How it all began …
What do five scientists, a civil engineer, a geoscientist, a high-frequency electronics engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist, have in common? In 2001, this group of scientists worked on the question: How can moisture of soil, rock, and other materials be measured not only relatively, but also absolutely? And with an appropriate resolution and accuracy?
Moisture of material is not only a characteristic parameter, but decisively induces or controls the material behavior in the geosphere, environment, and technical applications. In joint projects, these scientists first focused on the further and new development of sensors on various scales.
The Soil Moisture Group (SMG)
Inter-departmental cooperation of scientific institutions in Karlsruhe and Mannheim was institutionalized by a framework agreement on scientific cooperation in November 2004, the partners being Karlsruhe University, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (today's Campus North and Campus South of KIT), Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, and Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. Eventually, the Soil Moisture Group (SMG) was established.
From 2004 to 2007, this group grew significantly thanks to cooperation with various institutes of what is now the KIT. Apart from sensor research and development, the portfolio covered research into fundamental aspects of the interaction of water with solids and transfer of the results to practice.
Competence Center for Material Moisture (CMM)
The extended portfolio of the SMG and the defined objective of establishing in the long term an interdisciplinary research group in the area of moisture measurement finally resulted in the foundation of the Competence Center for Material Moisture (CMM) in January 2008 under the direction of Rainer Schuhmann.