Exterior view of TUM's Research Station Friedrich N. Schwarz
TUM’s Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station will be the perfect hub for the observation of nature.
Image: Uli Benz / TUM
  • Sustainability, Campus news
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TUM opens Friedrich N. Schwarz Research StationScience inspired by nature

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) opened the Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station in Berchtesgaden today. In a sustainable building made from wood, TUM will be researching the alpine ecosystem and examining new ways to teach the natural sciences in schools. The station was funded by the TUM University Foundation.

Located at an altitude of 1,262 meters in the forest above Berchtesgaden, the TUM Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station will be the perfect hub for research into the alpine ecosystem, particularly habitat diversity in the Berchtesgaden national park. To support efforts in this area, TUM is creating a new professorship which will also lead the research activities of the national park. Together with the Schneefernerhaus research station on the Zugspitze mountain, TUM’s research infrastructure now collectively reaches almost 3,000 meters above sea level into the Alps.

“Natural sciences rooted in the observation of nature”

Education research at Berchtesgaden will explore concepts that translate observations of the natural world into successful lessons in natural science. The insights from this research will be channeled directly into TUM’s teacher training programs. The station will collaborate in this area with the Student Research Center Berchtesgadener Land.

“All natural sciences should be rooted in the observation of nature,” claims TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann. “I am convinced that anyone who perceives nature through their senses will find it easier to understand the natural sciences and their various laws and formulae.”

Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station

  • View from TUM’s Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station
    Inspiration by nature in the Berchtesgaden region. Image: Uli Benz / TUM
  • Seminar and laboratory room in TUM’s Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station
    The station can be flexibly used for seminar and laboratory work. Image: Uli Benz / TUM
  • Bedroom in TUM’s Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station
    40 sleeping places allow stays of several days. Image: Uli Benz / TUM
  • TUM’s Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station
    The wooden building has a self-sufficient supply. Image: Uli Benz / TUM
  • The patron Friedrich N. Schwarz (center) opens with President Wolfgang A. Herrmann (right) and Chancellor Albert Berger the station.
    The patron Friedrich N. Schwarz (center) opens with President Wolfgang A. Herrmann (right) and Chancellor Albert Berger the station. Image: Uli Benz / TUM

Overnight accommodation for conferences, sustainable design

The three-story research station was designed by TUM professor Hermann Kaufmann – a renowned architect specializing in timber construction. In addition to labs and seminar rooms, the building offers overnight accommodation for up to 40 people, making it an ideal venue for conferences or research trips that run over several days. Designed to make the building as independent of utilities as possible, the sustainability concept includes rainwater conditioning, a biological wastewater treatment system and photovoltaic energy panels.

The construction work was funded by the TUM University Foundation and the building itself is named after one of its patrons, Friedrich N. Schwarz. He studied electrical engineering at TUM before becoming successful in industry (Rohde & Schwarz). Numerous guests were invited to today’s opening ceremony, officiated by President Herrmann and chief district administrator Georg Grabner. “For TUM, Berchtesgaden has become an important hub powering academic and social exchange across all age groups,” says Herrmann. “The local landscape and people inspire us to reach beyond the here and now.” He thanked Georg Grabner in particular for his energy and enthusiasm in advocating for this location in preference to alternative sites.

Award for Prof. Michael W. Pfaffl

As part of the celebrations, TUM awarded Prof. Michael W. Pfaffl, a researcher at the Chair of Animal Physiology and Immunology, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal. His relative quantification methodologies for mRNA are among the most internationally cited works in TUM’s recent history.

More information:

TUM University Foundation

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center Klaus Becker

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