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Daniel Herbst and Martin Fürnschuß win Styrian Science Slam 2023

10/02/2023 | TU Graz news | Events | Planet research | FoE Sustainable Systems

By Philipp Jarke

The duo from the Institute of Electrical Power Systems at TU Graz explained the function of residual current circuit breakers and impressed the audience with their elaborate props and dry humour.

Martin Fürnschuß (l.) and Daniel Herbst (r.) after their success at the Styrian Science Slam at the University of Graz (with presenter Bernhard Weingartner and Kristina Edlinger-Ploder, Rector of FH CAMPUS 02). Photo source: Lunghammer - Styrian University Conference.

Seven scientists took to the stage on Friday evening in the Alumni Lecture Theatre at the University of Graz to present their field of research to the audience - in a way that was both entertaining and easy to understand. Daniel Herbst and Martin Fürnschuß had brought along a bathtub and a display dummy to demonstrate what happens when a running hairdryer falls into the water. Daniel Herbst gave the classical scientific answer: "It depends." If the electrical cables in the bathroom are properly installed, a so-called residual current circuit breaker immediately interrupts the electrical circuit. This reduces the risk of electric shock to a socially accepted level. But if the circuit breaker is damaged or incorrectly installed, it becomes life-threatening. By the way, this also applies to a mobile phone connected to the charging cable that falls into the bath water.
What does all this have to do with Fürnschuß' and Herbst's current research? Circuit breakers, Daniel Herbst explained, are adapted to their respective field of application - from households to charging stations for electric cars to photovoltaic systems. And since such applications are evolving constantly, there is need for new research all the time.

Alongside Daniel Herbst and Martin Fürnschuß, the following scientists competed in the Styrian Science Slam 2023:

  • Eva Wenig, Institute for Catechetics and Religious Education at the University of Graz: "Women and their clothes, or: Why I just have to take my clothes off for this talk" (Interreligious Education).
  • Gerald Zotter, ecop Technology: "Why you can't save anyone from the cellar with a slide " (Technology of heat pumps)
  • Henrik Siboni, Department of Chemistry/Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology & Biopharmacy, University of Graz: "Look at your medicine" (Nanoparticles)
  • Linda Oster, FH Wiener Neustadt: "With ions in orbit" (ion propulsion of satellites)
  • Andrzej Hecker, Med Uni Graz/Johanneum Research: "Skin regeneration - your secret superpower" (wound healing)

The Styrian Science Slam 2023 was organised in cooperation with the Styrian University Conference and with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.


Dipl.-Ing. BSc
TU Graz | Institute of Electrical Power Systems
Phone: +43 316 873 8055

Dipl.-Ing. BSc
TU Graz | Institute of Electrical Power Systems
Phone: +43 316 873 7569