All about solvation science
Official starting signal for the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV
International Opening Symposium at the RUB
The program plus further information can be found online under the following link: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/solvation/opening The organizers expect, among others, speakers from UC Berkeley, ETH Zürich, École Normale Supérieure Paris and Yale. Philip Ball, Science Writer from England, will hold the opening speech with the title “From damnation to solvation”. Prof. Dr. Irit Sagi from the Weizmann Institute in Israel and representative of the “International Faculty Solvation Science” will then follow up by opening the scientific part of the Symposium; she will highlight the role of water in enzymatic catalysis.
Novel perspective: solvents as active players
The majority of chemical reactions, including those that are central to many important industrial and biological processes, take place within a liquid environment. Water is the most prominent example of such a solvent. The process of solvation itself, i.e. the dissolving of a chemical substance, is currently being investigated by the RESOLV team – speaker Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen (Physical Chemistry) – along with many international partners and partners from the surrounding region. Many of these will be present at the Opening Symposium, including representatives of all rectorates of the Universitätsallianz Metropole Ruhr (UAMR). “Previous research showed that the choice of solvent has a great influence on the yield and efficiency of a chemical process”, says Martina Havenith-Newen. “RESOLV looks at the problem from a different angle, regarding the solvents themselves to be active units with a functional role, not just as passive bystanders as was supposed up until now”. The sheer breadth of the field of Solvation Science is reflected in the Symposium itself; the topics range from enzymatic reactions in biology to the solvation of individual, charged particles at low temperatures. Participants in RESOLV include renowned research institutes from the USA, Europe, Asia and Israel. The regional partners encompass the Max Planck Institutes for Eisenforschung (Düsseldorf), Kohlenforschung (Mülheim an der Ruhr), and Chemische Energiekonversion (Mülheim an der Ruhr), the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT (Oberhausen), the Technical University of Dortmund and the University of Duisburg-Essen.