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Jülich Research Centre


Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Research Centre Jülich) is a member of the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft or Hermann von Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres and is one of the largest interdisciplinary research centres in Europe. It was founded on 11 December 1956 by the Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia as a registered association, before it became "Kernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbH" or Nuclear Research Centre Jülich in 1967. In 1990, the name of the association was changed to "Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH". In 2007, the Research Centre is going to change its name once again, when it becomes "Helmholtz Centre Jülich" in order to strengthen identification with the Helmholtz Association.[1]



  The Research Centre is situated in the middle of the Stetternich Forest in Jülich (Kreis Düren, Rheinland) and covers an area of 2.2 square kilometres.


The annual budget of the Research Centre is approximately € 360 million. Public funds are split between the German Federal Government (90 %) and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (10 %).


The Research Centre employs more than 4,300 members of staff (2006) and works within the framework of the disciplines physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering on the basic principles and applications in the areas of health, information, environment and energy. Amongst the members of staff, there are approx. 1,300 scientists including 400 PhD students and 150 diploma students. Around 800 people work in the administration and service areas, 350 work for project management agencies, and there are 1,500 technical staff members, while around 350 trainees are completing their training in 20 different professions.

Some 700 visiting scientists come to Research Centre Jülich every year from more than 50 different countries.

Training and apprenticeships at Research Centre Jülich

In 2003, 367 people were trained in 20 different professions in the Research Centre. The proportion of trainees lies around 9 % and is more than twice as high as the German national average (for companies with more than 500 employees). In cooperation with RWTH Aachen University and Aachen University of Applied Sciences, the Research Centre also offers combined practical and academic courses. After they have successfully completed their exams, graduates are offered six months employment in their chosen profession. Between 1959 and 2007 around 3,800 trainees completed their training in more than 25 different professions.

No lectures are held at the Research Centre itself, but in line with the so-called "Jülich model", the directors of the institutes are appointed professors at nearby universities in a joint procedure with the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (usually Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Dusseldorf, but also universities farther away such as Duisburg-Essen or Münster). By holding a lectureship there, they can fulfil their teaching duties. Many other scientists at the Research Centre who have achieved habilitation also undertake lectureships in the nearby universities. In cooperation with the universities, what are known as "research schools" (e.g. "German Research School for Simulation Science" with RWTH Aachen University or "International Helmholtz Research School of Biophysics and Soft Matter" with the universities of Cologne and Dusseldorf) are founded in an effort to support the scientific training of students.

An exception to this is the training of mathematical-technical assistants. In cooperation with Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Campus Jülich), the lectures required for the B.Sc. in "Scientific Programming" are largely held in the Central Institute for Applied Mathematics (ZAM) by university professors and ZAM instructors. For the subsequent M.Sc. in "Technomathematics", the same model applies and some of the lectures are held by ZAM staff.

Every year, Research Centre Jülich hosts a two-week IFF Summer School, which addresses current issues in solid-state physics.



The Research Centre is organised into

  • 7 institutes,
  • 4 central divisions,
  • 2 programme groups,
  • 2 projects and
  • 2 project management organizations
    • Project Management Jülich
    • Project Management Organization "Energy, Technology, Sustainability" (ETN)


The bodies of the Research Centre are

  • the Partners' Meeting
  • the Supervisory Board
  • the Board of Directors, which is made up of
    • Prof. Dr. Achim Bachem (Chairman)
    • Dr. Ulrich Krafft (Deputy Chairman), and
  • the Scientific and Technical Council (WTR)

Research at Research Centre Jülich

Research at Jülich is divided into four research areas: health, information, environment, and energy. The key competencies of physics and scientific computing provide the basis for world-class research in these areas.[2] The various institutes and project groups are categorised under five research areas, each of which is headed by a research director:

  • Health: (Research Director: Prof. Karl Zilles)
    • Institute of Neurosciences and Biophysics
      • Cellular Biophysics (INB-1)
      • Molecular Biophysics (INB-2)
      • Medicine (INB-3)
      • Nuclear Chemistry (INB-4)
    • Institute of Biotechnology (IBT)
  • Information: (Research Director: Prof. H. Müller-Krumbhaar)
    • Institute of Bio- and Nanosystems (IBN)
    • Institute of Solid State Research (IFF)
  • Environment (Research Director: Prof. U. Schurr)
    • Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere (ICG)
      • Stratosphere (ICG-1)
      • Troposphere (ICG-2)
      • Phytosphere (ICG-3)
      • Agrosphere (ICG-4)
      • Sedimentary Systems (ICG-5)
  • Energy: (Research Director: Detlev Stöver)
    • Institute of Energy Research (IEF)
      • Materials Synthesis and Processing (IEF-1)
      • Microstructure and Properties of Materials (IEF-2)
      • Fuel Cells (IEF-3)
      • Plasma Physics (IEF-4)
      • Photovoltaics (IEF-5)
      • Safety Research and Reactor Technology (IEF-6)
      • Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEF-STE)
      • Fuel Cell Project (IEF-PBZ)
      • Nuclear Fusion Project (IEF-KFS)
  • Key Competencies: (Research Director: Prof. Hans Lüth)
    • Scientific Computing:
      • Zentralinstitut für Angewandte Mathematik (ZAM)
      • John von Neumann-Institut für Computing (NIC)
    • Physics:
      • Institute of Solid State Research (IFF)
      • Institute of Nuclear Physics (IKP)
      • Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)
      • Ernst Ruska Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C)

