Forschungszentrum Jülich works on key technologies for the grand challenges facing society in the fields of information and the brain as well as energy and environment.
How can data storage be made more effective and simultaneously more energy-efficient? How can the use of renewables be expanded? How is the climate changing and what role does humankind play in this? How can illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s be diagnosed at an early stage and therapies be improved? To what extent can the human brain be used as a paradigm for future computers? Finding answers to these questions is what work at Forschungszentrum Jülich is all about. With more than 5,500 employees, it is one of the largest research institutions in the Helmholtz Association and in Europe.
The broad expertise here ranges from simulations with supercomputers, research with neutrons, and high-resolution electron microscopy to biotechnology, nuclear physics, imaging techniques for medicine, and unique tools for nanotechnology. In their work, scientists at Jülich investigate phenomena at very different orders of magnitude; from the atomic right up to the global scale. Forschungszentrum Jülich believes that not only should individual issues be addressed, but that the wider context should also be taken into account; in other words, not only are the scientific issues themselves important but so too are the social, economic, and ethical aspects.
Scientists at Jülich are exploring the whole range of existing options for converting and storing energy produced from fossil and renewable sources. Jülich environmental and climate research aims to understand the impact of energy generation and conversion on the ecosystem and the climate, and to refine climate models. Nuclear waste management is also part of Jülich’s portfolio.
The research fields concerned with information and the brain aim to understand the complex processes in the healthy brain and to use this knowledge to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases more reliably and earlier than is currently possible. With some 86 billion nerve cells, the healthy human brain is a gigantic control center – with a comparatively small energy consumption. Understanding how it works could pave the way towards new approaches in information technology. Scientists at Jülich are also examining materials and electronic phenomena for future computer generations.
Excellent researchers who cooperate across the borders of institutes, research centers, and even countries are Jülich’s greatest strength. To foster collaboration with the best partners throughout the world, Jülich participates in strategic alliances both in Germany and abroad. All in all, Forschungszentrum Jülich has more than 200 partners in Germany and worldwide. These include universities and scientific institutions as well as industrial enterprises.
Support for young talent
Forschungszentrum Jülich places particular emphasis on supporting the next generation of scientists. At Jülich, undergraduates and PhD students benefit from a working environment with state-of-the-art instruments and international contacts, as well as the opportunity to conduct independent research at an early stage of their career. Showing school children and teenagers how much fun science can be is another task that Jülich has set itself, offering them the chance to perform experiments hands-on in the JuLab Schools Laboratory or to apply for work placements. Forschungszentrum Jülich also provides certified vocational training. Since it was established, Jülich has trained around 4,600 young people, laying the foundation for their personal development and professional future.
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