Doctoral Work at Hochschule Offenburg

The purpose of a doctoral dissertation is to demonstrate thorough and competent work on scientific questions, and to provide answers to these questions. As Hochschule Offenburg is an applied-research institution, impulses for a doctoral research topic often arise from application-related fields.

Our doctoral candidates contribute a significant impetus to the research work carried out at the University. Some of them are part of structured graduate and doctoral research programs, while others pursue individual work with the aim of completing a cooperative doctoral degree at one of our partner research universities in Germany or abroad. They are integrated in various research projects, funded mainly by state, federal and EU grants and scholarships, but also in research proposals financed by industry.

Quality assurance is very important to us. Intensive, individual support is provided by our research-active professors; our doctoral candidates are also actively involved in academic discourse through various working and research groups, both on campus and beyond.

Call for applications: If you are a recent graduate interested in pursuing a doctoral degree at Hochschule Offenburg, please contact the heads of any of our research projects or institutes, the Institute for Applied Research (IAF), or the Prorector for Research to receive more details. Basic prerequisites are a pronounced interest in research and above-average completion of a Master’s degree in a suitable field.

Doctoral Research Group “Dezentrale nachhaltige Energiesysteme (DENE)” [Decentralized Sustainable Energy Systems] (2014-17)

Participating professors at Hochschule Offenburg: Prof. Dr. habil. Bessler, Prof. Bollin, Prof. Dr. Christ (Spokesperson at Offenburg), Prof. Dr. habil. Nuß, Prof. Dr. Pfafferott, Prof. Dr. Treffinger

Cooperating institutions: Universität Freiburg, Fraunhofer Institutes ISE and IPM, Zentrum für Erneuerbare Energien Freiburg

Funded by: Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg

Summary: DENE succeeds the cooperative doctoral research group “KleE” – Small-Scale Sustainable Energy Systems (2011-2014). It aims at providing the scientific basis for sustainable, decentralized energy supply from a variety of sources.

Small-scale energy systems are especially efficient, since the supply can be tailored to the respective demands in optimal ways. However, given the wide range of performance profiles of the various energy sources in different locations, maintaining a both comprehensive and balanced supply system requires exact sensory measurements of individual environmental conditions, efficient electricity storage and intelligent networking of the different decentralized subsystems. While posing great challenges to IT and control engineers, such innovative energy supply systems based on renewable energy sources also require public acceptance to be successful in the long run. Consequently, relevant social and sociological aspects are closely researched as well.

Forschungsallianz Oberrhein zu den technischen Grundlagen der Nachhaltigkeit [Upper-Rhine Research Alliance for the Technical Foundations of Sustainability] (2016-19)

Participating professors at Hochschule Offenburg: Prof. Dr. Aghassi-Hagmann, Prof. Dr. Christ (member of executive committee), Prof. Dr. Kray, Prof. Dr. Pfafferott, Prof. Dr. Schröder, Prof. Dr. Schüssele

Cooperating institutions: Universität Freiburg, Hochschule Furtwangen, Hochschule Karlsruhe, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Funded by: Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg

Summary: Climate change, dwindling resources and the concomitant socio-ecological consequences are among the major global challenges confronting society today. Technology can provide substantial contributions to help save the planet: Sustainable renewable energy systems replace the old fossil fuel plants, modern sensor systems are equipped with intelligent algorithms to reduce energy consumption in buildings and industrial processes, and computer-simulation processes allow for more efficient energy conversion in power plants. Technical systems can be improved to be more sustainable, i.e. more durable and resilient towards various external influences.

The Sustainable Research Alliance joins forces and actively collaborates with institutions, cross-institutional networks and partnership projects focusing on sustainable energy technologies and related research fields.

Doctoral research group “Modellierung, Entwurf, Realisierung und Automatisierung von gedruckter Elektronik und ihren Materialien (MERAGEM)” [Modeling, Design, Realization and Automatization of Printed Electronics and Its Materials”] (2016-20)

Participating professors at Hochschule Offenburg: Prof. Dr. Aghassi-Hagmann (Scientific Spokesperson at Offenburg), Prof. Dr. habil. Bessler, Prof. Dr. Mackensen, Prof. Dr. Sikora

Cooperating institution: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Funded by: Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg

Summary: MERAGEM’s research program encompasses several major disciplines, including materials science, physics, electrical engineering, information technology and computer science. With its cutting-edge technical infrastructure, KIT offers access to printing technologies, materials and device structures as well as computing infrastructure. Hochschule Offenburg in turn has years of know-how and research experience in circuit and system design, embedded systems and computer science, among other fields. The MERAGEM researchers work on printable electronics, from the required materials to the systems, to the design and software structures.

DFG Graduate College “Simulation mechanisch-elektrisch-thermischer Vorgänge in Lithium-Ionen-Batterien (SiMET)” [Simulation of Mechanical-Electrical-Thermal Processes in Lithium-Ion Batteries] (2017-20)

Participating professors at Hochschule Offenburg: Prof. Dr. habil Bessler (Deputy Spokesperson)

Cooperating institutions: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Helmholtz Institut Ulm

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Summary: The main objective of the SiMET graduate college is to advance theoretical understanding of the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of lithium-ion batteries. Our doctoral students at SiMET are concerned with processes in battery cells on different scales, from particles within the microporous electrodes to complete cells, ranging from dimensions of single nanometers to several centimeters. In addition to model-based simulations, SiMET offers direct access to various experimental facilities, such as for micro-computer tomography or complex electro-chemical and thermal measurements. The graduate college also facilitates structured scientific qualification through further-training and advisory concepts for the individual researchers, the SiMET group as a whole, and on the international level of the scientific community.

Doctoral Research Group “Geospeicher.bw – Geothermische Speicherung in Baden-Württemberg” [Geothermal Storage in Baden-Württemberg] (2017-20)

Participating professors at Hochschule Offenburg: Prof. Dr. Breyer-Mayländer, Prof. Dr. Doherr

Cooperating institution: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Funded by: Programm BWPlus des Ministeriums für Umwelt, Klima und Energiewirtschaft Baden-Württemberg

Summary: The Geothermal Storage research group is involved in several geothermal projects in Baden-Württemberg, studying the effective and efficient use and storage of geothermal heat and cold in complex applications, with the ultimate goal of reducing fossil energy consumption.

As part of the Geospeicher.bw project, different overground and underground energy concepts will be developed and implemented, accompanied by continued, transparent citizen information and engagement. Public participation is to be actively promoted and encouraged, as is local utility providers’ exchange of experiences, a forum which may be extended to include other municipal utilities and energy suppliers as potential future implementers of similar endeavors.