RWTH: Presentation of the Christian Patermann Prize 2022 to Sandra Venghaus and Till Tiso

Since 2014, the Bioeconomy Science Center has been honoring young scientists from its ranks with the Supervision Award for outstanding achievements in the supervision of doctoral students. The prize, which is endowed with 25,000 euros, has been awarded as the Christian Patermann Prize since 2021 and honors the founder of the knowledge-based bioeconomy in Europe. The namesake himself awarded this year’s prize on May 11, 2022 to Professor Sandra Venghaus (RWTH Aachen/Research Center Jülich) and Dr. Till Tiso (RWTH Aachen).

Sandra Venghaus studied Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard University and was a DFG scholarship holder in the Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Environmental History at the University of Göttingen, before earning her doctorate in 2011 at the University of Hanover at the Institute for Marketing and Management. Further stations in her scientific career were the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, the University of Bielefeld and the Institute for Energy and Climate Research at the Research Center Jülich, where she became group leader in the field of systems research and technological development in 2014. In 2021 she was appointed Junior Professor for Decision Analysis and Socio-Economic Assessment at RWTH Aachen University.

Till Tiso studied bioprocess engineering at the University of Dortmund. From 2011 to 2016 he was a doctoral student at the Institute for Applied Microbiology (IAMB) at RWTH Aachen University, with research stays at Imperial College London and CSIC Madrid as well as with international research collaborations, for example in Canada, Brazil and South Korea. After completing his doctorate, he became a group leader at the IAMB in 2016. His main research areas include synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and the recombinant production of secondary metabolites in various microorganisms.

Both award winners were nominated by doctoral students and the heads of their institutes. In her laudatory speech, Professor Ingar Janzik quoted several times from the personal letters of support. In the letters to Sandra Venghaus, the composition of her team was highlighted, with doctoral students in economics, political science, engineering and mathematics. This reflects the interdisciplinary approach that is required for research into social transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. This is supplemented by the exchange with international partners in order not only to overcome disciplinary boundaries, but also to think in a global context. The letters of support for Till Tiso acknowledged the close cooperation with external partners from academia and industry in all doctoral projects, which encourages the doctoral students to work together with experts from completely different areas – from process engineering to ecotoxicology and structural biology to social and environmental science Economics. He also supports doctoral students in participating in interdisciplinary conferences, workshops and summer schools.

dr dr hc Christian Patermann presented the award personally at this year’s BioSC Forum. Christian Patermann was Head of Research at the European Commission from 1996 to 2007 and was responsible for the concept of a “Knowledge-based Bioeconomy (KBBE)”, which the Commission first formulated in 2005. From autumn 2007 to 2014 he advised the North Rhine-Westphalian state government on the emerging future field of bioeconomy. From 2009 to 2012 he was a member of the first German Bioeconomy Council. He is the most important pioneer for the modern knowledge-based bioeconomy in Europe.