Impression of the 2022 Summer Festival

JenAlumni Newsletter

Summer 2022
Impression of the 2022 Summer Festival
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

News in brief

Atmospheric summer festival

At the sold-out University Summer Festival, the conclusion of the traditional Schiller Day at the University of Jena, students, employees, and guests of the University spent an evening full of cultural and culinary delights on 24 June. About 5,000 visitors sprawled around the colourfully illuminated festival area in the Botanical and Griesbach Gardens and on the grounds of the Planetarium. In addition to numerous bands, sports, and exercise activities for young and old, poetry slam, stilt theatre (photo) and dance groups provided entertainment and a unique atmosphere.

As the second day of the Summer Festival, the event "Classics in the Botanical Garden" took place for the first time on 25 June. Almost 1,000 guests listened to classical music and poetry and danced, again complemented by a varied range of food and drinks.

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Topping-out ceremony for the new Inselplatz Campus

Across the main building of the University of Jena, the shell buildings are taking shape. Reason enough for the University to celebrate the topping-out ceremony for the buildings of the new campus on Inselplatz together with numerous guests on 25 April. A total of around 190 million euros will be invested in the buildings, the completion of which has progressed without delay since the laying of the foundation stone in September 2020. The University Computer Centre and the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science are scheduled for completion by the end of 2023, and the Institute of Psychology, the Branch Library "Natural Sciences and Pre-clinical Medicine" of the Thuringian State and University Library and a cafeteria by 2024/25. The new, contemporary educational campus supports the University of Jena's demands for excellence in research and teaching and, as a place for joint research and learning, will also offer both university members and the city's population a place for exchange and lively interaction in the future.

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Learn more about the Inselplatz Campus

Two new research buildings

The topping-out ceremony for two extension buildings of the Center for Energy and Environmental Chemistry (CEEC Jena) at the University of Jena was celebrated on 27 June. Construction work on the new research buildings CEEC Jena II and the CEEC Jena Application Centre (AWZ CEEC Jena), which are to be completed next year, has been underway for about a year. The approx. 54-million-euro project is being financed by the federal and state governments with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) and with support from the Ernst Abbe Foundation, the Carl Zeiss Foundation, and the University of Jena. In the future, researchers from chemistry, materials science and geosciences will work together on a total area of 4,000 square metres. Among other things, the focus will be on new materials for the energy storage of the future, photovoltaics, and water technologies.

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Gynaecological clinic becomes accommodation for refugees

By the end of April, the first refugees from Ukraine will be able to find accommodation in the former gynaecological clinic in Bachstraße. The building, which the university took over from the University Hospital at the beginning of the year, is currently being made ready for occupancy under high pressure and with considerable personnel input. The university is supporting the city, which is the owner of the building, in organising and carrying out the construction work. In the first stage, up to 150 Ukrainians are to find a temporary home in the gynaecological clinic. With greater construction work, another 100 refugees could be accommodated in the building if the need arose. At the moment, the procurement of furnishings is a particular time challenge. The university is therefore appealing for donations of furniture, technical equipment and toys.

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Diversity fund established

The University of Jena places great importance on raising awareness of diversity at the university. Those who want to strengthen and support this project – diversity at the University of Jena – can in future apply for financial resources for the implementation from the new Diversity Fund, which was founded by the Vice-President’s Office for Young Researchers and Diversity Management and the Diversity Office. The Diversity Fund supports decentralised projects that aim to raise awareness of diversity at the University of Jena or contribute to dismantling disadvantages. The projects can come from all areas of the university: from teaching and research to technology and administration. All members of the University of Jena are eligible to apply. The call for applications is made twice a year.

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Two new research training groups at the University of Jena

At the beginning of 2023, two new Research Training Groups, each with a total of 24 doctoral students, can begin their work at the University of Jena. They will be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for an initial period of five years with a total of over 12 million euros, as the DFG has just decided.
In the new materials science-medicine Research Training Group 2723 on material-microbe-microenvironments, the researchers want to develop a customised platform of antimicrobial biomaterials to better prevent biomaterial-associated infections. These can occur in bone implants, among other things.
In the second new Research Training Group 2792 "Autonomy of Heteronomous Texts in Antiquity and the Middle Ages", the researchers are looking at texts that consciously enter into dependence on older texts in order to pass on and update their content in a new form.

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Good support for students

In terms of student support, the University of Jena is one of the best universities in Germany with its comprehensive orientation assistance and information at the start of studies. This is confirmed by the current ranking of the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE). In addition, the good facilities and a high level of commitment on the part of the lecturers as well as the organisation of the study programme were rated positively. According to the Vice-President for Learning and Teaching, Prof. Kim Siebenhüner, the results of the survey reflect, among other things, the university's investments in the digital transformation in teaching. The subject of Material Science (photo) in Jena stands out particularly positively in the ranking. Almost all of the factors surveyed were rated very well for the subject.

