Page 1



9:26 Uhr

Seite 6

Insight 2007 } Research on the cutting edge: Observation of System Earth from Space

} Call for proposals: Mineral Surfaces - from atomic processes to application

} Exhibition »Restive Earth« a major success, Berlin venue still to come

} Quality management by interdisciplinary and international evaluation

Multi-facetted and interdisciplinary – Research portfolio of the R&D programme is being continuously extended Changes Highly underestimated: The risk from mass-move-

ter of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme is no exception in this respect.


… come about all the time. The newslet-

ment. Here: The RandaRockfall, Switzerland

After five issues in the format familiar to date we have now given name and layout a slight facelift. With »Insight« we want to give you, our readers, a still more comprehensive picture of the research programme and to communicate what needs to be known in an attractive, broadly-based and overviewable manner. Relatively brief contributions enable information to be passed on rapidly and create space for new items, for example »Who's who«. Here we wish to give you brief portraits of individual scientists at regular intervals. Together with the proven interview format, this will enable a fuller picture to be given of the different research projects. We hope that you will find informative and interesting reading in this first issue of »Insight«. Your GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Co-ordination Office

Development of early-warning systems Since April 2007, the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research has been furthering 11 new co-operation projects between the scientific and industrial sectors within the framework of its R&D programme GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. In the coming three years, scientists from universities and non-university research institutes together with their counterparts in industry will be developing technologies and methods aimed at providing improved early-warning of geological natural hazards. The focal points lie in the provision of early-warnings of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides. The kick-off meeting will take place in Karlsruhe on 10th October, 2007, on the occasion of the UN's International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. At this meeting future opportunities for co-operation will also be sounded out with

the German Research Council College-ofGraduates METRIK ( This will represent a further step in the integrative promotional concept of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal German Ministry for Education (BMBF) and Research in the realization of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN aims. The projects in the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme will be carried complementarily to the projects as already started on flood risk management within the framework of the RIMAX programme ( and on the establishment of a tsunami early-warning system for the Indian Ocean ( In this way they will augment the comprehensive efforts of the BMBF to lessen the risk of and the hazards from natural catastrophes in the future.



9:26 Uhr

Seite 1

Atomic processes on mineral surfaces and their technological application 34 project sketches have been submitted to the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN co-ordination office following the public announcement on this theme. The research themes attracted great interest and not just from the scientific sector. In addition to 50 research institutions, 40 companies are also engaged in the co-operative ventures. At the present time all the projects are at the international evaluation stage. Visionary programme planning - geological storage of CO2 Early this year the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) took over the responsibility for one of the greatest energy-policy themes of the future, namely the geological storage of CO2. In a closing of the ranks between science and industry, the contribution that this key technology can make to the reduction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions will be investigated in two parallel lines

of promotion. All future activities will be carried out within the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme. Important foundation work has already been done in this area in the form of the BMBF's supporting for just three years now of nine research projects within the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. These projects have made a significant contribution to strengthening Germany's know-how in this field and represent a further example for the forward-looking research planning embodied in GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. The public call to submit location-independent R&D project applications was made at the end of June, 2007. The deadline here is 31st August, 2007. In addition location-related pilot or, as the case may be, demonstration projects are planned to test the feasibility of storing CO2 in gas-conducting sandstone and deep-lying, salt-watercarrying strata.

Current figures from the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme Since the programme was started in the year 2000, 143 co-operative projects have been promoted in 9 different priority thematic fields. Participating in this co-operative work are experts from 42 universities, 21 non-university institutes and 33 companies. Up to the present time more than 90 million euros have been invested by the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the different projects. ¢

Currently, research drilling is conducted at the CO2-storage pilot site Ketzin, Germany

Attractive research – Technological developments increase the reliability of climate models nal phase the foundation work in the form of the technological and methodological knowhow had previously been laid. This put the participating institutions at the top of the world table in the field of gravitational and magnetic field analysis. No other satellite orbits so close to the earth and delivers data on the earth's gravitational force and magnetic field that is so detailed. The sensors are able to record the very smallest variations in the accelerations of 10-12m/s2 - an almost unimaginable degree of precision in relation to the acceleration due to earth’s gravity of 9.8 m/s2. In addition there is spatial resolution between 100 and 200 km. In this way the geoid (a scientific description of the earth's surface in

relation to gravitational acceleration) can now be represented a good 5 to 10 times more precisely than was previously possible. Thus, for example, the scientists can now determine the quantities of water transported in the world's oceans significantly more accurately. »The water masses being moved are up to one third greater than previously believed«, states Prof. Dr. Ilk of the University of Bonn. These observations represent valuable foundations for new and more precise climate forecasts. To increase their reliability even more the satellite mission GOCE – to start in March, 2008 – has been planned. With this mission the spatial resolution of the measurements will be improved still further. ¢




