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Graduate School Program Manager
Stefanie Peer
Cluster Office

+49 (0)721 608-47018

stefanie peer∂kit edu

Scientific modules

The hands-on scientific modules help the doctoral researchers to tackle the technical challenges for their experimental or theoretical work in a highly interdisciplinary environment. They will learn about expertise and infrastructure available within the Cluster.

PhD candidates in the HEiKA Graduate School are obliged to participate in at least one week of scientific modules.

Please register using the form at the end of the page.



Research Data Management August 1, 2019
Hands-on inkjet printing and other 3D printing technologies October 14-17, 2019
Technology Assessment October 15-16, 2019
Working in a clean room on demand

Module descriptions

Hands-on inkjet and 3D printing

Functional digital printing is set to revolutionize various technological fields by offering total freedom of design in the deposition of functional materials. Techniques like Inkjet and 3D printing permit the depositions of insulators, semiconductors, metals or biological materials with applications in electronics, sensing or bioelectronics.

Furthermore, these techniques offer the cost‐efficiency and versatility needed in areas like industrial production and personalized healthcare. The goal of this module is to understand the steps necessary for the processing of functional materials in Inkjet and 3D printing and to gain a technology overview and hands-on experience which could be utilized during a Doctoral Research project.

Detailed information
Lecturer Dr. Gerardo Hernandez-Sosa; Dr. Dario Mager
Date October 14-17, 2019
  • Introductory Lectures on Inkjet and 3D printing
  • Practical Exercises
  • Lab Visits to R&D sites
  • Student Mini Project
Course Objectives Understanding the potential and the limitations of Inkjet and 3D printing.
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will learn about:

  • Ink Formulation and Surface Preparation 
  • 3D Printing materials
  • Use a lab-scale inkjet printer and 3D printer
No. of participants max. 4-5
Pre-Requisites None
Teaching Method Lecture; Laboratory Work, Mini-Project
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: Understanding of materials-property relations in functional printing
LR-2: Basic Use of Lab Equipment through the development of a supervised Mini-Project. 
Course Material Slides, Manuals
  • Systematic Design of Jettable Nanoparticle-Based Inkjet Inks: Rheology, Acoustics, and Jettability, H. C. Nallan et al., Langmuir, 2014, 30 (44), pp 13470–13477
  • Intro to 3D printing
Participating institutes KIT-Light Technology Institute / InnovationLab, Heidelberg
KIT-Institute of Microstructure Technology, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
Contact person Dr. Gerardo Hernandez-Sosa ; Dr. Dario Mager  


Photochemistry in 3D printing

This course introduces participants to light induced reaction. Furthermore, it covers the properties of common as well as novel (functional) photoresists, detailing their design, synthesis and application. 

Participants will learn about the main chemical processes and materials involved in different 3D printing techniques using light as well as to gain insights into the possibilities and challenges.

Detailed information
Lecturer Dr. Eva Blasco
Date June 24-26, 2019 
  • Introduction to light induced reactions
  • Common photoresists (inks) used in 3D printing
  • Novel functional photoresists: design, synthesis and applications
Course Objectives The goal of the module is to learn about the main chemical processes and materials involved in different 3D printing techniques using light as well as to gain insights into the possibilities and challenges.
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will learn about:

  • fundamentals of light induced reactions
  • chemical composition of the most commonly used materials in 3D printing
  • how to design a new photoresist for 3D printing
No. of participants max. 10
Target group Doctoral researchers
Pre-Requisites Master in Sciences (Chemistry  or Materials Science, preferably)
Teaching Method Presentation and discussion of practical examples from the literature.
Depending on participants, demonstrations of 3D printing.
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: Basics of photochemistry 
LR-2: Design of photoresists for 3D printing
LR-3: Overview of the state of the art along with the challenges in the field of 3D printing
Course Material Slides and scientific publications
  • 3D printing of photopolymers. J. Zhanga, P.Xiao. Polym. Chem. 2018,9, 1530-1540
  • 3D Laser Micro- and Nano-Printing: Challenges for Chemistry. C. Barner-Kowollik, M. Bastmeyer, E. Blasco, G. Delaittre, P. Mueller, B. Richter, M. Wegener. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 15828-15845.
Participating institutes Institute of Technical Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP) – KIT
Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) - KIT
Contact person Dr. Eva Blasco


Technology Assessment

What is the connection between scalable digital 3D additive manufacturing, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, blockchain and artificial intelligence? They are fields of cutting edge research. As such they are embedded in social, political, cultural, economic, and ecological settings. And they are shaped by these settings. Researchers follow certain visions of the future, hold up values, perceive the world in specific ways. New science and technologies are not only embedded in societal contexts but have the power to fundamentally alter and impact on society and environment. Science and technology change the world. Therefore scientific practice is charged with responsibility. This raises questions to which degree scientists should consider the societal context of their action, think about ethics, assume responsibility for their visions and goals, and be informed about possible potential impacts on society and environment. How can science more responsibly shape the future? This question is at the heart of Technology Assessment.