To the ranking

New digital bibliography of the University of Jena

The ThULB Jena has been offering the university bibliography since June. This system records and presents all publications (print and digital) by members of the University of Jena and the University Hospital. The bibliography is still under construction. Anyone who would like to support the ThULB team can report their own publications via a form and thus help complete the bibliography. The university bibliography is funded by the state of Thuringia as part of the Thuringian Digital Strategy.

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Bringing the history of the university back to life

The origin of the University of Jena lies in the Collegium Jenense. Over 450 years of the university's history are linked to the former monastery, which was used for academic teaching and research and was the university's main building until the middle of the 19th century. In a special project, researchers from various disciplines are now bringing the history of the "Kollegienhof" back to life. Using the bones from the tombs of rectors and professors, they are reconstructing everyday life at the early modern university. A new film documentation shows the challenges the researchers face in the process.

To the report in LICHTGEDANKEN


We encounter glass in practically all our everyday activities. The material is ubiquitous as window glass, tableware, or mobile phone displays, but it is also found in numerous materials where we are often not even aware of it: for example, in toothpaste, in insulating materials, in wind turbine blades or data cables. To raise awareness of glass and its importance, the United Nations has declared 2022 the "International Year of Glass". To mark this occasion, the focus of the new issue of LICHTGEDANKEN is dedicated to the topic of glass. Among other things, it covers research on glass implants, high-strength glasses, and glass fibres. Readers also learn about the importance of glass for a sustainable future. The magazine is available at the University and can also be read online.

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Dr Thoralf Held, the new Head of Administration of the University of Jena Dr Thoralf Held, the new Head of Administration of the University of Jena Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)


New Head of Administration elected

The University Assembly of the University of Jena elected Dr Thoralf Held (photo) as the new Kanzler (Head of Administration) of the University on 10 May. The native Thuringian is expected to take up his new position in Jena on 1 September. Dr Thoralf Held is currently Head of Administration of the Philipps-Universität in Marburg; he previously held the same position at the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena since 2013 and therefore knows Thuringia very well. Held studied mathematics, physics and astronomy at the Erfurt University of Education and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and received his doctorate in 1996 in the field of solid-state physics.

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Highest European funding for physicists

Prof. Sebastiano Bernuzzi from the Institute of Theoretical Physics has received a "Consolidator Grant" from the European Research Council (ERC). For his research project "InspiReM", he will receive support amounting to almost two million euros over the next five years. Together with his team, Bernuzzi is developing theoretical models that can be used to understand the dynamics of cosmic collisions and explain observational data. Specifically, his new research project is about the remnants of past stellar mergers and material outflows emanating from them.

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Prof. Ulrich S. Schubert receives ERC Advanced Grant

Prof. Ulrich S. Schubert and his team are working together on the "battery of the future", which can absorb energy generated at any time of day or night and release it when needed. His research project "FutureBAT" for the further development of such energy storage systems is now being funded by the European Research Council (ERC) with an "Advanced Grant". Over the next five years, the chemist and materials scientist will receive around 2.5 million euros, which will create ten positions, among other things.

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PD Christian Puta advises Federal Institute for Sport Science

PD Christian Puta from the Chair of Sports Medicine and Health Promotion at the University of Jena has been reappointed by Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser to the scientific advisory board of the Federal Institute for Sport Science. There, Puta will support the expert advice of the Institute on an honorary basis for another three years.

Former rector Ernst Schmutzer deceased

The long-time professor and former rector of the University of Jena,  Ernst Schmutzer, passed away on 20 February 2022 at the age of 91. Schmutzer had been Professor of Theoretical Physics since 1960 and was elected the 314th rector of the University in April 1990. He remained in office until 1993 and accompanied the democratisation process during this time. Under his leadership, the University of Jena was modernised and was soon considered one of the leading and democratically transformed universities in the new federal states. After his time as rector, Schmutzer devoted himself to academia again until his death.

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Farewell to honorary doctor Klaus Keil

Prof. Klaus Keil passed away at the end of February at the age of 87. The American mineralogist with Jena roots studied mineralogy at the University of Jena in the 1950s. He also began his doctorate here, but left the GDR shortly before the Berlin Wall was erected. As a successful meteorite researcher, he received numerous awards for his scientific work. Keil maintained his connection to Jena and was also involved in the faculty advisory board until 2020. In 2002 he was  awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Jena.

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Happy birthday to honorary doctor John B. Goodenough

John B. Goodenough, who was born in Jena and became honorary doctor in 2018, celebrated his 100th birthday on 25 July! Congratulations! In 2019, John B. Goodenough received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino. This makes him the oldest living Nobel laureate. 

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Bertram Schmitz is the new university preacher

Prof. Bertram Schmitz was inaugurated as the new university preacher on 12 April in the Stadt- und Universitätskirche (City and University church) in Jena by Bishop Friedrich Kramer. The professor of religious studies succeeds Prof. Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, who has retired. The university preacher is the direct interface between the university and the church. His main task is to ensure and make visible the presence of the University, especially its Faculty of Theology, at the Stadtkirche St. Michael as the University Church. Schmitz's personal concern is also to make the different religions of this world more tangible and understandable through the presentation of art.

