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Jennifer Braun

Scientific staff member
Jennifer Braun

Jennifer Braun takes a closer look at the sniffer dog as a "detector" for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Thanks to their highly sensitive olfactory system, sniffer dogs have the special ability to sniff out drugs, explosives, people or animals on the basis of their scent. But how sensitive is the dog and how reliable is its detection? To get to the bottom of this, PhD student Jennifer Braun is looking into methods for the quality-assured quantification of VOCs, which primarily involve instrumental analysis but also the sniffer dog.

Rene Breuch

Scientific staff member
Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Email: 
rene.breuch [at] h-brs.de

Undesirable bacteria in the food industry are a problem, and detecting them is a particular challenge. PhD student Rene Breuch is researching how to use surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect such bacteria in time. He detects and differentiates spoilage bacteria by specifically developing durable SERS substrates based on gold nanoparticles, appropriate sampling methods and multivariate statistics.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter Kaul

Ruben Gonzalez

Ph.D. Student
Institute for Security Research
Ruben Gonzalez
Email: 
ruben.gonzalez [at] h-brs.de

Cryptography, or encryption technology, is used everywhere today. It is used in online banking as well as for opening cars by remote control. However, a new type of computer, the quantum computer, is threatening the current generation of encryption systems. In order to remain on the safe side, new cryptographic methods must be devised, developed and tested. This branch of research is called Post-Quantum Cryptography. PhD student Ruben Gonzalez investigates how Post-Quantum Cryptography can work on the very smallest devices, the Constraint Embedded Devices (e.g. fine dust sensors, credit cards).
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Karl Jonas

Sarah Heß
The research goal of PhD student Sarah Heß is to detect DNA profiles ("genetic fingerprints") from single hairs that have fallen out. In most cases, they only carry a small amount of DNA that has broken down into very short pieces. In order to deduce from the hair the person who left the trace, the analysis of this type of trace requires a number of highly sensitive detection methods, which are being improved at the H-BRS and optimized for application to microtraces.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Richard Jäger

Jana Hinz

Scientific staff member
Jana Hinz
Email: 
jana.hinz [at] h-brs.de

N-nitrosamines are partly volatile compounds that can be formed during many different industrial processes and are classified as carcinogenic. Due to their high health risk, it is of acute interest that reliable, sensitive and mobile systems for the detection and quantification of N-nitrosamines are developed. PhD student Jana Hinz is working on the development of a GC-FAIMS system, a measuring device for the rapid analysis of N-nitrosamines. This system is to be used in various branches of industry. Compared to commonly used methods, GC-FAIMS offers the advantage of being fast, field applicable and cost efficient.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Michaela Wirtz

Amadeus Janotta

Research associate
Porträt von Amadeus Janotta, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Fachbereich Angewandte Naturwissenschaften
Email: 
amadeus.janotta [at] h-brs.de

Terrorists repeatedly use the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) in attacks because the precursors are readily available and TATP is easy to synthesize. However, identifying and sampling TATP is a challenge for security agencies because this explosive is sensitive to impact, heat, friction and vibration. That's why Amadeus Janotta is researching a disposable sensor made of electrospun polymer fibers. Because TATP sublimes (it goes directly from solid to gas), it can react in a gaseous form with substances contained in the polymer fibers in a color change visible to the naked eye. The aim of Amadeus Janotta's doctoral thesis is to develop a non-contact, rapid and energy-autonomous on-site identification method for detecting TATP.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter-Michael Kaul

Daniel Klein

Scientific staff member, doctoral candidate
Daniel Klein
Email: 
daniel.klein [at] h-brs.de

Raw meat quickly shows bacterial infestation. If the contaminated meat is consumed, it can be hazardous to health above a certain quantity. Therefore, PhD student Daniel Klein wants to make contaminations (e.g. bacteria) on complex substrates (e.g. meat) visible. To do this, he is linking spectroscopic data from IR and Raman spectroscopy from the same measurement regions to show where contaminations can be found. By linking the two methods, the information content of the data set should increase and at the same time the error rate in contamination detection should decrease.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter-Michael Kaul

Stephan Maurer

Scientific staff member
Dipl.-Ing.
Zur Personenseite
Email: 
stephan.maurer [at] h-brs.de