This module will to give PhD researchers an oversight over different TA theories and methods relevant for the assessment of their research. They will learn examples and tools for reflexive decision-making in science, communicating with stakeholders and the public and engaging with futures.

Detailed information
Lecturer PD Dr. Andreas Lösch, Dr. Alexandra Hausstein, Maximilian Roßmann, NN
Date October 15-16, 2019
  • Roles of science and innovation in society, social relevance of scientific practice
  • Theories, methods and practices of technology assessment
  • Arguments for operationalizing responsible research and innovation in daily decision-making processes
  • Current and future impacts of new science and technologies on society and environment (with specific focus on controversies around 3D printing technology) 
Course Objectives Learning about societal embeddedness of basic research, ability to contextualize the clusters research in scientific and societal environments, enhance reflexivity and competence for responsible decision-making and scientific practice.
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will 

  • acquire basic understanding of theories and methods of technology assessment and responsible research and innovation
  • intensify knowledge concerning science in society and ethical issues 
  • increase awareness of the public perceptions of science
  • gain competence to interact with stakeholders and the public and address demands for responsibility
No. of participants 30
Target group  
Pre-Requisites None
Teaching Method lecture, reading, group work, presentations, debates
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: Insights in and experiences with technology assessment (aims, theories, methods and practices)
LR-2: Preparedness for reflexive communications and interactions in the cluster and with society
Course Material Selected literature, slides, products of group work and exercises
  • Grunwald, A. 2019. Technology assessment in practice and theory. Abingdon, New York: Routledge.
  • von Schomberg, R. 2013. “A Vision of Responsible Research and Innovation”, in R. Owen, J. Bessant and M. Heintz, Eds., Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society, Chichester, UK: Wiley, pp. 51-74.
Participating institutes International Department/KIT, SE202
15. October 2019: 10:00-12:30 / 13:30-16:00
16. October 2019: 10:00-13:00
organized by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ) at KIT
Contact person PD Dr. Andreas Lösch


Self-Assembly of Soft Matter

The module aims to provide the participants with a comprehensive overview on how soft matter (ranging from small organic molecules, polymers to cells) self-assemble into ordered structures. Especially, to create a clear link to the general concept of our Cluster, we will focus on the self-assembly at the interfaces. 

Detailed information
Lecturer Motomu Tanaka
  • Theoretical background of self-assembly
  • Self-assembly of soft matter at interfaces
Course Objectives The goal of the module is to learn about the physical principle of self-assembly of matter.
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will:

  • learn about a theoretical background of self-assembly
  • experience some practical examples via demo experiments
No. of participants 5 – 7
Target group PhD students and postdocs
Pre-Requisites None
Teaching Method Presentation, demo experiments
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: Basic theoretical background
LR-2: Simple demo experiments
Course Material Handouts, checklists
Literature Adamson and Gast, “Physical Chemistry of Surfaces” ISBN-13: 978-0471148739
  • xxx
  • xxx
Participating institutes Physical Chemistry Institute (INF253), Heidelberg University
Contact person Motomu Tanaka


Hands-on 3D laser micro-printing for beginners

The course focuses on experimental aspects of 3D micro-printing and is intended for newcomers in the field. The participants will deepen and apply their theoretical knowledge by exploring different aspects of 3D printing. They build knowledge on principles of design and process technology for the fabrication of 3D matter including the functionalization of 3D structures, and the inspection of those microprints.

Detailed information
Lecturer M. Bastmeyer, G. Goll, M. Wegener
  • Overview on 3D printing
  • Cleanroom training
  • Principles of design and preparation of design files
  • Overview on electron microscopy and laser scanning microscopy
  • Sample preparation and sample inspection
  • Functionalization of 3D matter
Course Objectives This is a technological-based course where participants will use their prior fundamental knowledge to gain a firm grasp on fabrication sequences and characterization steps.
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will:

  • build knowledge on process technology for the fabrication of 3D matter
  • learn to compare the advantages of different technological approaches
  • be able to choose the suitable inspection tools for functionalized material.
No. of participants 6
Pre-Requisites None
Teaching Method Lecture, exercises, labs
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: possess the basic knowledge about 3D printing
LR-2: design and fabricate 3D samples on microscale
LR-3: be familiar with inspection tools for objects on microscale
Course Material Slides
Literature Tba.
Location(s)/Participating Institutes Seminar room 104 in building 30.25, cleanroom labs in the basement of building 30.25/ APH, NSL and ZOO at KIT
Contact person G. Goll


Obtaining cool ray-tracing images of complex 3D structures by myself

The module aims at acquainting the participants with the basics of the ray-tracing program package “Blender”. This allows for two aspects relevant in the Cluster “3D Matter Made to Order”. First, you can make cool 3D graphics for publications and presentations yourself. For example, 3D architectures that have been 3D printed can be visualized. Second, the architectures defined by “Blender” can be exported in *.stl file format – the standard data format for 3D printing, including the Nanoscribe instrumentation available to all Cluster members in the KIT Nanostructure Service Laboratory.

