Graz University of Technology
Graz, Austria

The Graz University of Technology is the second largest university in Styria, Austria, after the University of Graz. Austria has three universities of technology – in Graz, in Leoben, and in Vienna. The Graz University of Technology was founded in 1811 by Archduke John of Austria. TU Graz is a public university. In the academic year 2013/14, 15.9% of the students were from abroad and 22.6% of the students were female out of the 12,565 students enrolled at the TU Graz. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 4, 2017

Light initiates many chemical reactions. Experiments at the Laser Centre of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the University of Warsaw's Faculty of Physics have for the first time demonstrated that increasing the intensity of illumination some reactions can be significantly faster. Here, acceleration was achieved using pairs of ultrashort laser pulses. Light-induced reactions can be accelerated by increasing the intensity of illumination -- this has been demonstrated in experiments carried out at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw. In order to thoroughly investigate the nature of the processes involved, ultra-short consecutive pairs of laser pulses were used, and an increase in the rate of reaction between the molecules was observed by up to several dozen percent. The observations of the Warsaw scientists have been reported in the well-known scientific journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. "Our experiments provide fundamental knowledge about the physical processes that are important for the course of important light-induced reactions. This knowledge can potentially be used in many applications, especially when dealing with high intensity light sources. These include, among others, various microscopic imaging techniques, ultra-fast spectroscopy as well as photovoltaics, particularly if light-focusing devices such as solar collectors are used," says Dr. Gonzalo Angulo (IPC PAS). In light-induced reactions, a photon with the appropriate energy excites a molecule of dye. When there is a molecule of quencher near the excited molecule, an interaction takes place: there may be a transfer of energy, an electron or a proton, between the two reactants. Reactions of this type are common in nature. A good example is electron transfer in photosynthesis, which plays a key role in the formation of the Earth's ecosystem. It turns out that a factor that can influence the acceleration of reactions is the intensity of the light that initiates them. In order to study the nature of the processes taking place, the Warsaw chemists used laser pulses lasting femtoseconds instead of the traditional continuous stream of light. The energy of the impulses was adjusted so that, under their influence, the dye molecules moved into the excited energy state. The pulses were grouped in pairs. The interval between pulses in a pair was several dozen picoseconds (trillionths of a second) and was matched to the type of reacting molecules and the environment of the solution. "The theory and the experiments required care and attention, but the physical idea itself is quite simple here," notes Jadwiga Milkiewicz, a PhD student at IPC PAS, and explains: "In order for the reaction to occur, there must be a molecule of quencher near the light-excited dye molecule. So, if we have a pair of molecules that have already reacted with each other this means that they were close enough to each other. By increasing the number of photons in time, we thus increase the chance that if, after the reaction, both molecules have managed to return to their ground state, the absorption of a new photon by the dye has the potential to initiate another reaction before the molecules move away from each other in space." The course of reactions in solutions depends on many factors such as temperature, pressure, viscosity or the presence of an electric or magnetic field. The research at the IPC PAS has proved that these factors also influence the acceleration of the chemical reaction that occurs with an increased intensity of illumination. Under some conditions, the acceleration of the reaction was unnoticeable, in optimal conditions the rate of the reaction increased by up to 25-30%. "In our experiments so far, we have concentrated on light-induced electron transfer reactions, that is, those which change the electrical charge of the molecules. However, we do not see any reason why the mechanism we have observed could not function in other variations of these reactions. So, in the near future, we will try to confirm its efficacy in energy transfer reactions or in reactions involving also proton transfer," says Dr. Angulo. In addition to physicists and chemists from the IPC PAS and the Physics Faculty of the University of Warsaw, financed by the HARMONIA grant of the National Science Centre, a group headed by Prof. Gunther Grampp from Graz University of Technology participated in the experiments. In the Austrian laboratory, comparative experiments were carried out on samples illuminated in a continuous manner. Also involved in the team's theoretical work was Dr. Daniel Kattnig from the University of Oxford. This press release was prepared with funds from the European ERA Chairs grant under the Horizon 2020 programme. The Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established in 1955 as one of the first chemical institutes of the PAS. The Institute's scientific profile is strongly related to the newest global trends in the development of physical chemistry and chemical physics. Scientific research is conducted in nine scientific departments. CHEMIPAN R&D Laboratories, operating as part of the Institute, implement, produce and commercialise specialist chemicals to be used, in particular, in agriculture and pharmaceutical industry. The Institute publishes approximately 200 original research papers annually.

