Christopher Hebling Conferred Honorary Professor by the University of Cape Town

Christopher Hebling, division director of Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE, was appointed Honorary Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Besides research and teaching, Hebling will promote the cooperation between the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the South African scientific community in the fields of hydrogen and solar technologies.

Christopher Hebling
© Fraunhofer ISE
Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling.

In February 2018, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Reimund Neugebauer, the Fraunhofer ISE and the University of Cape Town jointly agreed upon a cooperation in the field of hydrogen technologies. As Honorary Professor, Christopher Hebling will promote the main topics addressed in the agreement: process development, catalysis, hydrogen technologies, synthetic chemicals and fuels as well as low temperature PEM fuel cells. This appointment strengthens the cooperation with UCT, especially with the Institute for Catalysis. Beyond this, Hebling will advise the Faculty on potential future research topics in sustainable energy technologies and will support UCT in networking with worldwide leading institutions in the fields of hydrogen and solar technologies.

“We are pleased that our colleague Christopher Hebling, with his excellent international networking ability within the scientific community as well as with industry, is able to support research in new energy technologies in South Africa,” says Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning, institute director of Fraunhofer ISE. The University of Cape Town holds the number one ranking of all 800 listed universities in South Africa.

Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling studied physics at the University of Freiburg and carried out his diploma and dissertation research on silicon solar cells at Fraunhofer ISE. After receiving his doctoral degree in 1998 from the University of Konstanz on the topic “Crystalline Silicon Thin Film Solar Cells on Insulating Substrates,” he founded the Micro Energy Technology Group at Fraunhofer ISE in 1999. In 2001 he became head of the Department of the Energy Technologies, and since 2001 is division director of Hydrogen Technologies at Fraunhofer ISE. As conference chair, jury member, advisor or board member, Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling is actively engaged in many national and international committees and conferences in the field of hydrogen technologies and integrated energy systems.

Intensifying the Cooperation

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft aims to intensify its scientific cooperation with South Africa, and therefore, are setting up a Fraunhofer Project Center at the University of Stellenbosch. In January 2019, the University of Stellenbosch and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, for Solar Energy Systems ISE, for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and for Optronics, System Technology and Image Exploitation IOSB all agreed upon a cooperation in the WASTEC project (Water Supply for Desalination and Microbial Control in Food Production for Africa). The project partners are developing processes for water treatment and use in order to provide solutions for the water supply problems in South Africa and the sub-Saharan African countries.

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