To provide climate models with initial data that is as exact as possible satellite missions such as CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE are essential. Because: »Only measurements are reliable«, according to Prof. Dr. Rothacher of the GeoForschungsZentrum, Potsdam. What he means is that the reliability of climate models can only be assessed when the first actual changes have been observed. With the aid of the CHAMP and GRACE satellites the data needed can now be analyzed in a series of measurements carried out over a period of five years. For this eight projects are being financed by the BMBF at the present time within the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme. In an initial promotio-

CHAMP – Challenging Minisatellite Payload

GOCE – Gravity Field and steady-state Ocean

GRACE – Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment

Start: 15th July, 2000

Circualtion Explorer

Start: 17th March, 2002

Orbit height: 460 km, 93 minutes per earth orbit

Start: March, 2008

Orbit height: 500 km, 95 minutes per earth orbit

Weight: approx. 500 kg

Orbit height: 250 km

Weight of the GRACE satellites: 2 x 500 kilograms

Weight: approx. 1000 kg



9:26 Uhr

Seite 2

Restive earth – natural hazards and their risks fascinate visitors GEOTECHNOLOGIEN exhibition has already attracted more than 100,000 visitors Earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and meteorites stand centre stage in the travelling exhibition »Restive Earth« which was conceived by the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN co-ordination office. Present in Frankfurt to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, which was arranged in close co-operation with the Iceland Tourist Board, was an audience of well-known persons and experts. Words of greeting from Prof. Dr. Volker Mosbrugger and Dr. Irmgard Schwaetzer as well as Sturla Bödvarsson, Iceland's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Telecommunication, and Ministerialdirigent Hartmut Grübel introduced the official opening ceremony. The fact that more than 100,000 persons have visited the exhibition (since its opening in October, 2006) underlines its attractiveness and the great public interest in the theme of »Natural hazards and research into these«. In addition the programme of public lectures accompanying the exhibition has given around 11,000 visitors a look into current geo-research on 12 evenings up to the present time. Alone in Frankfurt's Senckenberg Nature Museum and Munich's Man and Nature Museum more than 160 guided tours have been organized in close co-operation with each museum's pedagogical staff. The media too has reported very positively on the exhibition. Thus the exhibition testers of Bavarian Radio found that the exhibition offered great entertainment value for children from 8 to 10 years. Up to the present time numerous spots on radio and television as well as more than 30 newspaper articles (in newspapers ranging from the Süddeutsche to Bild Zeitung) have drawn attention in connection with the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN exhibition to the work being carried on in the field of geo-risk-research. ¢

Impressions from the exhibition at the Museum Man and Nature, Munich

Quality management: Interdisciplinary, international and independent Assessment of applications for the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN

The two-stage application and assessment process for the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme makes a decisive contribution to the high quality of the research projects. The outlines of the research proposed and the related applications as submitted following the particular public announcement are assessed by independent and high-calibre researchers from

Germany and abroad. The core of the assessment are the two meetings of the panel of experts selected for the particular thematic area. Here - following individual evaluation not only the outlines of the proposed research but also the related applications are discussed. Only the direct discourse of experts from different disciplines and their comparative evaluati-

on enables well-considered judgements to be reached on research projects of the interdisciplinary type being furthered in the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. Being furthered are research institutions and companies which as a rule join together in co-operative ventures. To promote scientific newcomers, each promotional announcement mentions the possibility of applying for a new blood group. The expertise of the assessors represents the most important decision-making foundation for the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN steering committee when passing on promotion recommendations to the BMBF. The chairperson of the panel is appointed by the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN steering committee. Together with the co-ordination office he or she puts together the panel of experts. Up to the present time 63 researchers from 12 countries have cast their vote as panel members on project applications submitted to GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. ¢



