TUM – Latest news https://www.tum.de Latest news of TUM en TUM Tue, 14 Jul 2020 06:47:28 +0200 Tue, 14 Jul 2020 06:47:28 +0200 Stephan A. Sieber receives Future Insight Prize https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36133/ The discovery of antibiotics has saved millions of human lives. However, in the meantime more and more bacteria have developed resistances to conventional antibiotics. Accordingly research by Stephan A. Sieber, TUM Professor for Organic Chemistry, centers on the development of strategies against this kind of resistant bacteria.

One of Stephan Sieber's central strategies is to look for new potential targets within the bacterial metabolism. Working together with his team he identifies the proteins which are essential to the bacteria's survival. If one of these proteins could be deactivated, it would be possible to starve the bacteria to death.

Another strategy is to prevent the ability of dangerous bacteria to produce toxins. The bacteria would then simply be "disarmed". Since this process does not kill the bacteria, the strategy also avoids the development of resistances.

Campus news battenberg@tum.de news-36132 Mon, 13 Jul 2020 00:01:27 +0200
Recommendations for the agriculture of tomorrow https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36135/ Vera Bitsch is Professor of the Economics of Horticulture and Landscaping. The professorship is located at both the TUM School of Management and the TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan.

Prof. Bitsch conducts research in the fields of agricultural economics and agribusiness management. Her research focuses on sustainability in agricultural value chains. In 2000, Prof. Bitsch accepted a position at Michigan State University. Her roles there involved research, teaching, and extension in the area of human resource management in agriculture. Her extension & outreach program received a prestigious national award by the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) in 2008. Prof. Bitsch joined TUM in 2010.

Campus news Katharina.Baumeister@tum.de news-36135 Mon, 13 Jul 2020 15:43:31 +0200
Secret defence against adenoviruses https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36124/ Human adenoviruses cause conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal illnesses and pneumonia, among other things. In most cases however an infection exhibits no symptoms or only mild symptoms in healthy adults. "Generally speaking, every adult has probably had several adenovirus infections already," says Dr. Sabrina Schreiner. She works at the TUM Institute of Virology and the German Research Center for Environmental Health Helmholtz Zentrum. In the past human viruses, of which more than 85 different variants are currently known, were not considered to be particularly dangerous.

Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36123 Mon, 13 Jul 2020 12:08:00 +0200
The battery of the future: intelligent, sustainable, powerful https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36131/ Laptops, cell phones, electric cars: Batteries play an important role in our everyday lives. Meanwhile, as an efficient energy storage technology, they are essential prerequisites for a successful energy transition. At TUM, 12 professorships with different specialist areas from five departments work on battery research, pooling their expertise in the TUM.Battery network. More than 100 scientists are addressing the interdisciplinary challenge of covering the entire value chain.

This extends from basic scientific research in material science to power cell development and process technologies in electrochemistry and electrical engineering through to the integration into manufacturing technologies in engineering. Cooperation with industry promotes the transfer from research results to applications.

Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36131 Fri, 10 Jul 2020 13:23:08 +0200
Fighting air pollution with artificial intelligence https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36130/ The name sums up what the company is all about: Hawa Dawa basically means "air purity" – in seven different languages. "We have a global focus," explains Karim Tarraf, who co-founded the company in 2016. The vision: combining big data and artificial intelligence to help build a sustainable future for cities. "We want to prove that modern technologies can be implemented in harmony with the environment."

Tarraf became keenly aware of the issue of air purity at an early age. He grew up in Cairo – a city where air pollution is a serious concern. Tarraf's parents are both specialists in respiratory medicine and his brother suffers from asthma. During his M.Sc. studies in management and technology at TUM, Tarraf participated in the interdisciplinary hands-on innovation course THINK.MAKE.START, in which students develop a product in 14 days. As their project, Tarraf and his team chose a portable measurement air pollution sensor for asthma sufferers. 

Entrepreneurship stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36125 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 13:00:00 +0200
European engineering education of the future https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36127/ The EU will fund the project in its "European Universities" program with approximately five million euros over the next three years. The initiative emerges from the EuroTech Universities Alliance, a strategic partnership of Technical University of Denmark (DTU), École Polytechnique (L'X), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Technical University of Munich (TUM) as well as Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. For this project, they have brought two other strong partners on board: Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU). EPFL and Technion, being located in non-EU countries and hence not eligible for funding, will contribute to the implementation of the program.

