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University Alliance Ruhr Establishes New Competence Field in Energy System Transformation

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Prof. Christian Rehtanz in einem Labor. © Martina Hengesbach
Professor Christian Rehtanz of TU Dort­mund University is the spokesperson of the EST project, which has over 70 researchers at the three UA Ruhr universities.

The Coordination Committee of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) has decided to establish a new competence field: “Energy – System – Transformation” (EST). Over 70 professors as well as doctoral researchers from TU Dort­mund University, Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) will work together for an initial five years towards accelerating the energy system transformation. Spokesperson is Professor Christian Rehtanz, Director of the Institute of Energy Systems, Energy Efficiency and Energy Economics at TU Dort­mund University.

“Teaching and research in the EST competence field is interdisciplinary,” says Professor Rehtanz. “The aim is to propel the energy system transformation in a holistic way through selected new technologies in the areas of energy conversion, power transmission and efficient use of energy.” In doing so, the process of transforming the energy landscape must be socially manageable, acceptable and economically feasible as well as have a sound legal basis. That is why the competence field unites different players: Experts from the natural sciences, economics, sociology and spatial planning as well as from technical and legal disciplines are all working together.

“What is special is that we in the UA Ruhr have at our disposal researchers in all these really very different fields. They will all work together on the important topic of the energy system transformation,” says Professor Rehtanz. The objective of research and teaching in this competence field is to achieve the agreed European and global climate protection targets in the coming decades.

New perspectives thanks to system-oriented approach

The competence field focuses on four main aspects: Security of supply, environmental compatibility, economic efficiency and acceptance by the general public. This necessitates a system-oriented approach which stretches from fundamentally new technologies and their application to economic and legal questions to an acceptable implementation in situ and in society.

Professor Rehtanz’s fellow EST coordinator at TU Dort­mund University is Professor Klaus Joachim Grigoleit from the Faculty of Spatial Planning. Coordinators at UDE are Professor Jutta Geldermann and Professor Klaus Görner, both from the Faculty of Engineering, and Professor Christoph Weber from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Professor Johann-Christian Pielow and legal expert Katrin Schlegel, both from the Institute for Mining and Energy Law, and Professor Roland Span from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering are the coordinators at RUB.

Close collaboration with industrial partners in the region

Also involved in the competence field are the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), Oberhausen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), Dort­mund, and the GWI (institute for fuel and industrial engineering), Essen, as well as ZBT (hydrogen and fuel cell center) and IUTA (institute for environmental and energy technologies), both part of the JRF (Johannes Rau Research Association) in Duisburg, together with the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, Essen.

There is also close collaboration in the framework of EST with important industrial partners in the region, who partly number amongst the largest in their sector in Germany and Europe. The results will be integrated into the in­ter­na­tio­nal research landscape through a large number of partnerships worldwide, for example with South America, China, Russia and Australia, allowing solutions to be developed that do justice to the global relevance of the topic.


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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

Dort­mund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dort­mund Airport to TU Dort­mund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dort­mund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more in­for­mation). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dort­mund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.