In addition to the technological development of materials and processes, the College has provided the doctoral students with a broader perspective, in particular by enabling them to place technologies in a broader sociological context.

NRW Forschungskolleg "Light – Efficient – Mobile"

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.

Collected volumes of the Research College

Climate Protection, Resource Effiency and Sustainable Engineering

The collection of the 2nd funding phase 2019-2022. Major societal challenges such as climate change and public health call for innovative approaches. The authors show new ways to tackle these challenges through inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration in lightweight design.

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Wissenschaft im Angesicht "Grosser Gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen"

The collectionon the first funding phase 2014-2018 "Major societal challenges" - this term is used in European and national strategy papers to describe topics such as climate change, demographic development and the resulting increase in mobility needs.

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RC "Light-Efficient-Mobile" 2014-2022

On 30 June 2022, after eight years of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research work, the official funding phase of the NRW Research College "Leicht-Effizient-Mobil: Energie- und kosteneffizienter Extremleichtbau mit Hybridwerkstoffen" ended. At the end of May, a joint event was held with all partners in order to appropriately review and present the progress made and the results of the research work. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Lauter from the PHWT (Private University of Applied Sciences Vechta/Diepholz) opened the event with a keynote speech on "Gone with the wind: rotor blades for wind turbines as an example of efficient, highly stressed lightweight structures at the interface between technology and society".

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