Campus news news-36126 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:06:00 +0200
Effects of Covid-19 on children https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36129/ Do childcare facilities such as crèches and kindergartens and elementary schools pose a risk for the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19? This remains a controversial issue. The six Bavarian university pediatric clinics want to provide an answer. Starting in July, they will work together to conduct tests at approximately 150 selected childcare facilities throughout the state of Bavaria to determine how many children are infected and whether they are showing symptoms. The study will also address other aspects of children's health such as the impact of the pandemic on their wellbeing and the medical care of children. Consequently, the long-term epidemiological survey will look ahead to the future and will scientifically study the re-opening of childcare facilities and schools. 

The medical researchers from Augsburg, Erlangen, Munich, Regensburg and Würzburg will visit crèches, kindergartens and elementary schools to conduct voluntary testing of children between one and 10 years of age, childcare staff and teachers. At TUM, the study will be headed by Prof. Uta Behrends. She is Professor of Pediatric Infectiology and Immunobiology and senior physician at the Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a joint institution of the Klinikum rechts der Isar and the München Klinik Schwabing.

Covid-19 Research news news-36128 Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:47:38 +0200
How do bacteria build up natural products? https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36121/ Many important drugs such as antibiotics or active agents against cancer are natural products which are built up by microorganisms for example bacteria or fungi. In the laboratory, these natural products can often be not produced at all or only with great effort. The starting point of a large number of such compounds are polyketides, which are carbon chains where every second atom has a double bound to an oxygen atom.

In a microbial cell such as in the Photorhabdus luminescens bacterium, they are produced with the help of polyketide synthases (PKS). In order to build up the desired molecules step by step, in the first stage of PKS type II systems, four proteins work together in changing “teams”.

In a second stage, they are then modified to the desired natural product by further enzymes. Examples of bacterial natural products which are produced that way are, inter alia, the clinically used Tetracyclin antibiotics or Doxorubicin, an anti-cancer drug.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36120 Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:42:07 +0200
Gut bacteria improve type 2 diabetes risk prediction https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36118/ The microbial composition of the intestines is complex and varies widely from one individual to another. Many factors such as environmental factors, lifestyle, genetics or illnesses affect the intestinal ecosystem of helpful gut bacteria.

Dirk Haller, Professor for Nutrition and Immunology at TUM, and his team have examined the importance of daytime-dependent fluctuations of the gut microbiome in relation to type 2 diabetes; they present their study encompassing more than 4000 people and it is the first study in this field based on a large prospective human cohort.

Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36117 Mon, 06 Jul 2020 11:32:00 +0200
University elections on July 28, 2020 https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36115/ Election date

Tuesday July 28, 2020, from 9 am to 5 pm

Which positions are elected?

  • the students' representatives in the senate and in all faculty councils or in the School Council of the TUM School of Life Sciences and in all study faculty councils
  • the representatives of professors, scientific staff and other employees in the faculty councils of the TUM School of Governance and the Department of Aerospace and Geodesy as well as in the School Council of the TUM School of Life Sciences
  • the student representatives in all department councils
  • the students' representatives on the Institute Council of the Integrative Research Center " Technical University Munich - Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability"
  • the deans of the Departments of Architecture, Electrical and Computer Engineering, the TUM School of Governance and the Department of Aerospace and Geodesy
  • the department heads of the Department of Molecular Life Sciences, the Department of Life Science Engineering and the Department of Life Science Systems (at the TUM School of Life Sciences)
  • the representatives of professors and scientific staff of the study faculty of the Munich School of Engineering
Campus news a.schmidt@tum.de news-36115 Fri, 03 Jul 2020 09:51:53 +0200
Nutrition in the days of COVID https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36110/ Covid-19 Research news Katharina.Baumeister@tum.de news-36109 Thu, 02 Jul 2020 07:48:00 +0200 Exploring uncharted scientific territory with a pioneering spirit and collective creativity https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36107/ The idea behind the TUM Innovation Networks is to unleash the university community’s collective creativity right from the start. From July 1 to September 15, TUM professors and TUM junior fellows are invited to submit highly innovative, creative ideas that have the potential to become a TUM Innovation Network. These ideas will then be turned into robust research concepts in a workshop held with international researchers. The most promising project ideas will be given the status of “TUM Innovation Network” and will be funded up to EUR 2 million over a period of four years.

