Update for the Faculty of Engineering

Start of construction on ZEVS and lecture hall building marks start of Gaarden Campus redevelopment

The first major building project at Kiel University's Faculty of Engineering has begun with the demolition of a section of a building. On its completion in 2023, the Innovationszentrum für Forschung und Technologietransfer (innovation centre for research and technology transfer) is to house the interdisciplinary Centre for Networked Sensor Systems (ZEVS). Current expertise in sensor technology will be brought together under one roof and used for medical, maritime and energy-related applications. Around six months after the building work began, construction has started on the new lecture hall building on the corner of Elisabethstraße / Norddeutsche Straße, which alongside lecture halls and seminar rooms will also accommodate a specialised departmental library and a café. It will become the new entrance to the Gaarden Campus, is an important building block towards linking the faculty with the district and should also be ready to move into in 2023. After this, a new campus square will be laid out as well as pathways across the grounds of the Faculty of Engineering.

ZEVS is being built with funding of around €18.3 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), €4 million from the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and around €14.3 million from the “Infrastrukturmodernisierungsprogramm für unser Land Schleswig-Holstein” (IMPULS, regional infrastructure modernisation programme) granted by the regional building management company Gebäudemanagement Schleswig-Holstein (GMSH). Total funds committed amount to €36.6 million, including estimated construction costs of €9.1 million for the new lecture hall building. The building projects mark the start of the redevelopment of Kiel University’s technology campus, which is in desperate need of renovation, as part of an urban development framework plan. The project is supported by Schleswig-Holstein's Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism and its Ministry of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs.

The aim is to make the Gaarden Campus infrastructure more internationally competitive and to open up the campus spatially towards the district of Gaarden. This is because student numbers are rising and so is the number of research projects funded by third parties. “For the long term, we want to make the campus fit for the excellent research, teaching and knowledge transfer that is achieved here,” said Professor Eckhard Quandt, Vice-President of Research, Transfer, Scientific Infrastructure and Digitalisation at Kiel University. Professor Lorenz Kienle, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, added: “The centre is to be become a hub for lively exchange within all research, development and industry projects in the field of networked sensor systems in Schleswig-Holstein.”

Minister of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs Karin Prien regards the redevelopment as an important signal for the site: “Excellent research and teaching require a modern and flexible spatial framework. As a federal state, we are therefore delighted to get started on the construction of the ERDF-funded research building as the first milestone in the future-oriented redevelopment of Kiel University's Ostufer Campus.” Kiel’s Mayor Dr Ulf Kämpfer stressed the importance of the project in terms of urban development: “Opening up the campus to the district of Gaarden-Ost is an important step and supports the City of Kiel in its efforts to further develop this area. For this reason, our urban development plan “Gaarden hoch 10” (Gaarden to the power of 10) also includes measures around the Faculty of Engineering, for example, redeveloping adjacent streets to make them more bike-friendly.”

Networked research

From 2023 onwards, basic research and application-oriented research and technology transfer will be carried out at ZEVS. “The centre is to be become a hub for lively exchange within all research, development and industry projects in the field of networked sensor systems in Schleswig-Holstein. Regional industry is to benefit from the latest research findings as well as the best trained staff. New start-ups are to be supported by comprehensive laboratory infrastructure and the ability to share experiences so that innovative technology start-ups have good chances of success, too,” explained Professor Martina Gerken, who was instrumental in pushing forward the application for ERDF funds. Kiel University's outstanding international research activities in the field of sensor systems technology (sensors with measuring principles based on microtechnology or nanotechnology), sensor information technology (communication channels and data processing strategies) and sensor system modelling (creation of a joint modelling platform for sensor systems) are to be brought together at ZEVS.

The construction of ZEVS also signifies the long-term reinforcement of Kiel University's priority research area KiNSIS (Kiel, Nano Surface and Interface Science). Among other things to be developed here in future are highly sensitive medical sensors for the recently extended Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1261 “Magnetoelectric Sensors: From Composite Materials to Biomagnetic Diagnostics” and networked systems for CRC 1461 “Neuroelektronik: Biologisch inspirierte Informationsverarbeitung” (neuroelectronics: information processing inspired by biology), which will be initiated in January.

Application-oriented research is planned in the subdivisions of medicine and life sciences, maritime technology and energy networks and environmental sensor technology. Networked sensor systems for recording biomedical data focus on optimal signal extraction and offer new opportunities e.g. in the fields of neurology, biosensor technology and ambient assisted living. There is also a great need for recording and transferring sensor data and evaluating massive volumes of data in maritime technology andnetworked sensor systems for maritime applications play a key role in this. Many renewable energy sources produce fluctuating energy supplies. Power supply spikes generated in this way cause problems in power lines and components. Networked sensor systems for dynamic regulation are therefore needed when integrating thermal, mechanical, electric sensors and communicating data. This work involves researchers from the fields of electrical engineering and information technology, materials science, computer science, medicine and biology.

Around 25 working groups, including five young researcher groups and/or start-ups are working together on the programme for the centre. There are a total of 146 positions at the new ZEVS. “What we are creating here is a long-awaited and long-conceived centre for innovation that will also enable companies to test out new technologies. Like Kiel’s nanolaboratory, it will also be possible to hire out time slots in the laboratories here, too. The high-quality infrastructure will therefore be used jointly, making it particularly efficient,” added Gerken. For example, a maritime measurement section designed by the working group led by Professor Gerhard Schmidt will form part of the new building. It spans two storeys and includes a water tank with a capacity of 125 cubic metres. According to Schmidt, “it will be possible to perform underwater communication measurements and SONAR tests or measure hydrophones and underwater sensors here.” The multi-functional hall on the ground floor will be fitted with lifting equipment – what is known as a trolley – and a gallery to support test installations. Test vessels and other research objects can also be assembled here.

Multi-functionality offers maximum flexibility

The new lecture hall building will include two lecture theatres with ascending seating, workstations for students and two rooms for working groups. There will be 526 square metres of teaching space. Added to this will be a 230 square metre specialised departmental library and a 131 square metre cafeteria with a large outdoor terrace. The foyer areas will also be available to use for smaller events. “For us, this building represents an improvement to studying and teaching conditions as the Faculty of Engineering has not had its own central lecture hall building before. We are delighted that the quality of the space has been taken into account, too,” said Professor Lorenz Kienle.

ZEVS will benefit from usable space of around 3,600 square metres and will be 16 metres tall. The compact, multi-functional body of the building with transparent ground floor zones will be clad in brick like its surrounding buildings. Its four storeys will accommodate laboratories, offices and a reference library.

GMSH is expected complete the building work on ZEVS and the new lecture hall building on Gaarden Campus in 2023. Frank Eisoldt, Managing Director of GMSH stressed that “the start of construction is also the starting signal for an attractive and future-oriented campus that combines quality in terms of urban planning as well as the environment. The decision by the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein to completely redevelop the existing campus is also an important signal for urban development in the City of Kiel.” The aim, on completion, is to secure silver quality standard certification with the German Assessment System for Sustainable Building (BNB). To achieve this, criteria such as the environmental, economic, socio-structural and functional quality of the building must be considered, among other things. So, for example, photovoltaic systems are to be installed on the roofs of both buildings and the rooms will be wheelchair accessible. The seven metre height difference between the campus square and the new lecture hall building will be overcome with the aid of an exterior lift. A tactile pathway system will make it easier for the visually impaired to find their way around the campus.

Rahmenplan der Technischen Fakultät mit Highlight auf ZEVS und Hörsaalneubau
© Victoria von Gaudecker Architektur & BL9 Landschaftsarchitekten, bearb. CAU

The Centre for Networked Sensor Systems (ZEVS) and the new lecture hall building are the first building projects to be carried out under the framework plan for the Gaarden Campus.

Excavator stands in front of a broken building.
© Dr. Frank Paul, Uni Kiel

Space was made for ZEVS by demolishing a section of building.

Luftbild vom Campus der Technischen Fakultät
© Matthias Burmeister, Uni Kiel

Aerial photo: section of building before demolition.

Logo EU.SH. Landesprogramm Wirtschaft
Schriftzug: Schleswig-Holstein. Der echte Norden

Scientific contact:

Prof. Dr. Martina Gerken
Integrated Systems und Photonics
+49 (0)431 880-6250


Dr. Frank Paul
Managing director of the faculty
Faculty of Enigneering
+49 (0)431 880-6002


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Christin Beeck
Press, Digital and Science Communication



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