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Short Term Grantees

Short Term Grantees Selection 2023/2

Dr. Muhammad Zahid Iqbal                                                                                                                                                  Teesside University, UK 

Project Title: “Investigating Potential of Extended Reality(XR) for Enhancing Pedagogical Practices in Higher Education"

Dr Zahid Iqbal

The Centre for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Bayreuth (ZHL) is working on the XR-Campus project, which aims to integrate immersive technologies in education by inserting practically considered formats and scenarios with XR. The main objective of this research visit is to explore XR-Campus research and investigate the benefits and challenges of using XR in learning at the University level. This visit will help with different pedagogical approaches, integrating new technologies in XR and principles that can guide the development and evaluation of XR-based learning experiences. This research visit will conclude with potential collaboration in the future. 

Discipline: Computer Science, Immersive Technologies 

Host: Dr. Frank Meyer, Centre for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Bayreuth (ZHL) 

Research stay: April 2024

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Muhammad Zahid Iqbal

Dr. Afroz Khan                                                                                                                                                                         Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar, India

Project Title: “Probing the Enhanced Electrochemical Performance of SnO2 Based Anode Materials”

Dr Khan

In this project, we will successfully manufacture Sn1-xInxO2 (x = 0.0-0.4) nanoparticles (NPs) using sol-gel co-precipitation method, a following calcination process. With a doping of In2O3 in SnO2 matrix, a stable SEI layer can be formed, which improves cycle retention and structural integrity. Furthermore, In doped SnO2 NPs decorated on r-GO nanosheets will produce, with significantly enhance electrical conductivity. In contrast to prior efforts on SnO2-In2O3, it creates a stable SEI layer with easy synthetic sol-gel processes, resulting in greater cycle retention. Consequently, SnO2-In2O3 nanoparticles garnered with r-GO improves rate capability. The proposed research will provide insights into the synthesis, characterization, and optimization of these materials, paving the way for their potential integration into practical battery systems.

Disciplines: Nanotechnology, Energy materials, Li-ion Battery

Host: Dr. Jun Young Cheong,Independent Group Leader, Bavarian Center for Battery Technology (Baybatt) and Department of Chemistry

Research stay: February 2024

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Afroz Khan

Dr Nishant K Narayanan                                                                                                                                                            The English and Foreign Languages University, Tarnaka, Hyderabad, India

Project Title: “In the middle of languages: Exophonic overlaps between scripts, texts, languages and cultures in contemporary literature”

Dr Narayanan

This research proposal tries to explore the various dimensions of exophony in the context of contemporary German literature by focusing on authors like Yoko Tawada, Uljana Wolf, Semier Insayif etc. By adopting German and scriptually diverse languages like Japanese and Arabic in the case of Tawada and Insayif respectively and English by Wolf, the authors try to not only illustrate the thriving multilingualism, but also focus equally on their exilic experience, migration, identity and language. Moreover, exophony is understood here as a discursive idea which articulates itself through Sprachigkeit and Anderssprachigkeit in the form of alien languages and cultures, thus contributing hugely in determining the cultural, social and linguistic identities of migrants and their experience of German as a Foreign Languages, which in course of time becomes German as the Other Language, simultaneously with their own native languages. The interplay of script and semantic not only gives rise to a diverse visual experience for the reader, but also leads to unconventional interpretations of the text. This multilingual intermediality is a central aspect of the exophonic experiments carried out by the authors, which in turn also demonstrates the tendency to subvert the existing norms of German language, in order to extract the embedded hybridity of German, which according to the authors, is characterised by the influence of varied scripts, cultures and texts. 

Disciplines: German Studies - Germanistik

Host: Prof. Dr. Gesine Lenore Schiewer

Research stay: May 2024

Dr. Dr. habil. Bismark Singh                                                                                                                                              University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Project Title: “Algorithms for solving two-staged chance-constrained optimization models”

Dr. Singh

Chance-constrained programming (CCP) is a subclass of stochastic optimization where a cost-reliability tradeoff acknowledges that we cannot shield ourselves against all the future scenarios. However, a CCP model is both theoretically and computationally difficult to solve. Building on our past experience, we seek to develop new algorithms that achieve provably high-quality (or, optimal) solutions under special cases of such models.

Disciplines: Stochastic optimization, energy planning, mathematics

Host: Prof. Jörg Rambau, Chair of Economathematics

Research stay: June 2024

Dr. Andy Kah Ping Tay                                                                                                                                                    National University of Singapore

Project Title: “Bioengineering immuno-stimulatory magnetotactic microrobots (MTBbots) for treating solid tumours”

Dr Tay

Cancer is a devastating disease. Over the last two decades, synthetic nano-materials and hybrid ‘living’ cellular materials have been develop for anti-cancer therapy. However, these strategies suffer from limitations such as poor penetration and accumulation of synthetic nanoparticles and CAR-T cells in solid tumours. Here, we propose to evaluate the immuno-stimulatory properties of magnetotactic bacteria microrobot to reverse the immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment for anti-cancer therapy.

Disciplines: Bioengineering, Synthetic biology, Immunotherapy

Host: Prof. Dirk Schuler, Chair of Microbiology

Research stay: July 2024

Short Term Grantees Selection 2023/1

Dr. Anthony HalogHide
Portrait photograph of Dr Anthony Halog

Dr. Anthony Halog                                                                                                         The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

Project Title: Analyzing the Circular Economy of the Metal and Mineral Resources for Large-Scale Implementation of Green Hydrogen Technology

Large-scale deployment of clean energy technologies will require a considerable amount of materials. The surge in demand for critical metals related to emerging energy technologies may hinder the energy transition. In this project, we will analyze the material flows when upscaling green hydrogen technology. We will conduct a quantitative review of the material requirements of green hydrogen technologies and provide an analysis of detailed data including material intensity. Besides providing a large amount of structured quantitative data, we will (1) research the demand for green hydrogen technology-related metals; (2) foresee material constraints of large-scale implementation of green hydrogen and the secure and responsible supply of these materials; (3) identify changes in metal intensity caused by technological development and material requirements for non-critical components, which are important but often overlooked.

