RUB Research School

Funded researchers: Dr. Bastian Mei & Dr. Sandra Heck

Dr. Bastian Mei


It is a great pleasure to succeed in obtaining the Gateway Fellowship in such a competitive process. This fellowship enables me to develop my own research profile by conducting an exciting, independent research project at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU – one of the best universities in Europe. In Denmark, I will be part of a leading research group at the interface of surface science, applied catalysis, photocatalysis and electrochemistry. The aim is to contribute to one of the most important scientific challenges of today's research: How to secure the future energy supply.

Expriments show, that we can imitate nature by developing an artificial leaf that converts water or carbon dioxide into high density energy carriers, such as sunlight-harvesting hydrogen. The splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen requires a multi-stage process – the oxygen evolution in particular, is a quite complex reaction process. The DTU is developing a so-called tandem device cell, and my particular project deals with the development of novel materials driving the oxygen evolution reaction.

I am convinced, that my own research experience combined with the team of DTU, will provide outstanding results in the search for innovative energy resource solutions. This project should attract a great deal of attention within the scientific community, whilst being a great opportunity to establish cooperations between the Ruhr University and the Technical University Denmark. I also hope this will facilitate student exchanges or even new ideas for further projects. ✲
After his Gateway Fellowship Bastian Mei was offered a PostDoc positian at the Technical University of Denmark.

Dr. Sandra Heck

Sports Science

My postdoc project concentrates on the 'Grand Raid', or the so called ‘Diagonale des Fous’ (the madmen's diagonal)
– a mountain ultramarathon race taking place in the UNESCO world heritage of La Réunion, French overseas department and southernmost point of the European Union.
The organizers speak of a "clean" mountain race, but the environmental ramifications have scientifically not yet been studied. The focus of my investigation is to evaluate the impact of this sports event on the natural environment.
My analysis includes specific environmental goals prior to the competition, the Status Quo 2013, as well as recommendations for a future, environmentally friendly organization.

With the support of a Gateway Fellowship I took the chance to work on a new research topic after my PhD, and to continue my passion for science. I also prepared for and succeeded in becoming an independent researcher with an own research topic. Not only do the research results increase my expertise as a sports scientist, but they lead to new scientific publications and increase my academic visibility.

During my interdisciplinary research on the borderline of socio-cultural sports science, sport management and environmental studies, I will work in the Centre de Recherche et d’Innovation sur le Sport, CRIS, of the University of Lyon/France, one of the internationally most well-known and -renowned research centers in this field. This mobility allows me to widen my academic network and collect valuable international experience.

For a young scientist such as myself, this is a stepping stone to an international research career. In addition, the Gateway Fellowships widen the cooperation perspective between the RUB and the CRIS, with it's several international research and teaching agreements with different universities and research centers in Europe, the USA, Africa and the Middle-East. ✲
Sandra Heck was appointed General Secretary of the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport in 2014. Since 2016 she has been a Visiting Professor in sport pedagogy at the Ludwigsburg University of Education.