This is the more personal part of our institute. You can get to know us a bit better and get a feeling for what to expect when you are thinking about to join the CTO-Team!
After a break of more than two years, this popular CTO tradition was revived. Again, the best of the best competed in a contest that praises the one with the best stomach. The last time, a bachelor's student won, so the next PhD student in line to organise this contest was Christoph. He did a great job and all our cravings for sausages were fulfilled. The competition was quite close, and the last minutes were decisive. After 2 hours and a huge amount of sausages, the master student Andreas took home the `The Dune Buggy´ - the trophy of this eating and drinking contest.
To welcome the students back after the semester break the JKU organised a volleyball match. Five of our colleagues participated with great success since the CTO team reached second place. Due to a USI class hosted by Associate Professor DI Dr Clemens Schwarzinger the CTO team is trained very well and blocking is no problem.
Congratulations and we are looking forward to beach volleyball matches in spring and summer.
Schatzi schenk mir ein Foto
In order to enjoy the sunshine, even more, a few colleagues spent two days in the amazing skiing region `Hochkönig´. Since our technician Karl is a highly experienced skier, he led us the way and showed us the best downhill runs.
After a sunbath, a cold beverage and delicious food, our muscles were relaxed and ready to go on. A little bit exhausted we let the evening end with Italian food and drinks. The second skiing day started with a nice breakfast at the hotel and we went back to the slopes. Again the weather was perfect and fortunately, nobody was hurt.
Is there a better way to start the new year than with a `celebration´ ?
We are proud to say that our colleague Gernot Hubner has successfully passed his final exam and is now called Mr. G, MSc. Since big celebrations are to be avoided at this time, Gernot invited us to pizza for lunch.
We wish you all the best for your career in chemistry.
Our colleague, Associate Professor DI Dr. Clemens Schwarzinger, took part in the `GEM-A Photographer of the Year Competition´ and he secured the winning position with his sparkling ‘The Christmas Star’, which was also used for the cover image of the current issue of GEM-A.
Congratulation on your award-winning photo and we are looking forward to further astonishing photos of your gems.
Last year just before Christmas we still had the hope that this year would turn out much better than the last. But: “When man starts planning, god starts smiling!” So, still no end to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we achieved a lot together as a team, a highlight certainly being the successful participation of many colleagues of our institute at the Polymer Meeting in Graz.
With this, we wish you a nice festive season, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of us!
On this day, our colleague Klara Saller finished her study as she passed her defence for the PhD-thesis. Due to the recent changes in the Covid-19 safety measures, the presentation took place online and we were not able to celebrate this success as usual, but the traditional toast to the graduate was possible with enough space. Fortunately, Klara will stay at the institute as a post-doc for some time.
So Klara, …hit it baby one more time!
Last but not least, Anna Pfeifer graduated as fifth in a row. Nevertheless, she finished her master studies without any problems. Although she was working externally, she has always been welcomed warmly at the institute. We wish you all the best for your future.
Run like Hell
8 °C, sunshine and veering wind: Almost perfect running conditions.
The running boom infected the institute and therefore, 12 people in 3 relays were competing in the 19th Oberbank Linz Marathon. All in all, it took us about 4 hours to reach the finish line at the `Hauptplatz´ and several new personal records were set. We are looking forward to the next running events.
The fourth party in a short time was celebrated in honour of Katharina Reisz. She finished her master studies in cooperation with the competence centre Wood Kplus very successfully. After the defence and her last oral exams, Katharina served us delicious specialities from Upperaustria and drinks.
Thank you again for letting us celebrate with you. We will wish you all the best for your future goals.
The third master student who finished was Doris Ostner. After the final exam in the afternoon, which Doris passed brilliantly without any problems, she invited us to a small celebration with lasagne and drinks. We celebrated the rest of the day and enjoyed the food as well as the drinks.
Thank you Doris for the invitation to your celebration and we wish you all the best for your plans in the future!
Second, in line was the graduation of Maria Wolfsgruber. In cooperation with the Lenzing AG, Maria mastered the complex background of wood and especially, lignin. The celebration started after her successful defence and we were served an excellent `Brettljausn´ with beer, wine and other delicious things. We wish Maria all the best for her future career and good luck in Sweden and for her PhD studies!
On the 5th of October, Elias Rippatha started the annual season of diploma graduates. During his master thesis, Elias plunged into the world of beer and tried to optimise the analytics. As a result, his graduation party was also celebrated with beer and also with `Berliner Luft´. We are also happy that Elias continues to stay at the CTO institute since he is pursuing a PhD. Thank you for the wonderful celebration!
Born to Run
Due to the corona crisis, running became more and more popular. So the same happened at CTO. Besides the usual sportive suspects, also others were motivated to run through the nightly skyline of Linz. Here you find a slideshow of photos taken before the 5.2 km run and the well deserved treat afterwards from `Leberkas Pepi´.
We're Young, So We Can.
Our colleague Ruth-Sophie Taubner was part of the scientific team of JKU in the new program `critical Bim´. This Thursday, six scientists stated some facts and about 40 students of the `BRG SolarCity´ and the `HAK Auhof´ had to decide if the facts were `fact´ or `fake´. All in all, the goal of this program is to encourage criticalthinking, interdisciplinarity, and creativity.
Due to the bad weather we were forced to seek for alternatives for our annual institute trip. As a result, we decided for the 'Höhenrausch' in Linz. Next to impressive art works, a wooden tower offered us a marvellous view over the city. Afterwards, we went to a restaurant called 'Die Donauwirtinnen'. To conclude a perfect day, the institute was remodelled to a cinema where popcorn and mojitos were served. We are happy to have such a good working environment!
We will meet again...
After one and a half years of online meetings and video calls, we could finally meet again in person with our fellow colleagues from different European countries. Within the framework of the 14th Polymer Meeting in Graz, a major part of our institute contributed to the program, either with a poster or a talk. All in all, the conference gave us (especially the ones who have never been on such an event) an important insight into the international world of academic conferences. We were very happy to get this part of the scientific world back and we are looking forward to the next conferences.
In the same manner as last year, our institute supported the JKU and the JKU Open Lab concerning the science holidays - a program to entertain children of different ages. Again, we looked after children of different age groups for two weeks and supervised the experiments there. Children from 6 to 8 years discovered the 4 elements (fire, water, earth, air) with the help of mascot Molly. From 9 to 11 years the children explored our galaxy and different planets. From 12 to 14 years the task was to escape the lab in a self-made escape game. In cooperation with the JKU Open Lab, it was our pleasure to carry out all these experiments with the children, who also had their fun and enjoyed the time..
What a lovely day! Finally, the summer is here and the Corona restrictions are relaxed. As a result, it is time to celebrate the institute members and all graduates of the last months. The weather was perfect and at night the meteor shower of the perseids was the reason for many wishes. Other highlights were the barbecue skills of Prof. Schwarzinger, who was our grillmaster, and the self-brewed beer under the auspices of Prof. Bretterbauer. Generally, all members contributed to the celebration in order to be a huge success.
If you want to make your children brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want to make them more brilliant, tell them more fairy tales.
- Albert Einstein
Our colleague Ruth-Sophie Taubner does not tell them fairy tales, but she wants children to understand her enthusiasm for science. In the newest edition of the `Kepler Tribünchen´ Ruth is encouraging the next generation of scientists to question nature critically and to worship the progress based on science. Let´s take a look at the newest edition of the magazine.
On this Monday, our beloved colleague Michael Müller achieved his goal - his PhD graduation. Fortunately, we were able to hold the festivity in the customary manner. After the traditional shooting of the sparkling wine cork, Michael provided us a delicious meal made of roasted pork and dumplings. Since you started the tradition of the so called `Gstanzl singen´, we were happy to brighten your day with our self-wirtten poetry.T he celebration lastet the whole evening and the singing and dancing brought so much joy.
Thank you Dr. Müller for your vivid and sparkling personality and your supportive mind. We wish you all the best for your futute plans and hope you will visit us anytime.
On Monday, 05.07.2021, our colleague Laura Probst finished her master studies without any problems. Due to the nice weather, we were able to celebrate her success in the `Lui Gastgarten´ with self-made `Chilli con Carne´ and other goodies. The celebration then lasted the remaining evening and even longer for others.
We wish our colleague all the best for her future.
As publications are the essential part of scientific institutions, we are happy to announce an article published in the newspaper "OÖ Nachrichten" with the title "Wie man mit Methan das Klima schonen kann" this weekend.
We are proud of our colleagues Ruth-Sophie Taubner and Sara Zwirtmayr.
Nie mehr Schule
In the last month, two colleagues of ours reached their goals by accomplishing their DI. On March 31st Eva Maria Reindl successfully finished her master studies. Although she was working externally, she has always been welcomed warmly at the institute. Well done, Eva! We wish you all the best.
About a week later, Felix Leibetseder has also accomplished his diploma on April 9th. As it is still Corona time, we celebrated his achievement with a glass of sparkling wine. We wish you the very best for your future endeavours.
On the birthday of Chuck Norris (10th of March) our colleague Gerold `Rollo´ Rittenschober has finished his PhD studies. Due to the current situation the examination and the defensio of his thesis took place online. But neither Covid-19 nor the safety distance could stop the obligatory shooting of the cork. Congratulations Dr. Ollo!
