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Meeting of the Kuratorium (Advisory Board) of PTB


The Kuratorium of PTB, which is made up of highranking representatives from the fields of economics and science, as well as from verification authorities, fulfills an important function as an advisory committee to PTB and to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). In addition to meetings which take place as needed throughout the year, the annual meeting of the Kuratorium is an important opportunity to discuss PTB’s achievements and goals. To this end, the Kuratorium met on May 21 and 22 of this year in Braunschweig.

The portable LIDAR system for measuring three-dimensional wind speed at wind energy locations attracted the interest of many visitors during the laboratory tours.

Participants at the 2015 Kuratorium meeting

Traditionally, the meeting begins with laboratory visits, followed by lectures given by young PTB scientists. This year, Dr. Sebastian Raupach first gave a report on extremely precise and rapid frequency comparisons between atomic clocks at PTB and in Paris using a fiber connection. This is a critical step in the further development of optical clocks. Next, Dr. Martin Stein presented the “Wind Energy Competence Center”, which is still under development. The mission of this competence center is to precisely measure the geometric dimensions and forms of large components (such as gears with a diameter of 4 meters) and to trace torques of a force previously unmatched anywhere in the world (long-term goal: up to 20 MNm) to the International System of Units using metrological methods. Finally, Ms. Julia-Maria Osinga outlined the collaborative efforts taking place with the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center (HIT) on the realization of the absorbed dose to water of carbon ion beams; the goal of these efforts is to improve treatment and protect patients from unnecessary exposure to radiation. These lectures were met with a very positive response. Following this, small groups of individual Kuratorium members met with the different divisions to discuss more specific topics.

The morning of the following day was dedicated to the actual conference of the Kuratorium. The President of the Kuratorium, Mr. Stefan Schnorr, Ministerialdirigent at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, opened the conference with a report on notable political developments related to PTB’s field of activity, particularly the restructuring of the BMWi’s technology transfer funding portfolio; the report also addressed the reforms contained in the Measures and Verification Act, which took effect at the start of this year and which assigns additional responsibilities, in particular those concerned with coordination, to PTB (see separate article in this Annual Report). The President of PTB, Professor Ullrich, presented some of the significant accomplishments in the work of PTB, with particular emphasis on the progress made in projects whose goal is to prepare for the redefinition of the kilogram, the mole and the ampere which is planned for 2018 (here also see separate articles in this Annual Report). Generally speaking, PTB is as active in its metrological services as ever, as well as in its work in standardization and technology transfer. Collaboration with universities continues to intensify, such as in two joint professorial appointments. The new European metrology research program EMPIR has begun; this program is cofinanced by the EU, which contributes 300 million euros or around half its funding. It is the successor to the successful program EMRP, whose final projects are due to expire in the coming years, and places additional emphasis on innovation and pre-normative research. Altogether, the Kuratorium was highly impressed by PTB’s accomplishments and position to meet future challenges, encouraging PTB to continue on the same course.