Starting October 1, 2020, Prof. Dr. habil. Barbara Sturm is the new Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB). The management position is linked in a joint appointment with the professorship for "Agricultural Engineering in Bioeconomic Systems" at the Humboldt University of Berlin. On the occasion of the official inauguration, Brandenburg's Minister of Science Dr. Manja Schüle welcomed the new Scientific Director today at the ATB in Potsdam.
Prof. Dr. Barbara Sturm will head the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy in Potsdam as Scientific Director and Chairperson of the Board of Directors as from October 1, 2020. She succeeds Prof. Dr. Annette Prochnow, who has very successfully managed the institute on a interim basis since the beginning of 2018 and hands it over in excellent condition.
Thanks to the integrative, future-oriented cooperation with its committees and funding bodies, the institute is excellently established in terms of science and infrastructure and is highly interlinked on a regional and international level, emphasized Brandenburg's Science Minister Dr. Manja Schüle in her thanks to Prof. Prochnow.
Prof. Barbara Sturm is taking over a research institute with a highly attractive working environment in a research area that is of enormous importance for global future issues: bio-economy, said Minister Schüle in her welcoming address to the new Scientific Director of the ATB. Now it is a matter of further expanding this position through intelligent cooperation, strategic foresight and professional leadership.
Prof. Barbara Sturm switches from the University of Kassel, where she last headed the research group "Process and Systems Engineering in Agriculture", to the ATB. Born in 1978, the agricultural engineer first studied environmental and process engineering in Konstanz and received her doctoral degree from the University of Kassel in 2010. In 2018 she was awarded the renowned Anton-Schlüter-Medal of KTBL for her postdoctoral thesis (Habilitation) on the systemic optimization of thermal processes in the drying of food. As a scientist in various positions, she acquired experience in leadership and management tasks and gained international experience in Great Britain, China and Australia.
'I am looking forward to further developing the systemic research approach for a biobased circular economy together with the ATB's committed employees', says Prof. Dr. Barbara Sturm in view of future tasks. 'To do so, it is necessary to interconnect the interdisciplinary research work even better, to strengthen the knowledge and technology transfer and to further expand strategic cooperations nationally and internationally. I also want to make every effort to ensure that all of our 250 employees will enjoy excellent working conditions in the future, which will enable them to develop their potential for research in the best possible way.'
„Wir freuen uns, dass wir mit Barbara Sturm eine äußerst engagierte, junge und zugleich erfahrene Wissenschaftlerin für diese anspruchsvolle Aufgabe gewinnen konnten. Sie ist mit unseren Forschungsthemen und -aufgaben bestens vertraut. Dieses Plus wird ihr sicherlich zu einem raschen und erfolgreichen Start verhelfen“, so Prof. Dr. Annette Prochnow, die sich künftig wieder der Leitung der Abteilung Technikbewertung und Stoffkreisläufe am ATB widmen und die Position der stellvertretenden Direktorin an ATB einnehmen wird. „Ich bin mir sicher, dass Barbara Sturm die Forschung des ATB um neue Perspektiven erweitern wird, und freue mich sehr darauf, mit ihr gemeinsam die Zukunft des Instituts zu gestalten.”
On the occasion of the inauguration ceremony, Brandenburg's Minister of Science, Dr. Manja Schüle, presented the ATB with a special gift: 'A successful system change to a bioeconomy is based on research, innovation and transfer. This is why Brandenburg's Ministry for Science, Research and Culture (MWFK) will support ATB's efforts to set up a model farm for sustainable bioeconomy with agriculture and biorefinery. This model farm will enable innovations for circular material flow management.to be tested and evaluated. This 'Leibniz Innovation Farm' will demonstrate future-oriented and at the same time feasible approaches to climate-friendly and sustainable biomass production and use. It will be open to all interested parties. Minister Schüle announced that the MWFK will provide 25 million Euros over the next six years from the Brandenburg Future Investment Fund for this project, which is unique in Germany. 'This transfer centre is more than a scientific showcase - it offers a glimpse into the future. And the future is made in Brandenburg", said Minister Schüle.
The research of the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) at the interface of biological and technical systems aims to provide the basis for sustainable bioeconomic production systems. For this purpose the ATB develops and integrates new technologies and management strategies for a knowledge-based, site-specific production of biomass and its use for food, as bio-based products and energy sources - from basic research to application.
The institute employs about 250 people. Federal and state governments, including Brandenburg, are jointly financing the institute this year with 14.7 million Euros.
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