Rolf Bracke Appointed Adjunct Professor at RWTH
With his focus on the structural change process in the Rhenish mining area, geothermal energy expert Rolf Bracke’s work is an exellent fit with existing research taking place at RWTH
Professor Rolf Bracke, director of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG and Chair for Geothermal Energy Systems at Ruhr Universität Bochum, has now been awarded the title of Adjunct Professor at RWTH Aachen University.
A key focus of Bracke's work is the transformation of mining-related technologies in the development of climate-neutral energy systems. Due to the phase-out of coal, oil, and natural gas combustion, the heating market is in need of new energy sources. Geothermal energy, especially heat from geothermal waters from deep rock strata, could supply heating and industrial processes with sustainable, local energy that is dispatchable on demand.
The regions strongly affected by structural change, in particular, including the Rhineland, central Germany, and Lusatia, can benefit from the transition from coal mining to heat mining. "Heat is key to implementing the energy transition," says Rolf Bracke. "As a new adjunct professor at RWTH, I'm looking forward to working with the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering and others to develop solutions that will contribute to making heat in Germany green and sustainable by 2045."
At the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the RWTH alumnus coordinates heat energy research for the institutes of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance and the Integrated Energy Systems Cluster of Excellence. From 2013 to 2020, he was director of the International Geothermal Association (IGA), and he is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Energy Research Alliance (Geothermal Program). In 2020, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his research on energy technologies that drive structural change.
“The motto of our proposal in Germany’s Excellence Strategy is 'Knowledge. Impact. Networks.' We want to generate knowledge that has an impact on society – and we can do this even better in collaboration with our networks. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Professor Bracke are representatives of this network. His key research areas and particular focus on the transformation process in the Rhenish mining area represent an excellent fit with RWTH’s mission, and we look forward to shaping this process together with him,” explains Rector Rüdiger.
RWTH confers the title of Adjunct Professor on internationally renowned researchers in order to strengthen collaborations with important partner universities and research institutions. The title is awarded for a period of three to five years and can be extended by the Rectorate.