In order to appreciate the nice weather, some of our colleagues took a day off and went for a ski trip to Hinterstoder. Due to the current situation, the planned two-daytrip was shortened to one day full of snow, sun, and schnapps. Luckily, sunburns were the only severe injuries that occurred, although some of the stunts were worth seeing. As a perfect finale after a long and exhausting day, the Schütz family treated everyone with a round of free beer, and the outdoor trip naturally provided enough space for a baby elephant between each of us.
Shortly before Christmas, our institute experienced the loss of three long-term colleagues. While Gunnar Spiegel and Stephan Schwarz have finished at an earlier date and stayed at the institute as scientific project assistants, Christoph graduated from his PhD studies on 18.12.2020.
`Mr. IT´ aka Gunnar Spiegel has done a great job at our institute. Not only he was an excellent researcher, but he also brought the institute to the 21st century since he was the driving force behind the digitalisation and modernisation of the digital infrastructure. He has been so long at the institute, we sincerely thought about giving him an inventory number. Thank you, for being the institute´s dad and helping everybody with all of our technical problems.
In addition to his skills in the laboratory, Stephan Schwarz has shown outstanding performances in the kitchen. In the last few years, Stephan has spoiled us with different dishes including roast pork. Thank you for the marvellous time and your help at the institute.
Last but not least, Christoph has grown an important part of the CTO team. After he has planned an institute excursion (2018, Dachstein Krippenstein) we all knew why he was the `sporty spice´ in our `spice world´. Thank you for keeping us fit and for all the advice you offered.
We wish all of them the best for their future and you will always be welcome at the CTO.
This year presented us all with great challenges, both professionally and privately. Nevertheless, we were able to achieve a lot together as an institute. Since it is unfortunately not possible to realise a christmas party this year due to COVID-19, our "Santa Claus" visited us at the institute today. We would like to thank Prof. Paulik for the kind gift and we are looking forward to another good collaboration in 2021.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2021!
The last couple of months were quite challenging for all of us. For some of our team the time passed was even a greater challenge than for others, because they performed their final master examination or doctoral viva. Although we couldn’t celebrate these achievements all together as we are used to, we are very happy for our colleagues.
Dear Simon, Anna, Lukas, Matea and Patricia, congratulations for mastering your studies! We wish you all the best for your upcoming future and want to (virtually) toast on your success!
For our extreme sport enthusiasts, three of our colleagues (Sara, Thomas and Daniel) participated in one of this year’s few possible events for Triathlon in Blindenmarkt, Lower Austria. On the 15th of August, we arrived energized for the race and equipped with our bikes. After exhausting 750 m swimming, 20 km biking, and 5.1 km of running, everyone made it to the finish line with a respectable finishing time. We are proud for our accomplishments and are certainly hungry for more!
Despite the missing opportunities due to COVID for celebrations on our institute, we still engage in sporty activities with colleagues of ours. Thomas, Daniel, Viktoria, Sara, Clemens, and Lukas gathered for a special Squash afternoon.
Also, since the University opened a new beach volleyball court, we had to test the waters and properly induct the new court. Despite some accidents where our volleyballs landed in the university pond, we still had great fun playing volleyball.
Science Holidays 2020
At the JKU 600 children from 6 to 14 years had the possibility to attend to an exciting program consisting of workshops, seminars and excursions. Many different fields of interest like natural sciences, technology and medicine were covered by this program.
In the JKU Open Lab our institute looked after children of different age groups for two weeks and supervised the experiments there. Children from 6 to 8 years discovered the 4 elements (fire, water, earth, air) with the help of mascot molly. From 9 to 11 years the children went on a manhunt and investigated evidence in order to convict a suspect or help an innocent person. From 12 to 14 years the task was to take a journey through the world of photography and to see how a photo emerges. In cooperation with the JKU Open Lab it was our pleasure to carry out all these experiments with the children, who also had their fun and enjoyed the time.
Biopolymer Days (on-line conference)
Lecture by Professor Paulik on 17th June, 2020 at the Biopolymer Days 2020, opens an external URL in a new window
Vote your Prof 2.0
We are very pleased to announce that Prof. Paulik has won a "Vote your Prof 2.0" award in the category: Evaluation of online learning. The prize is hosted by the AktionsGemeinschaft (AG)Linz at the Johannes Kepler University.
He reached the 3rd place in the TNF - Faculty!
This nomination means that Prof. Paulik has been chosen by numerous students among professors at JKU who has mastered the transition to distance learning during corona crisis best. Especially in times of crisis it is important to ensure stability for students by providing organized courses and continuity.
The prize will be handed over by AG representatives personally at the beginning of next semester.
Our trip to “Haus im Ennstal” started in the wee hours of the morning in Linz with a fully packed car. Once we met Prof. Paulilk at our destination, we made our way to the ski lift. After the first practice swings and a proper refreshment in the hut, we ventured on a ski route, where we mastered the deep powder snow. A little bit exhausted we let the evening end with bowling and with pizza and drinks. The second skiing day started with nice breakfast at the hotel and we went back to the slopes. Our little adventure came to an end after 2 days and we were lucky to return to Linz without any major injuries.
Since the dawn of man people have gathered to test their will and strength in all kinds of contests such as the Olympic Games. The "Bier und Würstchen" competition follows this principle. The basic rules are simple: Points are scored by eating sausages and drinking beer. As this tradition evolved rules were added and now strategic thinking is a necessity to endure the competition.
Christoph proved worthy in the last gathering to acquire the insignia everybody strives for: The Dune Buggy. The Code of Bier und Würstchen commanded him to arrange the next contest which took place on February 20th. After two hours of eating and drinking the buggy was awarded to the bachelor student Simon.
In a year the contest will be held again, and Simon will either keep the Buggy or pass it to his successor to fulfill the prophecy: There can be only one.
After a long time without celebrations, we had on 13th February finally again the chance to honor our colleague from Wood K Plus Lukas. He finished his master studies without any problems. After his great defense, he invited the whole CTO team and friends for some drinks and delicious Chinese food, including fried noodles and rice with a variation of vegetables and chicken souses. As dessert he served us “periodic” table Sacher cake and other sweet cookies. The celebration then lasted the remaining evening.
We wish our colleague all the best for his future and are pleased to say that he will stay our colleague for more years to do his PhD at Wood K Plus.
21st European Symposium on Polymer Spectroscopy (ESOPS)
For 50 years now the European Symposium on Polymer Spectroscopy (ESOPS, opens an external URL in a new window) has provided a platform for discussing current research and developments in spectroscopic characterization and analysis of polymer systems. This year the Symposium took place at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. Our institute for chemical technology of organic materials organized this event, which had the following main topics: FTIR, Raman, NMR, Spectroscopic Imaging, Mass Spectroscopy and further new developments and applications in the field of polymer spectroscopy. 70 participants including specialized scientists from academia and industry and those wishing to get an insight of the latest Achievements shared their knowledge in talks, poster sessions and discussions. On Tuesday evening, the conference dinner at “Pöstlingberg Schlössl, opens an external URL in a new window” took place where the participants were able to enjoy an excellent 5-course menu and nice conversations.
We relished hosting this symposium and look forward to participating in another city next time.
Because NO is not an answer
Our colleague Viktoria had a successful start into the new year as she finished her master study and successfully passed her examination on January 10th in good old “No is not an answer” manner :D. For the traditional toast, we gathered at the organic chemistry institute at the 3rd floor. Following that, we continued celebrating at our institute. Certainly, nobody had to starve as our physical well-being was taken care of by a homemade cold platter and various desserts made by Viktoria and her family.
We had a great time with you as we celebrated throughout the afternoon and evening. And as your attitude perfectly fits a true CTO member, we are very happy that you will stay with us throughout the PhD thesis as well!
On the 20th of December the CTO Team had the chance to celebrate one last time before the holidays. Only 22 days after his welcome party our colleague from Wood K Plus, Christoph, had a good reason to invite the team again since he finished his master studies on said day. Needless to say he passed all parts of his examinations with flying colours.
Shortly after that the CTO-Team was in for a real treat since Christoph’s mom is a professional chef and he is a passionate cook himself. Subsequently the team celebrated the success with Christoph in an orderly manner.
We wish our colleague all the best for his future endeavours and are pleased to say that he will stay our colleague for another couple of years to do his PhD at Wood K Plus.
On December 12th we were invited to our institute Christmas party in the restaurant "Fratelli". Almost traditionally, we started together at our institute with a small beer tasting of our home-brewed beers. Then we were allowed to fill our bellies in the restaurant with Italian delicacies, a few glasses of wine and beer and many funny conversations. It was a very nice evening which many of us extended in the casino and a subsequent "bar rally" through the old town until dawn.
Many thanks to Professor Paulik for this wonderful evening, by the way without any affairs and black outs ;-).
On the 28th of November we seized the opportunity to celebrate two “new” arrivals to our team: Christoph and Lukas, both students working on their master theses at Wood K Plus and CTO.
While Lukas joined us in September, the sit together was just in time for Christoph after being part of the CTO team for 9 months and his plan to finish his master studies before Christmas.
The two of them indulged us with self-made goulash, (cheese) spaetzle and other delicacies. Thank you for your generosity and welcome (now officially) to our team!
After hard work, a lot of challenging analysis, now everything sticks together perfectly. Now, Magdalena is able to leave all this behind her and reached her goal, accomplishing her DI. After her successful defense, she provided the whole CTO team and friends delicious different filled giant-prezels. The celebration then lasted the remaining evening. Playing funny games and eating the best rice as midnight snack.
