TUM University Foundation Fellows

The participants of the Research Opportunities Week (ROW), organized every year in spring by TUM ForTe to give young reserachers the possibility to visit TUM for a week and to take part in a comprehensive program, have the opportunity to apply for the TUM University Foundation Fellowship. 

So far, 105 fellowships have been awarded to the participants for ROW 1 to 9 who conduct reserach at various departments at TUM. Besides the fellowship, the researchers receive support to apply for further third party funding opportunities to extend their stay. 

These are the TUFF Fellows who are currently working at TUM or starting their research stay in the near future:

Current Fellows

Dr. Burak Özbey

TUM Chair: High-Frequency Engineering, Prof. Thomas Eibert

TUM Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Özbey received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, in 2008, 2011, and 2016, respectively. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the ElectroScience Laboratory, Ohio State University. Dr. Özbey was selected as a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Scholar and an URSI Young Scientist Awardee in 2017, and he was a recipient of the 2016 Leopold B. Felsen Award for Excellence in Electromagnetics.

Dr. Burak Özbey’s research interests include microwave and THz systems, structural health monitoring, design and testing of wireless RF sensors, and computational electromagnetics. In his Ph. D., he worked on an interdisciplinary project, where he developed RF sensors based on novel high resolution structures for use in civil engineering applications. In his research at TUM, he will focus on devising an extended range, high performance wireless sensing system, mainly for structural health monitoring and post-earthquake damage detection applications.

Dr. Samuel Weber

TUM Chair: Chair of Landslide Research, Prof. Dr. Michael Krautblatter

TUM Department: Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas: 

Dr. Samuel Weber completed his PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to his PhD studies, he received his BSc and MSc in Geography with Minor Physics and Glaciology. His research interest concerns heterogeneous environments and climate change, especially process understanding and quantification of phenomena in mountain permafrost related to climate.

Dr. Weber’s vision is to investigate fracture kinematics, to improve the understanding of processes in mountain permafrost using geophysical methods, to detect rupture processes in unstable rock masses, assess rupture imminence and to design an early warning system for rock instabilities. For this, the combination of geo-science and engineering is very useful and enables field measurements at locations in hardly accessible environments. He greatly enjoys doing field work in alpine environments and being able to combine his knowledge as well as my experience with my alpine skills. At TUM, Samuel Weber will investigate how laboratory and theoretical insights on rock-slope destabilization can be transferred to field observations.

Dr. Xing Huang

TUM Chair: Chair of Electronic Design Automation, Prof. Ulf Schlichtmann

TUM Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Xing Huang received his B.S. degree in Computer Science and Technology and his Ph.D. degree in Electronic Science and Technology from Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China, in 2013 and 2018, respectively. From 2016-2017, he was a joint Ph.D. with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council. Before joining TUM, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Department of Computer Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

His current research interests include design automation for microfluidic biochips and integrated circuits. In his research at TUM, he will work on the project entitled “Integration: Systematic Design Automation for Microfluidic Biochips” at the chair of Electronic Design Automation.


Dr. Needhi Kotoky

TUM Chair: Chair of Computational Mechanics, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fabian Duddeck

TUM Department: Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Needhi Kotoky is a former Postdoctoral Fellow of IIT Bombay, India. She received her Master Degree in Structural Engineering in 2012 from NIT Durgapur, India and her doctoral degree in Structural Engineering in 2017 from IIT Guwahati, India. In 2017, she went for a fully funded exchange programme to conduct research at Polytechnique Montreal, Canada.

Dr. Kotoky research interests focus mainly on structural health monitoring, seismic performance improvement and seismic retrofitting of structures. Her research includes both experimental and numerical case studies, striving for better society of tomorrow. At TUM, she will work on her project entitled “Assessment of wooden frame building in seismic scenario” at the Chair of Computational Mechanics and the Chair of Wood Technology. The accomplishment of the proposed project will invariably augment the domain knowledge in the field of seismic study on wood structures.