Disciplines: Ecological Resource Technology, Renewable Energy Technology, Industrial, Ecology and Circular Economy

Host: Professor Christoph Helbig, Chair of Ecological Resource Technology

Research stay: January 2024

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Anthony Halog


Dr. María Valeria Berros   Hide
Dr Maria Berros

Dr. María Valeria Berros                                                                                                      Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL), Santa Fe, Argentina                                                                                      

Project Title: Innovations in Environmental Law: Rights of Nature, Climate Litigation and Protection of Environmental Defenders

This project examines the contemporary diversity of legal proposals for dealing with ecological problems from a comparative and co-productive perspective. Three innovative topics in environmental contemporary law will be specially considered:
i) the relevance of a movement recognizing the rights of nature,
ii) the characteristics of emerging climate litigation,
iii) the incorporation of the environmental defenders as a figure that requires legal protection.

All those interrelated topics have gained momentum in several Latin American countries as well as other latitudes, for example, New Zealand, Australia or India in the last years and have inspired Western-style legal orders in the Global North to rethink their anthropocentric regulation on the protection of the environment.

Disciplines: Environmental Law, Sociology of Law, Environmental conflicts

Host: Professor Eva Lohse, Chair for Public Law III

Research stay: September 2023

Interview: Meet the Grantee: María Valeria Berros  

Dr Lianne Habinek Hide
Dr Lianne Habinek

Dr Lianne Habinek                                                                                              Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA         

Project Title: Unfolding the Early Modern Page: Transformations in Print and Paper

Unfolding the Early Modern Page examines innovations in print culture that altered the reader’s relationship to the book: the paper fold; the circular dial or volvelle; the use and abuse of ink; and the blank space. Privileging formal aspects of the page over intellectual disciplinary boundaries reveals how medium influenced message. I pursue book history as an entry-point into understanding how readers made knowledge by physically interacting with books, in ways that would be lost once printing practices and reading conventions changed with the advent of mass production. How did early modern literature and its readers deal with these “paper bodies”? How does modern cognitive science approach sea changes in the mental act of reading? Among the first to unite modern and pre-modern ideas about how early interactive texts helped shape the production of knowledge, my book contributes to the impetus in literary study to rethink culture from materiality upwards.

Disciplines: British & European Literature, History of the Book, History of Science

Host: Prof. Dr. Susan Arndt

Research stay: October 2023

Professor Lorenzo StievanoHide
Professor Stievano

Professor Lorenzo Stievano                                                                                     University of Montpellier, France                                                                                                                               

Project Title: EXAFS Investigation of LiNiO2 during charge

LiNiO2 is a promising positive electrode material for Li-ion batteries. Despite many years of development, it still is not commercialised due to the difficult synthesis and chemical, electrochemical and thermal instabilities. In particular, the degradation mechanisms that occur at the end of charge, when all Li is deintercalated, are severe and still need to be better understood. We have performed in situ (during charge) x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurement to determine the local coordination of Ni in LiNiO2 during charge. In the course of this project, advanced and detailed data analysis will be employed in collaboration to treat the data and highlight the behaviour of the material.

Disciplines: Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics

Host: Prof. Matteo Bianchini

Research stay: April 2024

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Lorenzo Stievano

Professor Guido SonnemannHide
Professor Guido Sonnemann

Professor Guido Sonnemann

University of Bordeaux, Talence, France

Project Title: “Sustainability Assessment of Future Battery Material Life Cycles

Batteries are one of the fastest growing markets globally with highest importance in the transport sector, portable electronics, and grid storage. The building up of the in-use stock for batteries raises concern of  severe supply risks for critical raw materials and an accumulation of a new electronic waste stream. By combining Life Cycle Assessment and Material Flow Analysis research, the research project develops assessment methods on the criticality and circularity of future battery material life cycles. We model the development of geopolitical risks in battery material life cycles and the impact of continued growth of the battery market on lifetimes of metals in the global economy.

Disciplines: Chemical Sciences

Host: Prof. Dr. Christoph Helbig

Research stay: April 2024

Professor Youhong Tang Hide
Professor Youhong Tang

Professor Youhong Tang                                                                                        Flinders University, Tonsley, Australia

Project Title: Self-reporting Mechanochromic Fibre Reinforced Composites Enabled by AIEgens

To reduce the time, material, and labour cost associated with the maintenance efforts towards inspection and replacement of damaged structural components, extensive research has been dedicated to the development of methods for structural health monitoring and early detection of damage in load-bearing composite structures. The main aim of this project is to develop self-reporting composites enabling autonomous damage detection for improved safety and reliability of critical structural components. With the aggregation-induced emission (AIE) luminogens (AIEgens) introduced, the mechanical damage of the thermoset epoxies and their fibre reinforced composites that triggers rapid generation of a local fluorescence signal, can be conveniently visualized under a certain excitation light with excellent sensitivity and high contrast.

Disciplines: Composites, Non-destructive Testing, Polymer Engineering

Host: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Ruckdäschel, Chair of Polymer Engineering

Research stay: September 2023

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Youhong Tang

Short Term Grantees Selection 2022/2

Professor Roberto ChicaHide
Professor Roberto Chica

Professor Roberto Chica
Professor of Chemistry, University of Ottawa, Canada

Project Title: Computational Design of Artificial Enzymes from De Novo Protein Scaffolds

Enzymes are the most efficient catalysts known. They can accelerate chemical reactions by up to 26 orders of magnitude, display unmatched selectivity, and are completely biodegradable. Given their incredible potential for chemical synthesis, enzymes are in high demand for numerous applications in industry. However, the finite repertoire of naturally occurring enzyme activities restricts their applicability to only a small fraction of all desired applications. If we could design, from scratch, artificial enzymes that could catalyze any reaction with high efficiency, it would open the door to highly valuable biotechnologies. The goal of this short-term visit is to establish a research collaboration that will combine Prof. Birte Höcker’s expertise in de novo protein design with my expertise in ensemble-based enzyme design to create more efficient artificial enzymes than previously possible.

