Dr. Susanne Bieker

Senior researcher and coordinator of the interdisciplinary research group “Transformation and innovation systems for urban areas“

Dr. Susanne Bieker has been working as a researcher and project manager in the Water Resources Management Business Unit of the Competence Center Sustainability and Infrastructure Systems since 2018. Her main areas of research are in the fields of urban water systems, the interfaces between different technical infrastructure systems with a focus on urban contexts, options for using blue and green infrastructure in urban contexts, and urban transformation processes. 

Previously, Dr. Bieker worked for the GIZ (German development agency) on the sector program “Sustainable sanitation supply“. Her activities included providing scientific and strategic advice to the BMZ and working on bilateral projects with a spatial focus on Central and East Africa and the MENA region.

From 2003 until 2009, she worked at the IWAR institute of the TU Darmstadt as a scientific researcher in the “Environmental and spatial planning“ group, where she completed a PhD in the department of Civil Engineering and Geodesy in 2009. She then headed the research group SEMIZENTRAL at IWAR from 2009 to 2015, working on the development of integrated grid-bound infrastructure systems for use in rapidly growing urban areas. As a spatial planning graduate, she also previously worked in consulting for KoRis Hannover, where she dealt with impacts, regional cooperation and actions in the context of demographic change.

In addition, Dr.-Ing. Bieker is a member of the DWA working group BIZ 11.1 "Decentralised wastewater management and emerging economies" and of the WG 1.4 "System integration", is a member of the IfR and works as an expert for international research funds. She is also head of the cross-cutting topic "Transformation and Innovation Systems of Urban Areas", which combines the competences of all CCs at the Fraunhofer ISI with a research interest in urban areas.

Dr. Susanne Bieker has also been Fraunhofer Research Manager since 2024.

Fraunhofer President Prof.  Hanselka presented Dr. Bieker with the certificate and statue of the Forschungsmanager (Research Management) Program.
© Marc Mueller/M8 Media House
On March 14, 2024, Fraunhofer President Prof. Holger Hanselka presented Dr. Susanne Bieker with the certificate and statue of the Forschungsmanager (Research Management) Program.

The Research Managers' final theses focused on business model innovations.

Together with Dr. Anamaria Steinmetz (Fraunhofer ISE) and Christian Kaiser (Fraunhofer IBP), Dr. Susanne Bieker has developed a business model to accelerate the implementation of the energy transition: Low-Light photovoltaic modules are coupled with thermal insulation elements. As a result, the buildings require only a fraction of the original energy for space heating and produce green electricity via the façades, which makes the energy-efficient refurbishment financially viable.