Panel Discussion on 15 January

What is our future made of?

11. December 2023 by Redaktion
The highlight and closing event of the semester question was a panel discussion with renowned panellists at the Main Ceremonial Hall of the University of Vienna: Ranging from materials science to design and urban research. Materials researcher and NYT bestselling author Mark Miodownik from UCL gave the keynote speech.

Impressions from the event:

Video of the panel discussion on January 15, 2024

Re-watch the concluding panel discussion on the semester question "What is our future made of?" in the Main Ceremonial Hall of the University of Vienna on January 15. The keynote by Mark Miodownik from UCL is in English and starts at minute 6:50.

Energy transition, circular economy, "Self-Repairing Cities": What innovative materials are essential to make these visions a reality? What are possible solutions? And where do we need radical new designs? 

Materials scientist Mark Miodownik (University College London), urban researcher Kerstin Krellenberg, physicist Georg Kresse (both from the University of Vienna), head of the Climate Lab Gebhard Ottacher and designer Heike Stuckstedde discuss these questions in the concluding panel discussion of the semester question.

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Semester question
In the interview, material scientist Mark Miodownik from UCL, who will deliver the keynote address at the panel discussion on the semester question on January 15th, explains what matters today in the development of new materials.

As an introduction Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials & Society and Director of the UCL Institute of Making, gave a keynote on the impact of new materials on the challenges of our time (note: Keynote was held in English; following panel discussion in German). He described a new age of materials research in which the boundaries between animate and inanimate matter are blurred. Is the vision of self-repairing cities achievable? How far are we from achieving the aim that all materials and products in future will need to be part of a circular economy in which they are designed primarily for repair and reuse? (Read more in the Rudolphina-Interview with Mark Miodownik!)

Joining Mark Miodownik on the panel (Note: the panel discussion was held in German)

  • Kerstin Krellenberg: The environmental scientist is Professor of Urban Studies and member of the Environment and Climate Research Hub (ECH) at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on sustainability transformations, vulnerability and adaptation in urban spaces as well as global environmental changes. The Urban Sustainability Living Lab (USLL) of her working group serves as a platform for integrative exchange and communication on the issue.
  • Georg Kresse: The physicist is Professor of Computational Materials Physics at the University of Vienna. His research focusses on theoretical solid state physics and surface science. Kresse is the main author of the influential computer code "VASP" (Vienna ab initio simulation package) for quantum mechanical simulations. Read the Rudolphina article to learn more about his research.
  • Gebhard Ottacher: The economic historian and graduate of the University of Vienna is Managing Director of the Climate Lab innovation hub, an initiative by the Climate and Energy Fund together with Wien Energie, EIT Climate KIC and Impact Hub. 200 people are involved in the Climate Lab, developing solutions aimed at achieving climate neutrality and a circular economy.  
  • Heike Stuckstedde: The designer and graduate of the University of Vienna is co-founder of the start-up company AKEMI – Rethinking Light GmbH which is currently in the process of patenting a solution involving sunlight technology. She studied history of art and architecture at the University of Vienna as well as interior design at the New Design University St. Pölten. After working in the field of museums and art, she now focuses on the design of light objects as well as the use of sunlight as a sustainable and healthy source of energy. 

The panel discussion took place in cooperation with the Austrian daily newspaper DerStandard – deputy editor-in-chief Petra Stuiber moderated the discussion.

The panellists

More first-hand knowledge on materials of the future

Curious? Delve into the world of the materials of the future and see the contributions on the focus topic of the current semester question in the research magazine Rudolphina as well as on the website of DerStandard (in German only).