Disciplines: Chemistry, Biochemistry

Host: Professor Birte Höcker, Department of Biochemistry

Research stay: May 2023

Dr. Hanwool Choe Hide
Dr. Hanwool Choe

Dr. Hanwool Choe
School of English, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Project Title: The Meta-discourse of Online Eating in the News

Bringing together corpus linguistics and qualitative discourse analysis, the aim of this cooperation is to study the meta-discourse of online eating, commonly known as mukbang, through corpora of newspaper articles reporting on this phenomenon. Mukbang, originated from the Korean internet, is a livestream where a host eats and viewers watch them eating, while interacting with each other in real time. The project investigates how the news talks about and disseminates mukbang, and what constitutes the meta-discursive context of mukbang. The collaborative work will thus put forward the idea that mukbang is a discursive construct of food experience in the digital age.

Disciplines: Discourse Analysis, Corpus Linguistics

Host: Dr. Sofia Rüdiger, Department of English and American Studies

Research stay: May 2023

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Hanwool Choe

Professor Markus RaschkeHide
Professor Markus Raschke

Professor Markus Raschke
Professor of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Project Title: Pico-cavity QED

The goal of this project between the Raschke group at the University of Colorado and the Lippitz group (Experimental Physics III) at the University of Bayreuth is to develop quantum-coherent systems operating at room temperature, taking advantage of recent developments in both groups of pico-cavity quantum electrodynamics (cQED) in tip-enhanced strong coupling and with plasmonic nanostructures.

Disciplines: Quantum Physics

Host: Professor Markus Lippitz, Department of Experimental Physics III

Research stay: September-October 2023

Dr. Nisa SalimHide
Dr. Nisa Salim

Dr. Nisa Salim
Vice Chancellor's Initiative Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia

Project Title: 3D Printing of 2D Materials for Sustainable Electrochemical Energy Storage

Integrating 2D materials into nature inspired hierarchical 3D structures will create sustainable approaches to store energy. Driven by our recent developments in nature inspired hierarchical materials and process control, this cooperation aims to establish experimental verification of 3D printed structures for supercapacitor devices with sustainable electrochemical performance.

Disciplines: Materials Engineering, Additive Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy Storage

Host: Professor Frank Döpper, Department of Manufacturing and Remanufacturing Technology

Research stay: April 2023

Professor Richard ToyeHide
Professor Richard Toye

Professor Richard Toye
Professor of Modern History, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Project Title: Decolonising Digital History: Challenges and Opportunities

The aim of Professor Toye’s short-term visit is to conduct preliminary research on how digital materials are used in the study of world history. This is a subject that has significant implications for the historical profession and for Higher Education more broadly. The widespread availability of digital sources creates opportunities for decolonising the discipline, i.e. overcoming structural inequalities, but also risks reinforcing those inequalities if care is not taken to address them.

Disciplines: History, Digital Humanities

Host: Professor Astrid Swenson, Professor for European Historical Cultures

Research stay: September 2023

Short Term Grantees Selection 2022/1

Dr Nishar HameedHide
Dr. Nishar Hameed

Dr Nishar Hameed
Associate Professor and Group Leader at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia

Project Title: Fabrication of customisable graphene sensors for biomedical applications

It is estimated that current biosensor materials would need to be significantly more efficient to be suitable for accurate early stage diagnosis of irreversibly progressive neurodegenerative health conditions. Novel sensor designs using graphene offer feasible solutions to construct extremely sensitive and rapidly responsive materials to exceed the required performance. Driven by our recent developments in hybrid material design, process control and sensor fabrication, with this collaborative grant we shall further establish experimental verification of designs of customisable graphene sensors with high accuracy for biomedical applications.

Disciplines: Materials Engineering

Host: Professor Franz Konstantin Fuss, Chair of Biomechanics

Research stay: April 2023

Dr Aruna Kunhiraman KalasapurayilHide
Dr Aruna Kunhiraman Kalasapurayil

Dr Aruna Kunhiraman Kalasapurayil
Associate Professor at Rathinam Technical Campus, Coimbatore, India

Project Title: Synthesis and Characterization of Iridium-Decorated Titanium Oxynitride Supported on Nanocarbon (Ir/TiONx@NCF) for Water splitting

Hydrogen is regarded as the future fuel and global production currently stands at 70 million ton/year. A Proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer (PEMWE), which has the ability for fast load change, high power and energy efficiency, and high gas purity uses expensive catalysts at the anode (OER) and the cathode (HER) side. The cathode requires ca. 0.5 – 1 mg Pt/cm2, the anode requires 2 mg Ir/cm2. However, the scarcity and high cost of this precious metal are challenges for sustainable development of PEMWEs. The areas on which research needs to focus are: (1) enhanced intrinsic activity of the catalysts by material design and (2) advanced electrode morphologies and cell configurations. The OER, which is a complex four electron process with a very high thermodynamical potential (1.23 V) during water splitting is more challenging. Iridium used for OER are either metallic Ir nanoparticles or IrO2. But during OER, it gets oxidized to amorphous IrOx. Ir with 3+ oxidation state was found to be more active. Hence catalyst design with more number of Ir(III) will enhance the reaction rate. But the stability of Ir(III) based catalyst is questionable. But with a proper support material, the stability and durability of the catalyst can be enhanced. Thus, the project was to fine tune Ir based electrocatalyst with carbon nanostructures to arrest the corrosion during continuous operation and to improve the stability and activity of OER electrocatalysis.