Detailed information
Lecturer Prof. Dr. Martin Wegener, Tobias Frenzel, Alexander Münchinger, Frederik Mayer
  • An Introduction to ray tracing (1 hour)
  • Create 3D geometries (0.5 day), i.e., insert objects, move objects, distort objects
  • Assign material properties to objects (1 day), i.e., using shadings, reflecting surfaces, rough surfaces
  • Camera and illumination (0.5 day)
Course Objectives The module shall acquaint the participants with the program package “Blender”.
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will learn

  • the basics of ray tracing
  • to use elementary functions of the program “Blender” to define and visualize 3D architectures
No. of participants 15

Each participant must bring his/her suitable laptop with the program package “Blender” installed.

Prior knowledge on “Blender” is not required. The module targets total beginners in this regard.

Teaching Method Introductory lecture and extensive exercises
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: Being able to define 3D geometries for 3D printing using “Blender”
LR-2: Being able to make simple 3D ray-tracing illustrations
Course Material Slides and exercises
Literature An Introduction to Ray Tracing, Andrew S. Glassner, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc.
https://www.blender.org (allows for free download)
Location(s)/Participating Institutes ???
Contact person Prof. Dr. Martin Wegener


Crash course on 3D laser scanning optical microscopy of biological systems

Detailed information
Lecturer Lucie Zilova, Christina Schlagheck
  • Organisms and organoids
  • Imaging of living and fixed specimens
  • Single and multiphoton microscopy
Course Objectives Basics of confocal microscopy and sample preparation
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will learn to

  • prepare organisms, organoids and cells for imaging
  • apply confocal microscopy (including light sheet microscopy) to address cellular and subcellular features in living and fixed specimens
No. of participants 4
Target group PhD students and Postdocs


Teaching Method Presentation, demonstration, hands on practical
Major Learning Results (LR) LR-1: Sample preparation (fixing, staining, IHC, in vivo labelling)
LR-2: Basics of confocal imaging
Course Material Slides, basic protocols
  • Kromm D, Thumberger T, Wittbrodt J. (2016). An eye on light-sheet microscopy. 4. Methods Cell Biol. 2016;133:105-23.
  • Lust K, Wittbrodt J. (2018). Activating the regenerative potential of Müller glia cells in a regeneration-deficient retina. eLife. 7. pii: e32319.
  • Keller PJ, Schmidt AD, Wittbrodt J, Stelzer EH. (2008). Reconstruction of zebrafish early embryonic development by scanned light sheet microscopy. Science. 322(5904):1065-9.
Location(s)/Participating Institutes COS Heidelberg, 5th floor, AG Wittbrodt
Im Neuenheimer Feld 230, 69120 Heidelberg
Contact person Lucie Zilova


Cell culture & CRISPR: Getting started

Detailed information
Lecturer Lucie Zilova, Thomas Thumberger
  • Basics of cell culture (culture conditions, media, incubation, passaging, differentiation)
  • Basics of targeted genome editing (knock-out, knock-in approaches)
  • Generation of (complex) donor cassettes via GoldenGate cloning
  • Methods for analyzing wanted and un-wanted CRISPR events
Course Objectives Basics of cell culture and principles for targeted genome editing
Learning Targets/Skills

The participant will learn to

  • run basic cell culture approaches
  • plan, design and evaluate CRISPR/Cas9-based target genome editing
  • design donor constructs for knock-in approaches
No. of participants 6

Knowledge of basic molecular biology

Teaching Method Lecture, presentation, hands-on laboratory methods
Course Material Slides, template protocols
  • CCTop: An Intuitive, Flexible and Reliable CRISPR/Cas9 Target Prediction Tool. Stemmer M, Thumberger T, Del Sol Keyer M, Wittbrodt J, Mateo JL. (2017). PLoS One. 10.1371/journal.pone.0124633
  • Efficient single-copy HDR by 5' modified long dsDNA donors. Gutierrez-Triana JA, Tavhelidse T, Thumberger T, Thomas I, Wittbrodt B, Kellner T, Anlas K, Tsingos E, Wittbrodt J. (2018). Elife. 7. pii: e39468.
  • Generation of DNA Constructs Using the Golden GATEway Cloning Method. Kirchmaier S, Lust K, Wittbrodt J. Methods Mol Biol. (2017) 10.1007/978-1-4939-6343-0_12
Location(s)/Participating Institutes COS Heidelberg, 5th floor, AG Wittbrodt
Im Neuenheimer Feld 230, 69120 Heidelberg
Contact person Lucie Zilova



Furthermore, the following modules are planned:

  • Hands-on 3D laser micro-printing for beginners
  • Hands-on 3D laser micro-printing for advanced users
  • Working in a chemistry laboratory for physicists and engineers
  • Working in a clean room
  • Getting SEM electron micrographs by myself
  • Cell culture & CRISPR: Getting started
  • Introduction to computational photonics
  • Introduction to using density-functional-theory software
  • Introduction to COMSOL Multiphysics
  • Introduction to research data management

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