RWTH: Rolf Bracke is awarded an adjunct professorship

Professor Rolf Bracke, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Energy IEG and holder of the Chair for Geothermal Energy Systems at the Ruhr University Bochum, was awarded the title “Adjunct Professor” by RWTH Rector Professor Ulrich Rüdiger. One focus of Bracke’s work is the transformation of mining-related technologies in the development of climate-neutral energy systems: With the elimination of coal, oil and natural gas combustion, the heating market needs new energy sources. Geothermal energy, in particular heat from thermal water in the deep layers of rock, could supply heating systems and industrial processes with energy in a sustainable, local and base-load manner.

The structural change regions in the Rhineland, Central Germany and Lusatia in particular can benefit from the consistent further development from coal to thermal mining. “Heat is half the energy transition,” emphasizes Rolf Bracke. “As a new adjunct professor at RWTH, I’m looking forward to developing solutions together with the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering and others to make heat in Germany green and sustainable by 2045.” Within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the RWTH alumnus coordinates the Research on the heat dimension for the institutes of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance and the Cluster of Excellence “Integrated Energy Systems”. He was Director of the International Geothermal Association (IGA) between 2013 and 2020 and is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Energy Research Alliance (Geothermal Program). In 2020 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for his research on energy technologies in structural change.

“The subtitle of our excellence application is ‘Knowledge. Impact. network.’ We want to generate knowledge that has an impact in society – and we can do this even better with our networks. The Fraunhofer Society and Professor Bracke stand for this network. With his focus areas, especially with regard to the transformation process in the Rhenish Revier, he is an excellent fit for RWTH and we are happy to shape it together with him,” explains Rector Rüdiger. RWTH awards the adjunct professorship to internationally renowned professors in order to strengthen cooperation with important partner universities and research institutions. The adjunct professorship is awarded for a period of three to five years and can be extended by the Rectorate.

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