News Article | December 15, 2016

The porous crystals known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) consist of metallic intersections connected by organic molecules. Thanks to their high porosity, MOFs have an extremely large surface area: a teaspoonful of MOF has the same surface area as a football pitch. The large number of pores situated in an extremely small space offer room for ‘guests’, allowing MOFS to be used for gas storage or as a ‘molecular gate’ for separating chemicals. But MOFs have a much greater potential, and this is what Paolo Falcaro from the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry (PTC) at the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) in Austria wants to unlock. “MOFs are prepared by self-organization,” Falcaro explains. “We don’t have to do anything other than mix the components, and the crystals will grow by themselves. However, crystals grow with random orientation and position, and thus their pores. Now, we can control this growth, and new properties of MOFs will be explored for multifunctional use in microelectronics, optics, sensors and biotechnology.” In a paper in Nature Materials, Falcaro and his team report a method for growing MOFs on a comparatively large surface area of 1cm2 that offers an unprecedented level of control over the orientation and alignment of the crystals. Other members of the team include Masahide Takahashi from Osaka Prefecture University in Japan and researchers from the University of Adelaide, Monash University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), all in Australia. Incorporating functional materials into these precisely-oriented crystals allows the creation of anisotropic materials, which are materials with directionally-dependent properties. In the paper, the research team describes incorporating fluorescent molecules into a precisely-oriented MOF. Just by rotating the film, the fluorescent signal can be turned ‘on’ or ‘off’, producing an optically-active switch. “This has many conceivable applications and we’re going to try many of them with a variety of different functionalities,” says Falcaro. “One and the same material can show different properties through different orientations and alignments. Intentional growth of MOFs on this scale opens up a whole range of promising applications which we’re going to explore step by step.” A major aim of Falcaro and his team at TU Graz is developing MOFs for biotechnological applications. “We are trying to encapsulate enzymes, proteins and even DNA in MOFs and to immunize their activity against fluctuations in temperature,” he says. “The crystalline structure surrounding the ‘guest’ in the pore has a protective effect, like a tough jacket. We want to check out the possibilities more accurately.” This story is adapted from material from TU Graz, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.

News Article | October 29, 2016

AIM Solder, a leading global manufacturer of solder assembly materials for the electronics industry, will highlight their innovative M8 No Clean Solder Paste along with their full line of solder assembly materials at the SMTA New England Expo & Tech Forum, scheduled to take place November 3rd, 2016 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. M8 No Clean Solder Paste has been formulated to improve production yields and product quality, whether printing 0.50 area ratios or eliminating voiding on QFN and LED packages. M8's post-reflow residue passes all IPC, BONO and tough changing environment test specifications, making it the ideal choice for automotive and high performance/high reliability applications. Additionally, AIM’s R&D Manager, Dr. Mehran Maalekian, will be presenting at the SMTA New England Expo & Tech Forum on November 3rd, 2016. Dr. Maalekian’s presentation, “New Pb-free Alloys for Improved Reliability – Latest Results,” explores the use of a novel high reliability lead-free solder alloy, that contrary to the commonly used SAC305, can perform in harsh service conditions and provides superior creep resistance and mechanical properties for high reliability applications. Dr. Mehran Maalekian received his PhD with distinction from Graz University of Technology, Austria in 2007. Through his long research career he has published and presented numerous scientific and technical papers on physical metallurgy, materials modeling, welding and soldering, including a chapter of the ASM Int. Handbook. Dr. Maalekian has won a number of national and international awards, such as from the International Institute of Welding. He serves as a reviewer of several scientific journals and is on the editorial board of “Science and Technology of Welding and Joining.” To discover all of AIM’s products and services, visit the company at the SMTA New England Expo & Tech Forum. About AIM Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, AIM Solder is a leading global manufacturer of assembly materials for the electronics industry with manufacturing, distribution and support facilities located throughout the world. AIM produces advanced solder products such as solder paste, liquid flux, cored wire, bar solder, epoxies, lead-free and halogen-free solder products, preforms, and specialty alloys such as indium and gold for a broad range of industries. A recipient of many prestigious SMT industry awards, AIM is strongly committed to innovative research and development of product and process improvement as well as providing customers with superior technical support, service and training. For more information about AIM, visit

