All about solvation science

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No. 158 - Bochum, 28.05.2013

All about solvation science

Official starting signal for the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV

International Opening Symposium at the RUB

The newly established Cluster of Excellence RESOLV (Ruhr Explores Solvation) was selected by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in June 2012 to be one of 12 new Clusters in Germany, receiving a total of €28 million in funding. RESOLV will now be launched at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum by means of an International Scientific Symposium on the 4th and 5th of June, which will bring speakers from all over the world to Bochum to discuss the topic of “Solvation Science”. The program, which has been arranged in conjunction with the “International Faculty Solvation Science”, commences on Tuesday at 9am in the RUB Conference Center (Mensa building, level 04). The organizers expect about 200 participants. Media representatives are also very welcome to attend.

Online program

The program plus further information can be found online under the following link:

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.

Editorial journalist

Dr. Julia Weiler
Press Office Ruhr University Bochum

Further information

Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen, Department of Physical Chemistry II, Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Ruhr-Universität, 44780 Bochum, Germany, Tel. +49/234/32-24249