Presentation of the RWTH Innovation Award


Last week, the RWTH Aachen Innovation Award was presented for the third time. The award recognizes projects that strongly contribute to the standing of the Aachen region as a hub of science and innovation. Professor Malte Brettel, Vice-Rector for Business and Industry, presented the award certificates to the winning teams during the RWTHtransparent event.

  Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter During the RWTHtransparent event, Professor Malte Brettel, Vice-Rector for Business and Industry, presented the winning teams with the award certificates.

Shape-Shifting Textiles

With its project titled “4D Textile – Additive Manufacturing of Hybrid Materials for Shape Shifting Applications,” the research team from the Institute of Textile Technology headed by Professor Thomas Gries came in first place.

With the help of a 3D printer, team members Dr. Valentine Gesché, David Schmelzeisen, and Kristina Simonis succeeded in printing microstructures into textiles. As a result, the product is capable of changing its shape depending on external stimuli. Such shifts in shape take place without requiring energy input, as the energy is stored as pre-stress in the textile.

Currently, an International Research Training Group (IRTG) of researchers from Bergische Universität Wuppertal, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Massachusetts University Lowell, USA, and RWTH Aachen University is being established to do further research in this field. The team is looking for partners to open up new fields of application for the innovative hybrid material.

Optimizing Grid Planning

The n-voy project by researchers Moritz Cramer, Philipp Goergens, Dr. Simon Koopmann, and Fabian Potratz took second place, providing an intelligent platform for energy grid control. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the platform is able to automate, optimize and accelerate planning process in distribution grids.

Against the backdrop of the increasing integration of sustainable energies and the increasing use of electric vehicles, the software platform makes it possible to improve the digital processes of network operators. With support from the EXIST Entrepreneurs’ Scholarship program, the team plans to start a company in April 2017 to bring the platform to market. The team members are researchers at the Institute for High-Voltage Energy led by Professor Armin Schnettler.

Bio-Based Amines

The third-place winners are Dr. Rebecca Engel and Dr. Marcus Rose from the Institute of Institute of Technichal und Macromolecular Chemistry, headed by Professor Regina Palkovits.

Their innovation is titled “IsohexAmin,” a technology for the production of biomass-based amines. A catalytic process makes it possible to produce amines from sugar alcohol and ammonia, whereby water can be used as a solvent. The increased availability of biomass-based amines provides a boost to the production of polymers from renewable resources.

Source: Press and Communications