The Division


Profile of the Division

With its guiding theme of "Georesources Management" and its thematic focuses in the competence areas of Environment and Society, Georesources and Material Sciences and Materials Engineering, the RWTH's Department of Geosciences and Geography occupies a responsible role within the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering.

Its profile, which already links natural, engineering and social science topics within the framework of its own department, and its diverse networking within the faculty and RWTH, contributes to the guiding principle of the 'Integrated Interdisciplinary Technical University' RWTH. Geo-resources such as energy raw materials, metallic and mineral raw materials, water, soil and underground space form crucial foundations of life for societies and their economies. The department has defined four research fields within the framework of the faculty's areas of competence. These are the research fields Environment, Society, Space, Economy; Renewable Resources and Environmental Management; Energy and Mineral Resources; and Geomaterials. Due to the complexity of the research tasks, research projects in recent years are characterised by interdisciplinary cooperation within a national and international framework. This interdisciplinary cooperation takes place within the RWTH through participation in the profile area "Energy, Chemical and Process Engineering (ECPE)", the project house "Technology-based Energy System Analysis (TESA)" and the Aachen Graduate School for Computational Natural and Engineering Sciences (AICES).

From its research topics, the department has specific methodological competencies, which include spatial analysis and social research, scientific high-performance computing in geoscientific materials research and geophysical methods for materials investigation and their imaging. These competencies are also in high demand by non-university institutions. Cooperation partners include the Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Dortmund, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Centre, Garching, and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin.

There is particularly close cooperation with Forschungszentrum Jülich within the framework of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance in the fields of energy, simulation and information technology (JARA-Energy, JARA-HPC and JARA-FIT), which finds expression in the joint establishment of three empty professorships and one junior professorship based on the Jülich model. With the founding of the research network "Geoverbund ABC/J" (Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Jülich), a sharpening of the profile and closer networking of the participating locations has been carried out since 2010. In addition to the "Centre for High-Performance Scientific Computing in Terrestrical Systems" founded by the Geoverbund, the Division is integrated into this network through the Transregio SFB 32 "Patterns in Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Systems - Monitoring, Modelling and Data Assimilation", the Quaternary Research Centre (QSGA), the SFB 806 "Our Way to Europe" and the Priority Programme 1372 "Tibetan Plateau: Formation - Climate - Ecoystems". The international profile of the Division includes participation in the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS), which has been established since 2010 under the leadership of a Division member at the Indian Institute of Technology (llT) in Chennai (Madras). The Division played a key role in setting up the RWTH subsidiary university GUtech in Oman and runs the IDEALeague Master's programme "Applied Geophysics" together with the universities of Zurich and Delft.