Large-scale facilities at Research Centre Jülich

Cooler Synchrotron COSY

COSY (Cooler Synchrotron) is a particle accelerator (synchrotron) and storage ring (circumference: 184 m) for accelerating protons and deuterons operated by the Institute of Nuclear Physics (IKP) in the Research Centre.

COSY is characterised by what is known as beam cooling, which reduces the deviation of particles from their predetermined path (can also be understood as the thermal motion of particles) using electron or stochastic cooling. At COSY there are a number of experimental facilities for studies in the field of hadron physics. These include the ANKE magnetic spectrometer, the TOF flight spectrometer and the WASA universal detector, which was moved to COSY from the CELSIUS storage ring of The Svedberg Labor (TSL) in Uppsala in 2005.

COSY is one of the only accelerators in the medium energy range with both electron cooling and stochastic cooling.

The synchrotron is used by scientists from German and foreign research institutions at internal and external target stations. It is one of the research facilities used for collaborative research supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany).

Research reactor FRJ-2

FRJ-2 is a reactor of the same class as DIDO and is used for neutron scattering experiments. It is operated by the Central Research Reactors Division (ZFR). FRJ-2 is the strongest neutron source in the Helmholtz Association and it is primarily used to conduct scattering and spectroscopic experiments on condensed matter. On May 2, 2006, FRJ-2 was shut down after almost 44 years or 18,875 days of operation. The experiments at FRJ-2 were dismantled bit by bit and transferred to the FRM-II research reactor in Munich.


The following supercomputers are all operated in Jülich by the Central Institute for Applied Mathematics (ZAM) within the framework of the John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC).


From autumn 2007, another IBM BlueGene computer will be up and running. Its 65,000 processors should see it reach 220 TFLOPS. It will be the fastest computer in Europe and the second fastest in the world.[3]

Jülich BlueGene/L Super Computer (JUBL)

On March 6, 2006, a massively parallel supercomputer, based on IBMs BlueGene/L architecture and known as JUBL, was put into operation.

With 16,384 processors (8192 nodes each with two processors) and an internal memory of 4.1 terabytes (512 megabytes per node), the computer is capable of a peak performance (Rpeak) of 45.87 TFLOPS. The LINPACK performance (Rmax) is 37.33 TFLOPS. At the time when it officially went into operation, JUBL was the 6th most powerful computer in the world. At the moment, it is number 13 in the 28th TOP500 List, which was published in November 2006 and it is the fastest computer in Germany.[4]

IBM p690 Cluster Jump

The massively parallel supercomputer IBM p690 Cluster Jump has been in operation since the beginning of 2004.

With 1312 processors (41 nodes each with 32 processors) and an internal memory of 5 terabytes (128 gigabytes per node), the computer can achieve a maximum performance of 5.6 TFLOPS, which placed it at number 30 in the list of the most powerful computers in the world at the time of its inauguration. The nodes are linked to each other through a high performance switch (HPS). Through a globally parallel data system, applications have access to more than 60 terabytes of storage space and an integrated cassette storage with a capacity of one petabyte. The IBM p690 Cluster Jump is run on the AIX 5.1 operating system .

A new building (1,000 m²) was built especially for the IBM p690 Cluster Jump beside the Central Institute for Applied Mathematics.

CRAY SV1ex (no longer in operation)

The vector computer CRAY SV1ex was the successor of CRAY J90, which was in operation between 1996 and 2002. It represented the next stage in the computer series of the parallel vector computers with a shared memory, CRAY X-MP, Y-MP and C90. With 16 CPUs and an internal memory of 32 gigabytes, the CRAY SV1ex had a performance of 32 GFLOPS. It was run on the UNICOS 10.0 operating system. This computer was decommissioned on June 30, 2005.

CRAY J90 (no longer in operation)

The vector computer CRAY J90 was used as a file server. It had 12 processors, an internal memory of 2 gigabytes and boasted a performance of 3 GFLOPS. CRAY J90 was also run on UNICOS 10.0 and it too was decommissioned on June 30, 2005.

