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Lightweight Construction Research without Boundaries

Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer: “The Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE at Chemnitz University of Technology sets an important statement on transboundary science networking"

From April 19th till 20th, 2018, the Federal Cluster of Excellence “Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures” (MERGE) at Chemnitz University of Technology hosted the 2nd Polish-German Bridge Conference in order to further strengthen its transnational research cooperations with Polish partners – the Politechnika Opolska and the Politechnika Wrocławska. “In the framework of the 2nd Polish-German Bridge Conference we want to extend the bridges built between Poland and Germany, or rather Saxony, Lower Silesia, and Opole. These bridges, between science and economy, science and politics, and science and society of both countries, will be widened, enlarged and crossed more intensively than it has hitherto been the case. I am looking forward to work together with our Polish friends and guests on the further design of the science and economy region Chemnitz-Lower Silesia-Opole”, said Chemnitz University President Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier.

In 2018, involved scientists of both countries continue to follow their successful path with regard to their lightweight construction competencies and internationalization strategies: The production of novel lightweight structures by means of advanced technologies with focus on ecological and economical sustainability is a target of the joint research of Chemnitz University of Technology, Opole, and Wroclaw. This future challenge is of significant importance and creates a global added value for society and environment.

“With the 2nd Bridge Conference, the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE at Chemnitz University of Technology sets an important statement for the transboundary science networking with the neighboring country Poland”, said Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, who had opened the 2nd Polish-German Bridge Conference in Chemnitz. It is necessary to further strengthen the numerous bridges and good connections between Saxony, Lower Silesia, and Opole. Kretschmer added: “I would be more than happy if new partnerships and joint European projects would emerge from this conference.”

Perfectly interlinked across borders

Furthermore, the Chemnitz researchers significantly contributed to the establishment of a research and development department lightweight construction at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Politechnika Opolska, which has not existed before. For this purpose, lectures and workshops were carried out on site to concentrate the existing lightweight construction competencies of TU Opole and the region Opole and to further complete these competencies with know-how of the neighboring regions. On March 14, 2018, Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll was awarded the title “Professor of Technical Sciences” by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, for this transboundary science networking.

Currently, discussions on the establishment of a Fraunhofer Project Center in Opole take place. The planned Center called “Advanced Lightweight Technologies (ALighT)” is intended as a cooperation of the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz and the Politechnika Opolska. “In the future, the ALighT could combine the competencies in application-oriented development of sustainable production technologies for lightweight structures of both partners and support the mutual knowledge transfer”, said Prof. Dr. Welf-Guntram Drossel, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU and chair of the Professorship for Adaptronics and Lightweight Design in Production at Chemnitz University.

Launching into new dimensions of lightweight construction with “MERGY”

At the start of the Bridge Conference, in a short film the little robot “MERGY” demonstrated easy to understand and in an amusing way the Chemnitz lightweight research. “We show, that the lightweight technologies developed in MERGE and combined with functional integration fully exploit the best lightweight potential”, said Kroll.

(Translation: Alissa Hölzel)

Matthias Fejes

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