“Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries" Aachen’s RWTH retains ‘elite’ university status, corresponding research funding from Berlin

Editor: Eric Culp

The German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities have renewed RWTH Aachen University status as a “University of Excellence”.

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The decision provides an additional five years of federal funding for two clusters of excellence, including the “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries” cluster. Members of the cluster include the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV), the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL), the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology.

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The cluster focuses on developing sustainable and efficient production technologies in high-wage countries for future generations. To solve this challenge, a new, integrative approach is being developed in an environment of interdisciplinary cooperation. The IKV said an important emphasis at the research centres is on improving plastics processing and the relevant part design. At IKV, eight scientific assistants currently work in the cluster. IKV said it will thus be able to continue carrying out research in projects such as the direct production of superhydrophobic surfaces in injection moulding and extrusion processes, the self-optimising injection moulding machine, computer-assisted mould optimisation, the production of plastics-metal hybrid parts through combined processes, and a continuous, integrative simulation chain.

The German Federal and State Governments decided in 2005 to strengthen Germany’s position as a centre for sustainability-related research, to improve its international competitiveness and to give greater exposure to top-level research in the universities and scientific institutions. The initiative is divided into three funding lines: Graduate Schools to promote young researchers, Clusters of Excellence to promote world-class research, and Institutional Strategies to promote top-level university research. RWTH Aachen University was once again successful in all three lines, earning it recertification as a University of Excellence.