launched. But there will be differences in the applications: 5G plays a vital role for Industry 4.0, facilitating a new dimension of machine-to-machine communication. In 6G, the focus will be on humans and their surroundings.

But you don’t mean humans and their phones?

Not primarily. It’s more about a wide range of technologies integrated into our everyday lives that we interact with almost without thinking about it, thanks to excellent wireless communications and sensor technology. It might be robot assistants in the household, high-resolution 3D maps for self-driving vehicles or holograms enabling us to visualize people we are talking to. With 6G, remote-control surgery and other applications requiring precise positioning of equipment will become a reality.

What bandwidths will 6G be capable of?

We believe that the higher frequencies used for 6G will allow a data transfer rate of one terabyte per second. However, the speed records are not the main priority in our research program. We want to lay the foundation to achieve the highest fail-safe standards, shortest latency times and maximum energy efficiency. We also want to create new processes to ensure data security even when quantum computers are used.

At first glance, those look like secondary criteria.

On the contrary: those are the essential points for the high-tech applications that represent the promise of 6G. Think of telesurgery, for example. When lives are at stake, we can’t settle for 99.9% reliability. For the 6G network, we are aiming for 99.999999999% fail-safe reliability.

Another example is the scenario where humans and robots work together. If these assistants are used in everyday life or nursing care settings, they will be very close to people. For that reason, when controlling them, latency – in other words the time lag when processing wireless signals – has to be close to zero. After all, just one false reaction by a robot could cause personal injury or property damage in a split second. For 6G we want to achieve latencies well under one millisecond.  

We want these specifications to be guaranteed for end-to-end communications across multiple networks – because communications are not generally limited to the network of one provider. That might sound trivial, but it involves enormous challenges. Finally, we want the entire network to be intelligent.  

What does intelligence mean for a wireless network?

With artificial intelligence, the network can conduct its own calculations to continuously optimize itself. It should be flexible and adaptable to the point where it can deliver the required performance when and where it is needed.

6G will be the first wireless communication generation in which the network works together with countless sensors positioned in the networked devices such as robots and self-driving vehicles. At the same time, the network can now become a sensor itself, with the wireless signals being used to obtain certain information such as the presence of an object between the transmitter and receiver. The AI technology can then use all these data to create a picture of the user’s surroundings and the communication requirements and adapt the network accordingly.

The big challenge is to develop network architectures that are able to make optimal use of the characteristics of different sensors and are also trainable. Consequently, a core element of our research is digital twins. These virtual images of objects are already being used in industry. For example, a computer creates a detailed digital replica of a manufacturing plant. This makes it possible to explore and optimize the workings of the plant. We want to create digital twins of the network and its components to optimize them with machine learning methods.

When will 6G be ready to use?

Experience shows that it takes around 10 years to develop a new wireless generation. To be ready for a big rollout in the early 2030s, those of us doing basic research want to work with the other key actors right from the start to lay the groundwork for success. We want to learn about the expectations of the business sector and society at large. This networking will now take place on the Thinknet 6G platform.

In the context of the wireless generation cycle, we are actually starting earlier than usual with the development of the next generation.

Does this mean that Germany has a chance to play a leading role in 6G?

Yes. We want to create the conditions for companies to be among the leaders right from the start. We want to see start-ups emerging and to produce leading experts through our degree programs.

And with vital infrastructure of this kind, sovereignty is also a top priority. When network components fail, we must always be in a position to replace each and every one of them ourselves.

Artificial Intelligence Mobility Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36501 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100
How Grasslands respond to climate change https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36504/ “Based on field experiments with increased carbon dioxide concentration, artificial warming, and modified water supply, scientists understand quite well how future climate change will affect grassland vegetation. Such knowledge is largely missing for effects that already occurred in the last century,” says Hans Schnyder, Professor of Grassland at the TUM.

Based on the Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted, researchers have now shown that future predicted effects of climate change on the nutrient status of grassland vegetation have already taken hold in the last century.

Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36503 Wed, 24 Mar 2021 05:29:24 +0100
The same sea level for everyone https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36497/ How high is Mount Everest? 8848 meters? 8844 meters? Or 8850 meters?  For years, China and Nepal could not agree. In 2019, Nepal sent a team of geodesists to measure the world’s highest mountain. A year later a team from China climbed the peak. Last December the two governments jointly announced the outcome of the new measurement: 8848.86 meters.

The fact that both China and Nepal recognize this result must be seen as a diplomatic success. It was made possible by the new International Height Reference System (IHRS), used for the first time by the geodetic specialists conducting the new measurement. Scientists from TUM played a leading role in developing the new system. It establishes a generally agreed zero level as a basis for all future measurements. It thus replaces the mean sea level, which has traditionally served as the zero level for surveyors and thus for all topographical maps. A paper in the Journal of Geodesy, jointly authored by TUM scientists and international research groups, outlines the scientific background and theoretical concept of the IHRS as well as the strategy for implementing it.

Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36496 Tue, 23 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100
New education for the digital transformation https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36498/ There is no doubt that digitalization is changing almost every professional field, and that pupils should be well prepared for this transition. But what skills do teachers need to achieve this goal in the classroom?

Vocational schools face special challenges: It is now more difficult than ever to limit classroom teaching to profession-specific content: For example, in the health care sector medical, technological and ethical questions are converging – and the career fields themselves are constantly evolving. Teachers are more called upon to convey problem-solving skills, creativity and communicative skills to their students. "It's no longer enough for teacher training curricula to show future teachers how to explain digital media to their young students," says Eveline Wittmann, a professor for vocational education at TUM. "We much more have to rethink vocational schools and thus also teacher training curricula."

Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36494 Mon, 22 Mar 2021 13:45:00 +0100
TUM and BLSV enter cooperation https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36530/ The aim of the cooperation is "to scientifically evaluate and improve health promotion and prevention through exercise and sport," according to the agreement signed by BLSV President Jörg Ammon and Prof. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz, Dean of the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at TUM.

The main focus of the collaboration lies on the physical activity and nutritional behavior of recreational, competitive and amateur athletes. Fitness and health throughout life, as well as the establishment and promotion of comprehensive motor and cognitive diagnostics will also be investigated.

A further focus is the design and implementation of measures for promoting sport and exercise for children and adolescents in different environments, such as schools. Here, the emphasis is on sport and exercise for children and adolescents in child and youth care facilities, as well as in the promotion of young athletes in competitive sports.

As part of the collaboration between BLSV and TUM, measures and projects will be conceptualized, implemented and evaluated using scientific methodologies. In their various roles, both actors pursue the same goal: to further develop sports in the best possible way. The cooperation has been initially set to run until the end of 2025.

Campus news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36495 Mon, 22 Mar 2021 13:23:42 +0100
Planning tool for cargo bike logistics https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36492/ Online retail was booming even before the pandemic. A purchase takes just one click and the delivery vehicle is soon pulling up outside the shopper’s door. But home delivery comes at a cost for people and the environment: package services represent a substantial share of motorized road traffic in cities. Electric cargo bikes offer an alternative. With carrier boxes larger than those on regular bikes, they can transport around 50 packages. But these e-bikes are not widely used by logistics companies.

Using the examples of Munich and Regensburg, mobility researchers and economists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU) have now completed a study on the potential of cargo bikes and developed a planning tool. “With our study, we identify the additional infrastructure needed to successfully utilize the bikes. This would take the form of micro depots strategically positioned throughout the city,” says Pirmin Fontaine, an assistant professor of operations management at KU, who headed the study. Goods would be shipped to these distribution containers by truck and carried from there to the customers by cargo bike. The depots could receive shipments during low-traffic periods.

Mobility Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36491 Thu, 18 Mar 2021 11:29:24 +0100
"Sustainability is about research, respect, and responsibility" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36476/ Prof. Kramer, sustainability is talked about everywhere these days – what does this word mean to you?

Sustainability is not easy to describe. It's a concept, first, that you have to think about. It's about respect – not only for the environment, but also for people. Then it's about responsibility in action. So I would describe sustainability with the following words: research, respect, and responsibility.

Respect and responsibility: How can we envision this in practice?

When it comes to sustainability, many initially think only of the environment. But there is more to it: Humanity is the central focus. Sustainability also has a social component – and an economic one. One concrete example is the topic of gender and diversity. Here the question arises: What is sustainable for a company or a university? I would say: only that which also respects the individual. For example, it would be sustainable for society to accept that every person should develop professionally in the direction of his or her own interests and strengths. Another example is internationality. Our university has become much more international in recent years. That stems from the fact that we saw a value in it. But achieving internationalization was only possible because we treat other cultures with respect. A final example is the economic aspect: How do you finance something sustainably? As a university that is largely funded by tax money, we have a great responsibility to those who pay those taxes.

“When it comes to sustainability, many initially think only of the environment. But there is more to it.”

Where does TUM stand with respect to sustainability?

Sustainability has long played a role for TUM – in many areas. I'd like to start with the topic of climate change and ecology. This is very present in the media today and is of particular interest to students. They are strongly committed to this topic at TUM: For example, they organize the lecture series on the environment and are involved in student initiatives such as the "Referat Umwelt", and the Green Office Straubing has existed since 2018. TUM supports and promotes this commitment – for example, within the framework of our Future Learning Initiative, we have given recognition to a student project called Sustainable Living Labs which aims to help other students to work out sustainable ideas for the future. We have also significantly expanded our range of courses in sustainability over the years. The great importance we place on sustainability can be seen, among other things, in the fact that we have our own campus dedicated to the topic: the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability. But there are also a great many scientists in other departments whose research deals with questions of sustainability. Despite all of this, it can't be denied that we still have potential for improvement. Up to now, all these activities in research and teaching and on the part of the students have been fairly well distributed across the different TUM campuses and in different spheres, but they are not yet equally strongly networked everywhere.