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Golden Appbrobation Medicine Golden Appbrobation Medicine Image: Nadine Ritter (Universität Jena)


Golden Diploma and Golden Approbation celebrated

In spring and summer, two golden anniversaries were honoured at the University of Jena.
Our mathematicians received their Golden Diploma in May in the presence of the former Prorector Prof. Wechsung.
The Golden Approbation in Medicine (photo) in July was a catch-up event from 2020, which could only take place this summer due to the pandemic.

Alumni days Geography and PAF

For the second time, a team led by Prof. Schmullius from the Institute of Geography organised an Alumni Day in the Rosensäle. On 22 April, alumni got informed about the latest news from the Institute and gave insights into their own research. In the evening they celebrated in the Paradiescafé.

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Once a year, the alumni association PAF and the faculty organise an alumni day with the ceremonial presentation of graduation certificates and doctoral degrees. The 1 July marked the 20th anniversary of this event. The best graduates were awarded various prizes.

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Alumni reunion at the Faculty of Medicine

After a longer break due to the pandemic, the traditional alumni reumnion of the Faculty could be held again this year. Impressions of the event can be found  here.

20 years of alumni reunions in Sports Science

For 20 years, the Institute has been holding annual alumni reunions. Graduate reunions at the university are nothing new in and of themselves. As early as the beginning of the 1960s - ten years after the resumption of teaching after the Second World War - the teaching staff of the former Institute for Physical Education organised such meetings, inviting all graduates from the same year.
With the essential involvement of Karin Berkes and Paul Dern, there was an extensive two-day programme, which also included scientific lectures and sports demonstrations, as the former students were to be brought up to date with the latest developments in education.
After three meetings in a row, however, it became apparent that the high effort met with less and less response, so that the organisation of meetings was left to the former seminar groups. The anniversary "90 years of gymnastics and sports teacher training" in 2001 was then the occasion to take up the idea of annual meetings again. In 2002, there was a meeting for the first time, at which especially the cohorts who had graduated 50 years ago and 25 years ago were invited.
For more than 15 years, the Förderkreis of the USV Jena was in charge of the organisation. Today, it is an important concern of the "Spowi-Alumni" support association under the leadership of Dr. Christian Wick, who can rely on the many years of organisational experience of the Institute's administrative director, Janett Paetz. This year the meeting took place on 2 July. (Hans-Georg Kremer in the TLZ)

Seminar group reunions in September

On 27 September, a group of former chemistry students will hold a seminar group reunion and will also visit their former internship rooms in the Döbereiner lecture theatre. The group studied at the University in 1965-69.

On 14 September, the golden approbation ceremony for the former medical students will take place.

Welcome and reunion party for Romance studies in November

On 16 November 2022, the Institute of Romance Studies is planning a welcome and reunion party in shape of an evening event for new students, existing students and alumni of the Institute. This is intended to strengthen the connection between the aforementioned groups of people and promote the creation of a network through the exchange of information on studies and individual career paths. Last but not least, the event aims to refresh the alumni's contact with their alma mater. A similar event has already taken place in 2019 and was attended by around 100 people.


Take part in the EC2U Science Battle

In the EC2U Science Battle, interdisciplinary teams of scientists from the European Campus of City Universities Jena, Iasi (RO), Coimbra (P), Salamanca (E) compete for the cleverest or most entertaining answer to audience questions. A jury and the audience award points. Will Jena win this year?  And what have you always wanted to know? Submit your questions by 9 September 2022: keyword "Science Battle 2022" by e-mail to

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Weaver bird Weaver bird Image: Hans Pohl (Universität Jena)

Reasons to come to Jena again

New special exhibition: "KonstrukTier – animal constructions"

The Phyletic Museum of the University of Jena presents a new special exhibition titled "KonstrukTier – animal constructions" until 26 February 2023. The show was already opened on 20 Mayduring the "Lange Nacht der Museen" (Long Night of Museums). Visitors  can learn a lot about animals and their constructions in the exhibition, such as that of the weaver bird (photo). On display are a wide variety of animal constructions, including nests, burrows, tunnels and honeycombs made of plants, earth, sand, clay and other materials. Most of the objects are from the museum's holdings and have never been shown before.

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New permanent exhibition in the Hainich National Park

The Chair of Hydrogeology at the University of Jena has designed a new permanent exhibition on the canopy walkway in the Hainich National Park. The exhibition teaches guests about the connections and interdependencies between ecosystems, biodiversity and human activity, using the Hainich National Park as an example. The exhibition in the tower room of the trail's observation tower was opened on International Forest Day on 21 March and can be seen daily during the opening hours of the canopy walkway. Display boards (photo), videos and exhibits such as drill cores are shown.

Learn more de

"Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften" 2022

The next Long Night of Science in Jena will take place on 25 November 2022. You will soon find more detailed information here.


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Friedrich Schiller University Jena | Summer 2022 | Communications and Marketing | Alumni | Dr Nadine Ritter