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MERCUR Awards €700,000 for Two New Collaborative Research Projects

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A Montage of photos that show buildings from the three Ruhr Alliance universities © MERCUR
MERCUR funds joint research projects by the UA Ruhr universities TU Dortmund University, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Duisburg-Essen.

The Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) has awarded funding of around €700,000 for two new collaborative research projects within the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), in which scientists from TU Dortmund University are also involved. The projects were approved in November. The participating researchers are using the MERCUR funding to establish long-term research networks within UA Ruhr. The Mercator Foundation is providing a good half of the funding, the universities themselves are financing the other part on a pro rata basis.

“Narrative Economics Alliance Ruhr” (NEAR)

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, many sciences experienced what is referred to as the “narrative turn”: An interest in subjective interpretations by stakeholders and through social discourse. It was only a few years ago, when Nobel Prize laureate Robert Shiller added the new research field of “Narrative Economics” to the agenda, that economics also adopted this approach.

With the “Narrative Economics Alliance Ruhr” (NEAR), the groundwork is now being laid for developing UA Ruhr into one of Europe’s leading locations in this new field and for upgrading UA Ruhr’s competence field of “Empirical Economic Research”. The aim is to undertake excellent preparatory work together in the run-up to applying for a Research Training Group of the German Research Foundation. In this context, the project contributes to research on a theoretical, methodological and empirical level. In terms of content, the focus lies on sustainability narratives. NEAR bundles expertise in economic theory, business journalism, finance, and statistics/econometrics. Networking workshops have already triggered interdisciplinary exchange, which is continuing within UA Ruhr and at international level. Representing TU Dortmund University in the project are Professor Carsten Jentsch from the Department of Statistics and Professor Henrik Müller from the Institute of Journalism. Consortium partners are Professor Michael Roos (Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), Chair of Macroeconomics), Professor Martin Hibbeln (University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Finance) and Professor Torsten Schmidt (RUB, Faculty of Economics). Funds of €460,000 are available.

“Quantum Fields and Quantum Materials”

The Standard Model of Particle Physics subsumes all key knowledge about the fundamental structure of nature. From a methodological perspective, it is a relativistic quantum field theory that describes – surprisingly accurately – phenomena at high energies. In contrast to particle physics, the physics of solids occurs at much lower energies. In fact, however, relativistic quantum field theories play an essential role here too, for example in graphene and exotic phase transitions. In addition, many otherwise completely different quantum field theories from particle and solid-state physics are connected by what are known as duality conjectures.

In two project strands, the project “Quantum Fields and Quantum Materials” will shed light on the critical behavior of such quantum field theories and on questions about dualities so far unanswered, but which are important for understanding both quantum phase transitions as well as quantum chromodynamics. In so doing, it will use modern renormalization group methods. Two professors are participating in the project on behalf of TU Dortmund University: Gudrun Hiller, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Field Theory, and Emmanuel Stamou, Junior Professor of Theoretical Flavor Physics. Together with Professor Michael Scherer from RUB, they will contribute to the systematic further development of quantum field theory. The project has been awarded funds of around €240.000.

University Alliance Ruhr

Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen have been working closely and strategically together under the umbrella of UA Ruhr since 2007. By joining forces, the partner universities’ performance is systematically upgraded. Reflecting the motto “better together”, there are meanwhile over 100 cooperative projects in research, teaching and administration. With over 120,000 students and almost 1,300 professors, UA Ruhr is one of Germany’s largest and top-performing centers of science and research.

Further Information about MERCUR

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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).