Campus news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36472 Mon, 15 Mar 2021 13:16:00 +0100
Germany’s best launching pad for start-ups https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36489/ Hackathons serving as a forum for tight-knit teams of researchers and students to dream up ingenious product ideas. Professors who motivate young entrepreneurs and provide years of guidance and support. Competitions like the TUM IdeAward to encourage newly formed start-up teams. Successful founders who keep coming back to their alma mater and inspire entire generations. TUM has given rise to a unique entrepreneurial culture.

This culture is also a factor in the “Gründungsradar”, a regular survey in which the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, the German business community's innovation agency, evaluates German universities. Other factors include the institutional embedding of entrepreneurship and the available networking partners, the concrete efforts made by universities to support start-ups, and the number of companies actually formed.

TUM comes close to the maximum possible score (57.2 of 60) and is thus the leader in the category of large universities for the fourth year in a row. TUM and UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at TUM, provide start-up support programs precisely aligned with the individual phases of building a business, the experience of the team members, and with specific topics – from creating a business model to management training, and from market entry to a possible IPO.

Entrepreneurship TUM in Rankings news-36487 Thu, 11 Mar 2021 15:46:22 +0100
Contactless high performance power transmission https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36486/ Contactless power transmission has already established itself as a key technology when it comes to charging small devices such as mobile telephones and electric toothbrushes. Users would also like to see contactless charging made available for larger electric machines such as industrial robots, medical equipment and electric vehicles. 

Such devices could be placed on a charging station whenever they are not in use. This would make it possible to effectively utilize even short idle times to recharge their batteries. However, the currently available transmission systems for high performance recharging in the kilowatt range and above are large and heavy, since they are based on copper coils. 

Working in a research partnership with the companies Würth Elektronik eiSos and superconductor coating specialist Theva Dünnschichttechnik, a team of physicists led by Christoph Utschick and Rudolf Gross have succeeded in creating a coil with superconducting wires capable of contactless power transmission in the order of more than five kilowatts (kW) and without significant loss. 

Research news andreas.battenberg@tum.de news-36485 Wed, 10 Mar 2021 12:10:41 +0100
Unique sensor network for measuring greenhouse gases https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36482/ The sensor network MUCCnet (Munich Urban Carbon Column network) consists of five high-precision optical instruments that analyze the sun’s light spectra. They measure the concentration of the gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO). Since each gas has its own unique spectral "fingerprint", concentrations of these gases can be determined in the columns of air between the instruments and the sun.  

"By measuring a vertical column of the atmosphere, local disturbances, such as the disproportionate influence of neighboring stacks, can be removed. Therefore, this type of greenhouse gas balancing is considered particularly robust and accurate," says Prof. Jia Chen.

Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36481 Mon, 08 Mar 2021 13:05:43 +0100
Covid-19 risk increases with airborne pollen https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36479/ In the spring of 2020, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic appeared to coincide with the tree pollen season in the northern hemisphere. These observations prompted an international team of researchers to conduct an extensive investigation: The scientists wanted to know whether there is a demonstrable link between airborne pollen concentrations and SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.

Covid-19 Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36478 Mon, 08 Mar 2021 10:53:18 +0100
TUM launches new support program for female lecturers https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36483/ The Technical University of Munich (TUM) considers equality and the promotion of diversity among its talents to be a moral mandate which is central to the TUM mission of excellence in research, teaching and innovation. A number of strategic measures and support formats are succeeding and have significantly increased the share of women at various career levels, as TUM President Prof.

Thomas F. Hofmann observes on the occasion of International Women's Day 2021 on March 8:
"Over the past 15 years we have for example succeeded in raising the share of women appointed to professorships from 9% to 20.9%. This is the outcome of intensive searches for internationally experienced female scientists, in concert with the central integration of women professors both on faculty recruitment commissions and as reviewers in the external evaluation of candidates. We are still far from satisfied; nevertheless the 39% share of women among the 145 talented young individuals currently appointed to tenure track professorships makes me optimistic that we will be able to significantly increase the share of woman professors at TUM in the years to come.“

However, there is great room for improvement in the share of women among the lecturers and honorary professors who enrich the teaching of TUM students with their diverse range of practical experience gained in business, politics and society. "With a share of only 5%, women are embarrassingly underrepresented in this area," TUM President Hofmann says. In order to change this situation, TUM will provide newly recruited women lecturers with research assistants and material support for expanding the scope of their teaching materials and curricula.

TUM Senior Vice President Talent Management and Diversity, Prof. Claudia Peus, intends to strengthen the structural basis for recruiting suitable women candidates: "Vice Deans Talent Management and Diversity will in the future intensify the proactive search for female lecturers at the executive level of the respective TUM Schools. We are thus creating central responsibility at the School level and will be able to provide the best possible support for the individual efforts of our professors when recruiting lecturers."

Campus news news-36477 Fri, 05 Mar 2021 08:39:32 +0100