Clausthal-Zellerfeld. At the 3rd Lower Saxony Symposium on Materials Technology (NSM), 160 participants from science and industry met in mid-February. In Clausthal, they learned how modern materials combined with modern processing techniques can provide decisive answers to important social issues, such as for the mobility sector, energy technology or information technology.
At the start of the two-day conference - students were also present - TU Vice President Professor Alfons Esderts welcomed the guests. Beforehand, the participants had already had the opportunity to visit the laboratories and experimental setups at the Clausthal Center for Materials Technology. Dr. Rene Gustus, head of analytics, presented, for example, plasma-based methods for surface modification and exhaust gas cleaning, laboratories for polymer-based microsystems technology and new methods for laser-based motion measurement. In his welcome address, Professor Esderts emphasized that materials research has long been one of the core competencies at Clausthal University of Technology. It is fitting that the NSM (first edition in 2015) has already established itself as a young materials science conference.
Extra beers brewed for the symposium
Meanwhile, the keynote lectures provided a good technical framework for the symposium. Dr. Frank Schreiber spoke about existing welding processes and materials for coating base materials to protect them from wear attacks. Jürgen Silvanus followed this up by outlining how processes such as laser or arc welding can be used to additively manufacture metallic structures for aircraft construction. It became clear that despite great progress, a considerable amount of research still needs to be done. It is not expected that printed metallic structures will be able to be produced in accordance with their properties and used in aircraft until 2035 at the earliest.
At the evening event, Professor Frank Endres, Director of the TU Institute of Electrochemistry and a passionate hobby brewer, presented three special symposium beers in cooperation with the Clausthal Brewing Academy, which were very well received by the guests. During a brief outline of the history of brewing in Clausthal, he announced that there will also be a lecture on brewing at the Clausthal University of Technology in the future.
On the second day, three keynote lectures were on the agenda. Professor David Stifter reported on "Surface analysis on coated steel", Professor Karl Kuhmann on "Functional integration and lightweight construction with high-performance plastics" and Professor Heinz Sturm on "Interfaces as materials: concepts and examples of nano-reinforced thermosets".
Honorary awards presented for the first time
For the first time, three honorary prizes were awarded during the symposium - the next one will be held in spring 2021 - for particularly successful presentations by doctoral students. These went to Kristian Lippky (Institute of Joining and Welding Technology at the Technical University of Braunschweig), Alexander Nienhaus (Institute of Surface Technology at the Technical University of Braunschweig; Dortmund branch) and Marc Sparenberg (German Aerospace Center).