9:26 Uhr

Seite 3

Innovations pay for themselves – Companies engage within GEOTECHNOLOGIEN The interdisciplinary spectrum of research within GEOTECHNOLOGIEN opens up a wealth of new fields of technology. Preference is given to research applications in which co-operation is envisaged between companies and research institutions in order to facilitate the passing on of the results in a targeted manner to the relevant application. However, a further organizational challenge lies in the integration of corporate entities, in particular in substantive participation of small and mediumsized enterprises. Accordingly, potential users are brought into the process of agreeing on new themes for research right at the beginning, for example by the participation of company representatives in the preparatory meetings of experts. Innovative fields of technology can be easily identified at an early stage in this way while market requirements and opportunities for commercial realization can be taken into account in a concrete manner. Through the active addressing of companies, targeted information-disseminating events and regular announcements in the relevant trade association journals it has been possible to increase the participation of industry partners significantly.

»Bottom Up« instead of »Top Down« Innovations cannot be decreed, they must grow! Accordingly only thematic areas are set and targets formulated in the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN co-ordination committee. They are oriented on scientific requirements but also reflect justified economic, political and societal interests and expectations. However it is the scientists and their counterparts in industry who actually carry out the innovation processes. Accordingly, new research initiatives are worked out in the course of meetings of experts, for which the participants are selected in a broadly based manner not only in respect of their particular field of expertise but also in respect of the institutional field to which they belong. The fundamentals for the public announcements of promotional support are laid down at these meetings. Since the interests and targets of the corporate sector should also be taken into account in the offers to submit applications, around one third of the participants at this »round table« come from industry as a rule.

Who is Who – Under this new heading we would like to present a number of the players involved in the R&D programme. We make a start here with four project-coordinators from current research focal points.

Prof. Dr. Torsten Schlurmann

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Ilk

Prof. Dr. Claus-Dieter Reuther

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bohrmann

When at his place of work, the Franzius

Almost every day Professor Ilk looks down

Professor Reuther's advice is often sought

Since the time of his »appearance« in Frank

Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and

at our planet from the depths of space whe-

when the earth moves under Hamburg. As

Schätzing’s novel »The Shoal«, Gerhard Bohr-

Coastal Engineering, Professor Schlurmann

reby - besides admiring the beauty of earth



mann has been swamped with requests to

talks about the so-called freak waves, then

- he is interested in the effects of the proces-

Geology, he investigates above all salt tec-

give lectures and make other public appea-

he does this for deeply grounded interest.

ses taking place inside it. As co-ordinator of

tonics and neotectonics and the hazards

rances. Like few others, this geologist is able

Torsten Schlurmann completed his doctora-

the DFG priority programme »Mass trans-

resulting therefrom for man and the envi-

to combine public relations work with top

te at the Bergische University, Wuppertal in

port and mass distribution in System earth«.

ronment. As leader of the GEOTECHNOLO-

quality scientific research. As co-ordinator of

1999 on these monster waves - which are

Professor Ilk, who originally trained as a land

GIEN project »Hamburg - A Dynamic Un-


not tsunamis. His research work on unusual

register technician - wants to make use of

derground«, he is concerned with the

he concerns himself with the composition,

ocean waves led him to - amongst other

the gravitational field of the earth in order

potential for economic utilization of the

structure, dynamics and interactions of gas

places - the University of Madras in India

to learn more about the structures of and

earth's interior beneath Hamburg and the

hydrates in marine sediment. Several times a

and the UN-University in Bonn. Since 2007

processes taking place within the earth's

possible risks in this geologically active and

year his work takes him to the most remote

Torsten Schlurmann has been director of the

interior. After studying structural enginee-

at the same time densely populated region.

regions of the earth. Born in the Saarland

Franzius Institute at the University of Hanno-

ring at the Technical University, Munich, his

In addition the geologist, who has worked

and a graduate of the Technical University,

ver and at the same time project co-ordina-

research work led him finally - after spells in

at the University of Hamburg since 1993, is

Darmstadt, his career has taken him via the

tor of »LAST MILE«, a co-operative project

Canada and Indonesia - back to the TU

participating intensively on various research

IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel (formed from the mer-

that has been being promoted within GEO-

Munich as non-tenured professor. Today in

studies on the tectonics of the Australian

ging of the Institute for Marine Science (IfM)

TECHNOLOGIEN since April, 2007. In additi-

his function as Professor for Geodesy at the

continent as well as of the south of South

and the Research Centre for Marine Geo-

on to the question of how one can most

University of Bonn he devotes himself to the

America. Here the experience with the

sciences (GEOMAR) and the Alfred Wegener

effectively pass on warnings to the general

analyzing and interpretation of the gravita-

methods of applied geophysics acquired by

Institute in Bremerhaven to the Research

public, the research in this project is focus-

tional field data from the CHAMP and

this researcher in his time as exploration

Centre for Ocean Margins at the University

sed on the detailed modelling of the dyna-

GRACE satellite missions as well as to the

geologist is of great value.

of Bremen where he has held the post of

mics of floods and flooding.

upcoming GOCE mission.




