Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg - whilst being committed to freedom in research and teaching - grapples with a diverse range of both national and global social challenges. These include technical, health-related and ecological matters, but ethical, cultural, social and economic problems are also the subject of systematic scientific observation, contextualisation, concept development and reflection. Scientists and academics from the University of Magdeburg aim, with their expertise and awareness of their responsibilities, to contribute to expert understanding, purposeful solutions and solution optimisation as well as to responsible assessments and decisions that are relevant to society as a whole. Alongside the key areas in fundamental and applied research and research transfer, the University defines additional areas in which it seeks to achieve excellence across disciplines.
Economists at the OvGU have shown in a study that consumers tend to buy expensive luxury products when exposed to warm scents such as cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel. The researchers explain the behavior by the fact that people feel hemmed in by warm scents, as if they were in a large crowd. “We buy status products to compensate for this oppressive feeling and to stand out from others - so the SUV rather than the compact car,” explains Junior Professor Dr. Marcel Lichters of the Faculty of Economics and Management at the OvGU. This gives the consumer a "perceived" sense of regaining control over the situation, he continues.
In a joint research project between universities and industry, computer scientists from Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg are working on further developing the Internet of Things. The aim of the project is to develop a more intelligent infrastructure for the Internet of Things (IoT), which combines device, data, and process management. Furthermore, new tools are being created that will revolutionize the design and development of applications considerably more simple, secure, and efficient.
Control Engineers of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, in collaboration with colleagues from the Jülich Research Center, have developed a method for measuring the electrical potentials of molecules and molecular surfaces with previously unattainable precision and speed. With what is known as Scanning Quantum Dot Microscopy, they have, for the first time, succeeded in creating high resolution maps of molecular electrical potentials, i.e. the electric fields that surround all matter, within just a few minutes.
Over the next three years, scientists at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg will be working on replacing live animals with robotic fish in tests carried out at European hydroelectric power plants. The artificial fish surrogates should provide information about the flow conditions and expected damage and mortality of fish traveling through turbine installations. To date, up to 450,000 fish are used every year in live animal experiments in German hydroelectric power plants, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. Those tests, mandated by domestic regulation which enacts a European directive, evaluate the ability of the fish to pass through the turbines and thus assess the fish-friendliness of the plants.