Roland Sauerbrey is the new director of the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding

Prof. Roland Sauerbrey has accepted the position of Director of the new Centre for data-intensive Systems Research CASUS on July 1, 2020 on an interim basis. The centre was opened in Görlitz in August last year and is currently in a three-year development phase. For his new task, Roland Sauerbrey is returning from retirement, to which he had recently started. From 2006 to 2020 he was Scientific Director of the Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

A selection committee consisting of representatives of the funding bodies – the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK) – and the cooperation partners Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Dresden (MPI-CBG), Dresden University of Technology (TUD) and University of Wroclaw unanimously approved the appointment. Roland Sauerbrey will hold this position until a long-term director for CASUS is appointed.

“I am pleased that CASUS has now taken up its activities and that I can support the team,” revealed Roland Sauerbrey, who played a key role in the establishment of the research institute on the German-Polish border and was strongly committed to its establishment. “We must not only locate research in the agglomeration areas such as Munich or Berlin, but must also spread it to other regions. Görlitz is not far from the excellent research location of Dresden and because of its immediate proximity to Poland ideal for this project”.

Sauerbrey is a physicist by heart. This field of research is also reflected in the new German-Polish centre. But not only this, as he explains: “The special feature is that CASUS works on an interdisciplinary basis. Scientists from different sub-areas research here together with a common goal”. Currently, ten scientists from physics, IT and biology from countries such as the USA, India and Germany are working at CASUS. More will join the team by the end of the year. What drives them is to understand complex systems like climate, autonomous driving or matter. They exchange information with research institutions around the world and simulate large amounts of data in order to better understand the processes and relationships on Earth and beyond.

The German-Polish focus is particularly important to the new director. “Several projects are currently being planned with the Polish partners,” says Sauerbrey. Together with Dr. Michael Bussmann, who is the scientific head of the centre, he will not only recruit staff and project partners and find a successor, but also prepare the centre for next year’s evaluation.