+49 (0) 421 9600-10
29 May 2018 - Diana Bluhm

Science and research in Bremen: living and working in the Hanseatic city

Science
Scientists, researchers, and academics give their views on Bremen

Bremen: centre of science and learning
Bremen is perfect for living and researching - our scientists and academics explain why © WFB/BRASILHAUS

Many scientists, researchers, and academics work at the universities and research institutes in Bremen. We asked some of them to share their opinions on living and working in Bremen and have published our interviews on the city website bremen.de. A new profile will go online at the beginning of every month. The following article reveals some of the fascinating and sometimes humorous responses to our questions.

Many children dream of becoming scientists and making new discoveries. Some adults fulfil this dream and make a valuable contribution to society through the work they do. For example, Dr Marco Scharringhausen from the Institute of Aerospace Systems at the German Aerospace Centre conducts research into outer space in order to learn more about how the earth was formed and how the climate is changing. Dr Juliane Müller works in polar and marine research at the Alfred Wegener Institute at the Helmholtz Center. She strongly believes that her studies into climate change are helping to formulate strategies for tackling global warming. Dr Sebastian Ferse from the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research sees his work in a similar way: “By conducting research on the function of reefs and on the correlation between the condition of reefs and their use by man, I make a tangible contribution to the sustainable use of this unique ecosystem.”

Advances in technology are also a significant part of the scientific work that is done in Bremen. For example, Nadine Rehfeld from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials develops energy-efficient systems that prevent aircraft wings from freezing. Thanks to Professor Rolf Drechsler, who works at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, we can continue to trust complex systems of micro-chips that are found in our cars and smartphones.

Bremen: centre of science and learning
Dr Sebastian Ferse contributes to more sustainability by researching the function of reefs. © WFB/Jonas Ginter

Researchers from all over the world in Germany’s smallest federal state

Not all of the scientists are native to Bremen. When we asked them where they were from and how they came to be in Bremen, we received some surprising answers.
Professor Sonia Lippke is a lecturer and researcher at Jacobs University Bremen. She grew up in Mexico, Spain and Göttingen, and arrived in Bremen in 2011 after having spent time in Berlin, Canada and the Netherlands. Professor Juliana Keiko Sagawa is Brazilian and wanted to continue working in the specialist area of her research: “I found out that the German language school in Brazil that I was attending at the time had an exchange programme with a language school here in Bremen. For me, it was a stroke of luck. In January 2015, I spent a month in Bremen. As well as doing an intensive German course, I had a research meeting at BIBA and with someone from the Bremen Research Cluster for Dynamics in Logistics at the University of Bremen.” She works as a guest researcher at BIBA (Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics) and in the LogDynamics research partnership at the University of Bremen.

A number of the scientists and researchers relocated to Bremen from other parts of Germany, either to study or lecture at one of the universities. Dr Martin Sippel came to Bremen in 2008 from the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne to work at the new Institute of Aerospace Systems.

Bremen: centre of science and learning
From Brazil to Bremen: Professor Juliana Keiko Sagawa worked at BIBA and the University of Bremen © WFB/Jonas Ginter

Germany’s cycling capital

Bremen is known for being a city that’s easy to get around and it has more cyclists than most other cities in Germany. How do the scientists get around the city streets? They walk or cycle of course! Many also use the bus or tram, particularly between the university, city centre and airport – stops that are all conveniently served by the no. 6 tram. Professor Lippke even sometimes takes the ferry to get from one side of the river Weser to the other. A few travel by car, particularly in bad weather. But not Professor Peter Schmidt, a professor at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences who also works at the markt.forschung.kultur market research institute: “I always cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. It’s wonderful to be able to cycle across cathedral square every day and be right at the heart of the city.”

