March 13, 2019

Prof. Rainer Helmig third Magne Espedal Professor

Honorary Professorship awarded by the University of Bergen, Norway

A great honour for the University of Stuttgart: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig1 from the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems and internationally recognized researcher in the field of porous media2 has received the Magne Espedal Honorary Professorship –  a recognition for his work that has had a lasting influence on porous-media research.

So far, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Bergen has awarded the Magne Espedal Honorary Professorship to two women researchers (Prof. Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University, USA, and Prof. Barbara Wohlmuth, TU Munich). Rainer Helmig will now hold this position from March 15th, 2019, for a period of three years. The honorary professorship is awarded to researchers from the fields of applied mathematics, computer science, mathematical modelling and/or energy research and was established with the support of DEA Norge.

The aim of the honorary professorship is to intensify the cooperation between the porous-media community and the field of applied mathematics. "The University of Stuttgart has been running joint projects and co-supervising dissertations with the University of Bergen, and especially with Magne Espedal, for more than 20 years. It is a great honour and pleasure to have the opportunity of intensifying our international cooperation", says Prof. Rainer Helmig. This plays an important role in the context of the research within the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1313: "Interface-Driven Multi-Field Processes in Porous Media. Flow, Transport and Deformation", of which Rainer Helmig is the spokesman. "We hope that this close cooperation will result in important and far-reaching findings that will advance research into porous media and bring the porous-media community closer together."

Prof. Jan M. Nordbotten (University of Bergen), one of the initiators of the honorary professorship and long-standing research partner of the University of Stuttgart, is pleased to have Rainer Helmig in the team: “We are very grateful for the opportunity to establish an honorary professorship in memory of Magne Espedal, and for having Rainer with us on our team. The group has produced groundbreaking research results that are attracting international attention.” Since Rainer Helmig has been dealing with this topic for many years, he is aware of the challenges and can thus start directly where still open questions exist in order to establish new approaches.


1 Prof Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig is the Chair of LH2 (Department of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems, Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems, University of Stuttgart), spokesman of the Collaborative Research Centre 1313 and Dean of Studies of SimTech (Cluster of Excellence). Rainer Helmig's research comprises fundamental research and applications in the field of porous-media flow. One focus is the development of model concepts for coupled free flow in porous media. For this purpose, simulation methods are developed to analyse these processes and make forecasts, e.g. on salt precipitation.

2 Porous media are structures that contain void spaces through which liquids or gases can flow. These include almost all materials as well as, for example, the natural soil. Understanding how liquids or gases move in or through these structures helps in a range of fields from energy storage to climate prediction.