To content
Lecture Series


As part of the "Initial Spark" series, renowned scientists from all over the world who have been awarded a Nobel Prize or Leibniz Prize, for example, are invited to TU Dortmund University.

In addition to the opportunity to hear the lecture of an outstanding scientist, the subsequent reception offers the chance to talk personally with the top researchers.

On February 2, 2023, it was possible to talk to Professor Dr. Benjamin List, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, after his lecture "Catalysis for a better world". He gave the third lecture in the Initial Spark series in the Auditorium Maximum. Afterwards, he was available to answer numerous questions from the audience, as well as for requests for autographs and selfies among the students present.

All interested in the event are cordially invited to the next lecture in the Initial Spark series. As soon as the date for the fourth lecture in the Initialzündung series is confirmed, registration will be possible here again.


The Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prize, experimented with explosives in the mining industry in the 1860s, including at the Dorstfeld mine in Dortmund-Dorstfeld. In order to be able to blast nitroglycerine with greater certainty, he developed the so-called initial ignition in 1863. The series is entitled "Initial Spark" in reference to Nobel's experimental phase in Dortmund.


"Catalysis for a better world"

Third lecture of the Initial Spark series on February 2, 2023 with Prof. Benjamin List

On February 2, 2023, Prof. Benjamin List, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry of 2021 and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Mülheim an der Ruhr, was a guest at the Auditorium Maximum as part of the Initial Spark lecture series. You can find the German report on this event here.

"Ion Channels: Their Discovery and Role in Biomedicine and Pharmacology".

Second lecture of the series „Initial Spark“ on April 26, 2022 with Prof. Erwin Neher

After a long Corona break, the „Initial Spark“ lecture series could finally continue on April 26, 2022. The second lecture in this series was given by Professor Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Director Emeritus at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen. The report on this event can be found here (German) the video of the event here.

"Innovation by Evolution: Expanding the Protein Universe."

Kick-off of the „Initial Spark“ lecture series on May 24, 2019 with Prof. Frances Arnold as part of the "Jubilee Lectures."

The first lecture of the „Initial Spark“ lecture series at TU Dortmund University was given on May 24, 2019 by Professor Frances Arnold, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. More than 950 interested listeners followed her presentation. For more information, please see the follow-up report (German).

With the kind support of: