The Split Between Basic Research and Innovation

Professor Stefan Pischinger, RWTH Aachen

The Lecture

This lecture will describe the path from invention to innovation based on the compex topic of combustion engines. The example of combustion anomalies will be illustrated and used to make clear that numerous basic research topics must be addressed and investigated along the path from invention to final implementation in serial production.

The topics mobility and energy are highly socially relevant. The use of limited fossil fuels by transport and thus the resulting effects on the environment lead to the nead for ecologically sustainably engines. In 2030 the majority of all vehicles sold in Europe will have a combustion engine (75 to 85 percent), even when a higher percentage of these combustion engines are operated in hybrid powertrains. For this reason further technologies must be developed to reduce CO2 emissions and other pollutants for combustion engines.

In recent years increases in the efficiency of combustion engines in serial products have been clearly achieved. Pollutants were also significantly reduced. These developments are based on discoveries in basic research, which enables a detailed understanding of the physical effects that arise and thus form the foundation for resulting, innovative solutions.

Portrait of Stefan Pischinger Lothar Wels

The Lecturer

Professor Stefan Pischinger completed his studies in mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University in August 1985. From 1985 to 1989 he worked as a researcher at Sloan Automotive Laboratory, M.I.T. In 1989 he completed his doctoral studies with the dissertation "Investigation of the Influence of Spark Plug Design on Center Flame Formation and Combustion in the Otto Engine." He held various positions between 1989 and 1997 in both the diesel and Otto engine fields at Diamler-Benz (today: Daimler).

He has been the director of the Institute of Thermodynamics at RWTH Aachen Universiy and Institute for Combustion Engines since 1997. Professor Pischinger was also appointed to the management board of the FEV, Aachen in 1997; since April 2003 he has been the chair of the management board thee and is thus responsible for the entire FEV Group. He has been a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts since 2010.