Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Zavrel appointed as a professor at the TUM Campus Straubing

TUMCS | PM | 10.06.2022

The Straubing campus of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is increasing its efforts in the field of sustainable biotechnological processes: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Zavrel (42) works at the TUM Campus Straubing (TUMCS) for Biotechnology and Sustainability. Prof. Zavrel heads the Professorship for Bioprocess Engineering and brings many years of industrial experience to the University of Excellence.

Portrait Prof. Dr-Ing. Michael Zavrel

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Zavrel has been working at the TUM Straubing Campus since the beginning of June. Photo: Uli Benz/TUM

TUM is already very familiar to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Zavrel: Prof. Zavrel studied Chemical Engineering at TUM for five years with a semester abroad at the University of California in Santa Barbara (USA), before he did his PhD at the Chair for Biochemical Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Büchs. Prof. Zavrel then moved to industry at Süd-Chemie AG in 2008, and then to Clariant Produkte GmbH in 2012, where he held a leading position as Head of Development & Biomanufacturing in the field of Biotechnology. Now, Prof. Zavrel has followed the call of his alma mater to take up the Professorship in Bioprocess Engineering.

„Ideal environment for my professorship“

The focus of the professorship is on the development of sustainable bioprocesses. The bioprocesses utilize biogenic raw materials that do not compete with their use as food. Examples are residues from agriculture and waste streams. The manufactured products are bio-based and should be biodegradable. Prof. Zavrel does research on fermentation processes, downstream processing and bioprocess design, especially on model-based process design, tolerant fermentation processes and innovative downstream processing techniques.

Prof. Zavrel is looking forward to his work as professor at TUMCS. „Straubing is the center for renewable raw materials in Bavaria and offers an ideal environment for my professorship,“ says Prof. Zavrel. „The TUM Campus Straubing has excellent scientific staff and the most modern research buildings, such as the new building in Uferstrasse, where my professorship is based. I am also looking forward to working with small and medium-sized companies and start-ups that want to develop sustainable bioprocesses, and above all to passing on my knowledge and experience to students and PhD candidates.“

Prof. Dr. Volker Sieber, Rector of the TUM Campus Straubing, sees the move of Prof. Zavrel to Straubing as a great enrichment for the university. „The expansion of the bioeconomy requires new sustainable biotechnological processes and their industrial implementation. It is precisely at this interface, namely the scaling up of biotechnological processes from the laboratory to the industrial scale, where the Professorship of Bioprocess Engineering is located,“ says Prof. Sieber. „With Prof. Zavrel, the TUM Campus Straubing is getting an excellent scientist with many years of industrial experience,“ Prof. Sieber continues. „This expertise is a great asset for the TUMCS in order to further strengthen the dialogue between science and industry. Our students will also benefit from these contacts and, in addition to an excellent academic education, will also gain insights into everyday industrial life.“

The development of sustainable technologies on the one hand and their economic implementation on the other – these are the two major topics that the TUM Campus Straubing brings together as the so-called “Integrative Research Institute” of the Technical University of Munich. Academic training at the TUM Campus Straubing takes place within the framework of around a dozen bachelor’s and master’s programs.