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Profile Areas Research

The strategic goal of the university is to strengthen the existing research potential and the bundling of excellent scientific research in long-term multidisciplinary alliances, which contribute to a profiling in the priority areas mentioned below. The profile areas of the University of Siegen represent thematically bundled research foci, which research scientifically and socially relevant topics in an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental way.


Profile Area 1: Digital and Media Culture

Pb1Ubiquitous digitization and mediatization are leading to a fundamental cultural transformation of our society that is not only radically changing our perception of the world and our communication structures, but also significantly influencing our social life and our cultural and political identity. Digitally connected media is creating new social spaces and modifying existing public and private spheres. This media influence and the accompanying change in perception not only affects individuals, but fundamentally renews the way our society interacts on both a local and global scale. Addressing the challenges associated with this requires multidisciplinary research that combines social sciences, cultural and media studies, socioinformatics, economics, and sensor-based technology. The University of Siegen is one of the internationally outstanding locations in the field of praxeologically oriented media and cultural studies and conducts research in this area in the Collaborative Research Center "Media of Cooperation" and the Collaborative Research Center "Transformations of the Popular". The promotion of young researchers in these research areas is pursued with commitment both in the integrated graduate college of the SFB "Media of Cooperation" and in the graduate college "Locating Media" on spatially vented media pratices. In addition, there is the iSchool-School of Media and Information, which aims at application-oriented research in the field of socio-informatics and media research.


Profile Area 2: Inclusive Society and Social Living Spaces

Pb2Social integration is a challenge for our increasingly diversified society in many dimensions. It is a prerequisite for our future social life, both in private and in urban or rural areas. A society which is ageing, inclusive, and migration-influenced, needs to be integrated through social work, but also through technical assistance systems oriented towards people and their special needs. Topics of civil security are also addressed here. In the interaction between the development and application of new technologies and their socio-economic factors in the implementation as well as the assessment of the possible influence on future technology development, the claim to participation plays an interdisciplinary, research-guiding role as a connecting element.  This requires intensive cooperation between social work, development and educational pedagogy with architecture and social informatics and the technical disciplines in the fields of sensor technology and robotics. Multidisciplinary projects are carried out within the framework of the DFG Research Training Group "Consequences of Social Assistance" or within the BMBF project GINA High-quality interaction strategies for service and assistance robotics as well as within the university-wide gerontology network.


Profile Area 3: Regional Economy in globalized world


Digitization and globalization have a formative influence on the sustainable use and distribution of resources. They not only lead to global participation in knowledge and prosperity, but can also lead to disadvantages and exclusion. These cultural, socio-political and economic contradictions of globalization also influence the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion at the regional level. In Siegen, particular attention will be paid to the consequences of digitization for the regional economy of medium-sized companies with regard to changes in company and management structures, working conditions, business and production processes. The understanding and design of modern economic processes require transdisciplinary research approaches, which are practiced in close cooperation between business, information technology, law and didactics, as well as in cooperation with regional medium-sized companies. Examples of this are the projects Mittelstand 4.0 Kompetenzzentrum Siegen, Cyberrüsten 4.0 or ELISE (Development of an interactive and emotionally sensitive learning system for competence development in the field of business process management), in which digital solutions for small and medium-sized businesses in the region are researched in an interdisciplinary manner.


Profile Area 4: Responsive Sensor Technologies

Pb4With ubiquitous digitalization, sensory and nanotechnological developments are advancing rapidly and often unreflected into all areas of our lives. Biomolecularly supported sensor technology, personalized digitalized medicine or technical systems that interact autonomously with humans can be used wisely and meaningfully to support humans in all their diversified life situations. Multi-sensor systems and their applications are a long-standing profile-forming research focus of the University of Siegen, which led to the foundation of the North Rhine-Westphalian Centre for Sensor Systems (ZESS). The activities aim at the development of responsive intelligent sensor technologies for the highly automated world of the future. This focus is characterized by a high degree of interdisciplinary cooperation combining physical and chemical fundamentals, done at the Center for Micro- and Nanochemistry and Engineering microelectronic sensor development and system realization as well as information technology data processing. The areas of work include nanotechnological integration, ubiquitous sensor technologies, adaptive and compressive signal processing techniques, multimodal imaging approaches of cognitive sensor systems, advanced visualization and recognition systems, and the development of intelligent autonomous systems.

A representative example of this Profile Area is the European Training Network (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network) MenelaosNT.


Profile Area 5: Smart Materials and Manufacturing


This profile area comprises innovative developments in the field of production technology and new materials, which contribute to a sustainable, ecological, and economic use of resources. These research activities are mainly located at the Centre for Innovative Materials and in the field of mechanical engineering at the University of Siegen. They aim to develop highly efficient materials and manufacturing processes that minimize resource consumption, maximize performance parameters and are ecologically sustainable. Other areas of work include materials that can survive an infinite number of work cycles, nanostructured composites and intelligent multifunctional materials, systems for monitoring structural integrity, composite materials for lightweight automotive construction and individualized production technologies.


Profile Area 6: Individualized Health Care

Pb6 Based on technological developments at the level of biomolecular sensors, supported by digital medical technology and the redesign of rural health systems in an ageing society, this profile area focuses on a holistic approach to individualized health care in rural areas. The digital networking of all areas of our lives and the future ubiquitous use of intelligent sensor systems, based on biomolecular, sensor-supported, individualized medicine or humanoid robotics based on artificial intelligence, will significantly change the most intimate areas of our daily lives and can - if used sensibly - individually support people in all their life situations. This holds great potential for optimizing rural medical care systems, among other things, but requires close cooperation between disciplines to ensure that the resulting transformation processes take into account not only technological, but also social, psychological, cultural and economic perspectives. Currently, these perspectives are being researched primarily in the project "Rethinking Medicine", located at the new School of Life Sciences in close cooperation with other university institutes. Teams from medicine, sociology, psychology, computer science, biology and chemistry work together in a cooperative network to develop solutions in the areas of prophylaxis, diagnosis, therapy and aftercare as well as health management.


Profile Area 7: Fundamental Interactions and Particles

Pb7The basic research in elementary particle physics is proven to be an internationally visible profile area at the University of Siegen, which has a high potential to revolutionize solutions established so far for today's challenges in the future. Research at the University of Siegen on elementary interactions and the cohesion of our matter and quantum information technology is actively and significantly incorporated into the research of internationally relevant consortia, such as CERN or the European "Quantum" flagship, for the further development of this elementary field of research. A prominent example of this research is the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio "Phenomenological elementary particle physics after the Higgs discovery".