Campus news news-36106 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 09:57:00 +0200
EUR 40 million for new TUM institute https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36112/ The marked increase of resistant bacteria and the associated massively increasing danger of infections of humans and animals which cannot be treated with antibiotics is, in the long term, one of the biggest scientific, medical and social challenges of our time.

“Without innovations, we are at risk of falling back to the pre-antibiotic era in which simple injuries could develop into deathly threats,” says founding director Dietmar Zehn, professor of animal physiology and immunology at the Technical University of Munich. “The number of deaths caused by infections, which is just under one million per year, could rise to about ten million by 2050.”

The Technical University of Munich therefore combines its competencies for the development of innovative strategies for the prevention, combatting and prevention of the spread of resistant pathogens in a new research building, the Center for Integrated Infection Prevention (ZIP).

The Joint Science Conference of the Federation and the Länder (GWK) has now decided that the Federal Government and the Free State of Bavaria will support the new construction project at the Weihenstephan campus equally and with a total of roughly EUR 40 million.

Campus news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36112 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 08:07:10 +0200
Chanterelle mushrooms as a taste enhancer https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36108/ Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) are one of the most popular mushrooms in Germany. Depending on the weather, chanterelle season starts in early July. Connoisseurs value the mushroom’s delicate fruity aroma, which is reminiscent of apricots, and its aromatic and slightly bitter taste profile. Not only do chanterelles have a unique flavor profile, they also function as taste enhancers, lending dishes a well-rounded mouthfeel and a lingering, rich flavor. 

Research news Katharina.Baumeister@tum.de news-36103 Tue, 30 Jun 2020 08:00:00 +0200
"We shouldn't withdraw into the virtual world" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36104/ Prof. Bengler, where do you see the greatest changes and problems in the working world?

The Corona crisis has greatly increased the amount of work we do at home. The rapid transition also made it impossible to follow certain basic labor science principles. Not everyone has a workplace at home that is as well-equipped as the workstation in office, for example in terms of lighting, desk height and a peaceful working atmosphere.

On the whole, monitor work has increased. The time needed to physically get to meetings or to the workplace has been saved. Meetings which used to gives us a break from work at the computer screen are now taking place as web meetings. As a result we gain valuable time, but this also means an increase in work done in front of the monitor. Now it's much more a matter of the employees' personal responsibility to organize themselves, take breaks from work and to optimize their workstations.

Then there are other problems, for example in many cases child care is not available, which creates a lot of stress. And in areas of work which require physical presence like production, caregiving or making foodstuffs, hygiene measures have made work even more time-consuming. This means that the entire system, which was under time pressure in the first place, has been additionally slowed down.

Has the Digital Transformation been accelerated?

The Corona crisis has an extremely intensifying effect. Companies where mobile working and telecommuting were already established options were able to increase these activities. The regulations and the technical equipment are present and there are experienced colleagues who can help others. But the crisis has also had very negative reinforcements. Companies that were still unfamiliar with these mobile working tools had a much more difficult time getting started or even experienced serious setbacks.
These companies should have the opportunity to learn from the others as quickly as possible. However there are specific best practices spread throughout all the economic sectors, no generalizations can be made here. For example, in some cases farmers are better networked than some service companies. We should learn from these experiences as quickly as possible. This is also the objective of our federally funded project "Using Good Solutions for the Future – COVID-19 Lessons Learned".

How do you intend to consolidate all these experiences?

In coordination with our partners at the RWTH Aachen University and Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) we will conduct cross-regional surveys on how the working situation was before the crisis, how the transition process has gone and what the situation looks like now. Which practices have proven useful, what agreements have been made, were they temporary or have they become permanent? Crises trigger change processes as well as learning processes. We also want to establish clarity about the areas in which companies from different industry sectors can learn from one another: For example, the use of remote monitoring in maintenance could be increased, or web meetings could replace physical meetings. We're also talking about approaches to helping solve time and space problems in many home offices on a long-term basis.

