Over 32,000 More Square Feet for Top-Level Research
The University of Bonn has formally opened its newest research building: the Research and Technology Center for Detector Physics (FTD) on Kreuzbergweg was inaugurated in the presence of Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, the Minister of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Gabriele Willems, CEO of BLB NRW, Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch and other honored guests.
Constructed on a site measuring some 75,300 square feet (approx. 7,000 square meters), the new building offers nearly 32,300 square feet (3,000 square meters) of space for top-level research in the field of detector physics. In the future, the building will pool the expertise of various working groups that are leading the way in Germany and across the world in developing new devices for detecting elementary particles. Among other uses, these devices also form part of large-scale international projects such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator in Geneva.
“The FTD offers ideal conditions for developing new detectors,” says Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ketzer from the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn. “It’s kitted out with high-tech labs and cleanrooms for manufacturing tiny sensors and electronic chips and has an assembly facility for constructing larger detector components. The second basement floor is home to an underground laboratory that is particularly well shielded.” “With the cutting-edge detector technologies developed here, we’ll be studying the smallest building blocks of matter as well as hunting for new particles,” adds Prof. Dr. Jochen Dingfelder from the Physikalisches Institut, who serves as joint spokesperson for the new research center alongside Prof. Ketzer.
Minister Pfeiffer-Poensgen was full of praise for the new building, holding it up as an important investment in the future: “Bonn is regarded as a proven center for particle, hadron and astroparticle physics, both within Germany and further afield. Its focus on detector physics is one of the key things that makes the University of Bonn unique. With the new Research and Technology Center for Detector Physics, we in the state government, together with our counterparts at federal level, want to continue strengthening basic research in this field and thus top-level research in North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole.”
Ulrich Schüller, Head of the department for University and Research System of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, congratulated the University on the implementation of the ambitious project: “The fact that the University of Bonn has prevailed in the tough competition for joint funding from the federal and state governments is a distinction of highest quality and indicator of the top-level research conduced here. The importance of the building and the research goes far beyond Bonn.“
Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch is also keen to stress the importance of the new building for the University’s further growth and development: “Besides laying the best possible foundations for the complex research work that’ll be done here in the future, the FTD will also cement Bonn’s position as a leading hub for nuclear and particle physics and conduct international top-level research in collaboration with the world’s leading particle physics centers.”
The new building was constructed by Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW (BLB NRW), the North Rhine-Westphalia state construction and real estate agency, which is based in Cologne. The plans for the building shell and facade were agreed between the City of Bonn, the Ministry for Building, Housing, Urban Development and Transport of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the University of Bonn and BLB NRW. Gabriele Willems, CEO of BLB NRW, says: “In the FTD, we’ve been able to hand over a top-notch, state-of-the-art research building to the University of Bonn. As well as blending sensitively with the surrounding residential development thanks to its bright exterior, the building is also another key piece of the jigsaw in the evolution of the Poppelsdorf Campus.”
With an eye on the sustainable development of the University, the FTD is equipped with smart technology in its building systems, including a combined heat and power plant that takes care of electricity, heating and cooling. The total cost of the project amounts to some €55 million. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) contributed €13.9 million, with the remaining funding coming from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ketzer
Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73-2539