Rhineland-Palatinate Research Initiative
The Research Initiative supports the efforts of state universities in Rhineland-Palatinate to better highlight their strengths in competitions among the best of the best. In this context, University of Kaiserslautern has the goal of further polishing its image: i.e., the expansion of those areas that strengthen its international reputation through a cooperative network of different disciplines. FBK is participating in the following areas:
The research center (CM)² was established at the University of Kaiserslautern under the framework of the state research initiative of Rhineland-Palatinate in June 2008. Concentrating on selected fields of application, it aims to show that mathematics and computer science represent a current technology that is essential to engineers and natural scientists and that will help to advance progress in the relevant fields. In addition to FBK, partners in the research center for CM² include other institutes from the Departments of Civil Engineering, Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical and Process Engineering in addition to the Institute for Composite Materials (IVW) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Besides the continued development of application-oriented mathematical methods, a fundamental goal is the promotion of young researchers in all participating disciplines of (CM)² to help them develop talents and sustain skills over the long term.
In July 2008, "Advanced Materials Engineering" was established at University of Kaiserslautern as a major research focus by the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Education, Science, Youth, and Culture. In addition to FBK, other institutes in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science and two affiliated "An-Institutes" at the University of Kaiserslautern are contributing to the major research activity.
The group of high and super high tensile steels, lightweight metal alloys, and hybrid materials like fiber-polymer composites or metal matrix composites are among the important materials in the area of lightweight construction. These material groups are key to the future of lightweight construction solutions, for example, in transportation engineering. A major prerequisite for the successful employment of these materials is a highly interconnected network of experiments, models, and simulations in the development of innovative products and the associated production processes. The aim of AME is the development of a combination of experiments, models, and simulations to enable the reliable and efficient operation of plants and systems as well as to facilitate innovative functional properties. During the funding term for the major research focus AME, an "Augmented Materials Laboratory (AML)" must be established where the experimental and model-based work of the working groups and research facilities can be combined and the experimental results validated. The planned activities provide an important contribution to innovative product development in the high-tech industries like the automobile, aircraft, and biomedical branches.
Commercial vehicle technology represents a core competence at the University of Kaiserslautern. In the context of collaborative research projects with diverse companies in the region over the past years, numerous innovative technologies could be studied, developed, and applied for use in series ready products. Based on the steady increase in interdisciplinary R&D questions, many of the research findings are, to a large extent, the result of the interdisciplinary cooperation of the technical Departments of Mechanical and Process Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering.
In 2007, the Commercial Vehicle Technology Research Center was established to represent and coordinate the separate research competencies of the various departments and institutes at the university. Commercial vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers now have a central contact point to go to for all commercial vehicle related research and development issues. Alone in the last year, over 40 research projects were initiated with the support of the CVT. These projects investigate, for example, problems in load-oriented design of building equipment, dynamic patterns of drive trains or the design of the user interfaces for mobile concrete pumps.