Disciplines: Energy research and Electrochemistry

Host: Professor Mukundan Thelakkat, Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry

Research stay: Nov - Dec 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Aruna K Kalasapurayil

Dr Antonín MinaříkHide
Dr. Antonín Minařík

Dr Antonín Minařík
Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Materials Engineering, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic

Project Title: Nano- and microstructuring of 3D printed biocompatible scaffolds

The project aims at developing new approaches for the preparation of hierarchically structured porous 3D printed objects based on advanced additive manufacturing of biopolymers fully compatible with tissue engineering purposes.

Disciplines: Biomaterials, Surface structuring, Additive manufacturing

                                             Host: Dr. Martin Humenik, Chair of Biomaterials

                                             Research stay: April - May 2023

Dr Eric NyarkoHide
Dr. Eric Nyarko

Dr Eric Nyarko                                                                                                            Lecturer at the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science,School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Ghana, Ghana

Project Title: Responsibility and Impact of Multinational Food Corporations on Public Health Nutrition in Ghana

The responsibility and impact of multinational food corporations in emerging economies, particularly on the nutrition transition, has long been an important public health issue. The extent to which food corporations consider public health and nutrition issues in emerging economies as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives and their potential impact is a neglected area of research. This interdisciplinary research aims to assess how food corporations understand and implement their role and responsibility for food, nutrition, and health in developing countries, using Ghana as an example, and will develop a conceptual model that identifies different impact areas. The study will further demonstrate and critically assess the impact of food, health, and nutrition-related corporate social responsibility measures on public health nutrition in Ghana using experimental designs and to derive concrete action measures for business, public health nutrition policy and society.

Disciplines: Food, Nutrition and Health

Host: Junior Professor Dr. Tina Bartelmeß, Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition & Health

Research stay: March 2023

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Eric Nyarko

Dr Alejandro Ordonez Hide
Dr. Alejandro Ordonez

Dr Alejandro Ordonez
Assistant Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark

Project Title: Climatic forcing of global ecosystem changes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the end of the 21st century

Safeguarding biodiversity during the Anthropocene requires robust forecasts of how climatic changes will change ecosystems. The project addresses this by developing new metrics of ecosystem change: velocity vectors of phytoclimatic change. These new metrics of ecosystem change represent how fast growth forms would have to migrate to assemble the same ecosystem elsewhere in a future climate. We are building these new metrics by combining modelling work done by the researchers at Plant sciences at Bayreuth, translating climatic combinations into phytoclimates (e.g., the climate’s suitability for plant growth forms that characterize ecosystem identity), and the statistical tools developed by dr. Ordonez for computing climatic velocity and its components driving ecosystem disaggregation and reassembly. We are using these metrics of ecosystem change to assess when and how novel vegetation assemblages emerged over the late Pleistocene climate transition and where these will arise by the end of the 21st century.

Disciplines: Macro-Ecology, Global Change Biology, Vegetation Modeling

Host: Dr. Timo Conradi, Chair of Plant Ecology

Research stay: March - April 2023

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Alejandro Ordonez

Short Term Grantees Selection 2021

Dr Jan Blahůt ,Czech RepublicHide
Photo Dr Blahut

Dr Jan Blahůt
Researcher at the Academy of Sciences, Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics, Prague, Czech Republic

Project Title: Influence of changing temperature patterns on the rock strength

Climate change will affect temperature and moisture regimes in mid-latitude regions such as Bavaria and Czechia. Previous studies suggest that warmer and wetter climates will accelerate rock weathering. This should affect the current rockfall hazard as it was already observed. However, there is a lack of data that directly quantifies the influence of temperature and climate change-induced temperature change on rock strength. This short-term project aims to answer the important question: How much will change in moisture and temperature amplify the rock weathering? A series of controlled temperature loadings will be performed on selected rock samples from a mild climate of Central Czechia under dry and saturated conditions. During the loading, automatic ERT, TDR and AE sensors will be used to monitor moisture and cracking of the samples. This will be followed by sample testing to analyse changes in the rock strength.

Disciplines: Geomorphology, Climate change

Host: Professor Oliver Sass, Geomorphology

Research stay: March - April 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Jan Blahůt

Dr Huong Dieu Dang, New ZealandHide
Photo Dr Dang

Dr Huong Dieu Dang
Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury (UC), Christchurch, New Zealand

Project Title: Sustainability, Climate Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings

This study will examine climate risk exposures, environmental awareness and attitudes toward climate risk at the country level. These factors have not been widely explored in previous studies on sovereign credit risk. In the first stage (to be conducted in 2022), we will address two questions: (i) How did exposures to climate risk affect a country’s sovereign rating level and rating change?; and (ii) Was there a structural change in sovereign rating criteria toward more stringent ratings following the signing of the Paris Agreement? In the second stage (to be carried out in 2023+), we will examine the effect of environmental awareness on sovereign rating dynamics, and answer this question: Did environmental awareness and attitude toward climate risk in a country moderate the effects of climate risk exposures on its rating level and rating change? This study should contribute to the debates concerning the regulations on climate change and environmental risk mitigation across countries.

Disciplines: Finance, Economics

Host: Professor Klaus Schäfer, Business Administration I: Finance and Banking Management

Research stay: May - September 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Huong Dieu Dang

Professor Rebecca Krukowski, USAHide
Photo Prof Krukowski

Professor Rebecca Krukowski
University of Virginia, Department of Public Health Sciences, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Project Title: Improving self-monitoring feedback on eating behavior

Dietary self-monitoring is a key predictor of success in behvioral weight loss programs. To support greater adherence to self-monitoring and to help individuals interpret their own self-monitoring data to set effective behavioral goals, participants are typically provided with interventionist feedback. Currently, there exists little empirical evidence, however, regarding how dietary self-monitoring feedback should be constructed, how participants interpret feedback, and what impact feedback makes on future eating behaviors. Examining perceptions of various forms of dietary self-monitoring feedback (e.g., graphical vs. written vs. oral feedback) as well as the effect of feedback on future eating behaviors would provide necessary insight to inform future research on the optimal design for self-monitoring feedback.