News Article | November 18, 2016

GRAZ, AUSTRIA, November 18, 2016-- If there were no biotechnology, the world would stand still. "Biotechnologically derived drugs dominate therapy with eight of the top ten best-selling drugs are produced using biotech methods," says Prof. Nigel Titchener-Hooker from the University College London. The European Union is funding research projects in bio-economy with 3.8 Bio Euro in the Horizon2020 program. Additionally, 3.7 Bio Euro are mobilized to drive the biobased value chain through funding public-private-partnerships within the European Bioconsortium between 2014 and 2020.Based on huge funding and investments, the world of biotechnology moves quickly forward. New technologies help the industry saving production costs and shorten development times. Using ultra scale-down technologies like tangential flow microfiltration and tangential flow chromatography, process times could be decreased from five hours to minutes. Perfusion systems reduce costs of goods for about 20 % compared to traditional (but still more stable) fed-batch systems, so Hooker-Titchener who believes that personalized medicine will be available by 2025 despite problems with clinical studies and approvals.As most highly valuable therapeutics are manufactured using CHO cells (Chinese hamster ovary cells), improving these systems is a top priority of the pharmaceutical industry. According to Helene Faustrup Kildegaard from Novo Nordisk, traditional technologies like random integration, down-regulation using RNAs, or knockout via mutagenesis are currently replaced by the CRISPR/CAS approach that helps shorten the cell line development from one year to three months. "We need more than CRISPR like genome stability or an optimization of genome editing," says Faustrup Kildegaard. Rainer Schneider, key researcher of the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, presented more solutions in another way. He talked about his in-vivo evolution and selection system for E. coli with an "extremely large mutation spectrum" that allows selection overnight with only variants with god stability surviving. Scheider pointed out that even a microbial antibody production would be possible.However, severe challenges are appearing on the scientific horizon. Prof. Huimin Zhao from the University of Illinois showed a fully automatized and dehumanized laboratory where a robot is transferring probes from one machine to the other. "In the future, we will see fast, automated systems for a fast discovery of new products from known or new sequence information. We want to move quickly from a sequence to a product," says Zhao. Thinking one step further, smart computers will analyze upcoming (big) data and define new work for robots that perform all experiments. There maybe won't be much room left for scientists.Much more information about the European Summit of Industrial Biotechnology 2016 including summaries of the sessions (about protein design, modeling, translation, highly valuable sugar molecules, synthetic biology and more) is available at The European Summit of Industrial Biotechnology (ESIB) was organized by the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib), an international Research Centre for Industrial Biotechnology with locations in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Tulln (A), Hamburg, Bielefeld (D), Pavia (I), Rzeszow (P) and Barcelona (E). Using the concepts of nature, acib-scientists replace traditional industrial methods with new, more economic and ecological technologies.Currently, the acib is an international network of 150+ international universities and industry partners, including BASF, DSM, Sandoz, Boehringer Ingelheim, Jungbunzlauer, voestalpine, 3M or Clariant. Owners are the Universities of Innsbruck and Graz, Graz University of Technology, the University of Natural Resources, Vienna and Joanneum Research.At the acib 200+ scientific employees with up to 30+ years of experience in industrial biotechnology work in more than 70 research projects. The competence center acib is sponsored within COMET (Austrian Competence Centres for Excellent Technologies) by the BMVIT, BMWFW and the provinces of Styria, Tyrol, Lower Austria and Vienna. The COMET program is handled by the FFG.

Pock T.,Graz University of Technology | Chambolle A.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision | Year: 2011

In this paper we study preconditioning techniques for the first-order primal-dual algorithm proposed in [5]. In particular, we propose simple and easy to compute diagonal preconditioners for which convergence of the algorithm is guaranteed without the need to compute any step size parameters. As a by-product, we show that for a certain instance of the preconditioning, the proposed algorithm is equivalent to the old and widely unknown alternating step method for monotropic programming [7]. We show numerical results on general linear programming problems and a few standard computer vision problems. In all examples, the preconditioned algorithm significantly outperforms the algorithm of [5]. © 2011 IEEE.

Wieser B.,Graz University of Technology
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2010

A number of European countries have expanded their screening programme considerably during the last decade. Other countries have, however, not expanded their programme substantially. In this paper, I will compare UK and Austria, two countries representing two ends of the European spectrum. Focussing on the decision-making processes behind the design and expansion of newborn screening, I draw on Sheila Jasanoff's concept of " civic epistemology"(Jasanoff, S. (2005). Designs on Nature. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.) to investigate how the chosen countries provide information in order to give account for their respective screening policies. In particular, I analyse how key institutions in the UK and Austria use scientific expertise to explain and justify national screening programmes. For this purpose, I compare the material that is made available to the public, including policy documents, scientific studies, medical guidelines, legal regulation, advisory committee reports and public engagement exercises. It was found that the observed differences in the accountability practices are rooted in nationally traditional forms of policy making. However, whether or not these repertoires become indeed realised is a more contingent matter and is often triggered by events which evoke a response from the medical and policy-making actors. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Donoser M.,Graz University of Technology | Bischof H.,Graz University of Technology
Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition | Year: 2013

In this paper we revisit diffusion processes on affinity graphs for capturing the intrinsic manifold structure defined by pair wise affinity matrices. Such diffusion processes have already proved the ability to significantly improve subsequent applications like retrieval. We give a thorough overview of the state-of-the-art in this field and discuss obvious similarities and differences. Based on our observations, we are then able to derive a generic framework for diffusion processes in the scope of retrieval applications, where the related work represents specific instances of our generic formulation. We evaluate our framework on several retrieval tasks and are able to derive algorithms that e., g. a 100% bulls eye score on the popular MPEG7 shape retrieval data set. © 2013 IEEE.

Wriessnegger T.,Acib Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology | Pichler H.,Acib Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology | Pichler H.,Graz University of Technology
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2013

Terpenoids comprise various structures conferring versatile functions to eukaryotes, for example in the form of prenyl-anchors they attach proteins to membranes. The physiology of eukaryotic membranes is fine-tuned by another terpenoid class, namely sterols. Evidence is accumulating that numerous membrane proteins require specific sterol structural features for function. Moreover, sterols are intermediates in the synthesis of steroids serving as hormones in higher eukaryotes. Like steroids many compounds of the terpenoid family do not contribute to membrane architecture, but serve as signalling, protective or attractant/repellent molecules. Particularly plants have developed a plenitude of terpenoid biosynthetic routes branching off early in the sterol biosynthesis pathway and, thereby, forming one of the largest groups of naturally occurring organic compounds. Many of these aromatic and volatile molecules are interesting for industrial application ranging from foods to pharmaceuticals. Combining the fortunate situation that sterol biosynthesis is highly conserved in eukaryotes with the amenability of yeasts to genetic and metabolic engineering, basically all naturally occurring terpenoids might be produced involving yeasts. Such engineered yeasts are useful for the study of biological functions and molecular interactions of terpenoids as well as for the large-scale production of high-value compounds, which are unavailable in sufficient amounts from natural sources due to their low abundance. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Morandi O.,Graz University of Technology
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

The femtosecond laser excitation of the spin configuration in a low-dimensional magnetic semiconductor is investigated. An atomistic Schrödinger model is developed in which trapped electrons and ionic impurities are coupled via exchange interactions. By defining a suitable set of non-Hermitian operators, the microscopic Schrödinger description of the particles is combined with the more phenomenological Landau-Bloch relaxation mechanism. Differing from the standard approaches, in this model the statistical widths of the wave functions become time-dependent. This enables the study of decoherence effects where the evolution of the system, from an initial pure state to a final mixed state, is induced by the spin interaction. Simulations reproduce the out-of-equilibrium spin evolution observed in ZnCdSe devices. The effects of quantum confinement and multimode excitation are discussed. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Lehner F.,Graz University of Technology
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B | Year: 2014

We prove a refinement of the tree packing theorem by Tutte/Nash-Williams for finite graphs. This result is used to obtain a similar result for end faithful spanning tree packings in certain infinite graphs and consequently to establish a sufficient Hamiltonicity condition for the line graphs of such graphs. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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