Honor for former BTU doctoral candidate: Dr.-Ing. Patrick Bürger receives Johannes Möller Prize

The Hamburg-based Möller Foundation for Science and Research has awarded the prestigious Johannes Möller Prize for outstanding dissertations in the field of solids process engineering to Dr.-Ing. Patrick Bürger, an alumnus of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU).

The Johannes Möller Prize was awarded on March 6, 2024 at the annual meeting of the DECHEMA/VDI Agglomeration and Bulk Solids Technology Division in Weimar. The prize is awarded annually and is endowed with 5,000 euros.

Dr.-Ing. Patrick Bürger was awarded the 26th Möller Foundation Prize for his dissertation on "High-Temperature Electrostatic Precipitation: Fundamentals, Phenomena and Feasibility". The current prizewinner, who comes from Göttingen, had already completed his Master's degree in Process Engineering at the BTU in Cottbus and graduated with distinction in 2016. This was followed by his doctoral studies in Process Engineering from November 2016 to June 2023 with the final grade summa cum laude.

His doctoral supervisor is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Riebel, holder of the Chair of  Mechanical process engineering at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, and Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Weber from Clausthal University of Technology was the second assessor.

"With his work, Dr. Patrick Bürger has succeeded in opening up new fields of application for electrodeposition technology with great significance for energy transformation," says the text of the certificate for the Johannes Möller Prize 2024, which is signed by the Chairperson of the Board of the Möller Foundation Maike Toivonen and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Dr.-Ing. Heike Mühlenweg.

Patrick Bürger, now a process engineer responsible for exhaust gas and exhaust air purification at Evonik in Hanau, explains: "The award of the Johannes Möller Prize for my dissertation reinforces my conviction that the decarbonization of industrial processes cannot be achieved in the long term solely by converting the energy supply, but only in combination with far-reaching process optimization measures."

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Riebel emphasizes: "I see the Möller Prize above all as recognition for Patrick Bürger's great work, but also for the quality of teaching and research that we have at BTU."

The award-winning dissertation was written as part of the project "Use of electrohydrodynamically driven flows for the extended use of electrostatic precipitators" with funding of around 700,000 euros from the European Union, which was provided as part of the European Regional Development Fund. The project was carried out at BTU from 2016 to 2020. A total of three dissertations were written as part of the project. Patrick Bürger's sub-project focused on cleaning very hot exhaust gases of up to approx. 800 degrees Celsius in order to then be able to use the thermal energy of these exhaust gases. Until now, such exhaust gases have usually had to be diluted with cold air in order to clean them at temperatures below 400 to 500 degrees Celsius.

"So what makes Patrick Bürger's work so special?" emphasized Dr. Heike Mühlenweg in her laudatory speech at the award ceremony. "First of all, it is quite simply the success. Patrick Bürger has shown us that electrostatic precipitators can be operated at temperatures of up to at least 800 degrees Celsius, and very successfully at that. The participation of free electrons in current transport at high temperatures was measured for the first time. The charge distribution of the aerosols in a high-temperature electrostatic precipitator was also measured for the first time in order to gain an insight into the charging kinetics of the aerosols, which are very complex at high temperatures." The support of the dissertation to be honored with a total of seven reviewed publications during the doctoral phase was also highlighted.

The Chair of Mechanical process engineering, where the dissertation awarded the Johannes Möller Prize 2024is based, was established at BTU in 1994 under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Riebel.
Research focuses on the fields of aerosol physics and measurement technology, and in particular on exhaust gas purification. Since 1996, the chair has also been working on various topics in the field of electrostatic gas cleaning, and has been focusing on this since 2010. The scientists have nationwide industry contacts and hold several patents. They also carry out extensive basic research at BTU in order to better understand the physical functioning of the electrostatic precipitator and to open up new areas of application for the electrostatic precipitator.

Specialist contact

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Riebel
Mechanische Verfahrenstechnik
T +49 (0) 355 69-1122

Press contact

Ralf-Peter Witzmann
Kommunikation und Marketing
T +49 (0) 3573 85-283
Awarding of the Johannes Möller Prize 2024. On the photo (from left): the chairperson of the board of trustees of the Möller Foundation Dr.-Ing. Heike Mühlenweg, the chairperson of the Möller Foundation Maike Toivonen, award winner and BTU alumnus Dr.-Ing. Patrick Bürger, doctoral supervisor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Riebel. Photo: Möller Foundation
Dr.-Ing. Patrick Bürger. Photo: Sebastian Rau