Disciplines: Nutrition, Behavioral science, Psychology

Host: Junior Professor Laura König, Public Health Nutrition

Research stay: April - May 2020

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Dr. Becca Krukowski

Dr Feng-Shu Lee, TaiwanHide
Photo Dr Lee

Dr Feng-Shu Lee
Assistant professor, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Project Title: Discrediting Vision: Music and Optical Illusion in Nineteenth-Century Europe

This project concerns how optical illusion contributes to a fresh understanding of Wagner's work. I argue that, whereas artists and scientists in post- Industrial Revolution Europe tested the manipulatable nature of human vision, Wagner found in it a source of inspiration for his critical approach to the relationship between sight and sound. His use of offstage music often appeared under the dramatic pretext of supernatural scenes involving optical illusion. I suspect that this approach derived from his larger musical concerns during his creative process. I will travel to the National Wagner Archive to examine his manuscripts of Der fliegende Holländer. This grant will facilitate my archival work and enable me to work with Professor Anno Mungen, whose 2006 monograph BilderMusik dealt with optical technology in similar repertoire. He will broaden my understanding of optical illusion’s impact on music from the perspective of the traditions of German theatre in this context.

Disciplines: opera history, theatre and drama

Host: Professor Anno Mungen, Research Institute for Music Theatre Studies (fimt)

Research stay: March - April 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Feng-Shu Lee

Short Term Grantees Selection 2020/2

Dr Danielle Arigo, USAHide
Dr Arigo Photo

Dr Danielle Arigo
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Rowan University; Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, USA

Project Title: Reducing Measurement Reactivity in Physical Activity Research

Measurement reactivity is a source of bias in digital assessment of physical activity (PA), though conditions that contribute to its effects are not well understood. This Short-Term Grant will facilitate a collaboration between Dr. Danielle Arigo, a U.S.-based PA researcher, and Dr. Laura König, a Junior Professor at the University of Bayreuth, to achieve 2 research aims: (1) To produce a manuscript comparing PA measurement reactivity across contexts and identifying predictors of reactivity; (2) To generate the project description for a new grant proposal, focused on testing methods for reducing PA measurement reactivity in distinct contexts. During the proposed visit, Drs. Arigo and König will also hold a workshop on digital assessment of weight-related behaviors such as PA. Thus, the work proposed for this Short-Term Grant will provide training opportunities to researchers at University of Bayreuth and promote a collaboration that will help to improve the accuracy of PA measurement.

Disciplines: Physical activity promotion, Digital health, Weight control

Host: Junior Professor Laura König, Public Health Nutrition

Research stay: August 2021

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Dani Arigo

Joint Publication:

  • Danielle Arigo, Laura Travers & Laura M. König (2022): Pain experiences among women in midlife with existing health conditions: changes across pre-COVID-19, stay-athome orders, and initial reopening, Psychology & Health, 1-17, DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2022.2027421 (Infographic)
  • Arigo, D., & König, L. M. (2022). Examining reactivity to the measurement of physical activity and sedentary
    behavior among women in midlife with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Psychology & Health, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2022.2055024

Professor Attila Tanyi, NorwayHide
Prof Tanyi Photo

Professor Attila Tanyi
Department of Philosophy (IFF), University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

Project Title: The Role of Reasons in the Ethics of Health Care Allocation

The aim of the project is to develop a new framework for the investigation of allocation issues in health-care. Any agent who makes a claim on health-care resources must provide reasons that support their claim. I propose that distributive justice in health-care resource allocation is therefore best seen as an attempt to maximize reason-based claims of agents on health-care resources. But ought we to make such priority-setting – often called ‘rationing’ – decisions? I propose that the answer to this query also depends on our account of the relevant reasons. In short, the most promising way to approach this area of applied ethics is to focus on the (normative practical) reasons that are relevant to our inquiry. This is a promising way also because in recent years there has been an upsurge in research on reasons. At the same time, this discussion has not made its way into medical ethics. This projects aims to fill this gap by fusing applied, normative and metaethics.

Disciplines: Medical ethics (public health ethics), Metaethics (theory of reasons), Normative ethics (consequentialism)

Host: Professor Julian Fink, Practical Philosophy

Research stay: June 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Attila Tanyi

Dr Daniel Teh, SingaporeHide
Dr Teh Photo

Dr Daniel Teh
Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Project Title: Investigation of recombinant spider silk protein encapsulation to enhance upconversion implant biocompatibility and anti-microbial properties

Upconversion nanoparticles (UCN) are nanotransducer for near-infrared (NIR) to visible light, an important feature to breach the tissue depth penetration limitation of visible light. However, the application of UCN solution directly into tissue, limits its clinical translation. We have fabricated UCN based implants with great flexibility demonstrated in wireless photodynamic therapy (PDT) in mice model brain tumour. In order to enhance further translatability of UCN implant (reduce scarring, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial) recombinant spider silk technology is being explored to coat the UCN implantable. Recombinant spider silk has been demonstrated to be an ideal material that can reduce scarring, inflammation and has anti-bacterial property. We will examine the suitable surface modification for both UCN implant and spider silk for the coating to happen and the durability of the recombinant spider silk, towards the course of PDT.

