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Leibniz Talents: Four Prizes for Students of the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Leibniz Talents: Four Prizes for Students of the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Special academic achievements and exceptional commitment: The Faculty of Natural Sciences congratulates its students for being honoured with the Leibniz Talent Award!

Four of the awards went to students from the Faculty of Natural Sciences this year. Tobias Hennig, Jan Hoffmann, Merle Biermann and Katharina Stemwedel were honoured with this well-deserved recognition for their commitment.

Converting heat into electricity - material research on composite ceramics

We would like to present Tobias Hennig's Master's thesis from the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, who was nominated for an award at the suggestion of apl. Professor Dr Armin Feldhoff, as one example of outstanding achievement. In his review, Mr Feldhoff emphasises:
"Mr Hennig solved the tasks assigned to him in an outstanding manner and achieved significant results in the field of thermoelectric oxides with an anisotropic structure, which represent a remarkable increase in knowledge and performance for this class of materials. In the course of his master's thesis, Tobias's thermoelectric oxide composite ceramics have been improved to such an extent that they appear suitable for practical use in thermoelectric generators and may be able to contribute to increased energy efficiency and sustainable electricity generation, as envisaged in the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 7, SDG 7 "Clean and Affordable Energy".

His master's thesis deals with the synthesis and characterisation of thermoelectric composite ceramics and could make a significant contribution to sustainable energy conversion.
Hennig shows how the thermoelectric properties of composite ceramics can be significantly improved through targeted synthesis methods and texturisation techniques. He tried to specifically produce two types of powders - one with uniform grains and one with platelet-shaped particles. He achieved this by using two different synthesis methods (sol-gel and molten-flux synthesis) with the aim of converting these powders into thermoelectric composite ceramics and thereby creating a specific orientation of the crystals.
This specific orientation of the crystals in his ceramics improved the anisotropic thermoelectric properties. This means that the electrical and thermal properties of the material are better utilised in a certain direction, i.e. heat can be better converted directly into electricity. Due to the continuous optimisation of the process, Hennig succeeded in surpassing the thermoelectric properties of his composite ceramic samples, even in comparison to samples made from sol-gel-derived powder under nominally the same conditions according to the state of the art. His new fabrication techniques increase the performance of the ceramics under less energy-intensive conditions, a potentially ground-breaking approach in research.

Commitment in the student environment is also recognised

The Leibniz Talents jury also recognised Jan Hoffmann's wide-ranging commitment. He has been involved in various committees, such as the committee on teaching and the curriculum in chemistry (StuKo), the Master of Science Chemistry selection committee and the teaching constitution. His broad commitment shows that outstanding achievements are not only possible and honoured in research, but also in the university environment.
The Leibniz Talents Initiative thus not only emphasises outstanding research work, but also highlights the broad spectrum of opportunities and commitment open to students at Leibniz University Hannover. This award is not only intended to recognise individual achievements, but also to inspire other students to develop their talents and actively participate in university life.

Honoured: above-average grades and a high level of commitment

Every year, the Executive Board of Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) awards the "Leibniz Talents" prize for students and student groups, divided into two categories: In the first category, twenty outstanding Master's or Bachelor's theses as well as legal focus theses that clearly stand out from other work are each honoured with 200 euros in prize money. In the second category, two prizes are awarded, each with prize money of 500 euros, recognising special commitment - from the enrichment of campus life to social responsibility.
The Christian Kuhlemann Foundation is responsible for funding the prizes.