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Doctoral Seminar 2019 of the Helmholtz joint initiative Energy System 2050

Bringing researchers from different research disciplines together to support their work on solutions for the challenges of our future energy system is a central goal of the Helmholtz initiative ES2050.

Participants of the Doctoral Seminar 2019 of the Helmholtz joint initiative Energy System 2050

Supporting young scientists is another. This year’s ES2050 doctoral seminar focused on interactivity and interdisciplinarity but still left enough room for talks and poster presentations by the young scientists.

On the 4th and 5th of September 2019 doctoral researchers of Helmholtz centres from all over Germany came together in Oberursel near Frankfurt to present their research, engage in discussion, learn and share experience.

A keynote by Prof. Stapf (Speaker of Research Topic 2: Bioenergy) made the prelude and gave an introduction and overview on bioenergy and further current global renewable energies, taking regulations and utilization scenarios into account. After which the first session of talks by doctoral researchers followed engaging in topics such as energy system modelling, data complexity, resilience of energy systems and integration of life cycle assessment into models.

Interdisciplinarity is becoming more and more important in the world of science as there seems no way past it in order to tackle society’s biggest problems and grant bodies increasingly seek boundary-spanning proposals. But as there is still resistance to crossing borders the organizers of the doctoral seminar invited Stefan Götze (KIT-KHYS) to hold his workshop “Connecting Minds” in the seminar. After learning how to overcome subject-specific language and how ideas for collaboration develop the doctoral researchers adapted their posters (and) presentations and explored possible collaborations among themselves. An impressive list was generated.

The second session of talks and discussion by the doctoral researchers looked more into details on modelling uncertainty, dynamic simulation, soil functioning for sustainable bioeconomy and sustainable bioethanol development. In an area that is still dominated by males, this all women session of short talks showed that there are more successful young female researchers in the energy field eager to contribute than some might assume.

In the following two poster sessions discussions were lively and only intersected by the interactive format “breakout groups” moderated by Tom Brown. Here, participants suggested topics they were interested in, briefly presented them and then everyone split up into the resulting six groups to brainstorm solutions for major challenges for the energy system on the way to 2050. The chosen topics varied from being discipline-specific like “how to model sector coupling at regional scale” to more general “how can we bring research to the public” and “bans of high-emitting technologies versus promotion of low-emitting technologies”. By then at the latest, everyone was working enthusiastically and enjoying it.

The seminar was organized by Dr. Tom Brown (Research Topic 1) and Beatrix Dumsky (ES2050 Coordination Office) both from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology together with Dr.-Ing. Leander Kotzur (Research Topic 3) and Dr.-Ing. Christina Wulf (Research Topic 4) both from Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ); and all four were pleased to receive an overall positive feedback from the participants.

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