Dr. Haichao Hong

TUM Chair: Institute of Flight System Dynamics, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Florian Holzapfel

TUM Department: Aerospace and Geodesy

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Haichao Hong received his B.Eng. degree in aircraft design and engineering and his Ph.D. degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Science and Technology, from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China, in 2013 and 2019, respectively. He was a visiting Ph.D. student with the Institute of Flight System Dynamics, TUM (TUM-FSD) from 2014 to 2016, sponsored by China Scholarship Council.

In consistence with the vision of TUM-FSD, Dr. Haichao Hong’s research focuses on the development of efficient optimization techniques tailored to real-world applications. Driven by the need to implement electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles in modern urban mobility chains, Dr. Hong is dedicated to addressing the robust transition of eVTOL vehicles in urban environments via optimization techniques, at TUM.

Dr. Bhavya P. S.

TUM Chair: Aquatic Systems Biology, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Geist and Prof. Dr. Karl Auerswald

TUM Department: TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Bhavya has received her master's degree in Meteorology from the Cochin University of Science and Technology, India and secured her doctoral degree in marine biogeochemistry from Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India. Her doctoral research was focused on understanding the effects of natural and anthropogenic interferences on primary production and nitrogen fixation rates in the estuarine-coastal coupled systems using 13C and 15N tracer techniques. Her current research activities as a postdoctoral fellow at Pusan National University, South Korea, include the study of nitrogen and carbon cycling in the Korean coastal waters and the Arctic Ocean.

At TUM, she will extend her research area to freshwater mussel ecology in association with Chair of Aquatic Systems Biology. She will perform a set of time series assessments of N and C stable isotope compositions (15N and 13C, respectively) and physiological status of mussel communities which are grown in breeding stations under varying nutrient conditions and diet plans. Investigating the difference in responses of the mussels at breeding stations and natural river ecosystems will also be an indivisible part of this study.

Future Fellows

Dr. Mohanned Alhussien

TUM Chair: Reproductive Biotechnology, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Schusser

TUM Department: Animal Sciences

Academic Career and Research Areas: 

Dr. Mohanned Alhussien completed his Master and Ph.D. studies in Animal Physiology at ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, India. His research focuses on the role played by the innate and acquired immune system during various physiological and physio-pathological conditions of bovines. He has conducted in-depth studies of the function and expression of the first line of cellular defense, i.e., neutrophil under both normal and inflammatory conditions. He has many publications in reputed journals and has also received many awards and prizes in his field of specialization.

At TUM, Dr. Alhussien will study the role of B cells in the clearance of Salmonella Enteritidis infection using knockout chicken lacking mature and peripheral B cells. His research goal is to identify the underlying mechanism by which B cells assist cellular immunity to clear Salmonella infections which may help to develop more effective vaccination strategies against this important public health problem.


Dr. Claudia Contini

TUM Chair: Chair of Physics of Synthetic Biological Systems, Prof. Friedrich Simmel

TUM Department: Physics

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Before joining TUM, Dr. Claudia Contini was a Research Associate and ISSF Springboard Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London. In January 2017, she was awarded her PhD in Physical Chemistry at University College of London (UCL). Prior to her post-graduate studies, Dr. Contini was awarded MScRES degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technologies at University of Padua.

Dr. Contini’s research combines several areas including synthetic biology, chemical biology, physical chemistry of colloidal science and model membranes engineering. At TUM, Dr. Contini’s project will focus on the realization of bio-inspired and life-like soft matter systems with applications to bottom-up synthetic biology and drug delivery.

Dr. Jingshui Huang

TUM Chair: Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management, Prof. Markus Disse

TUM Department: Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Jingshui Huang is currently a Postdoc Research Fellow at Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), Germany. She investigated the inter-annual and seasonal variations of instream nitrogen retention capacity and pathways in an agricultural river in Germany using water quality modeling combined with high frequency data. Dr. Huang obtained her Ph.D. at Tongji University (China, 2017). She studied the impacts of wastewater treatment plant effluents on the instream biogeochemical processes of dissolved oxygen, nitrogen and organic matters in an urban river in China using the approach of modeling and intensively longitudinal monitoring. Prior to her PhD study, she received her B.Eng. in environmental engineering from Tongji University (China, 2011).

