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MERCUR Funds Three New Research Projects with Around € 1.25 Million

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Collage of three photos of university buildings. © MERCUR
MERCUR funds joint re­search projects of the UA Ruhr universities: TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity, Ruhr Uni­ver­si­tät Bochum, and the Uni­ver­sity of Duis­burg-Essen.

With around € 1.25 million over two years from 2022 onwards, the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) will fund three new collaborative re­search projects within the Uni­ver­sity Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr). TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity will work together with Ruhr Uni­ver­si­tät Bochum (RUB) on projects in the fields of developmental psychology, DNA nanotechnology and ultrashort pulse lasers.

The researchers involved are using the MERCUR funding to build up re­search networks within UA Ruhr over the longer term. A good half of the funding is provided by the Mercator Foun­da­tion, and the other half is financed proportionally by the universities.

Developmental ­psy­cho­lo­gy

Professor Norbert Zmyj from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is conducting re­search in the field of developmental psychology together with Professor Sabine Seehagen from RUB. Funds of around € 350,000 will be allocated to the proj­ect “ManyRuhrBabies: The Role of Contextual Factors in the Development of Social-Cognitive Abilities”. Sudden fluctuations in immediate well-being are characteristic for infants and toddlers. Astonishingly, however, little is known about how immediate well-being impacts on early childhood cognition. That is why the team, with the help of in­no­va­ti­ve methods and a cooperative approach, would like to launch a systematic examination of the interaction between well-being and cognition in infancy.

DNA nanotechnology

Professor Guido Clever from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity and Professor Thomas Happe from RUB are working together in the field of DNA nanotechnology. They will receive around € 420,000 for their proj­ect “Design of DNA-based Redox Systems”. In DNA nanotechnology, researchers develop functional materials from DNA for technical, chemical or medical applications. In the frame­work of this proj­ect, the participants want to produce novel, DNA-based redox modules for sensor technology and green chem­is­try applications, e.g., in hydrogen production.

Ultrashort pulse lasers

Professor Mirko Cinchetti from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity and Professor Clara Saraceno from RUB are conducting re­search on ultrashort pulse lasers. They will receive total funding of € 480,000 for the proj­ect “Towards a UA Ruhr Ultrafast Laser Science Center: Tailored fs-XUV Beamline for Photoemission Spectroscopy”. The objective of the proj­ect is to link ultrashort pulse laser re­search, development and applications more closely. The team will build an ultrafast spectroscopic tool with unique performance and flexibility, which is based on state-of-the-art ultrafast laser technology and customized specifically for photoemission spectroscopy. The proj­ect should form the basis for submitting an application for an ERC Synergy Grant as well as for establishing a new “UA Ruhr Ultrafast Laser Science Center”.

The Uni­ver­sity Alliance Ruhr

Ruhr Uni­ver­si­tät Bochum, 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 (German only)  

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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).