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New rating procedure:

Success for Chemistry Department of TU München in research rating

18.12.2007, Press releases

In the most detailed study on measuring and assessing research achievements in the field of chemistry at Technische Universität München (TUM) available so far, the German Science Council has delivered a highly favourable verdict. In the pilot study for Chemistry, the achievements of 77 universities and non-university institutions were assessed using the so-called "Informed Peer Review" process, which looked into the aspects of research quality, impact/effectiveness, efficiency, promotion of junior scientists, applicability to other social areas and the communication/distribution of knowledge. Whereas the national average was rated as "good", the Chemistry Department of TU München fared better than average with a "very good to excellent" rating.

The individual assessment of the research quality returned the following results for the respective research units:

Excellent: Inorganic Chemistry; Theoretical Chemistry
Very good to excellent: Technical Chemistry; Organic Chemistry
Very good: Analytical Chemistry; Biochemistry; Biological Chemistry; Polymer Chemistry
Good: Food Chemistry; Physical Chemistry
Satisfactory: Radio Chemistry

From the point of view of diversity, the portfolio of TUM's Chemistry Department is unique in Germany. Besides the classic core subjects (Inorganic, Organic, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry), Technical Chemistry with its two Chairs is also well established. There are also Chairs for Analytical Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry, Building Chemistry, Biotechnology, Food Chemistry, Macromolecular Chemistry, NMR Spectroscopy and Radiochemistry. The wide-ranging lines of research result in a highly interdisciplinary approach, which extends to almost all other TUM Faculties and incorporates a large number of industrial partners.

On the teaching side, there are diversified Bachelor's/Master's degree courses in the following five fields of study: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Chemistry and Teacher Training at high-school level.

The rating awarded by the Science Council is new to the German university landscape but echoes earlier rankings for Chemistry. For example, the TUM Chemistry Department has repeatedly beaten all the other German Chemistry Departments to the top of the league table published by the news magazine FOCUS. The latest CHE-Ranking identifies the TUM Chemistry Department as one of the best in Europe. In terms of research quality, the Science Council rates 77% of TUM's chemists as "very good" to "excellent", and 15% were awarded a "good" rating. In the assessment period from 2001 to 2005, the Faculty produced 1541 scientific publications and 75 patents. During the same period, an average of 9.6 million € in outside funding was acquired, about one third of which came from projects sponsored by the German Research Foundation - DFG).

According to TUM's President Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann, who is himself a qualified chemist, this latest good result provides the motivation to consolidate the international standing of the Garching Faculty of Chemistry still further. During the course of the next few years, a 58 million euro investment is to be injected in building a "Research Centre for Catalysis" on the Garching Campus, designed to reinforce the existing research activities in this sphere. The German Science Council approved the 50% federal funding plan in October 2007, because the new research centre meets the criteria of a "supraregionally important research institution" from the point of view of concept, content and the existing research competence. By the time the new building is completed, TU München intends to convert five Chairs to the main research field of Catalysis and appoint new professors.

Kontakt: presse@tum.de

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