Two new positions for Head of Department Prof. Sabrina Zellmer
New professorship links Fraunhofer IST and TU Braunschweig
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer, Head of Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST in Braunschweig, has taken on not one but two new functions simultaneously. In April, Prof. Zellmer was appointed Professor for Battery and Fuel-Cell Process Technology at the Technische Universität Braunschweig. Located at the Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT), the professorship further strengthens the close alliance between the TU Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer IST. In addition, Prof. Sabrina Zellmer has held the position of Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer IST since 1st July 2023.
For the past four years, Sabrina Zellmer has been Head of Department, Process Technology and Production Engineering for Sustainable Energy Storage Systems at the Fraunhofer IST. On the 15th of April, she was appointed professor at the TU Braunschweig. The tenure-track professorship is part of the federal- and state-government program for the promotion of young scientists. The professorship enhances the link between the university and the Fraunhofer IST, and will strengthen the joint profile in research and teaching related to batteries and fuel cells.
Angela Ittel, President of the TU Braunschweig: “With Sabrina Zellmer, we have been able to appoint a very successful young scientist to the TU Braunschweig. We are proud of this, firstly because it demonstrates our determined interest in encouraging young female colleagues to join our university, and secondly because it highlights our efforts in the strategic further development of joint appointments with non-university partners. Ms. Zellmer’s position at Fraunhofer and the collaboration between the Fraunhofer IST and the TU Braunschweig will contribute an enormous enrichment to our research efforts in the field of energy storage systems of the future.”
In her doctoral thesis – honored with both the Manfred Hirschvogel Prize, which is awarded by the Frank Hirschvogel Foundation to all mechanical-engineering departments at TU9 universities, and the Johannes Möller Prize, which is awarded by the Möller Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Möller foundation for science and research) – on the topic of “Small-molecule stabilization and spray-drying of metal-oxide nanoparticles”, Sabrina Zellmer was already considering the entire process chain of hierarchical particle structures: from synthesis, stabilization and functionalization through to processing and application. “I now want to build on this with my work at the university,” Prof. Zellmer explained. “One focus will be the (re)synthesis of functional materials for batteries and fuel cells.” The processing of metal anodes and the development of protective and boundary layers, the processing and recycling of batteries and fuel cells, and the chemical, physical and electrochemical characterization of technological processes along the process chain of batteries and fuel cells are further focal points of her research activities. “I am really looking forward to conducting research with the students and stimulating their enthusiasm for my subject areas,” explained the professor.
In the future, Sabrina Zellmer will also be active as the new Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer IST. The previous Deputy Director of the Institute, Dr. Lothar Schäfer, went into retirement at the end of June. “In my new function as Deputy Director of the Institute, I would like to drive the Fraunhofer IST further forward, and I am very grateful for the trust that you have placed in me,” said Prof. Zellmer. “I will contribute my abilities in the best possible way in order to develop, in collaboration with all the employees, sustainable technical and conceptual solutions for a widely varying range of industries along the entire process chain.” Institute Director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Herrmann added: “We are delighted that, in conjunction with the appointment, Sabrina Zellmer will also be engaged as the new Deputy Director of the Institute. This function underlines the close alliance between the Fraunhofer IST and the TU Braunschweig.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer studied bioengineering with a focus on mechanical process engineering at the Technische Universität Braunschweig. From 2011 to 2019, she worked at the Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT) at the TU Braunschweig, including a position as Team Leader for the area of “Particle Functionalization” and as Junior Research Group Leader in the research field “All-Solid-State Batteries” (ASSB) at the Battery LabFactory Braunschweig (BLB). In 2020, she successfully completed her doctorate at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Since 2019, Sabrina Zellmer has been Head of Department for “Process Technology and Production Engineering for Sustainable Energy Storage Systems” at the Fraunhofer IST. Her focus is on materials and process development as well as the development of sustainable process chains and factory systems, particularly with regard to battery and hydrogen technologies.