Professor for General Geology since 2002.



9:26 Uhr

Seite 4

Tunnelling with exploration from and ahead of tunnel boring machines – BMBF promotes innovative technologies for increasing the efficiency of tunnelling Herrenknecht

Tunnel Driving Machine of superlatives: 15.2 meters Diameter Currently in use in Madrid, Spain

Leading straight through the Alps, in metropolitan underground railways or under waterways - tunnels are omnipresent. Their importance as transport and traffic ways grows from day to day. Over 470 new tunnel-kilometres are planned in Germany by the year 2010. Included in this total are sophisticated projects such as the around 30 tunnel-kilometres for the new Stuttgart-Munich ICE line. Today not only in fine sediment but also in the solid bedrock of mountains modern tunnel boring machines permit rapid tunnelling progress. However, should such a tunnel boring machine hit an obstruction, substantial damage can be done to the boring head. But time is

News }

New science reports Nr. 7 »Gas Hydrates in the Geosystem«, Nr. 8 »Information Systems in Earth Management«, Nr. 9 »First French-German Symposium on Geological Storage of CO2« Order your copy per E-mail or download the PDF files from }

Visitors Over 80,000 visitors informed themselves on the R&D programme via the web pages at during the last 12 months.

money! And in addition each disruption of this type endangers safety in the galleries. Used to detect obstructions before they are reached are above all seismic exploration methods. Here sound waves are transmitted through the rock in the direction planned for the tunnel during intervals in boring. If these waves meet disrupting bodies or interfaces they are reflected like an echo. These echoes are recorded by geophones and then analyzed by geo-scientists. To increase safety in tunnelling and the efficiency of the boring machines, the further development of such seismic exploration technologies are being promoted as focal points in three research projects being furthered by the


Bilateral Rated a great success was the 1st French-German Symposium on the Geological Storage of CO2 in Potsdam with around 170 participants including some 80 scientists from France. ( FG_CO2_Symposium.html) }

Started Since June, 2007 graduate geographer Werner Dransch has been responsible in the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN co-ordination office for the intensification of the dialogue between the scientific and business sectors.

Federal German Ministry for Education and Research within the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN R&D programme. The projects are aimed at making it possible for the exploration to be carried out ahead of and from the cutting wheel during the actual boring operations. The rapid online representation of the structures lying ahead of the tunnel boring machine should put the machine driver in a position to introduce suitable measures rapidly in order to prevent damage. Whereas with the conventional techniques the tunnel boring machine had to be halted at regular intervals, this innovative technology can permit tunnel driving to be accelerated significantly. The structure of the R&D programme helps to generate the appropriate networking of the different projects. In this way multilateral, interdisciplinary research capable of satisfying the most stringent scientific and technological demands will be made possible. ¢ Projects: ONSITE, COMEXTEC, AUTOSEIS Running time: : 3 years, start autumn 2006 Promotional sum: Around 3.3 million euros (BMBF) + 1.3 million euros (partners from the corporate sector)

Dates }

2nd - 5th October, 2007 Status seminar »Gas hydrates« within the framework of the annual conference of the Geological Association, Bremen }

10th October, 2007 Kick-Off-Meeting »Early-warning systems for natural hazards«, Karlsruhe }

15th/16th November, 2007 Status seminar »Exploration, utilization and protection of the earth's interior«, RWE-DEA, Hamburg


21st/22nd November, 2007 Status seminar »Observation of System Earth from space«, Bavarian Academy of the Sciences, Munich }

20. bis 22. November 2007 CHINA GEOTECH 2007 Shanghai, China }

28th, November, 2007 Opening of the travelling exhibition »Restive Earth«, German Technical Museum, Berlin

Imprint: GEOTECHNOLOGIEN coordination office, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany, Phone: +49 (0)331 1071, The R&D-programme GEOTECHNOLOGIEN is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG).



