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Health and sustainability

People and society are at the centre of this research focus. The topics range from maintaining health and understanding social processes to engineering solutions for medicine.


Health Management

The Ernst Abbe University has a wide range of competences in the subject of health management. In the field of company health management, we support companies and public service institutions in the introduction and implementation of sustainable structures and measures for "healthy working". In the field of care management, we develop and evaluate new working time and duty roster models for the health sector. Furthermore, we work on the establishment of academically qualified nurses in professional practice.


Nursing, Midwifery and Health Sciences

The health sciences are theoretical and empirical as well as application-oriented. They deal with the mental, physical, psychological and social conditions of health and illness as well as their systemic linkage. Nursing science deals with questions of health care, nursing of the sick, nursing of children, nursing of the elderly and curative education. It draws on findings from medicine, health science, sociology, psychology, biology, philosophy, theology and history.


Social science analyses

Social work aims both functionally and normatively at social integration and participation. Today, social work is therefore understood as a "human rights profession" and should contribute professionally to the perception and implementation of fundamental social rights. Research in social work must examine whether social work as a profession achieves the goals it has set for itself (as evaluation research), and it must also examine the social conditions that prevent or promote social integration and participation (as empirical and transformative social research).


Entrepreneurship, innovation management, corporate governance and SMEs

The focus of this research area is a process chain that includes the activities of various actors at the Department of Business Administration: analysing, innovating and realising. Analysing includes services in the area of collecting and evaluating socio-economic data as well as the investigation of secondary data. The area of innovating deals with the strategic and operational planning of new business models as well as structural policy concepts. The thematic area of realisation includes, in particular, consulting services for start-ups, companies and public institutions.


  • Empirical Economic and Social Research: Prof. Dr. Matthias-W. Stoetzer (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-569)
  • Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship: Prof. Dr. Heiko Haase (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-573)


With four working groups, biotechnology is strongly represented at the Ernst Abbe University. The competences are broadly diversified and range from cell cultivation, research into intracellular communication in the genetic engineering laboratory and the characterisation of microalgae bioprocesses, to control engineering for bioprocess variables and the development of bio/chemo sensors.


  • Bioprocess MSR Technology, Microalgae Biotechnology: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Pfaff (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-635)
  • Genetic Engineering: Prof. Dr. Antje Burse (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-659)

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is an independent scientific discipline at the interface between medicine, medical technology and biology. In this interdisciplinary field, the contents and issues of (experimental) medicine are linked with the methods of molecular biology and cell biology. The research group is mainly concerned with the development of experimental and test modules for use in microgravity for research in space medicine.

Contact: Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Frank Engelmann (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-925)

Ophthalmic optics, optometry and vision science

The department is closely networked with the optical industry, medical institutions and ophthalmic practice. The department has more than 20 years of research and development experience in the core disciplines of ophthalmic optics and optometry and is distinguished by numerous cooperative international research projects and publications. The focus is on interdisciplinary research and collaboration. The scope of services includes the planning and implementation of clinical studies, material testing, device development as well as market analyses and literature research. Research and development projects are carried out both within the framework of public funding programmes and in the form of contract research.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Stephan Degle (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-428)

Energy technology

In the context of the energy transition, a restructuring of the energy system is taking place in Germany and poses various challenges for researchers and companies. New energy supply concepts are characterised above all by an increasingly decentralised structure and by the coupling of the electricity, heat and mobility sectors. With this background, the research efforts of the Ernst Abbe University in the field of energy technology focuses on two main areas: (1) development and optimisation of energy supply concepts and energy efficiency measures and (2) development and operation of chemical and thermal storage systems.


  • Chemical and thermal storage systems: Prof. Dr. Stefan Rönsch (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-943)
  • Energy supply concepts and energy efficiency measures: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Schirmer (Mail:, Tel.: +49 (0) 3641 205-915)