Energy- and cost-efficient extreme lightweight construction with hybrid materials
August 2014 - December 2022
The NRW Research College "Light - Efficient - Mobile" (FK LEM) simultaneously addressed important societal challenges such as resource efficiency, environmentally friendly mobility, climate protection, but also various aspects in other areas such as medical technology. A key to solving these challenges lies in the implementation of an extremely lightweight construction of moving masses for broad applications. This is a central starting point for achieving a considerable reduction in resource and energy consumption through the use of hybrid materials in products from mechanical engineering, plant construction and vehicle construction. The basic idea takes into account the fact that load stresses on components are usually inhomogeneous. Therefore, economic and technical aspects can be optimised and affordable lightweight construction can be realised by means of localised, partial reinforcement with a high-strength, lightweight, but possibly expensive material.
In addition to the technological development of materials and processes, the college also provided the doctoral students with a broader perspective, which in particular made it possible to place technologies in a higher-level sociological context. The expansion of research and qualification at the interface of social, gender and technology-related issues in the Research Training Group does justice to three interwoven aspects: Firstly, technology applications always have social and thus also gender-related effects. Secondly, cultural patterns of interpretation and cultural constructions of gender always flow into the development and creation process of lightweight construction measures. Among other things, this is done through ideas about the future application of technology and its use. Thirdly, the cultural patterns of interpretation and cultural constructions of gender are constantly renegotiated in the development and application process.
Reflection on these societal effects was integrated into the Kolleg as a central concern and was thus intended to establish a new, progressive school of thought beyond technological considerations, so that the Kolleg members would be excellently prepared to meet the challenges of society and industry and to make their contribution to social, economic and ecological development in the future.
Further information on the NRW Research Colleges can be obtained from the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW.