Photo: Volker Lannert / Uni Bonn

About TRA Matter

The transdisciplinary research area - Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions (TRA Matter) - offers at the University Bonn an explorative network for scientists from different disciplines (e.g. Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy, Molecular Biomedicine, Geodesy, Pharmacy, etc.) to foster transdisciplinary exchange and collaborations.

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Mission and Objectives

The mission of TRA Matter is to explore nature at different distance scales, to understand how building blocks of matter interact and how complex structures emerge. TRA Matter is strongly connected to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

The scientific and structural objectives of TRA Matter are:

  • Advancement of scientific excellence areas and development of areas with high potential in the fields of particle physics, molecular sciences, quantum technology, and astronomy.
  • Promoting the initiation of and/or serving as a nucleus for collaborative research networks in the areas of TRA-Matter.
  • Development of new innovative and future-oriented research projects within the framework of TRA Matter.
  • Intensification of existing and the establishment of new cooperations in research within TRA Matter, with the other TRAs of the University of Bonn, and beyond. 
  • Promotion of young early career scientists in all research areas of TRA Matter.

Organisation of TRA Matter

The steering committee  acts as the executive board of TRA Matter. Encompassing a total of 17 persons including the speakers, the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, professors, staff scientists, technical and administrative staff as well as student representatives of the University of Bonn, the steering committee directs all activities of TRA- Matter and signs responsible for its future strategic developments.

  • Prof. Dr. Ulrike Thoma (Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen und Kernphysik, Founding speaker) 
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Vöhringer (Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Founding speaker)
  • Prof. Dr. Walter Witke (Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science) 
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Weitz (Institut für Angewandte Physik) 
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Desch (Physikalisches Institut)
  • Prof. Dr. Olav Schiemann (Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie)
  • Prof. Dr. Arne Lützen (Kekulé Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie)
  • Jun. Prof. Dr. Simon Stellmer (Physikalisches Institut)
  • Thomas Reiprich (Argelander Institut für Astronomie)
  • Prof. Dr. Carsten Urbach (Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen und Kernphysik)
  • Dr. Andreas Hansen (Representation of scientific staff)
  • Tom Frömbgen (Representation of students)
  • Jens Mekelburger (Representation of the employees from technology and administration)
  • Dr. Michael Lupberger (Representation of the scientific staff - deputy)
  • Henry Schumacher (Representation of students - deputy)
  • Eugen Momper (Representation of employees from technology and administration - deputy)


Representing the collaborative research centers as spokespersons:
  • Prof. Dr. Corinna Kollath (Physikalisches Institut, OSCAR)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulf-G. Meißner (Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik, CRC 110)

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Thoma and Prof. Dr. Peter Vöhringer are the founding speakers of TRA Matter. Both are supported by Dr. Birgit Westernströer, Manager of TRA-Matter.

Founding speaker of TRA Matter
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Thoma
Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik
Founding speaker of TRA Matter
Prof. Dr. Peter Vöhringer
Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie


Manager of TRA Matter
Dr. Birgit Westernströer
Prorektorat für Forschung und Innovation, Stabsstelle für strategische Entwicklung und Qualitätssicherung
Tel.: +49 (0) 15152560751

As part of the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments, TRA Matter is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWK)

For the legal framework governing our activities, see the statute1111 of TRA Matter

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