Rolf Krause appointed for the Federal Geological Commission


Institutional Communication Service

1 January 2020

During its plenary session on 27 November, the Federal Council renewed all the extra-parliamentary bodies for the administrative period 2020-2023. Rolf Krause, Director of the Institute of Computational Science (ICS) and Co-Director of the Center for Computational Medicine in Cardiology (CCMC) at USI was appointed to the Federal Geological Commission (FGC).

The Federal Geological Commission is a permanent advisory committee made up of experts who offer their competence to the Federal Council and the departments of the Federal Administration on fundamental questions in the field geology and applied geology.

The path that led Prof. Krause to the CFG began in 2013, with his involvement in the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research active in the field of continuous energy supply (SCCER-SoE), one of the eight inter-university competence centers for research, of which USI is an academic partner. Coordinated by ETH Zurich and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and Innosuisse, SCCER-SoE brings together the expertise of research and industry in the fields of geo-energy and hydropower. In this context, Krause came into contact with the Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo), which proposed him as a member of the commission as an expert on numerical simulations, artificial intelligence and big data. USI continues to provide its mathematical know-how in the field of renewable energy and sustainability also through its new chair in "Computational Energy", supported by the SCCER-SoE and headed by Prof. Multerer of ICS.

Earthquakes, landslides, geothermal energy: there are several current issues to be taken into consideration in the field of geology. USI, together with ICS, and with the help of other partners, actively participates in projects and gives a significant contribution to the discussion on the main geological issues in our territory. "Our computational and mathematical research is general, in the sense that it is possible to apply simulation methods both to geosciences (fluid flow in rocks) and to medicine (fluid flow that flows for example into the heart). There are certainly differences and each area of application requires specific methods and suitable tools. However, many basic mathematical properties applied to various problems are similar or even the same. This is the strength of mathematics: abstraction allows us to cover different applications," states Krause.  

There are various projects within SCCER carried out in cooperation with ETH Zurich, the Swiss Seismic Service and the University of Lausanne, which deal with numerical simulations and evaluations of induced seismicity. Among these is "FASTER: Forecasting and Assessing Seismicity and Thermal Evolution in geothermal Reservoirs", carried out within the Swiss Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing (PASC) and conducted by the Swiss Centre for Scientific Computing (CSCS). Systems for predicting earthquakes in Switzerland are being investigated within this project, in cooperation with the Swiss Seismic Service.