Dr. Huang’s current research interests are the development of mechanistic water quality models for different water systems, such as eutrophic, urban black and odorous and effluent-dominated waterbodies, sensitivity and uncertainty analysis for water quality models and urban water quality under climate change. At TUM, She will work on a project, which aims at assessing responses of urban water quality to increasing extreme weather events and providing operational mitigation management in a demonstration urban watershed in Bavaria, Germany.

Dr. Ali Khansefid

TUM Chair: Structural Mechanics, Prof. Dr. Ing. Gerhard Müller

TUM Department: Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Ali Khansefid completed his Ph.D. in the field of earthquake engineering at the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, in 2018. His research focused on the probabilistic lifetime risk assessment of structures equipped with the optimally designed active vibration control systems under mainshock-aftershock scenarios. He also received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. at the same university as a top student in 2013, and 2011. Besides, he attended several well-known international courses in the field of earthquake engineering such as the one hold by GFZ Helmholtz Center (2018), and ICTP (2018).

Dr. Khansefid is a researcher in the field of engineering seismology, earthquake engineering, vibration control, probabilistic modeling, risk assessment and mitigation. Hence, at TUM he will work on a multidisciplinary project bridging different fields from engineering seismology, earthquake engineering and structural dynamics. In this project, effects of undesired aseismic induced vibration by the geothermal power plants are investigated on the performance of masonry buildings, and their owner comfortness. Then, the application of wave barriers as a solution for this issue is evaluated.

Fadhilah Muslim, PhD

TUM Chair: Chair of Materials Science and Testing, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Gehlen

TUM Department: Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Fadhilah Muslim received her PhD degree in 2018 from Imperial College London, UK funded by the Indonesian endowment fund for education (LPDP) at the Concrete Durability Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She investigated the effect of spacer-concrete interface on the microstructure and durability of concrete structures. Prior to Joining Imperial, she completed her master in concrete materials at École des Ponts, ParisTech (ENPC) in September 2013 and received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Indonesia, where she has been working as lecturer since October 2018.

Her research interests are directed at understanding and improving the long-term performance of the concrete materials that form most of the infrastructure in the world. Dr Fadhilah will join the Chair of Materials Science and Testing at TUM under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Gehlen. During her fellowship at TUM, she will conduct a project regarding the porous concrete pavement as a great innovative solution toward environmental sustainability to help not only alleviate urban flooding problem but also improve water quality by capturing pollutants.     

Dr. Luisa Röder

TUM Chair: Human Movement Science, Prof. Dr. Joachim Hermsdörfer

TUM Department: Sport and Health Sciences

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Luisa Röder completed her PhD at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia) in 2016. Her research focuses on neural communication between brain and muscles during walking, and how this is affected by age and Parkinson’s disease. She uses mobile brain imaging and advanced digital signal processing techniques to identify connectivity patterns between neural populations. Subsequently as a postdoc, she managed a Randomized Controlled Trial evaluating the effects of textured shoe insoles on the sensory nervous system, gait parameters and falls risk in Parkinson’s patients. She also worked at James Cook University in Cairns in 2018-19, where she was responsible for research education and support for medical students and clinicians, and provided advice on study design, research methodology and ethics.

At TUM, Luisa will lead a project on neural networks underpinning anticipatory grip force control in humans. This will form the basis of a larger, interdisciplinary research portfolio into evidence-based neurorehabilitation and towards the development of neuro-prosthetic devices.

Dr. Gaurav Tomar

TUM Chair: Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics, Prof. Dr. Alejandro Ibarra

TUM Department: Physics

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Tomar has received his master's degree from the University of Delhi, India. He then moved to Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad to pursue his doctoral research where his Ph.D. degree is awarded by the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. Before joining TUM, he worked on the types of interactions, that dark matter could have with the ordinary matter and studied its possible direct and indirect signals. Currently, as a postdoctoral fellow at Sogang University, Seoul, he is developing a Python code-named WIMPyDD to analyze and interpret data from the direct detection experiments for all possible dark matter-nucleon interactions.