9:26 Uhr

Seite 5

GEOTECHNOLOGIEN in conversation… with Thomas Edelmann, Herrenknecht AG is very important. In practice this functions by being in regular contact with universities, institutes and engineering offices. In addition to the AUTOSEIS project, Herrenknecht is participating in the development of a special annulate fissure mortar in co-operation with the universities of Bochum and Wuppertal.

In just 25 years Herrenknecht has advanced from being a »garage operation« (quotation: Martin Herrenknecht) to an enterprise with close to 1800 employees. Annual turnover, 2006: around 650 million euros. The company is rated one of the world leaders in the field of tunnel driving. For this Herrenknecht AG has to thank amongst other things its consequent and intensive furtherance of research. In discussion with GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Thomas Edelmann, Departmental Manager for Research and Development at Herrenknecht, underlined the value of R&D programmes for companies such as Herrenknecht. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: Mr. Edelmann, you are the manager of the research department of the world's largest manufacturer of tunnel driving machines (TBM). Could you give a brief insight into the latest R&D projects of Herrenknecht AG. EDELMANN: By reason of the interacting of many different disciplines involved in a tunnel driving system, the themes for the R&D department are also very varied. In addition to development projects such as for exploration ahead of and parallel to tunnel driving, there is also detailed work focussed on improving key components of a TBM, such as the cutting wheel drive. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: What role does the co-operation with universities and nonuniversity research institutions on R&D projects play at Herrenknecht? How much value is attached to this co-operation and could you give us one or two concrete examples? EDELMANN: Traditionally great importance has been attached to R&D at Herrenknecht AG whereby further development is not carried out exclusively by the company's R&D Department. Intensive co-operation with universities

GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: Do you see synergies from such co-operations, not only from an economic point of view but also for the research side? EDELMANN: R&D of this type make possible development steps which could not be achieved by individual parties or could only be covered in part. The co-operation enables the product as developed or improved to reach the application phase immediately. Moreover the co-operations enables the universities to carry out close-to-practice research. In this way and with its eye on inter-university competition a university can offer its students interesting and challenging tasks. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: R&D programmes such as GEOTECHNOLOGIEN are aimed at increasing co-operation between the scientific and business sectors. How much value do such promotional measures have for an enterprise like Herrenknecht AG? EDELMANN: In addition to the gain in knowledge and experience it naturally means finding the solution oriented on the problem that offers the greatest economic efficiency. In this way Herrenknecht products are optimized from different standpoints and remain STATE OF THE ART in the long-term. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: Are your expectations from such programmes fulfilled and if not where would you like to see improvements? EDELMANN: The combination of science and business brings together standpoints that are in part very different. Such programmes can be designed in a highly effective way through the ideas of the scientific side and the practical experience of the industrial side. Sometimes however the zest for action is braked by the priorities set by the research programmes so that time delays come about. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: In the co-operative project AUTOSEIS your company together with the Technical University Brunswick is developing and testing new methods of carrying out exploration from and ahead of TBMs. How do you see the develop-

ment of this technology up to the present time and what expectations have you for its introduction on the market? EDELMANN: Exploration-ahead is an important component in increasing safety. Today tunnel projects are carried out that earlier appeared impossible. The unique technique of seismic exploration ahead of and from the cutting wheel requires the use of high-tech instruments under the most difficult of conditions. At the same time these systems should deliver precise location data online to the TBM driver. The improvements being made to this hardware and software will speed up the distribution of the product. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN: World-wide the utilization of the earth's interior is increasing. In Germany alone around 470 tunnel-kilometres are in the concrete planning stage. Where in your opinion do the innovative fields of research lie that could be commanded by German companies and research institutions in the future? EDELMANN: The requirements being set in respect of human mobility are increasing all the time. At the same time today's megacities have the greatest difficulty in coping with the hindrances of large construction sites. Accordingly tomorrow's research fields will also lie in finding ways of carrying out large city-centre projects such as constructing road and underground railway tunnels with a minimum of disruption for traffic and inhabitants. Here new technologies must be found to get still better in this area. At the same time the speed of executing such projects must increase drastically in order to permit the requirements to be met. ¢

Thomas Edelmann Graduate engineer Thomas Edelmann manages the R&D department of Herrenknecht AG. For more than 16 years he has concerned himself with the production logistics of the supplier industry as well as with the designing and development of tunnel driving systems. In this position he has been involved in - amongst other things the project management of the AUTOSEIS research project.