But another very important point is that we continue to ask whether or not these measures will continue to be viable for a good working situation in the future. I don't think we can or should permanently fade away into the virtual world. Our personal networks would continuously grow weaker. The goal is to be able to make recommendations on how to conduct this type of transformation process and to learn how to once again move in terms of organization in a newly emerging situation where the current restrictions have been further relaxed.

Covid-19 Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36104 Mon, 29 Jun 2020 09:02:20 +0200
Equal opportunities through digital teaching https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36102/ In Stephan Krusche's courses, just leaning back and letting the lecturer talk is not an option. "It's a priority for me for the students to become active participants in the teaching process," he explains. "Especially in informatics and software engineering, it is very important to try things out for yourself."

With over 1800 students with varying levels of prior knowledge, as in the lecture "Introduction to Software Engineering," this is a big challenge.

Campus news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36101 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 10:19:00 +0200
Liesel Beckmann Professorship for Eleftheria Zeggini https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36099/ Eleftheria Zeggini studied and completed her doctorate at the University of Manchester. She then moved to the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, where she focused on the genetics of type 2 diabetes and the design, analysis and interpretation of large-scale association studies. She was a group leader at the human genetics faculty at the Wellcome Sanger Institute for ten years. In 2018 she founded the Institute for Translational Genomics at Helmholtz Zentrum München, which she heads as director.

Eleftheria Zeggini‘s research leverages big data in genetics and genomics for medically important human traits. It aims to transfer the findings of genomics to mechanisms of disease development and progression and to strengthen precision medicine.

Campus news a.schmidt@tum.de news-36099 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:26:42 +0200
The tricks of the immune system https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36076/ "The Covid-19 pandemic clearly demonstrates the importance of understanding how the immune system reacts to virus infections," says Dr. Kilian Schober. Together with an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Medicine, Biology and Bioinformatics, he is investigating how important agents in the body's immune system known as T lymphocytes or T cells react when a virus invades the organism and how the immune response changes when the infection becomes chronic.

The team was able to show that the T cell response is a dynamic process and published their findings in the journal Nature Immunology. Different T cells with different receptors are especially active in various phases of the virus infection. "The discovery of this change over time was a big surprise to us," says Schober, the lead author of the study. Until now scientists assumed that after an infection primarily those defense cells multiplied that are especially good at docking onto the cell structures impacted by the virus. As a result it was assumed that in a chronic infection the number of these highly specialized "killer" cells remained permanently increased. But the new research results show a reversal in selection: The longer the infection lasts, the lower the average binding strength of the T cells.

Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36073 Tue, 23 Jun 2020 12:28:00 +0200
Microsoft CEO in conversation with TUM students https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36075/ To start the event, Satya Nadella and MSRM Director Prof. Sami Haddadin will discuss the opportunities presented to humanity and businesses by robotics and AI by videoconference. Students in those fields will then be able to submit questions to Mr. Nadella and Prof. Haddadin via live chat. The participating students have received personal invitations in advance.

Event christine.lehner@tum.de news-36074 Mon, 22 Jun 2020 12:29:00 +0200
The TUM start-up family boasts its second "unicorn" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36070/ Lilium was founded in 2015 by the TUM graduates Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen and attracted considerable attention with its product right from the start: an electric-powered vertical take-off and landing taxi designed to fly passengers to their destinations. Propulsion is provided by 36 wing-mounted propellers, powered by batteries that will provide a range of 300 kilometers. The flying taxi will have space for a pilot and four passengers. The company now employs more than 450 people.

Investors believe in Lilium. In March the company announced that the latest funding round had yielded $240 million. Lilium has now raised a further $35 million from a major British investor, bringing total investments to date to more than $375 million.

As reported by Bloomberg and other sources, this has boosted the company's valuation to over $1 billion. Start-ups that exceed that threshold are known as “unicorns". Lilium is the second start-up incubated at TUM to join the unicorn club. Celonis has been among the world's most successful start-ups since 2018 and was valued at an impressive $2.5 billion at the end of 2019. It provides process mining software that enables companies to analyze all of their digital business processes.

