Carl Zeiss Foundation funds endowed professorship at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Enhanced cooperation with SCHOTT AG in the field of application-oriented research


The Carl Zeiss Foundation, sole owner of SCHOTT AG in Mainz and Carl Zeiss AG in Oberkochen, will be funding an endowed professorship on "Solid State Science – Oxide Materials" at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), starting with the winter semester 2013/2014. This will further extend the cooperation between the technology group SCHOTT and Mainz University that has been underway for more than 20 years and has generated may new impulses in the area of materials development. The focus of the experimental endowed professorship will be on the development of sustainable functional materials with specific application profiles and conserve resources, for instance in the area of energy efficiency or medical technology.

"We are really looking forward to this new endowed professorship at Mainz University. It will facilitate application-oriented basic research in the tradition of our company founders Otto Schott and Ernst Abbe by allowing for collaboration between scientific institutions and our company. Especially when it comes to oxide materials, including special-purpose glasses and glass-ceramics from SCHOTT, the potential is far from being leveraged to its fullest," explained Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz, member of the SCHOTT Board responsible for research.

Besides traditional semiconductors, oxide materials are among the most important materials classes for use in industrial applications in areas like electronics, optics, sensors, and energy technology. Thanks to their physical properties, these functional materials are of growing importance to future technologies, most notably materials that increase energy efficiency.

"Materials sciences are among the top focal points of our university and we have high, internationally recognized expertise that can also be attributed to the outstanding research and environment we have in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, the Mainz Institute of Microtechnology, and industrial partners," explained the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Georg Krausch. "We are really looking forward to this endowed professorship that will further extend materials research in Mainz to the highest possible level," he added.

The collaboration between SCHOTT and Mainz University has resulted in many joint graduates over the past years, many of whom are now even company employees. The focus of the cooperation includes mainly spectroscopy and simulation, which already have produced constructive research results with application implications. Joint projects have supported the development of glass and glass-ceramic materials as well as of simulation-based approaches to structural property relationships in glass. Furthermore, unique new types of glass that allow solar energy to be used more efficiently have resulted from a project supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

SCHOTT is also actively involved in the JGU Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ), where the company offers young and talented future researchers to gain insights into the research activities of a modern technology company. "By together focusing on 'Oxide Materials,' we can build a bridge between theory and analysis on the one hand and experimental material development on the other," explained Dr. Rüdiger Sprengard, Head of Development for New Products and Materials for SCHOTT Research.

The Carl Zeiss Foundation supports endowed professorships at the Technical University in Jena (SCHOTT), the University of Ulm (Carl Zeiss), and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (SCHOTT) for a period of five years by providing up to EUR 150,000 per year. At Mainz University, the Foundation has been supporting the research project "Material Design: Inverse Design with Defined Properties" and a junior professorship on "Computer Simulation in Materials Sciences" for several years now.

SCHOTT is an international technology group with more than 125 years of experience in the areas of specialty glasses and materials and advanced technologies. Its core markets are the household appliance, solar power, pharmaceuticals, electronics, optics, transportation, and architecture industries. The company is strongly committed to contributing to its customers' success and to managing its business in a sustainable manner while also supporting its employees, society, and the environment. SCHOTT AG, with its headquarters in Mainz, is owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.