Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner appointed Director of Fraunhofer Institute
Appointed director as of November 2019
As of November 2019, Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner is assuming the position of director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) in Freising. For two years, she has held the professorship for the Chair of Aroma and Smell Research.
Sensory Science …
Central to her research are the senses: Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner has held the newly created Chair for Aroma and Smell Research since 2017. As early as 2007, she established a research team for chemical sensorial research at FAU, initially as a group for young scientists funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In 2012, she was appointed to the W2 professorship for flavor research, and in 2017, to the newly founded Chair for Flavor and Smell Research. Her work at the FAU has mainly focused on the molecular characterization of flavor and smell, the research of food and product perception, and consumer acceptance, but questions of nutrition, toxicology, and technology have found importance in her work. Moreover, Büttner’s team addresses olfactory topics outside the field of food research, such as the smells associated with wood and plastics or even consumer goods, like children’s products.
“We live in a globally connected and complex world. The multitude of products with which we are confronted on a daily basis is constantly increasing, and at the same time, the impulses and impressions that confront our senses. We want to better understand how a person can and should deal with this modern world, how to keep this world livable for us without becoming unsustainable for our environment,” says Prof. Büttner.
…on the Campus of the Senses
What’s more, as co-founder and director of the “Campus of the Senses,” a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer IVV and the Fraunhofer IIS, including FAU as a partner university, Prof. Büttner works intensively towards the digitalization of human perception processes. Human senses like sight and hearing, but especially “chemical” senses like smell and taste, are being translated from the real world into the mechanical and digital realm. To this end, for example, sensory and actuator solutions must be developed and new insights into perception research must be gained in order to consolidate both aspects through algorithmic evaluation, such as through mechanical learning. Prof. Büttner’s goal is, aside from the seminal research in this area, to offer private companies an expert basis and access to vital inisights, as well as application strategies as part of research and development projects in the area of “digitalized sensory perception.”
Prof. Büttner will lead, together with the incumbent director, Prof. Dr. Horst-Christian Langowski, the Fraunhofer IVV, which researches in the areas of food, packaging, product outcomes, processing machinery, recycling, and the environment. Challenges and future research topics of the institute include the development of new and alternative raw materials, the development of more resource-efficient production processes, as well as securing product quality along the supply chain – from raw materials until the final product. Quality control has become especially difficult in light of the globalized marketplace: the flow of raw materials and consumer goods is increasingly intransparent, but monitoring must nonetheless provide the necessary information as quickly as possible. Prof. Büttner is concentrating on the processes of quality control, which she aims to optimize using analytics, diagnostics, process technology, and digitalization.
Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner