Prof. Dr. Ulrich Panne, president of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Panne, president of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)

Source: BAM, Image: Michael Danner

„BAM is the centre of excellence for 'Safety in technology and chemistry': we set the standards for a 'Made in Germany' culture of quality.“

Four questions to the President of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung,
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Panne.

What does the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung do?

We ensure safety in technology and chemistry. This means that we make a decisive contribution to the technical safety of products, processes and people's living and working conditions, within the cutting-edge and key technologies of Materials Science, Materials Engineering and Chemistry.

How we work is demonstrated in our "production model": we research, test and advise. And as a result, concrete products, patents and licences are brought about by technology transfer. We have around 150 years of experience of this, and are very successful. Our partners in science, industry, society and politics value this highly. As one of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's federal research institutions, we also know: safety creates markets. Our work strengthens the economy, and thereby also Germany's standing.

What are the strategic challenges involved in this?

Science in technology and chemistry is no longer limited to the disciplines of engineering and natural sciences. New things emerge between the disciplines. Interdisciplinary work has long been BAM's recipe for success. To make this even clearer, we have defined five inter-departmental focus areas: Energy, Infrastructure, Environment, Materials and Analytical Sciences. We have expertise and excellence in these areas. This strategic structure profiles our offering to our partners in science, industry, society and politics. All parties benefit from this.

How do you attract the best people?

Like every scientific institute and every business we would naturally like to attract top talent in every area and at every career stage: from graduates through to division heads, for vocational training or one of the many other diverse activities at BAM.

The decisive factor is that we make suitable offers. Young scientists can achieve the highest level of qualifications at BAM. We permanently have around 150 doctoral students at BAM. These are fantastic young people, who frequently come from an international background and perform great work. The scientists in our departments and divisions are well-established, highly-qualified experts and have often also earned a PhD at BAM.

Naturally, you will find women in positions of leadership at BAM. This shows the kind of careers that are possible here. At the same time, BAM is an important employer in several commercial and skilled-trade professions, in which we also offer training places. We offer work on relevant tasks, as a member of a team. We use flexible models to help combine family and career. In the medium-term, our goal is to become one of Germany's most attractive non-university employers.

BAM is well-connected in the German and international scientific community, and an interesting partner for business. What do you think is the most important aspect of this?

We are the Centre of Excellence for "Safety in technology and chemistry," and we are setting high standards for the further development for a successful "Made in Germany" culture of quality. In future, we want to make our scientific work and our range of services more clearly visible than they have previously been. To achieve this goal, we have completely revamped our website and will be communicating more actively than we have done in the past.