Entrepreneurship stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36070 Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:26:17 +0200
Contact tracing while protecting privacy https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36066/ In these days of the corona pandemic, visits to hair salons and restaurants generally involve filling out forms. Along with the conventional pen-and-paper method, the first digital solutions are now available. These require users to scan QR codes or to complete online forms. “In both cases, unauthorized persons can access personal data, which may have serious consequences especially in connection with a critical issue such as an infection,” says Georg Carle, Professor of Network Architectures and Services at TUM.

Still, effective contact tracing is important for successfully limiting the spread of pandemics, says Prof. Carle. In search of a solution, he worked with his former doctoral candidate Johann Schlamp to develop QRONITON. This service, which uses QR codes that can be scanned with a mobile phone, will enable organizations to meet their documentation obligations and help public health authorities to identify endangered individuals quickly. Any location – whether it's at a restaurant table or an seat in a lecture hall – can be provided with an individual QR code. When scanned by a user, the code is captured along with a time stamp and contact data. What sets this solution apart from similar approaches is a sophisticated, multi-stage encryption system that protects the data.

Covid-19 Research news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-36066 Fri, 12 Jun 2020 11:35:11 +0200
TUM rated as best university in the EU https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36064/ To compile its rankings, QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a British specialist in the analysis of higher education institutions, conducts surveys in science and business on the quality of universities. In addition, QS assesses the citation frequency of publications, the faculty/student ratio and the proportions of international students and staff.

In the latest issue, TUM has moved up five places to number 50 and is the best-ranked university in the EU. In a pan-European comparison, it is one of the only four technical universities in the top 50 along with ETH Zurich, Imperial College London and EPF Lausanne. The top positions in the rankings are held by US universities.

TUM also regularly achieves very good results in other international rankings. For example, it ranks sixth in the world in the “Global University Employability Ranking”, in which companies rate the quality of graduates.

TUM in Rankings klaus.becker@tum.de news-36064 Wed, 10 Jun 2020 12:52:41 +0200
Remdesivir effective against Covid-19 even after short treatment periods https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36062/ The medication Remdesivir is what is referred to as an RNA polymerase inhibitor and was originally tested in treatment of patients suffering from Ebola infections. In recent months several clinical studies have proven the efficacy of the medication against the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Since Remdesivir had proven effective in previous studies when administered for ten days, the scientists wanted to find out whether a shorter treatment period would also be successful. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Covid-19 Research news news-36060 Wed, 03 Jun 2020 17:35:00 +0200
Research to focus on: family companies, their culture and ownership https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36063/ The endowment agreement was signed today by Dr. Ulrich Wacker, the chairman of the EQUA Executive Board, and Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann, the President of TUM. The chair, which will be part of the TUM School of Management, is provided with total funding of 3.8 million euros for an initial period of six years.

TUM and the EQUA Foundation expect the newly created professorship to generate new research that will be of practical use to family enterprises, their culture and the entrepreneurial families behind them. Under an interdisciplinary approach, methods from the management sciences will be combined with those of other disciplines such as sociology and psychology.

„It is today's start-ups that give rise to the family enterprises of tomorrow.”— Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, President of TUM

TUM president Hofmann said: "We're delighted that, with the funding from the EQUA Foundation, we can contribute to the sustainable development of family enterprises with their specific working culture as an important pillar of the German economy. Especially in the wake of the coronavirus, renewed efforts are needed in this area." Prof. Hofmann added that the professorship will be located in Munich, where it will forge interdisciplinary ties. There are also wide-ranging opportunities to cooperate with researchers at TUM Campus Heilbronn, where TUM conducts research and teaching on the digital transformation of family enterprises. "A number of interesting research questions for the new chair will also arise at the interface with our many start-up founders." said President Hofmann. "After all, it is today's innovative start-ups that give rise to the culturally aware family enterprises of tomorrow."

Campus news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-36061 Tue, 02 Jun 2020 17:48:57 +0200
TUM shapes digital administration for the new decade https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36055/ Public authorities in Germany lag far behind their counterparts in most other EU countries when it comes to the digitalization of their operations. According to an EU Commission report, German residents rarely have online access to essential public services. This indicates an urgent need for action that has become even more apparent amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite widespread agreement on the need for better online access to administrative services, many legal questions remain unresolved, for instance with regard to privacy. In many cases, the expertise needed to address these issues is in short supply.

Research news news-36054 Wed, 03 Jun 2020 10:00:00 +0200