In his research at TUM, he will extend his analyses to account the uncertainties in the density and velocity distribution of dark matter particles while developing a numerical tool that can simultaneously address the particle as well as astrophysical uncertainties in the theoretical interpretation of the results from the direct dark matter detection experiments.

Dr. Naveen Tripathi

TUM Chair: Process System Engineering, Prof. Heiko Briesen

TUM Department: TUM School of Life Sciences

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Naveen Mani Tripathi studied Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor: 2006-10) from Uttar Pradesh Technical University, India and Thermal Engineering (Master: 2012-14) from Thapar University, India. He went on to earn his doctorate (2015-19) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (Prof. Haim Kalman and Prof. Avi Levy). After his doctoral studies Dr. Tripathi joined GranuTools as Particle Scientist.

Dr. Naveen Mani Tripathi has progressive research experience in the field of Powder Technology. Specified areas are bulk material handling, pneumatic conveying, hydraulic conveying, powder flow characterization for powder handling industries, additive manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Tripathi will join the Chair of Process System Engineering at TUM. He will work on a project of dense phase pneumatic conveying. Under this project he will investigate the acceleration pressure drop and velocity profile of the particles. This project will be helpful for all those industries, which are dealing with the powder conveying and will provide better understanding for their system design. 

Dr. Chuang Xu

TUM Chair: Multiscale and Stochastic Dynamics, Prof. Dr. Christian Kühn

TUM Department: Mathematics

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Dr. Chuang Xu obtained his B.S. in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from Harbin Engineering University and M.S. in Pure Mathematics from Harbin Institute of Technology in China. He then moved to Canada and obtained his PhD in Applied Mathematics at the University of Alberta. Before joining TUM, he was a postdoc working with Prof. Carsten Wiuf in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark.

Dr. Xu has wide research interests in applied probability. His PhD work mainly focuses on approximation of probability measures as well as scaling limits of stochastic biological models. At UCPH, with his collaborators he worked on dynamics of continuous time Markov jump processes with applications to stochastic reaction networks. At TUM, he will work in Prof. Kuehn’s group on noisy effects of kinetic rate constants on dynamics of stochastic reaction networks.

Dr. Goranci Gramoz

TUM Chair: Chair of Algorithms and Complexity, Prof. Dr. Harald Räcke

TUM Department: Informatics

Academic Career and Research Areas:

Gramoz Goranci holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Vienna and a M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). During his graduate studies, he has been a visiting researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before joining TUM, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto.

Gramoz’s research interests lie in theoretical computer science, with a particular focus on the analysis of algorithms. Specifically, he has been working on designing dynamic algorithms and sparsification tools for graph-based optimization problems that arise in Spectral Graph Theory, Metric Embeddings and Graph Partitioning. At TUM, Gramoz’s research will focus on devising static and dynamic algorithms for constructing tree-based cut-sparsifiers with improved guarantees.


TUFF Alumni

Alumni Round 1-9

This is a non-exhaustive list and only includes persons who provided their consent to be added to the Alumni list.

TUFF Round 1

  • Dr. Joanna Deek – Professorship of Molecular and Cellular Biophysics, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Satoshi Endo – Chair of Information-oriented Control, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Cristian Gutierrez Ibanez – Chair of Zoology, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Juan Leonardo Martinez-Hurtado – Center for Nontechnology and Nanomaterials, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Genny Pang – Chair for Biological Imaging, TUM School of Medicine
  • Dr. Thomas Stecher – Chair of Theoretical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