Magdalena thank you very much for your hospitality and all the best for your round-trip and of course also for your future plans and dreams.
For the traditional welcome party our new master students Anna and Helge delighted us with sausages, vegetarian spreads and chocolate cake. We had some beers and lots of laughter. Afterwards the remaining colleagues went to the AHL cellar bar to continue celebrating with our new member.
Thank you, Anna and Helge, for the nice evening and may you enjoy your time at the CTO institute.
Space for 7 Sins
At the institute we have our own brewery where we create different craft beers for quite some time now. With a growing number of self-brewed beers, the increasing knowledge and the existing ambition we finally developed the idea of a series. However, this sequence of beers should not be too small in numbers – due to this thinking the seven sins have been created. Related to the sins, seven different beers have been brewed. Thereby it is important to remember that craft beer does not mean standard beer. With this series a wide range of colors, flavors and beer styles is covered. In the end we wanted to share our outcome with as many people as possible. On 19th of November the showdown took place. A well-organized event with a small buffet and a presentation of all beers served as festive occasion. Of course, there on the one hand we savor our creations. However, on the other hand we also showed our current research topics.
After all, this late afternoon was a nice come together with many interesting conversations. Also, the consensus about the seven sins was very positive which of course makes us very proud. Moreover, it encourages us to keep on creating craft beers. Hereby we also want to thank Prof. Paulik. With his support he made it possible for us to experience this area of interest.
Andreas defended his diploma on the exact day Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived back in the “future”, on October 21st 2015. Scarcely 4 years later he finished his PhD. To my knowledge no Terminator or other creatures from the future arrived back here.
But most importantly Andi successfully defended his PhD-thesis and as we are accustomed to, he spoiled us with a lavish feast with many friends and faces from the past. Three different types of craft beer, pizza, lard and rich brezel’s were to choose from and set as a reminder of the good old days and typical student food.
We will miss fooling around, the blabbing and you entertaining us. You are welcome to visit us anytime. Furthermore, the very best wishes for your future, many thanks and our sincerest congratulation to your achievement.
The annual “Junganalytikerforum” provides a platform for young scientists in all fields of analytical chemistry to present their work on their master or PhD thesis.
Organized by our colleagues from the Institute of Analytical Chemistry, the event was an opportunity to meet fellow students from different Austrian universities and get insight into current topics of analytical chemistry.
Our institute was represented by Klara giving a talk about MALDI/ToF-mass spectrometry.
On the 21st of September Gerold started his journey to California. Travelling over the Golden Gate Bridge he arrived in Rohnert Park where the conference Advances in Polyolefins (APO 2019, opens an external URL in a new window) was held for the next four days. 135 participants from academia and the industry shared their knowledge in talks, poster sessions and discussions. The presentations covered a broad range of topics including organometallic chemistry, polymer characterisation, computer modelling, industrial applications and synthesis of novel materials. The evening receptions with a large selection of food, beer and wine gave a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
18th Austrian Chemistry Days
This autumn, the 18th Austrian Chemistry Days took place at the Johannes Kepler University, here in Linz. This scientific “home match” was well attended by many members of our institute. The participants used the opportunity to present their research findings in the form of poster exhibitions. While Lukas, Regina, Thomas, Klara, Christoph, Gottfried, Matea and Raphaela exchanged their scientific expertise, our professors Christian Paulik and Clemens Schwarzinger moderated two sessions of speeches dealing with environmental and sustainable chemistry.
In the course of the conference, both basic research and applied sciences from various fields of chemistry had been imparted. The event was organized by the Society of Austrian Chemists (GÖCH) under the banner of „Chemistry between Science and Industry“. For this purpose partners from industry joined in via exhibitions and sponsorship.
After one and a half years have passed, we attended again a teambuilding event. This time we spent two days at the seminar hotel in Wesenufer, opens an external URL in a new window, starting from Thursday morning until Friday afternoon.
In a first session we went through the outcomes from the first teambuilding and discussed in which way the rules we set up back then had changed the way we interact with each other. Another task for example was to figure out our strengths and weaknesses as a team within a “SWOT”-analysis. Following this, we then tried to define certain steps in order to make existing weaknesses to a chance for development. In the major part of the seminar, however, we dealt with the expectations we have towards us and others at out department. Afterwards those points got discussed intensively and the one or the other misunderstanding could eventually be dispelled.
It has been again two very gainful days. We want to express our thanks to Günther Schackmann, the coach from “Keytrain, opens an external URL in a new window” who we already know from the first teambuilding seminar and to Prof. Paulik for giving us the opportunity to keep on developing
12th ECCE & 5th ECAB, Florence, Italy
From 15th until 19th of September our colleague Sara attended the 12th European Congress of Chemical Engineering and the 5th European Congress of Applied Biotechnology (ECCE 12 & ECAB 5, opens an external URL in a new window) in Florence, Italy. Over 1000 participants came together at the conferences and six plenary lectures, 12 parallel sessions, and three poster sessions took place at the congress centre Fortezza Da Basso over five days. A variety of topics were touched and lead from Chemical Reaction Engineering over Bioenergy & Biofuels to Sustainable Processes.
On the first day, Sara had her talk about the topic “High throughput screening of methanogens under high pressure”. During coffee breaks and in the evenings, she discussed current topics with other PhD students and the industry partners from Krajete GmbH, who also attended the conference. The conference dinner took place on Wednesday evening. The participants went to the basilica, where several specialties from Italy got served. The participants enjoyed nice conversations during a band was playing music.
Florence is a beautiful city and Sara will certainly remember visiting parts of the old town, the fascinating cathedral, and this conference.
It was on a Friday the 13th… It was the time where mysterious things happen… The mystery of achieving the PhD. Fortunately, none of us is superstitious and so it was the time…to celebrate with Dr. Gunnar Spiegel!!!
We sincerely congratulate you Gunnar and thank you for the wonderful time we could spend together. Not only the time on Friday where you spoiled us with delicious goulash á la Mama, but also the months and years before where we became friends. You are a unique and essential member to the CTO and we are deeply happy for you, having accomplished your studies. Additionally, we are also happy for us, that you are not leaving us for a few more months.
For your future we wish you all the very best and are looking forward to the time we still spend together.
The JKU Early Research Achievement Award was created to honor outstanding scientific achievements of young scientists at the JKU. 36 young researchers who have already completed their dissertation or have published one or more high-profile publications in the course of their dissertation were honored. One of our colleagues DI Patricia Pappenreiter received this Award for her cooperation and essential experiments for the publication of “Biological methane production under putative Enceladus-like conditions, opens an external URL in a new window” in the renowned journal “Nature communications”. After the solemn presentation by faculty director Pabel for the Faculty of Law and faculty director Pernsteiner for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, and faculty director Müller for the Faculty of Science and Science and Vice-Rector Egyed as the first well-wishers, a buffet invited all Award winners, family and friends for a little party afterwards.
Once in a great while…
a fine young lady roamed the wastelands of northwestern Germany and indeed ventured through the dungeons of the TNF-tower, the horrific high-pressure labs. Her mission: Achieve a master’s degree in technical chemistry. Mission accomplished on 2nd of September 2019. Congratulations Julia, many songs are to be sung upon your glory, the deeds of your comrades in arms and the plentiful banquet, worthy gods.
We are happy you will join us for more adventures again and wander through the halls of Rollo and half-gods.
This year's trip led us to Burghausen to our former colleague Manuela List. Burghausen is a small medieval town behind the border in the south of Bavaria. Fortunately, the title is therefore a little deceptive and our colleague Karl, he was also our bus driver for the excursion, did not have to pick us up too soon in the morning in Linz. Our former colleague Manuela is now working at the FH Burghausen and showed us her new workplace in a small guided tour through the FH and the laboratories. For lunch we stopped at the old Klostergasthof Raitenhaslach. Our next stop on the programme took us to an old hammer mill. We got a very interesting insight into the old craft and were even allowed to try our skills on the anvil. At the end we drove back to Linz and had a fun evening in Linz to finish this year's trip in style.
Visit to the fire train ground Linz
Together with the professional fire brigade, our Institute held a fire safety event at the fire train ground in Linz. We had a closer look upon the reactivity of chemicals used in the local chemical industry and our laboratories. As part of this event, we provided highly flammable solvents as well as very air sensitive chemicals. Due to safety reasons these chemicals had to be lighted from the distance, while a drop hammer served as long-distance igniter. All of us were able to see the power, tiny amounts of liquid with high reaction energy, can cause. Afterwards, every one of us got the chance to extinguish a fire and later having a closer look at the fire brigade trucks.
We really appreciate and want to thank the fire brigade of Linz for making this event happen. We look forward for an iteration!
At the end of August, it was time for a delicious barbecue with friends of the institute and corporate partners. Regina took care of the organization of this event and everybody had some task to do to make this evening a nice concurrence. Not only did we serve several types of meat and sausages, but also many side dishes and salads as well as different cakes to completely fill our bellies. One self-brewed beer, one barrel of beer sponsored by the Brauunion and many different soft drinks slaked the thirst of all guests. Besides the starting rain in the late evening the weather was favourable for the barbecue and did not interrupt this evening.
Thanks for the good mood and the nice talks. Until next time!
Reviving an old tradition, a group of CTO members took the train on Friday, the 23th of August, to the beautiful city of Salzburg. After a nice walk on the Kais of Salzburg and climbing the Mönchsberg to enjoy a magnificent view of the fortress and Salzburg‘s old town, the explorers discovered an ancient monastery.
