Back

Awards for Outstanding Dissertations

Oxana Gourinovitch and Kuntal Chatterjee might have completed their doctorates at TU Berlin in completely different subjects, but they have one thing in common: They were both awarded a Tiburtius Prize in December 2021 for their outstanding dissertations. Oxana Gourinovitch, who completed her doctorate at the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, was awarded first prize, while third prize went to Kuntal Chatterjee, who completed his dissertation at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics. The Tiburtius Prize is awarded annually by the Conference of Rectors and Presidents of the Berlin Universities for outstanding dissertations written by doctoral candidates at the city's universities and universities of applied sciences.

Oxana Gourinovitch's dissertation titled "National Theatre. Architecture of Soviet Modernism and Nation Building" examines the architecture of Soviet post-war modernism. Focusing on two former Soviet republics, Lithuania and Belarus, she considers the role of modernist architecture in the processes of nation building which marked the region in the 20th century. Her work looks at the notion of the Soviet "National Theater" from two perspectives. Firstly, she uses a case study to reconstruct the planning and construction of two music theaters designed under the leadership of women: The Lithuanian National Ballet and Opera Theater in Vilnius (Lithuania) and the State Musical Comedy Theater in Minsk (Belarus). She then considers how modernist architecture mediates and generates the self-narratives and self-representations of the "new nations" of Belarusians and Lithuanians, and, at the same time, is itself guided and shaped by them.

Oxana Gourinovitch is an architectural historian, architect, and curator. She wrote her thesis as a fellow of the "Identität und Erbe" research training group at TU Berlin and the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Her supervisors at TU Berlin were Professor Dr. Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper at the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning and Professor Dr. Kerstin Wittmann-Englert at the Institute for Art History and Historical Urban Studies. She is currently working as a researcher at RWTH Aachen.

"Vibrational Spectroscopy of Microsolvated Clusters of Protonated and Ionized Aromatic Molecules" is the title of the dissertation written by Dr. rer. nat. Kuntal Chatterjee under the supervision of Professor Dr. Otto Dopfer at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics. It examines the solvation of organic molecules with biological and astrochemical significance at the molecular level. Solvation is an important physicochemical phenomenon that controls the stability and function of almost all biomolecules. Kuntal Chaterjee used mass spectrometry to perform controlled solvation, adding one molecule at a time to a molecular system. His findings are valuable for a number of fields including drug research.

Chatterjee, who has a degree in chemistry, wrote his dissertation at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics from 2016 to 2020. He then took up work as a research associate at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He has been a postdoc at the University of California Berkeley, USA since September 2021.