Review of 2015

Good response to the 1st Lower Saxon Material Technology Symposium


Clausthal-Zellerfeld. The TU Clausthal is built on a high level of competence in the field of materials and substances. This became clear at the 1st Lower Saxon Material Technology Symposium. Right from the opening of the conference, which took on the form of an events series, around 140 guests from the spheres of science and business took part. The two-day conference was organised by the Clausthal Centre for Material Technology (Clausthaler Zentrum für Materialtechnik, CZM).

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Two protagonists at the 1st Lower Saxon Material Technology Symposium: Professor Hans Ferkel (left), Head of Research and Development at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, and Clausthal Professor Volker Wesling from the CZM board. Photo: Ernst (</span><a href="" target="_blank" external="1"><span style="color:#008C4F; text-decoration:none; text-underline:none">Download image</span></a>)

The major economic significance of new materials was emphasized CZM board spokesperson Professor Volker Wesling in the greeting: "In 2014 German companies set an export record and sold goods to the value of more than one billion euros. For the most part these were high-tech products, including many innovative materials." The Clausthal scientists have identified this potential at an early stage, according to Professor Wesling. "For more than 100 years, there have been materials-oriented courses of study on offer in the Upper Harz region." The idea of bringing teaching and research closer together lies behind the Clausthal centre for Material Technology, whose research building was inaugurated in December 2013. Master's students can thus participate in research from an early stage. Much to the delight of materials expert Wesling, the centre, which in addition to basic research is also intended to guarantee knowledge transfer within mid-size industry, is experiencing a great deal of international support. As such, researchers from Kyrgystan, India, England and Thailand have already exchanged ideas.

The CZM also maintains a good relationship with Professor Hans Ferkel. The Head of Research and development at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, who qualified at the TU Clausthal in 2001, delivered the opening lecture. The topic: "New and rediscovered prospects for steel". In order to be successful in industry, good material must be compatible with current processes, emphasized Professor Ferkel right from the outset. He then presented three areas in which innovative steel materials and concepts could in future bear success: in lightweight construction, in the field of regenerative energies and in transport infrastructure. Thus, in automotive manufacture, steel hybrid materials or a new three-layer steel composite allow reductions in vehicle body weight of up to 20 percent. In the case of onshore wind farms, the research proposed the use of steel rather than concrete for the tower construction. The advantage: The spirally welded pipes are easy to transport and are not expensive. In infrastructure products, for example in bridge construction, Ferkel was again able to provide strong argument for the use of steel as the main component. In addition to an attractive design and proven economic viability, a modular system made of steel can be easily modified and quickly recycled.

Alongside metals and alloys, the more than 50 specialist lectures at the Material Technology Symposium, to which other Clausthal CZM board members Professor Wolfgang Maus-Friedrichs and Professor Gerhard Ziegmann also contributed in terms of organisation, addressed topics such as plastics, fibre composites, nano-materials, non-metallic materials and processes. The comprehensive programme was supplemented by a scientific poster exhibition and an evening event in the Aula Academica. "We are very satisfied with the response to this first event. The Symposium was well received as a new platform for exchange and discussion in the field of material technology," said CZM CEO Dr. Henning Wiche. In future the conference is to take place every two years.


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