October 1, 2018

YERUN RMA 2018 – Meet Katharina Heintz

From Dublin City University –> To University of Ulm

Thanks to the YERUN mobility award, I was able to visit Prof. Dr. Sven Rau’s group at the University of Ulm. Working in chemical sciences in the field of so called “solar fuels” our aim is to harvest solar energy and convert it into chemical energy.
The collaboration between the Rau group, University of Ulm and the Vos/Pryce group, at DCU has existed for several years. It has already led to several publications as the research areas are very related.

There is no standard protocol for performing photocatalytic hydrogen photolysis experiments and in this collaboration We wanted to compare the differences between labs and highlight the importance of differences in quantifying hydrogen evolution, and the related difficulties in comparing results from various laboratories.

It was a great experience for me to travel to a collaborating work group. Meeting the people I have read about in many papers and having the chance to have a personal conversation was very positive. I felt very welcome within the group and a helping hand was always offered.

Katharina did her PhD at University of Koblenz, Germany (2017) and during her studies she carried out research at Dublin City University. The thesis involved the development of new Photocatalysts to produce Hydrogen from water. In terms of the global greenhouse effect it is important to reduce Carbon dioxide and switch to renewable energies. Mimicking natural photosynthesis is the approach that was taken so as to develop a system to produce Hydrogen form water by capturing the energy from sunlight. Currently, Katharina is carrying out a postdoctoral position at DCU, where she is developing and identifying new methods to recycle CO2 using sunlight. In collaboration with DCU Business School, the actual carbon dioxide recycling processes are being reviewed from both a business point of view and also from a chemical point of view.

Katharina Heintz was awarded one of the 26 Research Mobility Awards of the 1st call for applications that YERUN offered in 2018.
Photo credit: Katharina Heintz (3rd on the right) with Ulm University team.

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