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Funding awarded for three new DFG research training groups

Bild: FAU/Georg Pöhlein

A great success for FAU: the German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved three new research training groups (RTG) at the University. In these groups, young researchers will use the funding to research cyber crime, new approaches for preventing viral diseases, and energy conversion systems that do not require heavy metals.

Cyber crime and forensic computing

Speaker: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Felix Freiling

New information technology also means new opportunities for crime. Cyber crime poses a threat to the stability of economic and social systems. However, developments in technology also lead to new opportunities for criminal prosecution, such as automated online data collection and analysis, or monitoring programmes secretly installed in IT systems. Although the latest methods in forensic computing are very effective,they are also controversial in terms of their impact on fundamental rights. Regulating the field on a national level creates additional problems.

In the research training group ‘Cyber crime and forensic computing’, renowned researchers from the fields of computer science and law are collaborating to investigate the emerging research area of cyber crime as well as criminal law in this area, to identify fundamental relationships and to provide the field with better tools to combat crime. Research in this area has the potential to influence the technical and methodological standards of dealing with digital evidence, explore ways in which this evidence could benefit criminal law and contribute to interpreting law on a national and international level for several years to come. At the same time, the group is a source of qualified expertise, counteracting a shortage of professionals who have scientific and methodological training in this area in business, administration and law enforcement agencies.

Novel antiviral approaches from small molecules to immune intervention

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Klaus Überla

The objective of this research training group is to develop new strategies for treating and preventing viral diseases by identifying cellular points of attack for antiviral treatments and inserting them into the immune system, preventing the development of resistant viruses. A particular focus is placed on training young researchers who are familiar both with anti-viral chemotherapy and immune-based approaches. The doctoral candidates will receive training from medical researchers, biologists, pharmacists and bioinformatics specialists at FAU. Cooperation with the Ragon Institute in Boston, USA, a research institute set up by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, will open up international perspectives for the researchers.

Energy conversion systems: From materials to devices

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Kyle Grant Webber

The objective of this research training group is to research electro-mechanical (piezo-electric) and electro-optical (photovoltaic and water splitting) energy conversion systems that are based on lead-free perovskite materials. The development of lead-free materials systems is a pioneering field of research due to international regulations that prohibit the use of heavy metals in electronic devices, for example. This affects the use of lead-free materials not only in renewable energy but also in high-tech applications such as autonomous wireless sensors. Research into multiscale phenomena during, for example, energy conversion, development and use of lead-free perovskite materials in new 2D and 3D processing technology, and in device integration is of particular interest. This involves the use of various synthesis, manufacturing and characterising techniques that are coupled with simulations. The scientists in this research training group will be working with partners at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan, providing them access to a wide variety of experimental techniques and measuring devices and contact with partners in industry in Japan.

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