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Forschungskolleg North Rhine-Westphalia

Research on the major societal challenges facing the State of NRW

The Heinz Nixdorf Institute contributes to the current funding programme “Forschungskolleg NRW” of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Heinz Nixdorf Institute has participated in two of these “Forschungskollegs” since the end of 2014. One of them deals with the impact of “Industrie 4.0” on the working staff. The other one investigates hybrid lightweight design enabling light, efficient and mobile applications.

The Ministry of Culture and Science is funding inter- and transdisciplinary research projects to solve the complex problems of our time. At six institutions, PhD students conduct research on major societal challenges. Members of the Heinz Nixdorf Institute, namely Professor Iris Gräßler and Professor Eric Bodden, are involved in two Forschungskollegs (FK). Due to the good results, a further funding period until 2022 was approved for both research colleges in 2018.

Design of flexible working environments – human- centric use of Cyber Physical Systems (FK GfA)

The FK GfA investigates the impact of Intelligent Technical Systems on working environments and the future role of humans in such systems. Cyber Physical Systems enable new possibilities for the flexible reconfiguration of value chains and increasing efficiency. In addition to the existing technical challenges in developing such systems, the role of employees is facing a significant change across the entire value chain. The development of human-centred control systems and the safety of such new systems are the two main aspects being explored by the Heinz Nixdorf Institute.

Light, efficient, mobile – Energy- and cost-efficient extreme lightweight design with hybrid systems (FK LEM)

The motivation behind the FK LEM is driven by hybrid components and hybrid materials: New methods for the design, development and manufacturing enable the reduction of weight in machinery, plant and vehicle construction. Amongst other events, the young scientists discussed the application of transdisciplinary research for mobility solutions during their summer school entitled “Denkschule” in September 2018. The project of the “Product Creation” workgroup takes over a core role: Requirements from economically driven modularisation of products and resource efficient lightweight design are often contradictory; how could complexity management help to find optimal trade-offs between these concepts?