International Center for Advanced Studies of Energy Conversion

The International Center for Advanced Studies of Energy Conversion aims at a sustained and long term contribution to scientific problems related to the production, consumption and storage of energy in all its forms. Some of society’s most serious and urgent problems derive ultimately from issues of human production and consumption of energy. Problems such as: global warming, habitat destruction, species extinction, poverty, hunger, disease and even armed human conflict either directly result from or are profoundly aggravated by ways in which humans produce and consume energy. Hence, energy science and technology development today generally focus either on issues of improving energy production or improving the efficiency of energy use. This sense of social urgency has led to a rapidly growing emphasis on applied research targeting short term energy solutions, device development and invention and we risk neglecting long term innovation based on breakthroughs in fundamental understanding that may lead to truly revolutionary new energy technologies.


The ICASEC is conceived to meet the needs of scientists conducting basic research, who are concerned with the fundamental problem of how energy is converted between its various forms. The emphasis of the ICASEC is long term innovation based on the pursuit of first principles understanding of energy conversion. This philosophy emphasizes strong interactions between experimentalists and theoreticians encompassing the fields of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.


Energy science is so scientifically diverse and of such growing importance, that the field cries out for the advantageous development of international partnering opportunities. We are rapidly initiating many new international research partnerships especially with China – the scientifically fastest growing nation – and with the United States – the scientifically most established nation. Student, post-doctoral and professor exchanges as well as international joint projects will be fostered by the Center.


Energy conversion science also provides a remarkable opportunity for scientific outreach to the young people of Germany and worldwide and we intend, with the leadership of the XLAB, to work with high school teachers and students to help develop new ways of teaching and learning science at a high level. A holistic understanding of the “energy problem” requires knowledge from multiple fields be combined in lessons that focus on understanding natural phenomena and humanity’s impact on the Earth. The relevance of science to real world problems will be immediately clear to students participating in this learning environment.