Closing Event NRW Research College "Light - Efficient - Mobile"

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". Lauter completed his doctorate at the ILH in 2014 when the project was launched and played a key role in developing the idea for the project. Within the framework of this funding programme, the conditions for strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation were created. These focused, among other things, on the thematic areas of additive manufacturing and lightweight construction in rescue systems.

Additive manufacturing in medical technology

In the biomechanical sense, every person is an individual with regard to their body and thus also their musculoskeletal system. For this reason, additive manufacturing in particular is predestined for the development of patient-specific and stress-appropriate medical products and aids. Clinical data from imaging procedures (e.g. CT, MRT) or 3D scans of affected organs or body parts enable medical aids to be adapted to fit precisely and to withstand stress. This results in numerous challenges for additive manufacturing, such as the mechanical, chemical or biological compatibility of the materials, which have not yet been definitively solved. In addition, the integration of additional functions into the aids is the subject of our research projects, such as the realisation of defined decreasing stiffness of implants.

Lightweight construction in rescue services

Two research projects are working intensively on the optimisation of fire brigade rescue equipment. Particular focus is being placed on a significant reduction in weight. On the one hand, this enables a larger circle of users, also to promote diversity in the fire brigade, and relieves the emergency services, on the other hand, it helps to reduce the load of the usually overloaded emergency vehicles. Furthermore, the projects pursue a transdisciplinary approach to consider practical interrelationships in the use of rescue equipment in order to generate new findings for their optimisation. Thus, surveys and participatory observations are among the tasks in the project in order to let the expert knowledge flow directly into the mechanical optimisation.

Subsequently, the results achieved in the respective clusters were reported on: Hybrid Lightweight Construction & Diversity in Emergency and Rescue Services, Recycling & Reuse Potentials, Individualised Medical Technology and successes were discussed in a subsequent open discussion. The results of these and other topics are currently being prepared and published in a joint anthology. The challenges in the context of inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation will be addressed in particular. The anthology is expected to be published by transcript in early 2023.


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Dr. Silvia Dohmeier-Fischer

Institute for Lightweight Design with Hybrid Systems

Management of the Institute for Lightweight Design with Hybrid Systems

Write email +49 5251 60-3937

The big societal challenges, such as climate change and public health, call for innovative approaches to address them. The contributors of this book present new ways to tackle these challenges by inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations in light weight engineering.


»Major societal challenges« - this is the term used in European and national strategy papers to negotiate topics such as climate change, demographic development and the resulting increase in mobility needs as well as adequate health care.