The E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen (E.ON ERC) is a unique alliance between one of the German Universities of Excellence and an energy company with operations worldwide. With around 36,000 students, RWTH Aachen is by far one of Germany's largest universities for students with concentrations in technical areas. E.ON is one of the world's largest electricity and natural-gas companies, with a large array of international participating interests.
Exploring the complex field of energy, the E.ON ERC does not rely on one-dimensional approaches based on simple, "if-then" causalities. Its perspective is a holistic one instead: heavier reliance on renewable energy, for instance, also calls for new concepts for grid integration for energy generation that is often hard to plan. Research into CO2 separation cannot underestimate the challenges of storage. And to have a systematic influence on energy-consumption habits, there has to be some way to assess the resulting consequences for the entire energy system.
With this holistic approach in mind, teaching activities and offerings at E.ON ERC are integrated in the international degree programs of the four departments to which the institutes belong: Mechanical Engineering, Georesources and Materials Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Business and Economics. The work takes place on an interdisciplinary basis.