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Dec 16, 2021 | EMPA NEWSROOM
Denise Mitrano wins Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize
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Award winner: Denise Mitrano conducted research at Empa for several years and is now an assistant professor at ETH Zurich. Image: Cornelia Vinzens

Denise Mitrano, former postdoctoral researcher at the Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Group, led by Bernd Nowack, and now Assistant Professor of Environmental Chemistry of Anthropogenic Materials at ETH Zurich, was awarded the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize by the Swiss National Foundation (SNF). She is the 13th winner of the prize which honors outstanding young women researchers and is endowed with 25,000 Swiss francs. Mitrano's research focuses on tracking the spread of micro- and nanoplastic particles throughout the environment.

These tiny particles, formed by the weathering and degradation of plastic items, are by now ubiquitous and one of the defining features of the Anthropocene, the epoch representing significant human impact on the earth's ecosystem and geology. Tracking the spread of tiny plastics allows Mitrano to assess the potential harmful effects that micro- and nanoplastics could have on various ecosystems, develop analytical methods to better identify these particles and interpret the risk for humans and the environment.

Learning to store green energy
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Research platform: Empa's energy hub is available to working groups from all over the world. Image: Empa

Energy storage is one of the major challenges in the current transformation of our energy system. The European Green Deal is intended to help make Europe climate- neutral by 2050. Storage systems play a central role in this. In the recently launched Green Deal project "StoRIES", numerous research institutions and industrial partners throughout Europe are working together on solutions for storing energy. Empa is participating in this project with its research and demonstration infrastructures NEST, move and ehub, as well as its know-how on life cycle analyses in the "Technology and Society" research lab.

 

«Salon public»: wise minds explain the world
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Visionary: Peter Richner talks about the future of living at the "Salon Public" in Bern. Image: Aroma

The "Salon Public" is the largest "science festival" in Switzerland. The four-part science festival took place on October 16 in the Kursaal Bern and on October 23, 2021 in Lausanne. At each event, four renowned speakers present a topic. Peter Richner, deputy director of Empa, showed in Bern how broadly the interpretation of an "intelligent building" can be applied and ventured a view far beyond today's building standards. In addition to Richner, the organizers had invited a number of other illustrious speakers, including former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, solar visionary Bertrand Piccard, ETH Board President Michael Hengartner and philosopher Richard David Precht.

Editor / Media contact
Rainer Klose
Communication
Phone +41 58 765 4733
redaktion@empa.ch

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