The Analytical Sciences Keep on Dancing: The 'Make & Measure Project' is continuing the successful work of SALSA, the Graduate School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof

03. May 2018

The Analytical Sciences Keep on Dancing

The “Make & Measure Project” is continuing the successful work of SALSA, the Graduate School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof

Janina Kneipp.  Bild: © Adlershof Journal

Janina Kneipp, speaker of SALSA

The big party might be over, but as Janina Kneipp sees it, SALSA will keep on dancing. She is one of the speakers of SALSA, alongside Ulrich Panne, and a professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. SALSA is an acronym for School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof, a successful graduate school that was funded by the German Universities Excellence Initiative between 2012 to 2019. The recently founded “Make & Measure” project is now creating and combining new projects in cooperation with SALSA. All universities in Berlin and Potsdam are taking part as well as non-university research facilities such as the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB).

“About 20 young international scientists have successfully passed through graduate school and about 50 more will finish their PhDs soon,” says Kneipp, who is a chemist by trade. Adlershof received a new laboratory and an additional professorship. “These facilities enable us to continue to train PhD students,” she adds. As the lavish funding from the Excellence Initiative will expire soon, any new research will require fresh funding.

The idea behind the “Make & Measure” concept is to bring together experts from different disciplines to facilitate innovation in the analytical sciences. The joint project unites chemistry, biochemistry, physics as well as adjacent fields of study. The “make” stands for the synthesis of molecules and materials. The “measure” represents making things measurable. “Adlershof is well-known for its excellent apparatus engineering and large-scale research infrastructures that push the boundaries of measuring limits,” says Kneipp.

Initially, “Make & Measure” planned to submit a full application to the Excellence Strategy, which is an initiative of the federal and state governments. Yet, the proposal did not make the next round. Now the aim is to bring together a variety of projects under the roof of “Make & Measure”. They will submit joint applications to funding agencies, including the German Research Foundation (DFG). A unique selling point of SALSA is its long-standing experience with international cooperation with, for example, ETH Zürich, the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain and the Hebrew University Jerusalem. The latter is part of a project involving research on plant materials, more specifically, the leaves of sorghum, a member of the Gramineae family. Examining how silicon dioxide spreads through the plant requires precise measurements from an electron microscope and collecting structural data in the spectroscopy lab. Previously, such projects had been funded by the Einstein Foundation. They will continue as part of the new cooperative project. Close cooperation with non-university research facilities will continue to be important, which is an important asset of Adlershof.

The same applies to cooperation with small and medium-sized companies. SALSA boasts several so-called application labs, where PhD students can work with highly specialised equipment to conduct measurements for companies. Furthermore, Adlershof hosts several international conferences and workshops, including this year’s “Make and Measure 2018” in October, which serve to better connect experts from universities, research facilities and industry on an international level.

By Paul Janositz for Adlershof Journal

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