TUFF Round 2

  • Dr. Roberta Fonti – Chair of Structural Design, Department of Architecture
  • Dr. Sijie Hao – Professorship of Experimental Semiconductor Physics, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Paul Albert König – Chair of Clinical Chemistry, TUM School of Medicine
  • Dr. Hesam Sagha – Chair of Human-Machine Communication, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Annelies Vandersickel – Chair of Energy Systems, Department of Mechanical Engineering

 TUFF Round 3

  • Dr. Siwei Bai – Professorship of Bio-inspired Information Processing, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Karin Kleigrewe – Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Jürgen Rauleder – Chair of Helicopter Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Simone Scilabra – Chair of Neuroproteomics, TUM School of Medicine
  • Dr. Weiwei Xie – Chair of Theoretical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

TUFF Round 4

  • Dr. Ina Bisha – Theoretical Chemical Biology and Protein Modelling Group, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Alejandro Cosimo – Chair of Applied Mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Paul D'Agostino – Professorship of Biosystems Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Bhupal Dev – Chair of Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Kiwon Um – Chair of Computer Graphics and Visualization, Department of Informatics
  • Dr. Bin Zou – Chair of Mathematical Finance, Department of Mathematics

TUFF Round 5

  • Dr. Giorgia Aquilar – Chair for Urban Development and Regional Planning, Department of Architecture 
  • Dr. Astrid De Clercq – Chair of Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Pablo Lanillos – Chair of Cognitive Systems, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Nicolás M. Ortega – Chair of Livestock Biotechnology, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan 

TUFF Round 6

  • Dr. Gulen Burak – Professorship of Protein Chemistry, Department of Chemistry 
  • Dr. Alessandro Cattabiani – Chair of Computational Mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Laura Hoodless – Institute of Neuronal Cell Biology, TUM School of Medicine 

TUFF Round 7

  • Dr. Batyr Garlyyev – Professorship of Physics of Energy Conversion and Storage, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Abdulla Ghani – Professorship of Thermo-Fluid Dynamics, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Zhi Jin – Chair of Media Technology, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Tahoora Narany – Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management, Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
  • Dr. Gianluca Orlando – Chair for Analysis, Department of Mathematics
  • Dr. Yongpeng Wu – Institute for Communications Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

TUFF Round 8

  • Dr. Diala Abu Awad – Section of Population Genetics, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Kausik Basak – Chair of Molecular Imaging Engineering, TUM School of Medicine  
  • Dr. Jordi Cotela Dalmau – Chair of Structural Analysis, Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
  • Dr. Hildeberto Jardón Kojakhmetov – Chair of Multiscale and Stochastic Dynamics, Department of Mathematics
  • Dr. Shobin Loukkose Rosemary – Chair of Semiconductor Nanostructures and Quantum Systems, Department of Physics
  • Dr. Johannes Margraf – Chair of Theoretical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Jamie McDonald – Professorship of Theoretical Physics of the Early Universe, Department of Physics 
  • Dr. Gustavo Adolfo Silva Arias – Section of Population Genetics, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Magdalena Wagner – Centre of Land, Water and Environmental Risk Management, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
  • Dr. Catherine Weetmann – Professorship of Silicon Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

TUFF Round 9

  • Dr. Ana M. Ferreira – Professorship of Biothermodynamics, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Biao Yang – Chair of Surface and Interface Physics (E20), Department of Physics
  • Dr. Ibon Santiago González – Chair of Physics of Synthetic Biological Systems (E14), Department of Physics
  • Dr. Adam Papp – Chair of Nanoelectronics, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Linda Giresini – Chair of Structural Mechanics, Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
  • Dr. Tianzhe Liu – Chair of Biosystems Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Chien-Yun Lee – Chair of Proteomics and Bioanalytics, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Jong-Seob Han - Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Liang Dong – Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
  • Dr. Philipp Baumert – Chair of Exercise Biology, TUM Department of Sport and Health Sciences
  • Dr. Sandra G. L. Persiani – Chair of Building Technology and Climate Responsive Design, TUM Department of Architecture
  • Dr. Cambyse Rouzé –Chair of Theory of Complex Quantum Systems, TUM Department of Mathematics