Disciplines: Nanotechnology, Oncology, Material Science

Host: Professor Thomas Scheibel, Biomaterials

Dr Thomas Wallnig, AustriaHide
Dr Wallnig Photo

Dr Thomas Wallnig
University of Vienna, Austria

Project Title:  Distant Reading Modern Historiography: Three Case Studies

Historiography mirrors the narratives of polities. It evokes imagined spaces, assembles groups of agents, defines codes of conduct, and merges them into historical outlines that are meaningful for the self-concept of political entities. Although the connection between historiography and state/nation building is obvious, it has never been tackled from the perspective of large-scale, algorithm-based corpus analysis similar to the way in which, for example, Franco Moretti has applied “distant reading” to literary studies. During the proposed three-week collaboration in 2021, we plan to work on three test cases: a German/Latin work from the 17th century, textbooks from the 19th century, and a comprehensive list of Catholic historiographers from the early modern Holy Roman Empire. We plan to perform a computer-based analysis of (a) the geographic, (b) the prosopographical, and (c) the conceptual and narrative scope of our three data samples. Interested colleagues will be invited to participate.

Disciplines: Early Modern History; Intellectual History; History of Historiography; Digital Humanities

Host: Dr Stefan Benz, Didactics of History

Research stay: July and October 2021

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Thomas Wallnig

Dr Corli Wigley-Coetsee, South AfricaHide
Dr Wigley-Coetsee Photo

Dr Corli Wigley-Coetsee
Scientist, South African National Parks, Scientific Services, Vegetation Ecologist, Savanna and Arid Research Unit, Skukuza, South Africa

Project Title: Determinants of phenological events in African savanna trees

In monsoonal, rain-limited climates the timing of phenological events such as fruit production, leaf deployment and leaf abscission determines not only the carbon exchange dynamics of ecosystems, but also the availability of food for animals. The intensity of seed production also varies greatly in intensity and frequency with uncertainty around controls of these dynamics. By using data that has been collected over seven seasons both inside and outside of a protected area, we intend to identify whether resource levels or environmental signals control synchronised reproduction through a state-space modelling approach that will allow us to model the resource status of plants, as well as interactions between climate and resource levels.

Disciplines: Phenology, Herbivore resource dynamics, Climate change implications

Host: Professor Steven Higgins, Plant Ecology

Research stay: October 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Dr Corli Wigley-Coetsee

Short Term Grantees Selection 2020/1

Dr Eranezhuth Wasan Awin, IndiaHide
Dr Eranezhuth

Dr Eranezhuth Wasan Awin
Postdoctoral researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India

Project Title: Design and processing of novel heterogeneous catalytic nanocomposite fibers based on polymer derived ceramics approach

Lignocellulosic biomass which is an abundant, non-expensive and feasible (due to the non-competitive nature in the food chain) material is an excellent choice of replacement for fossil fuel and has wide application in medicinal chemistry. The development of novel catalytic reaction scheme concepts that mediates the conversion of lignocellulose derived alcohols to aromatic N-heterocycles (hydrogen generation/storage) is a challenge. In order to catalyze the corresponding reaction steps more efficiently and to withstand the strong basic conditions during the synthesis, novel catalysts have to be explored. Hence, the aim of this project is to design of a sustainable reusable heterogeneous catalysts based on transition metals, acknowledging the factors such as cost, selectivity, reusability and activity as well as the conservation of limited noble metal resources.

Disciplines: Ceramics, Heterogeneous catalysts, Hydrogen production

Hosts: PD Dr Günter Motz, Research Group „Precursorkeramik“, Ceramic Materials Engineering, and Professor Rhett Kempe, Inorganic Chemistry II

Research stay: January 2021

Press release: Ceramic nanofibres as catalysts

Dr María Josefina Irurzun, ArgentinaHide
Dr Irurzun

Dr María Josefina Irurzun
Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Project Title: Excursions to Bayreuth: travel narrative, identifications and transcultural experiences of Wagner fans (Argentina/Germany, 1890-1940)

The purpose of this project is to study travel narratives of Wagner fans that had made the trip or "pilgrimage" to Bayreuth’s Festival from Buenos Aires, Argentina. We will study their travel narratives with the aim of understanding transculturation processes from the constructive dimension of music in social and cultural terms. Following a diachronic point of view –from late nineteen century to first half of twentieth–, this approach will allow the analysis of cultural encounters, also revealing the cultural distance perceptions of travelers and fans as well as the singularities of the male and female gaze.

Disciplines: Cultural History; Cultural History of Music, Opera Studies, Transculturation Processes; Migration Studies; Global History.

Host: Professor Kordula Knaus, Musicology

Research stay: June 2022

Interview: Meet The Grantee: Josefina Irurzun

Dr Felipe Reinoso Carvalho, ColombiaHide
Dr Reinoso Carvalho

Dr Felipe Reinoso Carvalho
Assistant Professor in Marketing at the Universidad de los Andes School of Management, Bogotá, Colombia

Project Title: Sonic seasoning: Rethinking tasting experiences through music

Gastronomy and the food industry are more and more curious about the role of the human senses in the experience of foods and beverages. In fact, recent evidence suggests that what we hear can also significantly affect tasting experiences, whether we realize it or not. Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho, together with fellow colleagues from the University of Bayreuth, intend to further explore, from a scientific perspective, the particular role of sound in the behavior of consumers while experiencing foods/drinks.  Here, they would be looking for to discuss such role from three different perspectives: Innovation and consumer protection, food & health sciences, and/or transcultural processes.

Disciplines: Sound Engineering, Consumer Behavior, Experience Design

Host: Professor Claas Christian Germelmann, Marketing 

Research stay: April 2022

Interview: Meet The Grantee: Felipe Reinoso Carvalho 

Dr Maxim Vlasov, RussiaHide
Dr Vlasov

Dr Maxim Vlasov
Senior Researcher at the Institute of High Temperature Electrochemistry of the Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences and Assistant Professor at the Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Project Title: Structural features of ion-conducting BaLaInO4 for electrochemical applications: Effect of acceptor and donor doping

In January 2021, Assistant Professor Maxim Vlasov stayed in Assistant Professor Mirijam Zobel's group of solid state chemistry in order to elucidate the structure of oxygen-ion, proton and lithium-ion conducting oxides, for instance BaLaInO4 featuring the Ruddlesden-Popper structure. For this, Mr. Vlasov and Ms. Zobel employed both powder X-ray diffraction and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis based on high energy X-ray scattering data from the state of the art PDF diffractometer in the Zobel laboratory. The combination of this structural insight into the short-range order complements previously obtained electrochemical performance data to ultimately reveal ion transport mechanisms in these materials. The ion-conducting Ruddlesden-Popper oxides were synthesized at the home institute of Mr. Vlasov, the esteemed Institute of High Temperature Electrochemistry in Ekaterinburg, Russia. This scientific cooperation is an extension of the established series of summer schools named Travelling Seminars in the topical field of nanoscale materials and large scale research facilities.

Disciplines: Solid State Physics, Physical Chemistry

Host: Professor Mirijam Zobel, Inorganic Chemistry Mesostructured Materials

Research stay: January 2021

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Maxim Vlasov

Short Term Grantees Selection 2019

Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha, IndiaHide
Prof Bharucha

Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha 
Director, CoHaB Indian Diaspora Centre, University of Mumbai, India

The aim of Professor Bharucha’s visit is to explore the potential, at Bayreuth, for an institutionalized platform for graduate research on diasporic literature and culture. This school would focus on representations of migration and diaspora, in particular with a view to concepts of the future. It would be situated within UBT’s emerging field Cultural Encounters and Transcultural Processes. In order to initiate conversations on this topic, Professor Bharucha will visit UBT in the summer of 2021 and deliver a lecture on the literature of the Indian diaspora. She has already contributed a print version of this lecture - originially scheduled to be delivered in March 2020 - to an edited volume on Symbols of the Future. The Future of Symbolism by the host, Prof. Klaeger (de Gruyter, December 2020).

Disciplines: Diaspora Studies (Literature and Cinema), Ethnoreligious Literature, Indian Diaspora in Africa, Gender in Indian English Literature

Host: Professor Florian Klaeger, English Literature

Research stay: November 2021

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Nilufer Bharucha

Joint PublicationNilufer E. Bharucha: "Reading the Future through the Past: Symbolism in Amitav Ghosh’s Anthropogenic Fiction," in: Florian Klaeger und Klaus Stierstorfer, Hgg.: Symbols of the Future. The Future of Symbolism. Special Focus. Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics (Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter, 2021): 167-189.

Professor Thiago Branquinho de Queiroz, BrazilHide
Prof Branqinho de Queiroz

Professor Thiago Branquinho de Queiroz 
Universidade Federal do ABC, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas, Santo André, Brazil

Project Title: Charge transfer mechanisms in light converting systems from Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory

We aim to investigate light converting mechanisms in both artificial and nature systems. Donor-acceptor materials that can be used in organic solar cells and bacteriochlorophyll complexes from photosynthetic bacteria will be studied using Time Dependent Density Functional Theory. An important aspect of our work is the use of approximations that are capable of correctly treating charge transfer excitations. We combine those with an appropriate treatment of intermolecular interactions and long-range dielectric screening coming from solvation effects. Our long-term aim is to contribute to the development of materials that can efficiently convert light to other useful forms of energy.

Disciplines: Condensed Matter Physics, Quantum Mechanics

​Host: Professor Stephan Kümmel, Theoretical Physics IV

Research stay: November 2021

Professor Olga Bruyaka Collignon, USAHide
Prof Bruyaka Collignon

Professor Olga Bruyaka Collignon
West Virginia University, USA

Project Title: Organizational Digital Identity: Antecedents and Consequences

Digital technologies and digitization of organizational processes constitute increasingly relevant changes in today’s business environment calling for reconsideration of the bases for the normally accepted conception of identity. The objective of our research project is to develop the concept of organizational digital identity and answer the following questions: How groups within and across organizations develop shared digital identity? What are potential benefits of such shared digital identity? We define organizational digital identity as the collective self-concept(s) of an in-group towards the creation, application, development, and emergence of digital technology built on shared fondness, compassion, and proclivity towards digital technology.

Discipline: Strategic Management

Host: Professor Ricarda Bouncken, Strategic Management and Organisation

Professor Helge Dedek, CanadaHide
Prof Dedek

Professor Helge Dedek
Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montréal, Canada

Project Title: “Darker legacies”: Colonialism and “Comparative Law”

This project, which forms part of a larger undertaking I have been pursuing since 2017, seeks to explore the role of “comparative law” as intellectually legitimizing colonialism and even actively partaking in the in the colonial project. The method of comparison that gained currency in the 19th century is intricately intertwined with contemporaneous discourses on “civilization” and “race“ and instrumental in establishing the “colonial difference”.

Disciplines: Comparative Legal Studies, Legal History

Host: Professor Dr. Martin Schmidt-Kessel, German and European Consumer Law and Private Law as well as Comparative Law

Professor Mostapha Diss, France Hide
Prof Diss

Professor Mostapha Diss
Professor of Economics, CRESE, Université of Franche-Comté, France 

Project Title: Preference Rankings and Proportional Representation: Mismatches in Germany, 2005-2017

As with all proportional list systems, the German system is afflicted by a fundamental inconsistency known as the More-Preferred-Less-Seats-Paradox. Although this has been known to be a theoretical possibility for a long time, it has never been demonstrated empirically for Germany. We follow a method previously applied to studies of elections in Denmark (1973–2005) and The Netherlands (1982–1994) that reconstructs these preference rankings from opinion polling data. We use flash polls that contain “thermometer data” on party preferences conducted the week before polling day for the Federal Elections in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017. The main finding is that each of the elections has been afflicted by the paradox. Qualitatively, it is arguable that the occurrence of the paradox in 2005 and 2009 is relatively benign. But in 2013 and 2017 the paradox took on a different dimension. Firstly, in 2013 the liberal Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) actually dropped out of parliament although being preferred over the leftwing party DIE LINKE, which was the so-called Condorcet-loser (or least-preferred party). DIE LINKE was the third largest faction in the Parliament and the official opposition. Then in 2017, the populist rightwing party, Alternative für Deutschland (AFD), received the third largest seat share although, as with DIE LINKE in the previous election, it was the Condorcet-loser and it too has become the official opposition. This suggests that the current system has the potential to distort the representation of voter preferences. We discuss the source of the paradox and the normative implications of these results by placing them in the context of representative and epistemic conceptions of democracy.

