The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) organises the ninth Workshop for Early Career Investigators in the area of Materials Science and Engineering with a focus on “Ceramic Materials – From Fundamentals to Application”. Workshops for Early Career Investigators serve to prepare researchers at an early stage of their scientific careers for outlining their first independent research projects and to provide mentoring for managing their own DFG projects. These workshops are intended to attract outstanding early career researchers to interdisciplinary fields of research. An additional important aim is to address the need for future generations of excellent scientists within interdisciplinary research areas.
The development of innovative ceramic materials is a key element in the design of sustainable and resource-efficient industries of modern society. From a socio-ecological, technical and economic point of view, ceramic materials today have the extremely important function of an “enabling material”. High-tech system in energy and environmental technology, automotive and aerospace engineering, medical sciences, information and communication technology, electrical engineering and process engineering are impossible without key enabling materials and components based on ceramics.
The fundamental understanding of ceramic materials with regard to significant structure-property correlations on different spatial and time scales, the future of direct manufacturing and production processes and efficient modelling and simulation methods are decisive prerequisites for innovation in ceramics engineering.
Current challenges in ceramics research include, but are not restricted to, ceramic processing by programmable design and assembly, by understanding and predicting defects across time and length scales as well as functionalising defects for unprecedented properties, and by discovery of multimaterial systems for extreme environments. It is anticipated that these challenges can only be overcome by enhanced basic understanding and, once met, will ultimately enable advancement in multiple sectors, including energy, environment, manufacturing, security, and health care.
The promotion of highly qualified early career scientists within this very interdisciplinary field of research is therefore of particular importance. Together with a mentoring programme, the Workshop for Early Career Investigators “Ceramic Materials – From Fundamentals to Application” aims to give excellently trained early career scientists the opportunity to design, plan and conduct their own research projects for the first time, implementing highly original fundamental research in areas of future technology.
The workshop serves to qualify early career researchers by lectures, seminars and excursions and intends to broaden their specialist and methodological knowledge in the field of ceramic research and related areas. The workshop participants will be coached and advised by internationally renowned experts on the development of their own research proposals. The discussion and information exchange with other early career researchers will serve the promotion, networking and further training of upcoming academic talents in the field of ceramic research and will thereby contribute to the strengthening of scientific excellence in the research field of ceramic materials.
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