Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

Dr. Artur Braun

Berkeley trained Physicist from RWTH Aachen (1996) with a doctoral degree in electrochemistry from ETH Zürich (1999). Shortly after his return to Switzerland, after six years of batter research in Berkeley and combustion aerosol research in Kentucky, Braun founded with his Marie Curie Grant a new research group on electrochemical energy storage and conversion at Empa in Switzerland. As PI and co-PI he attracted over 4 Million CHF research funds and has supervised around 10 PhD students from Europa, Asia and Africa, many of which received international awards for their research. Braun’s international acclaim is on operando and in situ synchrotron x-ray and neutron methods on electrochemical systems. He has co-authored over 150 publications (h=28), most of which as first author or senior author, and written two graduate level books/monographies on electrochemistry and energy. His third book is on photosynthesis and is in progress. Dr. Braun has supervised 10 PhD students from 3 continents in topics directly relevant to SUNRISE. He has organized over a dozen international workshops and symposia; Dr. Braun was MRS Meeting Chair 2015 in San Francisco. Braun’s Erdös number is 3. He is founding member of the Velux Daylight Academy. Foreign Policy magazine listed Artur Braun and his group members as Leading Global Thinkers of 2014.

In the SUNRISE CSA, Braun shapes the inclusive community, specifically but not only the Swiss research community, by arranging for typical conferences and symposia, and further dissemination and outreach to the public. He also facilitates contacts among the partners with the non-EU and overseas collaborators and stakeholders and engages in the science diplomacy. Braun contributes to the exploitation strategy specifically with the reactor and prototype design and the land-use considerations.

Dr. Rita Toth

After finishing her PhD work in Physical Chemistry at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, Dr. Toth continued her research at the University of Leeds and the University of West of England in the UK for five years in the field of self-organization and chemical computing. Since 2009 she has been researching at Empa on self-assembly, self-organization and pattern formation concepts with relevance to solar hydrogen production. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of “Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis”, a Springer journal. She co-organized an MRS symposium on Solar Fuels in Boston in 2018. Following her impactful work on solar hydrogen conversion as a Marie Heim-Vögtlin Fellow, Foreign Policy magazine listed her as Leading Global Thinkers of 2014.