Disciplines: Economics, Political Science

Host: Professor Frank Steffen, Economics

Research stay: November-December 2021

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Mostapha Diss

Dr Yu Dong, AustraliaHide
Dr Dong

Associate Professor Yu Dong
School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Australia

Project Title: Optimisation of PLA Reinforced Composites for Enhancing Thermal/Electrical Conductivities and Processability Using Machine Learning Approach

Polylactic acid (PLA) is considered as one of major alternative biodegradable polymers to replace conventional petroleum-based polymers due to its excellent biodegradability, environmental sustainability and biocompatibility. Melt compounding of polymer composites requires sophisticated planning and experimental design to achieve optimal properties, which in the past relies on a statistical design of experiments with less reliability and robustness with a limited number of data. Whereas, artificial intelligence particularly with the aid of machine learning or deep learning models offers an alternative route to the systematic development of advanced composite materials towards Industry 4.0. This project aims to develop appropriate machine learning model to identify optimal processing parameters and material formulations in melt compounding of PLA composites reinforced with boron nitride (BN) and carbon black (CB) with hybrid filler effect to enhance thermal/electrical conductivity and processibility, as well as establish a robust processing-structure-property relationship to produce multifunctional composite materials.

Disciplines: Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Host: Professor Holger Ruckdäschel, Department of Polymer Engineering

Research stay: November 2023

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Yu Dong

Dr Remco W.A. Havenith, The NetherlandsHide
Dr Havenith

Dr Remco W.A. Havenith
Stratingh Institute for Chemistry and Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Project Title: Modelling Deposition of Organic Photovoltaic Materials in Electric Fields

Photovoltaic materials are promising candidates for facilitating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Organic photovoltaics (OPV) have properties, such as being flexible and light weight that make them attractive for specialty applications. The efficiency of OPV depends on many factors, and one is the morphology of the material, which can be steered by electric fields.  Here we will do computer simulations of the formation of the films under control of electric fields, with the aim to be able to control the morphology in the production process of OPV in order to improve their efficiency.

Disciplines: Theoretical Chemistry, Organic Photovoltaics, Computational Modelling

​Host: Junior-Professor Eva M. Herzig, Dynamics and Structure Formation

Research stay: October 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Remco W.A. Havenith

Dr Niloofar Karimian, AustraliaHide
Dr Karimian

Dr Niloofar Karimian
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross University, Australia

Project Title: Antimony Mobility and Speciation in Complex, Redox-Active Mineral System

This project aims to advance our fundamental understanding on the geochemistry of antimony – a critical mineral resource and environmental pollutant of growing concern that plays a growing role in our daily lives. This will be achieved by investigating the interplay between antimony and metal oxides in multi-mineral systems. This project will bring together a combination of advanced analytical tools and techniques to examine antimony –iron and manganese interactions in experimental mixed mineral systems. The expected outcomes will provide novel insights into refined strategies to manipulate coupling between antimony mobility and iron and manganese cycling for improved rehabilitation of degraded landscapes.

Disciplines: Soil Science Engineering, Environmental Geochemistry

Host: Professor Britta Planer-Friedrich, Environmental Geochemistry

Research stay: October/November 2022

Interview: Meet the Grantee: Niloofar Karimian

Publication resulting from the cooperation:

KARIMIAN, N., HOCKMANN, K., PLANER-FRIEDRICH, B., JOHNSTON, S. G. & BURTON, E. D. 2021. Antimonate Controls Manganese(II)-Induced Transformation of Birnessite at a Circumneutral pH. Environmental Science & Technology, 55, 9854-9863.

Dr Dmitry Kolomenskiy, RussiaHide
Dr Kolomenskiy

Dr Dmitry Kolomenskiy
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia

Project Title: Energetic optimization of spatial arrangement of fish swimming in formation

Fluid dynamics plays an important role in our understanding of animal locomotion. The topic of this collaboration concerns with fish schooling, which refers to a group of fish swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner. We are developing an analytical model based on approximation of the far flow field induced by an individual swimmer represented as a circular vortex ring. It will help to assess hydrodynamic advantages of schooling and evaluate potential benefit that swimming in a group can offer to small robotic underwater swimmers.

Disciplines: Fluid Mechanics, Computational Mechanics

Host: Professor Jörn Sesterhenn, Technical Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics

Research stay: May - June 2022

Interview: Meet The Grantee: Dr. Dmitry Kolomenskiy

Joint Publication: Far-field hydrodynamic interaction in a group of swimmers

Professor Heather Viles, United KingdomHide
Professor Viles

Professor Heather Viles
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Professor Heather Viles from the University of Oxford will visit Bayreuth to collaborate with Professor Dr Oliver Sass on ‘Heritage Hydrology’. The aim of the visit is to lay the foundations of an innovative research project on the interactions between the hydrological cycle and the deterioration of built heritage. We will co-design an instrumental setup for a proposed pan-European network of heritage hydrological observatories, draft a proposal for funding, and co-author a review paper setting out the challenges for this research area.

Disciplines: Geomorphology, Heritage Science

Host: Professor Oliver Sass, Geomorphology

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