Unconventional explosive and incendiary devices are often used in terrorist activities and are part of the threat in global conflict hotspots. Protecting people and material therefore requires effective countermeasures. This includes enabling security forces or military personnel to classify unknown substance discoveries as hazardous or non-critical on site with little time and logistical effort. In order to distinguish explosive materials from non-explosive materials, the strongly exothermic reaction that can be initiated in explosive materials can be used. This results in radiation emissions as well as local pressure and temperature increases. The measurement of these reaction effects and the requirement for mobile, easy-to-use and robust analytics are enabled by a system developed by PhD student Stephan Maurer, which stimulates samples in the single-digit mg range to chemical turnover by rapid heating on microstructured heaters.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter Kaul

Liquid crystals are usually only known from displays (LCD). However, the extraordinary optical properties of these fascinating substances can be used for various applications. One of these is gas sensing. A special liquid crystalline phase, which is created by doping with optically active substances, reflects back only a narrow wavelength range of the incident light, similar to the wings of a butterfly. For the observer, the liquid crystal then appears in a very intense color. However, no dye is responsible for the color, only the structure of the liquid crystal. A chemical reaction of the dopant with a substance to be detected changes this structure and thus instantly the visible color. For the detection of substances, PhD student Lukas Pschyklenk is developing a gas sensor that consumes no power and can be read with the naked eye.The PhD project is linked to the BMBF project OptoSpin. The aim of the project is to find suitable dopants for selected safety-relevant substances and to improve the applicability of these sensors.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter Kaul

Markus Rohde

Projekt Digital Fellowship International
Zur Personenseite
Email: 
markus.rohde [at] h-brs.de

In recent years, 3D cameras based on the time-of-flight method - also driven by their use in smartphones - have increasingly found their way into our everyday lives. The application possibilities of this technology are immense, be it for automatic environment detection in the automotive sector, safety and automation functions in robotics, tasks of automatic area monitoring, biometric problems or even the contactless control of technical devices. The goal of the research work of doctoral student Markus Rohde is to expand the areas of application of such 3D cameras. For example, the range for outdoor applications, which is currently limited to about 10 meters, is to be extended to more than 20 meters. To this end, innovative infrared laser illumination systems are being developed and approaches to sensor-related signal processing are being researched.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Robert Lange

Sara Schäfer

Scientific staff member, doctoral candidate
Porträt Sara Schäfer
Email: 
Sara.Schaefer [at] h-brs.de

Due to its unique properties, ultrapure water is used as a solvent or starting product for pharmaceuticals as well as for cleaning surfaces in the manufacture of high-precision components in semiconductor production. Monitoring the water quality is of utmost importance in this context. PhD student Sara Schäfer is developing a universal measuring device for monitoring ultrapure water quality. This combines two standard methods of oxidation. Oxidation is achieved by ozonation in combination with UV radiation. This in turn leads to an extended oxidation process and thus to a significant increase in oxidation power compared to conventional systems.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter Kaul

Porträt Sarah Vermeeren
Email: 
sarah.vermeeren [at] h-brs.de

Sarah Vermeeren is developing a method for detecting potato wart disease, which is caused by the pot fungus Synchytrium endobioticum (Schilb.) Perc. and is one of the most important pests of potatoes. It even has quarantine status in EU countries, i.e. infested areas are closed to potato cultivation for years. Therefore, early detection and containment of the potato wart disease is extremely important. Sarah Vermeeren uses thermodesorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) and proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) to analyze the volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles of potato plants, potatoes, and residual soil, with the goal of being able to distinguish between healthy and infected states based on these.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter Kaul

Johannes Warmer

Scientific staff member, doctoral candidate
Zur Personenseite
Email: 
johannes.warmer [at] h-brs.de

PhD student Johannes Warmer is working on the development of a sensor system for the detection of triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a highly explosive substance that has been used repeatedly by terrorists for attacks. In his work, he is primarily concerned with so-called metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors, which are characterized by very high sensitivity but low selectivity at low initial cost. In order to compensate for the disadvantage of the lack of selectivity, it is necessary to optimize the sensor performance by selecting suitable materials and operating modes for the sensor. Within the scope of the PhD project, the development of suitable signal processing strategies and the combination of different spectroscopic and electrical measurement techniques will not only be used to realize the applicability of such a sensor system, but also to formulate the underlying chemical surface reactions. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the actual sensory mechanism.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Peter Kaul