10. July 2023 | Press releases:

New Professorship Connects Fraunhofer IST and TU Braunschweig Two new offices for Dr. Sabrina Zellmer

Joint press release of the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and Technische Universität Braunschweig

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer, head of department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST in Braunschweig, has taken on two new functions. In April, Dr. Zellmer was appointed Professor of Battery and Fuel Cell Process Technology at Technische Universität Braunschweig. Located at the Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT), the professorship strengthens the close cooperation between TU Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer IST. In addition, Prof. Sabrina Zellmer has been deputy director of the Fraunhofer IST since 1 July 2023.

For the past four years Sabrina Zellmer has been working at the Fraunhofer IST as head of the Department of Process and Production Engineering for Sustainable Energy Storage. She was appointed professor at TU Braunschweig on 15 April. The tenure-track professorship is part of the federal-state programme for the promotion of young scientists. The professorship expands the connection between the university and the Fraunhofer IST and will strengthen the joint profile in research and teaching on batteries and fuel cells.

Angela Ittel, President of TU Braunschweig: “With Sabrina Zellmer, we have been able to appoint a very successful young scientist to TU Braunschweig. We are proud of this, because it shows on the one hand our determined interest in attracting young female colleagues to our university and on the other hand our efforts to strategically develop joint appointments with non-university partners. Mrs. Zellmer’s position at Fraunhofer and the cooperation between Fraunhofer IST and TU Braunschweig will enormously enrich our research achievements in the field of energy storage systems of the future.”

In her doctoral dissertation – awarded the Manfred Hirschvogel Prize, given to all mechanical engineering faculties at TU9 universities by the Frank Hirschvogel Foundation, and the Johannes Möller Prize, awarded by the Möller Foundation for Science and Research – on the topic of “Kleinmolekül-Stabilisierung und Sprühtrocknung von Metalloxid-Nanopartikeln“ (Small molecule stabilisation and spray drying of metal oxide nanoparticles), Sabrina Zellmer already looked at the entire process chain of hierarchical particle structures from synthesis, stabilisation and functionalisation to processing and application. “I would now like to pick up where I left off with my work at the university,” Zellmer explains.

“One focus will be the (re)synthesis of functional materials for batteries and fuel cells.” The processing of metal anodes and development of protective and boundary layers, the processing and recycling of batteries and fuel cells, and the chemical, physical and electrochemical characterisation of procedural processes along the process chain of batteries and fuel cells are further focal points of her research activities. “I am very much looking forward to doing research with the students and getting them excited about my subject areas,” explains the professor.

In future, Sabrina Zellmer will also act as the new deputy director of the Fraunhofer IST. The previous deputy institute director, Dr. Lothar Schäfer, retired at the end of June. “In my new function as deputy institute director I would like to take the Fraunhofer IST further forward and to thank for the trust placed in me,” says Zellmer. “I will contribute my skills in the best possible way in order to develop sustainable technical and conceptual solutions for a wide range of industries along the entire process chain together with all employees.” Institute Director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Herrmann adds: “We are pleased that Sabrina Zellmer will also be involved as the new Deputy Institute Director in connection with the appointment. This function underlines the close ties between the Fraunhofer IST and TU Braunschweig.”

About the person

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer studied Bioengineering with a focus on “Mechanical Process Engineering” at Technische Universität Braunschweig. From 2011 to 2019, she worked at the Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT) at TU Braunschweig, among others as team leader for the area of “Particle Functionalisation” and as junior research group leader in the research field “All-Solid-State Batteries” (ASSB) in the Battery LabFactory Braunschweig (BLB). In 2020, she successfully completed her doctorate at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Since 2019 Sabrina Zellmer has been working at the Fraunhofer IST as head of department for “Process and Production Engineering for Sustainable Energy Storage”. Her focus is on material and process development as well as the development of sustainable process chains and factory systems, especially with regard to battery and hydrogen technologies.