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Research

Major research areas at FAU

Creating a strong profile

FAU is a leading university in many research fields at both a national and international level. FAU’s Major Research Areas are based on these research fields and play a key role in shaping the University’s research profile. The Major Research Areas – which involve at least 30 professors from two or more departments – have excellent academic achievements, a high level of third-party funding and are recognised internationally Each of the eight Major Research Areas is based on the contributions of outstanding FAU researchers who have been instrumental in the dynamic development of their respective research fields.

Major Research Areas at FAU

Major Research Areas at FAU

FAU’s Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Engineering are renowned for their exceptional strength in new materials research and process technologies related to this field. The research activities in this area are mainly focused on the development of functional materials with structures which are constructed hierarchically from the molecular to the macroscopic scale. New research approaches which cover a wide range of length and time scales are required in order to bridge the gap between molecular design and component design. This applies to simulation and modelling, structural analysis, properties analysis and process analysis, as well as manufacturing and processing technology. FAU researchers are leaders in the fields of particle technology, carbon allotropes, ionic liquids, cellular ceramics and self-organisation of nanostructures through anodisation. New materials are expected to lead to scientific progress in energy and communication technologies, catalysis, lightweight materials and life sciences.

Outstanding activities

  • Exzellenzcluster EAM (EXC 315)
  • SFB: 396, 583, 694, 814, 953
  • SFB/TR: 39, 73
  • GRK: 1161, 1229, 1896
  • FOR: 476, 552, 894
  • SPP: 1159, 1181, 1191, 1459
  • EU-Rahmenprogramme: 5 Projekte
  • 4 ERC Advanced Grants
  • 4 Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Preise
  • 2 DFG Koselleck-Projekte
  • 1 Alfried-Krupp-Förderpreis
  • 6 Interdisziplinäre Zentren
  • Zentralinstitut für Neue Materialien und Prozesstechnik (ZMP)
  • Fraunhofer IIS und IISB
  • Bayerischer Elitestudiengang Advanced Materials and Processes (MAP)

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Research into optics and optical technologies, from basic research to application, has a long-standing tradition at FAU’s Faculties of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL), the SAOT Graduate School and the substantial contributions to the Cluster of Excellence EAM are evidence of FAU’s international reputation in this field. The close collaboration between FAU, the Fraunhofer Institutes and the MPL in current and future collaborative projects is essential for the further development of this Major Research Area. Current important topics include optical measuring technology for combustion processes and nanomaterials, photonic crystal fibres, computational optics and optics used in medicine.

Outstanding activities

  • Graduate School SAOT (CSC 80)
  • SFB: 694
  • SFB/TR: 73
  • EU Framework Programmes: 4 projects
  • Bavarian Elite Degree Programme ‘Advanced Optical Technologies’
  • MPI ‘Science of Light’ (MPL)
  • International Max Planck Research School
  • Fraunhofer IIS and IISB
  • Bavarian Laser Centre (blz)

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This Major Research Area focuses on the molecular analysis of processes which influence development, function and differentiation in a multitude of living organisms and their interactions with the environment under normal and pathological conditions. New technologies are being developed to produce food and energy sustainably, optimise the production of biomass in plants and synthesise biomolecules which are of medical interest. Researchers are exploring molecular disease mechanisms to provide a foundation for improved diagnosis, therapy and prevention of diseases. They key focuses here are immunology and infection research, renal and cardiovascular research, neuroscience (including pain and eye research) and tumour research.

Outstanding activities

  • SFB: 423, 466, 473, 539, 643, 796
  • GRK: 592, 805, 1071, 1660
  • FOR: 832, 1228
  • KFO: 106, 130
  • EU Framework Programmes: 14 projects
  • Leading-Edge Cluster Medical Valley EMN (40 million euros from BMBF, 60 million euros from industrial partners)
  • 3 Interdisciplinary Centres
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research (IZKF) (4 million euros per year)
  • National Cohort Study on Chronic Kidney Disease (BMBF funding)

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Health Technology deals with the development of technical devices and methods for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The aims are to increase life expectancy, improve quality of life and optimise cost structures in the healthcare sector. Researchers from FAU’s Faculty of Engineering are making fundamental contributions in medical imaging, telemedicine, biomaterials and therapeutic systems. FAU’s close collaboration with Siemens Healthcare, the Fraunhofer Innovation Cluster ‘Personal Health’ and numerous companies in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region create an excellent environment for research in the field of health technology and medical engineering.

Outstanding activities

  • SFB: 466, 473, 643
  • FOR: 551
  • KFO: 106, 130
  • EU Framework Programmes: 4 projects
  • Leading-Edge Cluster Medical Valley EMN (40 million euros from BMBF, 60 million euros from industrial partners)
  • International Max Planck Research School
  • Central Institute of Healthcare Engineering
  • Fraunhofer IIS and IISB

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A unique group of FAU institutes and high-profile external partners, the only one of its kind in Germany, work closely together in Erlangen. Their research focuses on developing electronic components, circuitry and systems which can meet the challenges of an increasingly complex technical environment. The interdisciplinary research encompasses engineering and materials science (Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Sciences), content-related systems such as broadcasting, internet and archiving (Faculty of Humanities,Social Sciences, and Theology; School of Business and Economics), liability and safety (School of Law) and medical technology (Faculty of Medicine).

Outstanding activities

  • SFB: 539, 603, 694, 796
  • SFB/TR: 39, 89
  • GRK: 312, 706, 1161
  • SPP: 1148
  • EU Framework Programmes: 10 projects
  • Bavarian Elite Degree Programme ‘System of Information and Multimedia Technology’ (SIM)
  • International Audio Labs
  • Fraunhofer IIS and IISB
  • 1 Interdisciplinary Centre

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Research in this area explores innovative approaches towards sustainable energy supply including developing, processing and testing materials for new solar cells, converting solar energy into new forms of chemical fuel, and optimising processes.

Outstanding activities

  • SFB 583
  • EU Framework Programmes: 9 projects
  • Energie Campus Nürnberg (EnCN), centre for energy research, approved by the Free State of Bavaria in 2010 (50 million euros)
  • E-Drive Centre (9 million euros)
  • Centre for Applied Energy Research (ZAE)
  • Fraunhofer IIS and IISB
  • GeoZentrum Nordbayern (GZN)

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In Language, Culture and Region, researchers investigate language as the basis of human communication and culture, culture as all types of social structures and ways of life – manifested in literature, political systems, advanced civilizations and every-day life – and region as the spatio-temporal unit in the cultural process from a synchronic and diachronic perspective.

Outstanding activities

  • GRK: 516, 706
  • EU Framework Programme: 1 project
  • International Consortium for Research in the Humanities ‘Fate, Freedom and Prognostication – Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe’ (BMBF, 10 million euros)
  • 11 Interdisciplinary Centres
  • 2 Central Institutes

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This Major Research Area looks at the increasing dynamics in formal and informal systems, organisations and markets. The focus is on how transformation processes can create room for innovation and, at the same time, how the required cohesion can be defined and ensured. Key fields of research at the School of Law are ‘Architecture of Law’ and ‘Law in Times of Europeanisation and Internationalisation’, while research at the School of Business and Economics focuses on ‘Designing Organisational Structures and Systems’, ‘Transforming Markets and Organisations’ and ‘Innovation in Services, Processes and Systems’.

Outstanding activities

  • Bavarian Graduate Programme in Economics (BGPE)
  • Joint graduate programme with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) (Nuremberg)
  • Research collaborations with the IAB in the field of employment markets
  • 2 Interdisciplinary Centres

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