Bundled research expertise for the energy transition

Energy theme year

With a theme year, the university provides insights into the broad spectrum of its research activities, with which it is competently helping to shape the energy transition. The work is bundled under the umbrella of the Thuringian Energy Research Institute (ThEFI).

Logo mit Schriftzug Themenjahr Energie tools design/Torsten Weilepp

The shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources requires the development of new technologies on an unprecedented scale. Established methods and processes for the fail-safe generation of renewable energy, its transport and the use of energy sources must be adapted in a complex transformation process. However, it is often precisely the details of implementation that still lack broadly effective, economically viable and fail-safe technologies. Scientists from various disciplines at TU Ilmenau have been working intensively in the field of energy research for years in order to answer the multitude of unanswered questions regarding the energy transition. In order to bring the research work of TU Ilmenau for the energy turnaround closer to the public, TU Ilmenau has launched an energy theme year. The president of the university and initiator of the theme year, Professor Kai-Uwe Sattler:

With the theme year Energy, we would like to make visible the complexity and breadth of our joint efforts in this scientific field and provide insights into our research activities. We report on ongoing projects and invite you to events on the topic of energy.

To this end, the university will present a wide range of information and interdisciplinary lectures on the current state and future potential of energy research over the course of a year. The overview of TU Ilmenau's projects on the topic of energy can be found here.

The "Energia Connecticum" on 30 September 2020 marked the start of the energy theme year. The annual colloquium is a scientific platform for exchanging information on current topics. This time, the focus was on power electronics, a discipline that has been established at TU Ilmenau for 60 years. At the opening event for the Energy Year, the name of the colloquium was the program: After the welcome by the director of the Thuringian Energy Research Institute ThEFI, Professor Dirk Westermann, the university stepped up its scientific exchange with technology companies from Germany and Europe.

Research along the entire value chain

Scientists from around 30 departments at TU Ilmenau have been working intensively for years along the entire value chain for energy provision on solutions for a wide range of issues relating to the energy transition - from materials to data processing to information transmission. Professor Sattler: "This gives us wide-ranging expertise and strength in the field of energy research."

Bundling of research activities from 30 specialist areas

The Thuringian Energy Research Institute (ThEFI) bundles the research activities of the TU's departments in the field of energy technology and offers a unique research infrastructure for this purpose, which is also accessible to cooperation partners. With the handing over of the foundation charter during the kick-off event for the theme year Energy, the ThEFI now officially starts its work under its new name.

Professor Westermann sees the networking with industry and the resulting research and technology transfer as a great opportunity for the success of the energy transition: "With the scientific expertise and the technological possibilities, the potential is very high to be able to quickly transfer innovations into products and applications. Particularly in Thuringia, with its many small and medium-sized enterprises, there is an opportunity to intensify cooperation and not only launch new products and services, but also to optimize manufacturing itself in terms of energy and climate neutrality."


Prof. Dirk Westermann

Director of the Thuringian Energy Research Institute