Awards for Socially Relevant Research


RWTH researchers receive 2022 German Thesis Awards from the Körber Foundation


RWTH researchers Dr. Lars Nolting from the Chair of Energy System Economics and Dr. Weihan Li from the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives have received the Körber Foundation's 2022 German Thesis Award for their outstanding dissertations. With the annual award, the foundation honors the best doctoral theses that are of particular social significance in the areas Cultural Sciences and Humanities, Natural and Technical Sciences, and Social Sciences. The German Thesis Award is one of the most valuable prizes for early-career researchers in Germany.

Dr. Lars Nolting, senior engineer at the Chair of Energy System Economics at RWTH Aachen University, has received the first prize in the Social Sciences category, worth 25,000 euros. Nolting convinced the jury with his contribution titled “Introducing AI-Based Metamodeling to Assess the Security of Electricity Supply”.

Current crises and disruptions are leading to increasingly complex energy systems. Is the supply of electricity secured in the future? Or are we faced with gaps in the supply of electricity? How likely or unlikely are power supply interruptions in light of current disruptions in the energy system, and how can security of supply be soundly assessed in the context of increasing complexity? Nolting has developed a meta-model that can be used to make informed statements about supply security. It is based on artificial intelligence methods, among other approaches, and is capable of calculating how reliably an energy system can supply its customers with electricity for a large number of scenarios.

Efficient Battery Use for Mobility and Energy Supply Purposes

Dr. Weihan Li, junior research group leader at the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives at RWTH Aachen University, has been awarded the second prize, worth 5,000 euros, in the Natural and Technical Sciences category for his contribution titled “Machine Learning for Efficient Battery Use in Mobility and in Energy Supply for Sustainable Climate Protection.”

In the fight against climate change, batteries play a crucial role as flexible energy storage systems for renewable energies. However, the aging of batteries is a significant limiting factor for achieving an efficient and reliable energy system. Li's work demonstrates that machine learning approaches enable online aging diagnosis, prediction of future aging progression, and optimization of battery operational strategies, which helps to increase battery performance and lifetime and to reduce unexpected failures. The methodology developed by Li improves battery use in mobile and stationary applications, enabling safer and longer-lasting operation, which minimizes costs and helps save resources. This research provides a significant boost for the broad acceptance of climate-friendly mobility and energy supply, paving the way to the development of a climate-neutral energy system.

Further Awards for the Chair of Energy System Economics

The Chair of Energy System Economics headed by Professor Aaron Praktiknjo is pleased about the awards won by research assistants Christina Kockel and Jan Priesmann. The researchers took first and second place in the IAEE Best Student Paper Awards at the 43rd International Conference of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) in Tokyo.