As it happened, the Augustinian Friars served home-brewed beer as well as delicacies of bread, pork, potatoes, and reddish. What a delightful finish to our cultural trip.
After a long and endless fight against all sorts of fragmentation patterns, Tanja is now able to leave the pyrolysis analysis behind, even though she might miss it sometimes we reckon. After her successful defence, Tanja invited us to celebrate with her at our Institute. She served a delicious cold plate with a variety of different side dishes. As if that were not enough, she brought heaps of different cakes with even a two-tier one. After getting an enormous sugar shock, we sat together in good company for the rest of the evening.
We wish you all the best for your future plans and your next steps in the business life.
Congratulations to our dear colleague from WoodK Plus Raphaela aka Boni. Her hard work finally paid off and she celebrated her achievement with friends and family. Raphaela spoiled us with some roasted pork belly and bread dumplings as well as some homemade cakes for desert. After gorging on delicious food, we sat together all evening to revel Boni’s accomplishment.
We are looking forward to spending 3 more years with you during your PhD Thesis.
As a refreshing alternative, Viktoria and Manuel came up with the idea to order African food from Tamu Sana for their welcome party. After filling our bellies with beef, chicken, and vegetable curry, we enjoyed a delightful evening together with our new and now officially introduced collegues.
Thank you for the delicious meal and your nice company. We are all looking forward to continu-ing our good work together.
CTO cake contest
The battle was fought, the bellies had to perform at their best and we didn't need a dentist ;). The final result is fixed after two countings:
With a top performance in the categories dough and cream Tanja could secure the second place. Due to the slippery surface on the way to work she had to suffer losses in the category optics and could not prevail against the optically brilliant competitor Thomas. With the even more sophisticated chocolate glaze and the lead in the overall impression, he won with 770 to 610 points.
Congratulations and a big thank you to the two outstanding Pâtissières.
5th Blue Sky Conference, Sorrento, Italy
Last summer, at the end of June, the 5th Blue Sky Conference, opens an external URL in a new window on “Catalytic Olefin Polymerization” took place in Sorrento. Our institute was represented by our colleague Lukas Göpperl with a poster on the subject of Improvement of comonomer incorporation due to temperature variation in the heat treatment of Ziegler Natta catalysts. This year a whole day of the conference was dedicated to the topic of plastics recycling, a topic, which is not immediately spotlighted by the title of the conference. Alongside highly regarded professors from this field of research, representatives of major manufacturers of plastics joined in a panel discussion at the University of Naples and discussed concepts for the future handling of plastic waste. In addition to this area, new research in the field of catalyst development for applications in the field of plastics and closely related topics were presented on the remaining days.
The conference took place in Sorrento, a small town on the coast near Naples, which with its wonderful Mediterranean ambience rounded off the conference very beautiful.
To celebrate his new job as an assistant professor, Klaus invited the whole institute for a nice welcome party on 19th June. Spareribs were served as the main meal as well as some side dishes. One or another beer and wine was consumed until the remaining revellers moved to the WIST summer barbecue to continue partying.
We are glad that you are here at our institute to actively support us and wish you all the best and good times for the next few years with us.
We welcome MSc Adriana Pérez Yáñez, our new Erasmus+ traineeship, who will be working with the Functional Polymers Team of Klaus Bretterbauer for the next couple of weeks. We wish Adriana a great time and successful syntheses!
13th PRE, Hamburg, Germany
From 11th until 14th of June we attended the 13th International Workshop on Polymer Reaction Engineering (PRE, opens an external URL in a new window) in Hamburg. There we heard interesting talks about emulsion polymerization, analytical methods, and simulation and modelling. We presented our posters about sol-gel reactions, opens an external URL in a new window, 3D printable polyolefins, opens an external URL in a new window, and calorimetric catalyst studies, opens an external URL in a new window. During coffee breaks and in the evenings, we discussed current topics with other PhD students and industry partners from all over the world. On Thursday evening we had the conference dinner. The participants went to MAZZA, a restaurant where we got served several specialties from Syria and enjoyed nice conversations. Hamburg is a beautiful city, we will certainly remember visiting the Speicherstadt, parts of the old town, the Elbphilharmonie and this conference.
Attendees: Prof. Christian Paulik, Gunnar Spiegel, Thomas Kisling, Daniel Pernusch
On 31st of May Clemens and Klara started their journey to Sendai, Japan, to attend this year’s International Symposium on Polymer Analysis and Characterization (ISPAC, opens an external URL in a new window).
The conference started on the 2nd of June with one day of short courses in which Clemens gave an insight in polymer analysis using thermal degradation. On the following day he spoke about mass spectrometry applied on polymers. Klara contributed a poster on characterization of polyesters using conventional and mass spectrometric methods.
Apart from the scientific program they enjoyed the nice company of the other international participants, delicious as well as interesting local food, and a wonderful excursion to Matsushima bay.
Years of hard work finally paid off. On 8th of May our colleague from Profactor Annika Wagner finished her study as she passed her defense for the PhD-thesis. In order to celebrate, she invited us to delicious spareribs and plenty of side dishes. After being spoiled by the meal and drinks, we continued to celebrate throughout the evening. We certainly enjoyed our time with you and had a great evening together!
Congratulations for finishing your PhD-thesis, Annika! We wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Our colleague Stephan Schwarz obtained his doctorate after hard work on 7th May. After his defense, he spoiled us with delicious, homemade roast pork and hand-rolled bread dumplings. Well-fortified we celebrated until late in the evening.
We thank you for the great celebration and are glad that you will stay with us for a while.
Congratulations for finishing your PhD-thesis, Stephan!
Time to say good bye – and this time we have to say good bye to Mirsime Dema. But not without celebrating together reaching her goal, accomplishing her DI. Thank you, Mirsime for the wonderful time we could spend together and thank you for having a wonderful party with you and your family and friends. Mirsime provided delicious filled giant-prezels and a great variety of beverages for us to toast on her success.
We wish you all the best for your future challenges – even though the challenge brings you sleepless nights :)
March is just over and our colleague Daniel got an opportunity to do his final exam at the afternoon, which he passed with ease and therefore finished his studies. In order to acknowledge this success appropriately he invited all of us as well as his family to join a delicious lasagne (the meat variant as well as vegetarian). Afterwards he even spoiled us with a variation of homemade desserts.
The celebration then lasted the remaining evening. Thanks again for your hospitality and congratulations for achieving this aim.
From the 18th to the 19th of March, some of our colleagues exchanged their daily lab work to have fun with white powder. Without heavy falls or injuries, we spent two days skiing together in Hinterstoder, and some of us showed skier skill one would have never really expected. With perfect slope conditions, we covered lots of kilometers on our ski. As befits a perfect day of skiing, we enjoyed the traditional Germknödel and Kaspressknödelsuppe in the ski huts and ended the day with a fresh cold drink.
The Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) will work on the innovations of tomorrow and of course therefore, we are looking for the researchers of tomorrow. On 15.03.2019, everybody had the chance to get to know the LIT at the LIT OPEN HOUSE day. In order to give the young guests a little insight into chemistry, our institute joined the team to represent the chemistry department of the JKU with some fascinating experiments. The experiments could provide a stunning insight into the daily life of a chemist and for some of the students, who already started to think about a chemistry study, we could answer a few questions about the chemistry study at the JKU.
Aktionsgemeinschaft Linz – Vote Your Prof
Like the last years, the "Aktionsgemeinschaft" Linz carried out the campaign "Vote Your Prof" at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. In recognition of the best teaching for the benefit of the students, they handed over special "Mitch-trophies" every semester to the most popular professors in each faculty. The professors can obtain the golden, silver or bronze “Mitch-trophy”.
The students of the TN-faculty have again voted Prof. Paulik among the three best professors and therefore he received the silver Mitch.
Chemistry-Day in the NMS Eferding
Just like last year some of our colleagues (Regina, Lukas, Julia and Daniel) visited the NMS Eferding Nord, opens an external URL in a new window on March 4th. Yet again we prepared experiments to show pupils some fascinating things you can do in the chemistry and physics world. The spectators were very astonished by the experiments and especially by their relation to everyday life. Dry ice (fun with CO2, which showed the participants that CO2 can act as acid as well as fire extinguisher) or the investigation of different types of polymers (superabsorbent, the creation of Nylon 6.6 or the fact that some polymers react differently upon suspension to solvents such as acetone) did impress the pupils and showed them, how fascinating chemistry can be.
We surely had a great time at the NMS and were happy to give the pupils a closer understanding of everyday chemistry. We certainly will return next year with some of our colleagues!
As every student, one day has to leave university, our colleague Konstanze Kruta passed her masters exam about the topic “Synthesis and characterization of melamine-based resin precursors”. The festivity took place as usual on the 6th floor and Konstanze served plenty of delicious snacks, beverage and homemade desserts baked by her family. The celebrations lasted the rest of the day and everybody really enjoyed the conversations about studenthood and the time we spent together the last few months.
Thank you Konstanze for the nice afternoon. We enjoyed the time with you at the institute and we wish you only the best for your future – may you do well!
52 weeks a year on vacation...
Mission accomplished - sadly for us.
Our secretary Mrs. Sponsky retired with the end of January and we lost a “good soul”. Mrs. Sponsky was very popular among her colleagues due to her diligence and her calm, heartful attitude. We had the chance to celebrate a small farewell ceremony with an ample lunch and some old stories.