In Bremen so beliebt wie in sonst keiner deutschen Großstadt: das Fahrrad als Fortbewegungsmittel
In Bremen so beliebt wie in sonst keiner deutschen Großstadt: das Fahrrad als Fortbewegungsmittel © privat/Foto:jua

Bremen: an excellent location for science and learning

Those who come to Bremen tend to stay, put down roots and build up a network of contacts. The scientists and academics appreciate many different aspects about Bremen. Ferse and Müller are impressed by the level of expertise in the fields of marine biology and climate research in Bremen and Bremerhaven. Scharringhausen and Sippel mention the large community in the field of space research. Bremen is the hub of Germany’s space industry and home to many leading companies and institutions. The opportunity to network with the University of Bremen is another key factor. Professor Andreas Hepp, spokesman for the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the university, says: “What makes the University of Bremen special is the openness, the enthusiasm among innovative colleagues to address the issues at hand, and the dynamic approach to our research. I don’t know of any other university in Germany that encourages such a flexible approach to research yet provides such comprehensive and constructive support. That is what keeps you here.” Drechsler is impressed by the proactive mentality in Bremen.

Others give special mention to the international character of Germany’s smallest federal state. Schmidt praises the option of ‘double degree’ courses at Bremen University of Applied Sciences. Being able to do a bachelor’s degree in Bremen and at a partner university is “a fantastic intercultural experience for the students.” The international Jacobs University also attracts students from all over the world, as Lippke well knows. She felt as if she had “the population of the world on one small campus – with its very different groups and the day-to-day challenges of globalised and international collaboration.”

Bremen: centre of science and learning
Professor Sonia Lippke likes working at the international campus at Jacobs University Bremen. © WFB/Jonas Ginter

Switching off after work

After a hard day’s work, it’s important to relax and unwind. The scientists use different methods and leisure activities to clear their heads. First and foremost, their families. Children quickly take your mind off work and help you to focus on home life instead. Sport is a good distraction too, no matter whether it’s jogging, handball or tennis, or watching Werder Bremen play football at the Weser Stadium. Other interests among the scientists included playing the piano, reading, and taking long walks through the leafy parts of the city. Müller has an unusual hobby: “I took up archery a few years ago. It is a wonderful way to block everything else out.”

Weser Stadium at the Weser river
The Weser Stadium has one of the most idyllic settings of any sporting arena © WFB / Thomas Hellmann

Tips for newcomers

As most of the people interviewed had moved to the city from somewhere else, they had plenty of tips for young scientists on the best places to live and go out in Bremen and Bremerhaven. Most recommend living in a central location near the river, such as in the Viertel or Neustadt districts. “There is always something going on and you have so much more choice here,” says Rehfeld. Their favourite places to eat include El Presidente, Medoo and Jackie Su in Bremen and the traditional fish restaurants at the fishing harbour in Bremerhaven. On sunny days, they enjoy walks in the Bürgerpark, Wallanlagen Park or in the Blockland region. For fans of culture and entertainment, they recommend Loft, KITO and ‘Die Glocke’ in Bremen and the Pferdestall and theatre in Bremerhaven.

Bremen Freimarkt. If you were to design a fairground attraction to explain your work, what would it be like?

The Freimarkt in Bremen is one of Germany’s longest-running fairs and is often referred to as the fifth season of the year. If our researchers were to create a fairground attraction to explain their work, what would it be like? A difficult question that gave rise to many creative answers. Marco Scharringhausen from the German Aerospace Centre imagines a ghost train illustrating the solar system. His colleague Martin Sippel would construct a space flight simulator. Nadine Rehfeld would choose an icing wind tunnel, and Sebastian Ferse from the Centre for Tropical Marine Research a giant reef aquarium. There is also talk of a puppet show featuring our inner voices. One thing’s for sure: our scientists are not short of ideas.

You can read these and other interviews in full on the city website Bremen.de.


Do you have any questions about our interviews? Please contact Marlis Torka, project manager: Marlis.Torka@wfb-bremen.de, +49 (0)421 9600-523.


Find out, how Dr Christine Heinicke builds a habitat for the planned 'Moon Village'.

Students can now study space science and technology programmes at Universität Bremen – read more.

Quality of life
6 November 2019
Eight products from Bremen that everybody knows

Made in Bremen, sold around the world: these eight products are hugely popular at home and abroad.

Science
21 August 2019
Hives, bees and sweet gold

Honey is sweet and full of trace elements, minerals and vitamins. This healthy treat is particularly special to Bremen, as the city is home to a whole host of importers, researchers, laboratories and entrepreneurs focused on bees and honey.

Quality of life
28 February 2019
We love Bremen: 10 declarations of affection

Bremen: Down-to-earth, yet always ready to surprise you. An attractive place to live, a city through which we can move easily and without stress. People from different cities and countries tell us why they fell in love with Bremen and have made their lives here.

Quality of life
29 January 2019
No need to hibernate – part 2: klaben, climate zones and the Classic Motorshow

So it’s cold, dark and wet outside. That’s no excuse for getting bored. From seasonal recipes to exciting museums and major events, we will show you how much indoor fun there is on offer in Bremen.

Quality of life
24 January 2019
No need to hibernate – part 1: Explore Bremen's countryside

Frost, snow and ice? No excuse for sitting at home. Find out what you can discover and explore outdoors in Bremen during the winter months.

Quality of life
29 November 2018
Coffee in Bremen – roasteries in Germany’s coffee capital

Almost half of all coffee beans imported into Germany pass through Bremen’s ports. Coffee roasters such as Lloyd Caffee and Cross Coffee have helped to cement the image of Bremen as Germany’s coffee capital.

Quality of life
8 November 2018
Why the Schnoor in Bremen is one of the most beautiful streets in the world

The Schnoor quarter at the heart of Bremen is an absolute must for visitors, with its lovingly restored medieval architecture, winding lanes and wide array of shops, cultural attractions and places to eat.

Quality of life
4 October 2018
Enjoy the third season in Bremen!

It’s getting cooler outside; the trees are changing color and leaves rustle underfoot – it’s now autumn! And so begins the time of year when you’re persuaded to spend more time inside. The array of museums and galleries in Bremen offer numerous opportunities to do so enjoyably.

Aerospace
2 October 2018
The space industry in Bremen: living and working in the Hanseatic city

Nowhere in Germany is bigger in the aerospace industry than Bremen. We spoke to Bremen-based scientists working on the space side of aerospace about their projects, their life in the city, and their tips on where to live and where to visit.

Science
27 September 2018
Bringing the universe to Bremen

Every year, the movers and shakers of the space industry gather at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). From 1 to 5 October, it will be Bremen’s turn to host the event. A team from the Center of Applied Space Technology and ...

Science
20 September 2018
How digital media is shaping society

How is the role of media and other forms of communication changing in society? What are the resulting challenges? The international MA in Digital Media and Society, which launches at the University of Bremen in time for the winter semester, aims to provide the answers.

Success stories
6 September 2018
Safety first: sensor expertise in Bremen

We don’t normally get to see Littelfuse’s products. And yet there’s hardly any electronic device that doesn’t require components from this global market leader. The European headquarters of the US firm are located in Bremen. And they’re far more than just a sales office.

Investing in Bremen
4 September 2018
A billion euros for Bremen’s city centre

Our city centre is evolving. Bremen is creating affordable and desirable residential areas, offices and retail space. The city is set to get a more modern look thanks to projects near the main train station, in new districts and right by the river.

Science
23 August 2018
InnoWi – Bremen’s patent application specialists

Good ideas may be rare, but imitators are easy to find. Which makes it all the more important to secure patents for new inventions. Bremen-based InnoWi helps companies and the research community to register new patents, and is also on hand to provide advice and access to funding.

Quality of life
31 July 2018
My Bremen – the Schnoor quarter: seriously cool

The New York Post has created a list of the coolest streets around the world. And guess which street has made it onto the list? Bremen's very own Schnoor! Visit this cool street at the Bremen Blog.

Aerospace
26 July 2018
Surveying space

The exploration of celestial bodies, such as Mars, Mercury and the moon, requires detailed geological maps. An international research project is now laying the foundations for this. Bremen-based geologist Dr Angelo Pio Rossi is one of the initiators of the data project.

Maritime economy and logistics
12 July 2018
Exploring the seafloor with intelligent software

The depths of the ocean remain one of the last great mysteries on Earth. What is the precise composition of the seafloor? What flora and fauna inhabit it? Where has the delicate balance of the ecosystem been seriously disrupted? We still don’t have complete answers to any of these questions, but four young scientists from Bremen are aiming to change that.

Quality of life
3 July 2018
Summer on a budget in Bremen

Do you feel like a holiday, but money is tight? How about a city break on a budget? Fortunately, there’s plenty to do in Bremen that won’t break the bank – such as cycling routes through the parks, visits at the lakes or free outdoor festivals.

Quality of Life
14 June 2018
Taste Bremen – flavours of the north

Enjoying good food and drink is an important part of life in Bremen. Whether you prefer coffee or beer, sweet or savoury, you'll be well catered for on a trip to our city on the banks of the Weser river.

Aerospace
31 May 2018
Women in Aerospace – an organization promoting women in space industry

Space is not just a man’s business. The global network Women in Aerospace (WIA) aims to increase women’s leadership opportunities and visibility in the space industry – also in Bremen. An interview with Antonella Sgambati und Michela Cantisani, coordinators of WIA Bremen.

Quality of life
5 April 2018
Springtime in Bremen

Flowers are blooming and the days are getting warmer: It's springtime in Bremen! The city directory bremen.de shows you, which activities the town has to offer at this beautiful time of the year: whether it is sunbathing on the Osterdeich, bike riding, golfing or simply enjoying yourself in a beer garden.

Aerospace
27 February 2018
Moon living

One day, astronauts will live and carry out research on the moon – and even a colony on Mars is no longer the distant utopian dream it once was. But how will people be able to live in an extraterrestrial environment? The Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen is working on a solution.

Quality of life
9 January 2018
Quintessentially Bremen – between history and the future

The city is famous for the Bremen Town Musicians, the market square, the Schlachte Embankment and Werder Bremen football club. But it is also known as a hub for logistics, science and the automotive and aerospace industries, and as a bike-friendly city that is full of green spaces. To be honest, there is no reason to be modest, though that would be typical of Bremen too…

Quality of life
7 December 2017
Europe’s finest Christmas market, the famous Freimarkt funfair and much more besides

The people of Bremen have a reputation for being reserved, but nothing could be further from the truth: the locals regularly let their hair down at the many events held throughout the year. The biggest crowds gather for Bremen’s Christmas market and for the Freimarkt, the second-largest volksfest held anywhere in Germany.

Quality of life
17 August 2017
Bremen for chocoholics

Bremen's sweetest side is made of chocolate. No matter whether it’s milk or dark chocolate, nougat or marzipan. Take a walk around Bremen and taste it.

Quality of life
27 June 2017
Brits in Bremen: Fiona Moore

Fiona Moore is originally from Burton-on-Trent, near Birmingham, and now works as a freelance translator in Bremen. She fell in love with Bremen in her early twenties. That was back in 2000, but 17 years later she is still as enchanted by the city as she was on the first day. She tells us about settling in Bremen, about her family and about being fortunate to have found a home in here.

Quality of life
15 June 2017
The Bürgerpark – Bremen’s green oasis

It’s an adventure playground for kids, an idyllic sanctuary for couples, and a quiet retreat for those looking to escape from stress – from joggers and Nordic walkers to lovers of nature and culture, the Bürgerpark in the centre of Bremen has something for everyone. For the last 150 years, this protected heritage site in the centre of Bremen has relied solely on the support of donations to keep it open and well-maintained.

Quality of life
15 June 2017
The Bürgerpark – Bremen’s green oasis

It’s an adventure playground for kids, an idyllic sanctuary for couples, and a quiet retreat for those looking to escape from stress – from joggers and Nordic walkers to lovers of nature and culture, the Bürgerpark in the centre of Bremen has something for everyone. For the last 150 years, this protected heritage site in the centre of Bremen has relied solely on the support of donations to keep it open and well-maintained.