Academic network discusses Einstein Telescope progress in Aachen

Written by Gieljan de Vries

Nineteen universities and knowledge institutions in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany want to cooperate even more closely on preparations for the underground observatory Einstein Telescope. In this way, they want to build a strong proposal to host the future Einstein Telescope in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, the border region of the three countries. That is the outcome of a meeting at RWTH Aachen on February, 15th.

“Einstein Telescope is not only a new window into the universe,” argued RWTH Aachen professor Achim Stahl in his opening presentation to the network of knowledge partners for Einstein Telescope. “This observatory also offers a unique opportunity to engage students and companies in science. So, it is very important that we join hands as knowledge institutions to bring Einstein Telescope to the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.”


The knowledge coalition for Einstein Telescope started in 2018 with the aim of strengthening cooperation in preparation for the observatory. This involves R&D for the Einstein Telescope and joint work on a strong proposal to establish the Einstein Telescope in the border region. Since then, great strides have been made in terms of joint research and cooperation with industry and governments.

During their meeting, the rectors and scientific experts of the participating institutions discussed intensified coordination within the consortium. Closer coordination fits in with the recent creation of a task force with representatives from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, in which the involved governments share information in order to work towards a strong, joint bid for the Einstein Telescope from the three countries.


The knowledge coalition also sees opportunities to work more closely together, for example on the engineering and sustainability aspects of Einstein Telescope’s construction and operation. Thus, matchmaking sessions for researchers who want to participate in the preparations of Einstein Telescope were discussed.

Besides discussion on joint R&D, participants were given information on ongoing geological and planning feasibility studies in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. They also discussed the various consultation structures in which European researchers and governments discuss which site will eventually be assigned the Einstein Telescope. European governments are expected to make that decision in 2025.

Members of the Dutch-Belgian-German knowledge coalition for Einstein Telescope

Nikhef, KU Leuven, Universiteit Maastricht, Universiteit Genk, Universiteit Hasselt, RWTH Aachen University, UC Louvain, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Universiteit Antwerpen, Université de Liège, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Universität Hamburg, Université de Mons, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Max-Planck Institut für Gravitationsphysik – Albert Einstein Institut, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Ruhr Universität Bochum.

Photos: ET-EMR / Gieljan de Vries