TEXTOR tokamak

TEXTOR is a (Tokamak EXperiment for Technology Oriented Research) in the field of plasma-wall interaction operated by the Institute of Energy Research - Plasma Physics (IEF-4) in the Research Centre.

TEXTOR is used for research into nuclear fusion. In experiments, hydrogen is heated to a temperature of up to 50 megakelvins so that it takes the form of plasma. The interaction of this plasma with the surrounding walls is part of the research performed at the tokamak experiment. The knowledge gained will mainly be applied in the planned ITER fusion power plant, which is currently being constructed in Cadarache (South France) with the help of Research Centre Jülich.

4 tesla magnetic resonance tomograph

A magnetic resonance tomograph (MRT) has also been in operation since 2004 in the Institute of Neurosciences and Biophysics - Medicine (INB-3). This tomograph has a magnetic field strength of 4 teslas. It is one of the most powerful devices in Germany and Europe. In addition, the two other tomographs (1.5 teslas and 3 teslas) are still used for functional imaging (fMRT), in particular, focusing on neurological, neuropsychological and psychiatric issues. In 2007, construction began on another 3.0-tesla tomograph with a PET application. Once the funding has been approved, a 9.4 tesla scanner combined with a PET will be constructed. Once this device has been built, it will be the most powerful MR tomograph in Europe (another tomograph with the same magnetic field strength already exists in the USA).

SAPHIR Atmosphere Simulation Chamber

In the 20-meter long SAPHIR chamber (Simulation of Atmospheric PHotochemistry In a large Reaction Chamber), a group in the Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere - Troposphere (ICG-II) investigates photochemical reactions in the atmosphere.

PhyTec experimental facility for cultivating plants

Since 2003, a greenhouse with cutting-edge technology has been available at the Research Centre.[5] The maximum transparency of the panels (over 95 %) is achieved in the spectral range important for photosynthesis thanks to a special type of glass and an anti-reflective coating. Moreover, UV-B rays can pass through the glass panels. The CO2 concentration can be increased and decreased in two chambers, the humidity can be varied, and the temperatures can be kept at 25 °C, even in summer when the sun is constantly shining. Scientists at the Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere - Phytosphere (ICG-III) simulate different climate scenarios here and investigate their influence on the key processes in plants, such as growth, transport, exchange processes with the atmosphere and soil, and biotic interactions.

Beamlines at synchrotrons

The Institute of Solid State Research (IFF) support a number of beamlines for research with synchrotron radiation at various synchrotrons:

  • BL5 U-250-PGM at DELTA (Dortmund)
  • UE56/1-SGM at BESSY (Berlin)
  • MuCAT at APS (Argonne, USA)
  • JUSIFA at HASYLAB (Hamburg)

Further research projects at Research Centre Jülich

CLaMS: Atmosphere Model for Climate Research

Understanding the chemical processes in the atmosphere is the basis of many climate models. Environmental researchers at Research Centre Jülich investigate the chemistry of the atmosphere with airplanes, balloons and satellites. They use their findings to generate chemical models such as CLaMS, which are then used in simulations on supercomputers.

MEM-BRAIN: carbon dioxide separation

Together with its research partners, Research Centre Jülich is developing ceramic membranes. These membranes could be put to use as filters in power plants, which would separate process gases and effectively retain carbon dioxide.[6]

UNICORE: easy access to computing resources

Today, computing and storage resources are often split between a number of computer systems, computer centres or even between different countries. Science and industry therefore need tools that will allow easy and secure access to these resources. UNICORE [1] from Jülich is one such grid-based software package.


As well as research institutions and large-scale facilities, Research Centre Jülich has a variety of infrastructure units and central institutions that it needs for its day-to-day operations, including:

  • Finance and Controlling Division (F)
  • Personnel Division (P)
  • Legal and Patent Division (R)
  • Operation Management Division (B)
  • Safety and Radiation Protection Division (S)
  • Purchasing and Materials Division (M)
  • Organization and Planning Division (O)
  • Corporate Communications (UK)
  • Central Institute for Applied Mathematics (ZAM)
  • Central Technology Division (ZAT)
  • Central Division of Analytical Chemistry (ZCH)
  • Central Research Reactors Division (ZFR)
  • Central Institute for Electronics (ZEL)
  • Central Library (ZB)

See also

  • AVR reactor
  • In 2007, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Peter Grünberg and Albert Fert for the independent discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance. Grünberg was a leading researcher at the Jülich Research Centre.


  1. ^ Press release 50 Jahre Zukunft: Neuausrichtung zum Jubiläum from 11 December 2006
  2. ^
  3. ^ IBM Germany: Schnellster Rechner Europas kommt nach Jülich
  4. ^ TOP500 List - November 2006 (1-100)
  5. ^ Flyer (PDF)
  6. ^ CO2Separation

Coordinates: 50°54′18″N, 6°24′43″E

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jülich_Research_Centre". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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