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Working Group on Sustainability

Solar panels on the roof of the department

Solar panels on the roof of the department

In December 2019, Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) declared the climate emergency; it wants to become climate-neutral by 2025. At the beginning of 2020, the Sustainability Working Group has been established at the Department of Physics. It has set itself the goal of examining the activities of the department with regard to their ecological sustainability. The working group wants to advance and make visible new as well as existing efforts in this area.

It is an aim of the working group to assess the current resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, in order to make proposals for reduction or compensation schemes. Areas that the working group wants to address include air travel, power consumption (e.g. of large computer clusters), material consumption and waste production.

Moreover, the working group will deal with the following questions and collect answers centrally:

  • What will change after declaration of the climate emergency by FUB?
  • To what extent would research on the topic of sustainability, climate science, and renewable energy be sensible at the physics department? Where does it already exist?
  • How can sustainability, climate science, and renewable energy topics be integrated into the curriculum or special teaching activities? Where are these topics already integrated?
  • Are information events aimed, for example, at schoolchildren or in general at a broader public, a suitable means of strengthening sustainability and climate protection? What is already going on?
  • What are future occupational fields (for physicists) in the areas of sustainability, climate protection and renewable energies?

We are open to new suggestions and impulses. If you would like to support the department's sustainability strategy with good ideas and projects, please do not hesitate to contact us at ak-nachhaltig@physik.fu-berlin.de.

Do you feel like getting involved more deeply in this topic yourself? The working group is always open for new members or interested persons. Send also for this simply a mail to ak-nachhaltig@physik.fu-berlin.de.

The following core members of the Sustainability Working Group members have been elected by the department council (Fachbereichsrat):

  • Prof. Dr. Holger Dau - professor of experimental physics
  • Jörg Behrmann - IT employee
  • Finn Krein - student of physics
  • Fritz Röckenwagner - student of physics
  • Anton Trenczek - student of physics
  • Benjamin Ünzelmann - student of physics

Courses connected to sustainability

Computergestützte Methoden der exakten Naturwissenschaften
Im Rahmen des Moduls werden die folgenden Themen mit Nachhaltigkeits-Bezug besprochen: - Wärmetransport beschrieben durch die Diffusionsgleichung (2 SWS ungefähr 8. Woche). Berechnung von Wärmeleitwerten durch Wände. - Netzwerktheorie zur Berechnung von Infektionsdynamik (2 SWS ungefähr 12. Woche). Grundbegriffe der Netzwerktheorie und Perkolationstheorie werden besprochen, Anwendung ...
InstructorRoland Netz
Student Profile Bachelorstudierende der Physik
Molecular Bioenergetics in Oxygenic Photosynthesis
Biological photosynthesis is addressed in lectures and lab-course tutorials (with details oft the course organization depending on the Corona situation in March). Artificial photosynthesis will be included as an application and outlook.
InstructorDennis Nürnberg, Holger Dau
Student Profile Physics Master students
Semiconductor Physics
Within the broader context of semiconductor physics, also solar cells for conversion of sunlight into electricity are addressed.
InstructorJan Behrends
Student Profile Physics Master students
Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics
- Wärmekraftmaschinen und Wärmepumpen (4 SWS ungefähr 9. Woche). Die thermodynamischen Grundlagen dieser Maschinen werden hergeleitet und reale Wirkungsgrade werden erläutert. Das Prinzip der gekoppelten Strom- und Wärmeerzeugung wird erklärt.
InstructorRoland Netz
Student Profile Physics Master students

Courses focusing on sustainability

Analytics for Photovoltaics
The course includes an introduction on climate change, resources and energy supply in general. Then the following topics are addressed: solar energy conversion, used materials and their electronic properties as well as the relevant technologies, relevant characterization techniques for the analysis of specific material and device properties.
InstructorKlaus Lips
Student Profile Physics Master students
Artificial Photosynthesis – Science for the Energy Transition
In artificial photosynthesis (AP), sunlight is used to produce energy-rich compounds that (i) allow for long-term, large-scale storage of solar energy and (ii) are well suited to replace fossil fuels. Motivation (CO2-neutrality, fluctuating availability of sun and solar electricity), basic scientific and technological concepts as well as steps towards realization are presented in a series of ...
InstructorHolger Dau
Student Profile Physics Master students
Nachhaltigkeit erforschen - Schwerpunkt Künstliche Photosynthese
Im Wintersemester 2020/21 erarbeiten wir in Online-Gruppentreffen gemeinsam die Motivation und wissenschaftlich-technischen Grundlagen der Künstlichen Photosynthese (KPh). Die KPh ist eine neuen Technologierichtung, um unter Nutzung von Sonnenlicht Brennstoffe zu produzieren, die fossile Brennstoffe ersetzen können. Auf dieser Basis entstehen Projektgruppen von 3-5 Studierenden, die im ...
InstructorHolger Dau
Student Profile interdisziplinäres ABV-Modul im Bachelor-Studium, offen für Studierende aller Fakultäten
Umweltchemie I – Atmosphärenchemie, Umweltchemie II – Boden und Wasser
Es werden keine Voraussetzungen an spezifisches chemisches Fachwissen geknüpft, so dass auch Personen aus verschiedenen Studiengängen problemlos teilnehmen können. Die Umweltchemie 1 (Atmosphäre) und 2 (Wasser und Boden) sind ein Modul, das im Wintersemester angeboten wird. Ein zweites Modul bestehend aus Umweltchemie 3 (Energie) und Umweltchemie 4 (Spezielle Atmosphärenchemie) wird im ...
InstructorEckart Rühl
Student Profile Studierende der Naturwissenschaften