Kai Gehring, member of the German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), and chairman of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, visited BAM in September. BAM president Prof. Ulrich Panne welcomed Gehring and provided an overview of BAM’s tasks and strategic goals. In addition, they discussed the role of departmental research in the scientific system.
During a tour of BAM, Gehring learned about BAM's research on Offshore Wind Energy and Microplastics. Wind energy is an important strategic pillar of the energy transition. Offshore wind turbines can achieve a comparatively high capacity utilisation due to relatively continuous wind conditions and high average wind speeds. However, they are also exposed to higher loads such as waves and salt water. BAM’s research on damage detection and repair concepts are aimed to increase the safety of installations, minimise their maintenance and repair costs and extend their service life.
In the focus area environment, an interdisciplinary BAM expert team is researching the occurrence and spread of microplastics. More detailed knowledge will enable legislators to better assess risks, derive a limiting value for microplasticity and standardise tests and sampling in order to develop preventive strategies as a next step.
At the end of the visit, Kai Gehring signed BAM’s Golden Book and thanked the hosts for "their great insights and talks." Departmental research is an essential part and an important pillar of the diverse scientific system. He wished BAM all the best for the future and he is looking forward to further cooperation.