From the bottom of our hearts we wish Mrs. Sponsky a comfortable time with her family in her well-deserved retirement. Thank you (for the lunch as well)!
Our colleague Bastian had the pleasure to successfully defend his thesis on the “Synthesis and Characterization of Fumarate-Based Building Blocks” on January 28th. Feeling relieved about his achievement he invited us to celebrate with him and his family at our institute. Bastian served delicious roast pork with dumplings followed by heaps of tasty cakes. With our bellies full, we enjoyed the rest of the evening together.
Thank you again for letting us celebrate with you. We will wish you all the best for your ongoing external PhD thesis and your future goals.
Talk um 4 mit Bier
Mit Wissenschaft den Edelsteinen auf der Spur – Clemens Schwarzinger
On the 23rd of January 2019 Clemens Schwarzinger gave the first of a new series of talks. “Talk um 4 mit Bier” aims to present topics of all natural sciences to a broad audience consisting of professors, students as well as other interested people. After the presentation, all listeners are welcome to join discussions in a relaxed atmosphere drinking beer.
In this first talk, Clemens presented his research in the field of gemology. Under the motto “diamonds are forever” he explained different structures and appearances of the mineral, gave tips for investments and suggested synthesis routes for pet diamonds. Additionally, the listeners learned about testing for genuineness and correlations between elementary composition and origin of the stones.
From a choreographic reorganization of the classic Overture of Mozart's Magic Flute to the modern sound on the DJ desk of the JKU researchers - under the premise of "Futuristic Urban" the Johannes Kepler University Linz invited to the Sci Ball on 18th January 2019. Nearly 3,000 enthusiastic Guests followed the invitation.
The CTO was also well represented among the guests. It was danced diligently and chatted with "old" colleagues who have already left the institute. It was a really pleasant and funny evening. We hope for a repetition next year.
When it comes to education you are in the right place:
It so happened that Stephan found a new apprentice he could train his cooking skills: Patricia. He introduced her to his secrets of preparing a traditional roast pork with dumplings and braised kraut (Bratl mit Semmelknödel und Stöcklkraut) he himself once acquired from a long forgotten ancient recipe from his grand, grand, ...;).
Stephan was pleased by the skills the apprentice showed, both worked together well in preparation of this splendid meal, we all enjoyed very much. Thank you for the effort of yours and let’s hope there are more apprentices out there worth inaugurating to the secrets of good cooking.
Everyone loves cookies – so do we!
As chemists are good in cooking stuff in the laboratory, we wanted to test our baking skills in our kitchens. With our fancy 3-D printed Chemistry-Cookiecutters we created unique funny and delicious CTO-Cookies. In the category „Tastefulness and optical appearance“ the cookies convinced ourselfs by 10/10 points. Together with traditional Punsch and Glühmost we spent some cozy hours in our CTO-Lounge. Great thanks to the CTO-Stubenmusi: Klara (Violin), Patricia (Violin), Gottfried (Guitar), Michael (Accordeon) and the choir (all other CTO-members) for accompanying this afternoon with your christmas melodies.
Maybe, this wasn’t your last gig! ;)
As every year we were invited to our traditional office christmas party to the restaurant “Antebia". Starting with a little beer tasting happening where we were able to taste our latest self-brewed beers, we had a comforting evening. With a full belly, lots of laughters and drinks many of us prolonged by a "bar rally" to the Oldtown of Linz until dawn.
Our thanks go to Professor Paulik for this nice evening, btw. without any affairs or blackouts, what a pity ;).
Getting in shape - BMW seminar
Last year we had a teambuilding event and built our team, well, we continuously do that, people come, people finish and some stay. With the people our values shift a little and those “disturbances”enable us to evolve, to become better – if we allow it – and we do. This is why a series of lectures have been organized by our deputy head Clemens Schwarzinger.
Our lecturer “Susi”, a clear descendant of our Bavarian neighbours, with attitudes derived from Monika Gruber: straight, brutally honest, and constantly understating was fun to listen to. She broke down “agile projectmanagement” into interesting little pieces for us scientists, who we are trapped in our (project) spheres, which we should leave once in a while. Change management and tools like Kanban, Scrum were part of the content as we tried things out in well-disposed surroundings.
Thank you Clemens and Susi for this very nice opportunity to look above and beyond.
Our very ambitious colleague Stefan wanted to finish two Master’s degree programs – Technical Chemistry and Industrial Engineering & Technical Chemistry. In order to achieve this goal, he worked on a second master thesis and in the end, he had to pass a second master’s exam which he brilliantly did. As it is tradition already, he invited us to celebrate this success together. Stefan pampered us with a variation of cold cuts and bread rolls as well as many different side dishes. He also organised something to drink and even brought home-baked desserts for everybody. The celebrations then lasted until the end of the day and we all enjoyed the time together.
Thanks for your hospitality and once again congratulations for achieving this aim. Since you are leaving the institute now, we wish you all the best on your further journey and may you get some rest now – even though some challenging task might await you.
It was time for our new master students to follow the tradition of our institute: to organize a small celebration for all staff members. Julia and Tanja served Bavarian veal sausages with pretzels and pasta salad. It was a nice and long evening with lots of good laughs. We are happy that both joine our team and hope they have a great and funny time with us.
Our endearing colleague Theresa Kaltenbrunner passed her masters exam about the topic “Lactic acid recovery of brewers´spent grain” with flying colours. Therefore, the celebration started at 12:30 pm. For lunch, Theresa organized roast pork and spare ribs with sauerkraut and dumplings and as vegetarian alternative mushroom goulash. She even indulged us with a variation of desserts baked by her family. Beside the delicious meal, we got the opportunity to enjoy once again the taste of the excellent wine from the family business “Weingut Kaltenbrunner”. The festivity then lasted the rest of the day and we enjoyed the nice time together.
There we would like to thank you again for your hospitality and congratulations for achieving your aim. Unfortunately, you are leaving our institute but we wish you all the best on your further journey.
"Jungchemiker" - student lecture: Left and right handed in chemistry
On 4th of October, the "Jungchemiker" organized a lecture in Linz for students of the 7th and 8th grade, which was given by Prof. Dr. Waser (Institute of Organic Chemistry) and Prof. Dr. Paulik (Insitute of Chemical Technology of Organic Materials). Nearly 100 students were taught about the importance of stereochemistry and how properties of materials change only by changing the spatial arrangement of compounds. Prof. Dr. Waser started by explaining what you can imagine by enantiomeric pairs and how different their properties are. Also the thalidomide incident was not unmentioned. Prof. Dr. Paulik went on to explain catalysis in general, where it is used, what the tacticity of polpropylene has to do with sterchemistry, and how this effects its properties.
For the fifth time the "Aktionsgemeinschaft" Linz carried out the campaign "Vote Your Prof" at the Johannes Kepler University. In recognition of the best teaching for the benefit of the students, they handed over special "Mitch-trophies" every semester to the most popular professors in each faculty. The professors can obtain the golden, silver or bronze “Mitch-trophy”. The students of the TN-faculty have again voted Prof. Paulik among the three best professors and therfore he received the Mitch trophy in bronze.
Matea Perić and Raphaela Süss attended the 4th International Conference on Bio‑based Polymers and Composites (BiPoCo, opens an external URL in a new window), which took place at the beautiful Balaton Lake in Balatonfüred, Hungary.
The topics of the conference were production, usage, improvement, and recycling of biopolymers and their blends, as well as natural fiber reinforced polymers. During the four conference days more than 70 oral talks and 100 posters were presented in separate sessions. After the official program was finished, scientific discussion and friendly atmosphere continued during the sightseeing on the Tihany peninsula and wine tasting in Ferenc Pince Csarda. The banquet held in Baricska Csarda with traditional Hungarian dishes and Hungarian music was the perfect closure of the conference.
6th MBoA, Vienna, Austria
Our colleague Sara attended the 6th EMBO workshop of Molecular biology of archaea: From mechanisms to ecology (MBoA, opens an external URL in a new window) from 2nd-6th September in Vienna, Austria. She presented her work with a poster, which was about the topic “Screening of methanogens in a Simultaneous Bioreactor System (SBRS) with multiple determinations under high pressures conditions”. Sunday was just the day of arrival, including the relaxing parts like registration, poster mounting and welcome reception with Styrian wines. The next three day where separated into different sessions. They included topics like: Young Investigator Workshop (open topics), RNA Biology, CRISPR and the archaeal mobilome, Archaea in biogeochemical cycles, The human archaeome and so on. In addition to the tight program, there was always time for informative discussions, creating networks and extra-curricular activities, such as the conference dinner at the Natural History Museum of Vienna. A big thank you to the organizers of this conference and maybe we will meet again.
Gerold, Daniel, Lukas and Prof. Paulik attended the 7th Workshop on Polymer Reaction Engineering (WPPRE, opens an external URL in a new window) from August 31st to September 2nd in Prague. Thirty students from universities all over Europe presented their work in the conference venue adjacent to the famous Charles Bridge. Besides the interesting talks and poster presentations there was also time to get to know each other at several social events. The first evening we had the pleasure to experience a spectacular medieval dinner that nobody should miss when in Prague. On the next day we had the chance to see the city at night on a dinner cruise on Vltava River. The workshop was closed on Sunday with a city rally and lunch at U Fleků. Many thanks to the organisers of this great event!
Insitute excursion 2018, Dachstein Krippenstein
This year’s excursion, organised by our colleague Christoph, led us to the magnificent area of Upper Austria’s highest mountain, the Hoher Dachstein. After an early wake-up call, we met at the train station to catch the 6:30 am train to the village of Obertraun. Followed by a short bus drive, we finally got to the cable car which brought us, at breakneck speed, to the mountain plateau over 2000 m. A short return walk to the Pionierkreuz, more known as the Dachstein Five-Fingers lookout, was undertaken. We had an incredible view over the Hallstättersee and the surrounding mountain scenery. Lucky about this blue bird day, we decided up on doing the Heilbronner circuit. Surrounded by primeval ocean floor fossils and the scenic view of the Dachstein glacier our journey made good progress and moved on to the lower located Gjaidalm. There we had our lunch break and enjoyed delicious dishes, such as Käsespätzle or Brettljause together with a typical Austrian drink, the cider.
Facing the midday sun our group returned to the higher located start of the walk, using another cable car, while some of us decided to do the ascend using their own feet…poor guys. After another cable car drive from the plateau back to the valley we made our way to the lake. We let the day end with a swim in the Hallstättersee and relaxing in good company before catching the train back home.
A big thank to all who contributed to this great event and of course our organiser. It was a gorgeous outdoor adventure one will not easily forget.
In contrast to last year, where we had a barbecue together with another institute, this year we invited our project and company partners to a summer barbecue. Christoph assumed the coordination and organization of this event on 2nd of August at 16:00. The venue was, as last year, the LUI-Gastgarten and the weather was quite perfect for a come together. The side dishes, such as salads and various sauces, were prepared by the entire stuff of the institute and served in common. Our pitmaster Gunnar took care of the meat, sausages and vegetables on the grill and cooked an excellent meal for us. Due to the large amount of food, we then had a full belly and a comfortable sit together has been started. After some animated discussions, the evening found a well-rounded end.
Thanks for the good mood and the nice talks. Until next time!
With his master thesis about blowing agents Lukas finished his master studies just at the beginning of summer. After his exam in the afternoon he invited all of us to celebrate this success. He organised cold cuts with bread rolls and several different side dishes as well as something to drink for all of us. Furthermore, he did not hesitate to bring delicious self-made desserts for everyone. The celebrations then lasted the rest of the day and everybody really enjoyed the food as well as the drinks.
Thanks Lukas for your hospitality and since you want to stay at the institute we are looking forward to continue the nice work.
Ever since the reconstruction of the TNF tower started, the employees of the institute used one of the office as "breakroom" for coffee drinking. However, this was not an ideal solution. So we planned and implemented our own CTO-Lounge for breaks of any kind in the vestibule of the 5th floor. Thereby several benches and a “living wall” constitute the center of this lounge and therefore generate a pleasant atmosphere.
Another milestone we achieved is our small-scale brewery, which we are running now for about a year. The reason why we do this ist, that biotechnology is a part of the CTO and its research areas as well. In order to let the other institutes of the tower partake on the beers we brewed in the past, we constructed a mobile spigot and organized a beer tasting event in the new CTO-Lounge. There a Vienna Lager (name: Drölf) and a Belgian Dubbel (name: Waterloo) were tapped and several other self-brewed beers (Maerzen-Sir Reginald the 1st; wheat beer-Au-W; Irish Red Ale-Lady in Red) were served in bottles. Besides the beer "Leberkäse" contributed to the well-being of all participants of the beer tasting, which was quite a success and everybody enjoyed the different beers with their different flavors.
Furthermore, we also want to thank Mr. Klein from the Brau Union, who supported this event with additional beer in case of shortage and with tasting glasses.
Stephan Schwarz attended the 22nd International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, opens an external URL in a new window in Kyoto, which took place at the University of Kyoto. The Chairman of the meeting was Prof. Hajime Ohtani. The topics of the conference were analytical pyrolysis up to fuels from renewable raw materials and recycling of plastics. In total, 343 scientists from 34 different countries attended the meeting. The cultural program was also very impressive. The participants heard Japanese drums, saw Japanese koi carp and the golden pagoda, and tasted delicious sushi and other Japanese delights. The different culture of japan was very fascinating to the people.
We look forward to the Pyro 2020, which will take place in Ghent.
On the 8th of June the second edition of the ÖH TNF Dekathlon took place at the JKU Linz. Therefore, a maximum of 20 teams consisting of six people each were fighting against each other at the campus. For the victory as many points as possible had to be achieved in 10 different disciplines, which were prepared by the respective fields of study. The 10 challenges could only be met with teamwork, technical understanding, brainpower and athletic skills.
We had the task of defending or improving our second place from last year. For this reason, our institute was again represented by the team "CTO-Hedgehogs" which included the following members: Konstanze, Bastian, Lukas, Daniel, Thomas and Sara. Due to a great team performance of the new team and a lot of fun, they were able to retain the second place of last year.
After two second places, it is time to win the competition next year. ;)
Due to the fact that the Nature Communication Paper („Biological methane production under putative Enceladus-like conditions“) with our colleague Patricia Pappenreiter as co-author was an international success, we received two requests from international film crews if it is possible to visit us. They were interested in the construction of the reactor system and the procedure during the experiment. In addition, Prof. Paulik was interviewed about the success of the work and the topic.
On 24th of May, the first film-team from Japan came to visit us. With the help of an interpreter, instructions were translated for us and it took about 5 hours to get the needed footage together. It was an exciting experience, which gave us a new insight into another world of work. Just two weeks later, on 8th of June, a British film crew visited us. It took a bit longer until all the shots were done, but we are looking forward to all the contributions that will be aired in the respective countries in fall.
Our colleague Adlet Kassymbayev finished his master studies in the middle of May. Ending his final exam just in time for lunch, he organized roast pork and spare ribs with dumplings and sauerkraut as side dishes to appropriately celebrate this success. Afterwards we enjoyed several delicious homemade cakes. The festivity then lasted the rest of the day and we enjoyed the nice time.
Thank you Adlet for the invitation to your hospitality and we wish you all the best for your plans in the future!
Lately many colleagues finished their thesis and as a consequence left the institute. However, we also have to introduce several new members, who joined us. As it is already some kind of tradition at the institute, new members organize a little come together with eating and drinking in order to get to know each other better. Now it was time for Daniel and Konstanze, who both already spent some time with us, to maintain this tradition. They did not hesitate to cook the entire forenoon and spoil us with self-made spaghetti Bolognese. Added to this, they organized something to drink and even served homemade tiramisu as dessert.
Thank you for the nice evening and have a nice time with us at the CTO institute.
3 years of hard work finally have resulted in the foreseen objective. At the end of April our colleague Sandra passed the defense of her PhD-thesis and thus finished her studies. With this motive for celebration, Sandra invited all of us to a delicious meal consisting of 7 different kind of Leberkäse with bread rolls in various shapes and loads of side dishes. After this main dish, a selection of very tasteful cakes as dessert awaited us. Spoiled with enough to eat as well as to drink, the celebration lasted until the late evening.
Sandra, once again, thanks for the nice afternoon. We enjoyed the time with you at the institute and we wish you only the best for your future – may you do well!
Our institute is a very ambitious one in all aspects. When it comes to eating, there are many who play a good knife and fork and an eating contest might be an ideal way to appoint the best of us. Based on a game from the movie “Watch Out, We’re Mad” (“Zwei wie Pech und Schwefel) the contest “Bier und Würstchen” was now already conducted for the second time at our institute. The rules are quite simple: In order to win, eat as many sausages and drink as much beer (or spritzer) as possible within a defined period of time. With certain “power plays” it was possible to tighten these rules and make this contest a real one. After four rounds of 30 minutes each, the points were summed up and revealed a very distinct result. Thomas (first with 78 points), Michael (second with 74 points) and Bastian (third with 73 points) gathered by far the most points and finished up on the pedestal. It could not have been much closer and the question of who would win between the three of them was only decided in the final round.
Congratulations to the glorious winner – until next time, when it is time for “Bier and Würstchen” once again.
The "Lange Nacht der Forschung" on the 13th of April was a complete success with more than 3,100 visitors at the JKU stations. Our institute was represented with the topic "Fun with CO2" located in the Technikum, opens an external URL of the JKU campus. Our team consisted of Prof. Paulik, Gunnar, Stephan, Gerold, Thomas, Markus, Patricia und Sara. We were build up into two groups with each 4 people to show and explain the different experiments. For the experiments, carbon dioxide was used in solid form, so-called dry ice. Therewith we tried for example to extinguish fires, inflate a balloon or even form bubbles with the CO2. The children and even adults were very interested in the presented experiments and we had a lot of fun at this evening.
We look forward to another "Lange Nacht der Forschung" in two years. Here, opens an external URL you will find a collection of pictures from this year's event.
On March 13th, our colleagues Patricia, Thomas, Lukas and Sara of the CTO Institute visited the NMS (Neue Mittelschule, opens an external URL in a new window) Eferding Nord. We prepared a whole bunch of experiments in order to share our knowledge to the pupils and give an insight into the world of chemistry. The disciples were very excited because the experiments we brought with us gave a stunning insight into everyday life. Sometimes it was very astonishing for the participants how it could be possible to bind a whole litre of water with just a few spoonsful of a white powder, that it’s possible that breathing air can change the colour of a liquid or a banknote can be light up without burning it.
Despite the friendly welcome of the teachers and the fun with the teenagers, we drove back to Linz after some hours and we all agreed that surely next year there will be found again a few colleagues to work one day as a "chemistry teacher".
First of all, congratulations to Verena, Stefan, Thomas and Gottfried. After some time of hard work, you all have finished your master thesis with success and we are happy for you.
As usual, after their final examinations every graduate organized a cosy get-together and served delicious food for us. Therefore, Verena regaled us with schnitzel, baked mushrooms, tortellini and a variation of side dishes like rice, potatoes and salads. In addition, we got some desserts and cakes, so we did not have to go home with an empty stomach. At Stefans celebration a variation of dumplings (hash dumplings, (baked) bacon dumplings, greaves dumplings and vegetarian dumplings) was served with coleslaw and sauerkraut. Afterwards we enjoyed a homemade cheesecake and a “Nutellaschnitte”. They tasted excellent. On the 16th of March, it was time to eat Thomas delicacies. We got the possibility to fill our bellies with cold cuts. Since Thomas is known for delighting everyone with his pastries, he did not hesitate to make a big splash at his graduation party. He pampered us with different cakes, namely Black Forest cake, “Bananenschnitte”, “Nutellaschnitte” and Austrian cream pastry. Last but not least Gottfried celebrated his degree. As with all the others, there at first was a savory meal: roast pork with dumplings, potatoes and sauerkraut. Subsequent, it was again time to eat some sweet things like a chocolate cake, a carrot cake and muffins. In addition to this constant supply of food, the one or other drink was drunk – Gottfried even spoiled us with home-brewed beer. We created and recited serenades for the graduates, listened to music and it was danced until late at night.
Finally, we want to say that with the exception of Verena, these colleagues remain at the institute and we are looking forward to continue the good cooperation. Verena, we wish you good luck on your way and may all your wishes come true.
Now that this exhausting month is over we relish a short break of celebrating und have to go on a small diet ;). Nevertheless, we look forward to the next successful graduations of our colleagues.
In recent weeks, the Olympic Games took place in South Korea. It was fought for sporting personal best. In the meantime, the most popular professors of all three faculties were honored at the JKU. Therefore, the golden, silver or bronze “Mitch-trophy” for particularly good teaching during the last winter semester was awarded. May it be because your favourite professor has the best humour or even explains the most complicated matter so that you understand it very easily. You voted and elected Prof. Christian Paulik to third place in the TN-faculty. The remaining results can be found in here, opens an external URL in a new window or in the current edition of the mAGanzin-edition in the canteen.
On February 27th, it was finally time - after 7 months of trembling and waiting, the paper for which our colleague Patricia Pappenreiter contributed with her work and therefore is mentioned as co-author was eventually published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. The topic of the paper is about „Biological methane production under putative Enceladus-like conditions“, on which Patricia already did her research for her master thesis. This paper drew a lot of attention and even newspapers such as the Standard reported about it.
We celebrated this success at the institute by raising glasses of sparkling wine. Dear Patricia, the entire institute congratulates you on achieving this publication and hopes to continue to publish such successful results in comparatively eminent journals.
Regina, Sara and Patricia attended a Course for English Academic Writing at the Hughes Hall of the University of Cambridge from the 26th of february to the 3rd of march. This course was organized by the Academic research network Oxford (acrn oxford, opens an external URL in a new window). The course contents included “How to get published”, where focus was put on abstract and paper writing, as well as training in presentation techniques. Besides their daily work on improving writing skills, they were able to network and discuss a lot with other colleagues from several JKU departments about their current research topics. Enjoying English beer in traditional pubs (as it is very famous for Cambridge), exploring the old town and different colleges, dining in the old halls of Queen’s College, as well as visiting an Even Song in the Kings Cathedral let them experience the whole English thing, as we normally only know it from stories.
The three girls enjoyed their time in Cambridge and can recommend the seminar.
Based on the fact, that we are a big team, which changes every now and then, it is important to strengthen the team spirit. That was the reason why Prof. Paulik convened a teambuilding event, which was organized by the personnel management of the University. Therefore, all the employees of the institute met at the seminar hotel SPES, opens an external URL in a new window located in Schlierbach from Thursday morning until Friday afternoon (15th-16th February).
Important topics were discussed alongside the strengthening of the common “we”. We practiced the correct pointing out of mistakes, the correct addressing and acceptance of criticism, the support at our institute and the esteem among the colleagues and the different positions at the institute. These topics where handled on the one hand via games and on the other hand with several group works. After all participants gave their opinions on the issues we developed some kind of “general rules” for the communication and the contact at the institute with the support of Günther Schackmann, an external trainer of keytrain, opens an external URL in a new window. In the end, we are more aware now of how to interact with each other and that appreciation of the counterpart is very important for the commerce within such a big group of people.
Thanks for the opportunity to attend this seminar. We will work to further improve our already existing strong solidarity.
Once again, it was time to start a teambuilding event. 3 months have passed since the last come together. Thus, Andreas exclaimed to a poker night at the institute. Before this event started at 18:00, all together attended the GÖCH-lecture by Dr. Thorsten Holtrichter-Rößmann about „Matching the challenging requirements for modern metal alkyl activators in polyolefin production – chemistry, industrial production and applications“.
Afterwards the game was started and the playing time was set to a least 3 hours. While some of the colleagues were gambling and trying to keep their poker face, the rest provided sustenance. Pizza rolls were cooked and the evening was rounded off by a cosy get-together.
Thank you Andi for organizing a very successful evening.
On 30th of November we were invited to "Stefan Stubm" in Linz for our office christmas party. Previously there was a cozy get-together at the institute where our freshly brewed beers were tasted. Afterwards we made our way to the restaurant and enjoyed menu variations for meat, fish or vegetarian gourmets, with lots of laughter’s and drinks. It was a pleasant evening that many prolonged by a visit in the casino followed by a "bar rally" in Linz until dawn.
Our thanks go to Professor Paulik for this nice evening, by the way without any affairs or blackouts, what a pity ;).
Our new colleagues have been at the institute for some time now and have come up with a small kick-off party. Since these little inaugural celebrations have become a tradition, the two new colleagues have come up with something new and served Bavarian veal sausages with pretzels and wheat beer for the meal. The unofficial Octoberfest ended with a little party late into the night.
Thank you for the nice evening and have a nice time with us at the CTO institute.
Our colleague Paul successfully celebrated his PhD graduation with us in May and we had the pleasure to keep him at the institute for a few more months. In October, however, it was finally over and Paul left the JKU and thus our institute as well. To see the whole situation with a laughing and a crying eye, he invited us to a farewell snack on the 24th of October. He provided us with delicacies such as various spreads, cheese and sausage slices, fresh bread, and delicious muffins.
In addition to his new job, he became father in early October. To give him a little pleasure, we gave him a diaper cake, which has already been used up by now.
Dear Paul, We wish you all the best for your new life section and look forward to see you again.
Verena was so kind and organized a further teamevent for us. Therefore, we met at five o´clock in the afternoon and prepared the game console for our “Singstar” evening. In the meantime, Raphaela, who was responsible for the appropriate meal cooked “Käsknöpfle”- a dish from her homeland, with original “vorarlberger cheese”. Theresa, whose dad is a vintner, took care of the drinks for the evening and brought some must (Sturm) for us.
After we finished the excellent dinner we were ready to play Singstar – a very popular karaoke game. From over 200 different songs could be selected and we had no problems to find cool songs to sing. Each of the singers showed their talents, they gave everything to entertain us and all together we really had a lot of fun. Thanks to all the people who organized the evening!
Patricia and Andreas were lucky to attend the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE, opens an external URL in a new window) from 1st– 5th October in Barcelona, Spain. Both presented their work with a poster. Patricias was part of the bioprocess engineering topic whilst Andreas presented his poster in the micro-reactor section. This conference is one of the biggest and finest concerning many topics of the world of chemical engineering. In more than 10 parallel sessions every day several thousands attendees had the opportunity to listen, to learn and to network. Besides the conference venue, our fellow colleagues visited memorable places in Barcelona such as the olympic stadium, the shopping mile Las Ramblas or the basilica Sagrada Familia. Barcelona: what a place to be!
Our institute was well represented at this year’s Austrian Chemistry Days, opens an external URL in a new window in Salzburg. Prof. Schwarzinger, Gottfried, Klara, Matea, Regina and Sara presented their current research on Polymer Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Biotechnology during the poster sessions. Prof. Schwarzinger additionally gave an interesting talk about characterization methods of gemstones and their imitations. Regina was awarded for her participation in the Young Chemist’s “Tell Your Story” competition and gave us insight into her unconventional way to chemistry – her life passion.
Beside our personal inputs, we listened to a lot of presentations covering various fields of chemistry and got the great opportunity to attend Evonik’s “Foresight Management” workshop organised by the Young Chemists. Our evenings were filled with traditional food and beverages from Salzburg and fruitful, exclusively scientific discussions at welcome parties and conference dinners. We are all looking forward to welcoming you to the upcoming Chemistry Days 2019 in Linz.
On this day in the middle of September, our colleague Christoph Wallergraber finished his studies. After the final exam in the afternoon, which Christoph passed brilliantly without any problems, he invited us to a small celebration. He served different cold dishes and afterwards there were some very delicious homemade cakes for us. We celebrated the rest of the day and enjoyed the food as well as the drinks.
Thank you Christoph for the invitation to your celebration and we wish you all the best for your plans in the future!
Our college Sandra visited the 32nd Polymer Degradation Discussion Group conference (PDDG 2017, opens an external URL in a new window) in Sicily. Leila Maringer (IAC) and Wolfgang Gnong (ICP, opens an external URL), other PhD students of the JKU, also attended the conference.
Sandra had a talk with the title Melamine based Antioxidant for solar thermal systems. It was a small familiar conference with many well-known scientists in the field of polymer degradation and stabilization. There were a lot of interesting lectures and discussion about the newest research topics in this field.
The conference was in the beautiful city of Taormina with a nice view to volcano Etna. The free time was spent at the beach and in the good Italian restaurants. The next PDDG 2019 will be held in Malta and i would recommend this conference for all people who work on this topic.
August is just over and our colleague Klara got an opportunity quite early in the morning to do her final exam, which she passed with ease and therefore finished her studies. In order to acknowledge this success appropriately she already invited all of us as well as her family in the morning to join a delicious breakfast with sandwiches. For lunch, she then organised roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings and as vegetarian alternative also mushroom goulash. She even spoiled us with a variation of homemade desserts.
The celebration then lasted the remaining day and some funny games like “Singstar” sweetened the evening. Thanks again for your hospitality and congratulations for achieving this aim.
Our colleague Patricia organized this year´s excursion to the Klauser Stausee. Meeting point was at 845 am at the main station of Linz, from where we drove together to Klaus with the train. From there a small circular walk to the Schönberg was undertaken, whereby an unscheduled shortcut caused the nerves to flutter. Despite all the slide parties, the hike ended unharmed in the "Gasthaus Seeblick", which is located directly at the Klauser Stausee. There two motorized floating barbecue islands waited for us. In the midst of sunshine and at hot temperatures, we floated along the river, grilled comfortably, beat our bellies full and cooled us in not really warm water. After an unexpected engine damage of one of the boats, we were taken to the inn from the passing floating "Almhütte" and we were able to start the journey home by train at 18:00.
The evening found a relaxed ending at the "Schindler´s Heuriger" in Linz.
We want to thank Patricia for this great trip and remember her to check out the trail next time before inviting people ;).
Together with the Institute for Chemistry of Polymers (ICP, opens an external URL), a large barbecue and come together was organized. Location for this event was the LUI-Gastgarten and the weather was perfect for a leisurely afternoon. Collectively, in advance, delicious dishes such as salads, vegetable skewer, tzatziki and various sauces were prepared. Our pitmasters Gunnar and Wolfgang took care of the meat and sausages on the grill and cooked an excellent meal for us. After we had then fully hit our bellies with a few pastries, a comfortable sit together round has been started.
We thank the ICP for this event and hope to repeat it next year.
Back in the days before our dear colleague Stephan started to study chemistry he worked as a chef and thereby he served many people with delicious dishes. Lucky for us he still likes to cook and every now and then he takes the opportunity to spoil us with very well tasting food. This time he literally spent a whole day working in the kitchen to prepare roast pork with bread dumpling filling, polenta and also some vegetables as side dishes. In the afternoon, everything was ready to eat and even though there were some doubts concerning the big amount of food, not very much of it remained.
Thank you very much for your efforts and for preparing such a delicious meal for us.
It was again time to welcome our new colleagues Adlet and Mirsime to our institute. For this reason, the "novices" organized a small celebration. We were provided with delicacies such as stilts and barbecue chicken and we drank a toast to them with one or the other beer. For the entertainment, our beloved parlor play Codenames was played. Later on, the party was moved to the Easy Bar, which is located in the old town of Linz. There the evening found a cozy ending with tasty cocktails.
Thank you for the nice evening and have a nice time with us at the CTO institute.
Finally, the day has come when the long-striving project - the opening of our own institute brewery - has been transformed into reality. It is called “Platz für Bier- Juice of Knowledge and Understanding“.
After many weeks of planning, preparations and construction work, the opening by Prof. Paulik was celebrated on 11th July 2017. At the opening ceremony, we enjoyed a typical Austrian snack: lard bread with, what else could it be: beer! On this day the production of our first brew started immediately. It is an amber ale simply called: “1. Sud”. In 6 weeks at the latest, we can sample our hand crafted creation. We are very excited about this and we look forward to further advance our biotechnological knowledge of brewing beer.
A special thanks to our technician, Karl Schütz, who always stands by us with his craftsmanship, and to Andi and Gottfried, who will help us design excellent beer with their already expert knowledge of brewing beer. Prost!
Gunnar and Andreas attended the 16th European Polymer Federation (EPF, opens an external URL in a new window) in Lyon, France from 2nd–7th July. Both presented their ongoing work: Gunnar had a talk and Andreas presented a poster.
Approximately 950 experts in varying fields of polymer chemistry had more than 320 oral presentations and almost 500 poster presentations. One of the highlights was the inspiring lecture on Dynamers (adaptive dynamic polymers) held by Nobel laureate Jean Marie Lehn. The conference was most definitely a very memorable event. Besides the scientific program: Lyon is a city worth visiting! Full of architectural gems, relaxed people and good food!
Once again, it was time for the whole institute to come together and our teambuilding-appointee Andi organized “Teambuilding 6.0”. Since the weather with 30°C played perfectly, a barbecue was planned in the LUI-Gastgarten at 16:30pm. Although food self-sufficiency was the idea, sauces, vegetable pies, salads and side dishes were prepared together. As with every event there was plenty of food and our pitmaster Gunnar did an excellent job of serving us delicious meals.
After everyone had their belly fully beaten, a few beers were consumed and this was when teambuilding started and we let the evening fade out.
After 6 months have passed since our beer and sausage contest, it is now perhaps time to dare Paul and win the coveted trophy.
Gerold, Regina and Sara visited the 7th Bratislava Young Polymer Scientist Workshop (BYPoS, opens an external URL in a new window) from 12th-16th June in Kaluza at the lake Zemplinska Sirava, Slovakia. About 30 participants from 8 different countries had the opportunity to communicate the latest exciting developments and results in the dynamic field of macromolecular chemistry. In addition, five invited speakers presented their current research. Beside the scientifically stimulating meetings and the excited discussions, a trip to the natural beauty – Morske oko and a wine tasting in Pivnica Orechova was organized. This was a good chance for networking and having a lot of fun.
Therefore, we want to thank the organizer committee, especially Alena and Silvia, for the good time in Slovakia.
We had the pleasure to host the 30th International Symposium on Polymer Analysis and Characterization (ISPAC, opens an external URL in a new window) from June 11th -14th. Starting on Sunday with a workshop on rheology, dielectric spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, cellulose analysis and analysis of molar masses and branching. During the three day conference 147 participants from 26 countries enjoyed 16 plenary talks, 54 oral and 20 poster presentations in our new representation rooms at the JKU campus.
We hope to see many of them again when ISPAC 2018 is held in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
On the 9th of June a new event took place at the JKU Linz - the ÖH TNF Dekathlon. Therefore, 20 teams of 6 people were fighting against each other at the campus for the coveted crown of the TNF. The 10 challenges, which were respectively assigned to the fields of study of TNF, could only be achieved with teamwork, technical understanding and athletic skill.
Our institute was represented by the team "CTO-hedgehogs" which included the members: Andrea, Patricia, Thomas, Stefan, Gerold and Sara. Due to an elegant Gerold flying like an elf, a plastic tube thrown by muscular Patricia and a great team performance they were able to win the second place of the competition.
Although especially the PhD-riddle was responsible for grey hairs of the team members, they hope that they are able to successfully defend the good place next year.
Paul Aigner attended the 3rd World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering (MCM, opens an external URL in a new window), which took place in Rome, Italy. Rome with its great historical background provided a wonderful setting for the conference. Although the weather was very nice, there was lively interest in the many interesting lectures that led to numerous discussions about different engineering topics. The conference, which took place at the Barceló Aran Mantegnalo, offered the opportunity to engage in scientific exchange as well as to capture the pleasant atmosphere of Rome.
Professor Paulik and Theresia Hackl attended the 6th “International Conference on the Reaction Engineering of Polyolefins” (INCOREP, opens an external URL in a new window). Many well-known scientists in the field of Polyolefin science participated the conference, which was held at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. Between lots of very high-quality contributions there was good opportunity to exchange with other researchers in a pleasant atmosphere. Despite the changing weather, which was an alternating mixture of sun, rain and wind we were able to walk around in Maastricht and enjoy the beautiful and charming city.
Thanks to the organizer for the well-planned, informative, inspiring and exciting week!
Once again, it was time for our “new” master students Verena and Gottfried at the CTO-institute to organize a so-called “Einstein-Feier”, which constitute a come together of all staff members.
They organized two variations of meat cheese with lots of side dishes, beverages and catered for good vibes. There remained enough of food, so that the next day also an excellent lunch was available. Thank you very much for your efforts and welcome to the club ;).
Two of our fellow PhD students had the possibility to enhance their knowledge in a special field of „chemistry“– the craftsmanship of glass blowing. Therefore, Regina and Sara visit the atelier of Günther Mausz in Urfahr weekly. Mister Mausz teaches them several important techniques starting with the preparation of a handle (which is by far the most important task to master =) ), bending angles and further reaching out to blow symmetrical balls. The aim of this workshop is to produce and prepare laboratory glassware independently.
Apart from some minor brandings and lacerations, the work with Günther is a lot of fun and the created glass equipment is actually not so bad (depends on practice).