17. November 2021 | Press releases:

Lower Saxony Science Award goes to Professor Arno Kwade and student initiative MethodAid Awarded for research achievements and social commitment

Professor Arno Kwade receives the Lower Saxony Science Award in the Research category, endowed with 25,000 euros. A team of four students who are involved in the student method advisory service “MethodAid” will also be awarded, endowed with 3,500 euros. On 17 November 2021, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Science Björn Thümler honoured eleven outstanding personalities from Lower Saxony’s universities with the Lower Saxony Science Award 2021. The prize is endowed with a total of 109,000 euros.

Award for Arno Kwade

Professor Arno Kwade receives the award for his “significant research achievements in the fields of pharmaceutical process engineering and battery cell technology and production”, according to the text of the award. He is thus making significant contributions to socially pressing issues, for example in the field of electromobility and in the development of cost-effective and safe stationary energy storage systems, which are needed to implement the energy transition. “Through the establishment of the two research centres ‘Battery LabFactory Braunschweig (BLB)’ and ‘Center of Pharmaceutical Engineering (PVZ)’, he has decisively shaped the development of TU Braunschweig and the state of Lower Saxony in these areas. Both centres are essentially due to his outstanding commitment,” it continues. Through his research activities in the field of design and production of battery electrodes for lithium-ion and next-generation batteries, Lower Saxony has developed into one of the leading battery research locations with high European and global visibility. His commitment to teaching and the promotion of scientists in an early career phase is also highlighted.

“We are immensely pleased about the high award for our colleague Arno Kwade,” says Professor Angela Ittel, President of the Technische Universität Braunschweig. “Kwade is an excellent top researcher and leads multidisciplinary centres in not one but two of our research foci: Mobility and Infections and Agents. At the same time, he is an excellent, internationally networked team player. His work is as visible and recognised in the scientific community as it is in industry. He truly deserves the science prize.”

Kwade has been researching particle technology for 16 years. This involves the production of particles and their further processing under the highest demands on quality and performance. “The final result is the design of innovative products such as battery electrodes, medicines or even 3D printing powders. For this product-related research, we conduct in-depth physical investigations of the particles – with regard to their deformation, fracture, interaction and flow behaviour,” says Professor Kwade. “On this basis, we can specifically adjust the product properties.”

He is the spokesperson for the board of two research centres he initiated (BLB and PVZ). In these two centres at TU Braunschweig, experts from pharmacy, process engineering and micro and production engineering work together with researchers from TU Clausthal, Leibniz Universität Hannover and the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in particle research.

Professor Arno Kwade received his doctorate in 1996 from the Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering at TU Braunschweig. After nine years as a project manager and managing director in solids process engineering, he was appointed Professor for Mechanical Process Engineering/Particle Technology at TU Braunschweig. There he is the managing director of the Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT).

In 2006, Professor Kwade took over the chairmanship of the ProcessNet technical committee “Comminution and Classification”, a platform for process engineering, chemical engineering and technical chemistry, in 2010 of the European (EFCE) Working Party “Comminution” and in 2016 of the BMBF research cluster battery cell production ProZell. Since 2017, he has been vice-chairman of the BMBF Advisory Board Battery Research Germany. Professor Kwade also heads the DFG priority programme SPP 1934 “DispBiotech”, which focuses on the stressing of biological materials such as proteins along the biotechnological value chain from fermentation to the formulation of pharmaceutical and food technology products.

Professor Kwade’s research focuses on fine comminution, dispersion and flow and compaction behaviour of particles and powders in the submicron and nanometre range. The aim here is to apply these particles for coatings and composite materials, in the development of pharmaceuticals and the production of electrodes for use in lithium-ion battery cells.

Award for “MethodAid – die Methodenberatung”

Experiments, surveys, observations – empirical methods are indispensable tools in many degree programmes, for example in seminar papers and theses. To strengthen this competence, the student association “MethodAid – die Methodenberatung” has existed since 2020. For their commitment to method consulting, Jan de Haan, Annemarie Hartung, Karoline Misch and Alex Rieger, and are awarded the Lower Saxony Science Prize in the category “Students”.

“Empirical methods are central building blocks for teaching, research and professional practice. I am all the more pleased that our students have established their own counselling service for this and have received a high award from the state for their commitment. The personal space for counselling, the successful conversion from a face-to-face to a web format during the pandemic, and the broad positioning beyond the methods in psychology – these are outstanding achievements. My congratulations to all of them,” says President Professor Ittel.

Together they are studying psychology in their third master’s semester. “What particularly appeals to me about working at MethodAid is that I can help other people, especially in an area where many students have concerns,” says Annemarie Hartung. “We often receive questions about which statistical model or method is best suited to their research question. It is important to us that we work together with the students to find a solution and do not prescribe anything,” says Jan de Haan. The students, eleven active members in total, work in teams of two. Individual counselling appointments can be requested and arranged by email. “We also hold workshops,” says Alex Rieger. The interest in counselling is great, especially towards the end of the semester the number of cases increases, says Rieger. “We would like to see more people from other disciplines so that we can continue to expand our counselling services,” says Karoline Misch.

About the prize

The prize winners were nominated by the universities in Lower Saxony. The selection was made by the Lower Saxony Scientific Commission. The Science Prize was awarded for the 15th time. The most recent award winners from TU Braunschweig were physics professor Stefanie Kroker (award for young scientists) and Master’s student Michael Perk (both 2020), as well as physics student Corinna Schäfer (2019), Prof. Dr. Regina Toepfer and Dr. Wiebke Ohlendorf in the teaching category (2018) and the team ERIG – ExperimentalRaumfahrt-InteressenGemeinschaft e.V. (2016).