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“National Research Data Infrastructure” Funding Program

Interdisciplinary Consortium Aims to Make Research Data from Physics Usable

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Portrait of a man © Roland Baege​/​TU Dort­mund
Professor Kevin Kröninger is a particle physicist at TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity.

At the beginning of July, the Joint Science Conference accepted ten new consortia for funding within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is participating in three projects and will receive around € 500,000 from the German Research Foun­da­tion.

Professor Kevin Kröninger is a particle physicist at TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. Together with sci­en­tists from throughout the world, he is conducting re­search at CERN in Geneva, one of the world’s largest re­search centers. The collisions produced by the particle accelerators there generate huge amounts of data from which the researchers hope to gain insights into the functional building blocks of matter. “Particle physics is a good example of how im­por­tant a well-functioning data infra­structure is for re­search,” says Kröninger. “We have to secure the data throughout their entire life cycle and make them accessible to all researchers. The NFDI funding is a push by Germany to achieve further im­prove­ments in this area.”

The inter­dis­ci­plin­ary con­sor­tium named “PUNCH4NFDI” will commence its work in the autumn. PUNCH stands for “Particles, Universe, NuClei & Hadrons”. Accordingly, the con­sor­tium represents the four re­search fields of particle physics, astroparticle physics, hadron and nuclear physics, and astronomy. It is headed by the DESY re­search center – short for “Deutsches Elek­tro­nen-Synchrotron” (“German Electron Synchrotron”). On the part of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity, physics professors Johannes Albrecht, Kevin Kröninger and Bernhard Spaan are involved. The aim is for both TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity as well as all scientific in­sti­tu­ti­ons in Germany to ben­efit from the con­sor­tium’s findings and new developments.

As part of the proj­ect funded by the NFDI, the physicists from Dort­mund will be getting to grips, among others, with the development of real-time data processing. In large-scale particle physics experiments, such an enormous volume of data is generated that not all of it can be stored. Algorithms must therefore decide what is potentially interesting and therefore stored and what must be deleted without further ado. New methods such as machine learning should help to improve these decision-making algorithms in the fu­ture. In addition, the con­sor­tium has set itself the goal of sensitizing the next gen­era­tion of sci­en­tists towards the topic of re­search data infra­structure. “Proper handling of re­search data is an im­por­tant element of good scientific practice,” explains Professor Johannes Albrecht. The con­sor­tium will therefore develop teaching materials to raise awareness, starting already with students and teaching them the technical know-how they need to save their data and make them available to others.

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity involved in consortia from other specialist fields

In the second round of funding, the NFDI4Earth con­sor­tium was also approved, in which Professor Nguyen Xuan Thinh from the Department of Spatial Planning at TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is involved. Re­searchers from the uni­ver­si­ty’s Department of Physics are part of the new “FAIRmat” con­sor­tium within Collaborative Research Centers/Transregios 160 and 142.

The consortia from the first round of funding have already been working for a year on im­prov­ing re­search data infra­structure: On behalf of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity, Professor Norbert Kockmann, Alexander Behr, Professor Gabriele Sadowski and Dr. Katrin Rosenthal from the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering are participating in “NFDI4Cat”, Dr. Frauke Maevus from the Department of Mechanical Engineering is participating in “NFDI4Ing” in the frame­work of Collaborative Research Center/Trans­re­gio 188, and Professor Stefan Kast, Nicolas Tielker and Professor Paul Czodrowski from the Department of Chem­is­try and Chemical Biology are involved in “NFDI4Chem”.

Further in­for­mation:

Contact for further in­for­mation:

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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 South Cam­pus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Cam­pus). 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 North Cam­pus to South Cam­pus by car, there is the connection via Vo­gel­pothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Cam­pus 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 15 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”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Cam­pus. 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 South Cam­pus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Cam­pus and offers a direct connection to South Cam­pus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Cam­pus North and the smaller Cam­pus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).