With three teaching campuses and twelve research and technology campuses, we are the most ambitious university of applied sciences in southern Germany renowned for our excellence in research. R&D projects are always rooted in real-life cases, our young academics and research staff collaborate with regional and international companies to develop innovative solutions for immediate application. Coodinated by our Centre for Applied Research, this unique infrastructure and range of facilities remains unparalleled in the Bavarian academic landscape.
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In a new project, researchers at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) have been pursuing the idea of equipping charging points for electronic vehicles with multi-functional features and generating added value for users, cities, municipalities and operators. Classic charging stations for electronic cars are now often seen in public areas/ parking lots. They are accessible to everyone. Simply plug in your car, pay and charge or refuel. Theoretically, however, charging points could be equipped with many more functions than just charging. This is being investigated in the project entitled “CrossChargePoint”, which is assigned to the Technology Campus Freyung.
For example, additional energy storage facilities could be created where charging points are installed. This would result in many advantages: Fluctuating demands on the local power grid could be better absorbed. The rapid and simultaneous charging of several electronic vehicles is possible. Or the energy is converted by electrolysis and power-to-gas so that gas- or hydrogen-powered cars can also be refuelled. In the “CrossChargePoint” project, the special requirements of different regions due to different geographical, climatic and economic conditions are taken into account. This and the development of a prototype that should be applicable on a larger scale in the future with only a few adjustments is the main challenge of the project. Ten partners from four different countries have joined forces for the project. Experts from Israel, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, from various companies and research institutes will work together over the next three years to develop this electromobility project. The team from Freyung is responsible for developing the simulation and planning software. For the planning and operation of a CrossChargePoint, conditions are collected and integrated into the simulation and optimisation tool, which specifies the optimal locations, sizes and technologies – such as an energy management system – for new CrossChargePoints by entering the required data. A special focus is also on developing a plan to enable easy energy transfer to other regions with different economic, infrastructural and geographical conditions. For the team at the Technology Campus Freyung, this project led by Professor Dr Javier Valdes offers a great opportunity to advance topics that have already been worked on in the transport and energy sectors in recent years. For this purpose, Professor Dr Wolfgang Dorner, the head of the Technology Campus Freyung has built up a team with extensive experience through the development of projects such as Increase, Cross Energy or e-Road. The project is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union.
Next year, the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) will award the “Anton Fink Science Prize for Artificial Intelligence” in the amount of € 10,000 for the first time. This is the highest amount of an award that DIT has presented in the past. As the name suggests, the new “Anton Fink Science Award for Artificial Intelligence” is intended to contribute to strengthening teaching, research and development explicitly in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). On 18 May, founder and DIT Honorary Senator Anton Fink made the agreement official with his signature on the cooperation agreement.
As a pioneer in the university landscape when it comes to AI, the DIT can use this award to strengthen, the region in this promising field in parallel to successful initiatives such as the AI Campus Bavaria. Founder Anton Fink has been associated with DIT for many years and would like to see many applications for the science award. The topic of AI fascinates him and he wants to support DIT in a meaningful way. For DIT President Sperber, the advantages are obvious: such a prize will make DIT better known as an institution in the AI scene. In addition, important contacts will be made from which the university will benefit. The prize will be announced for the first time at the end of the year, around October or November 2021. Applications will be accepted from Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. The jury consists of DIT professors Prof Dr Dr Heribert Popp and Prof Dr Patrick Glauner, DIT President Prof Dr Peter Sperber, from Austria FH Prof DI Dr Stefan Huber, from the Czech Republic Assoc. Prof Ivo Bukovsky, PhD and Minister of Science Bernd Sibler. The award will be presented in spring 2022 and is to be continued annually.
For the past three months, physicists at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) have been working on a new generation of spectrometers. Like the human eye, they examine reflected light. However, they surpass the eyes' ability many times over and enable insights into the world that would otherwise remain hidden. The Teisnach researchers' new spectrometers are to be cheaper and more compact. They are currently testing the new method in the laboratory.
Scientists have been working on the measurement of light for centuries. The model is the human eye. The human eye recognises whether a strawberry is red and therefore ripe by the light that is reflected from the strawberry. It is examined by the eye for its components and can distinguish between millions of shades of colour. In science, spectrometers perform this task. Today, it is impossible to imagine the diverse applications of spectrometers without them: doctors use them to find clues to certain pathogens in the air they breathe, biologists measure the oxygen content of rivers and oceans, criminologists examine crime scene evidence, modern combine harvesters measure the nutritional value of grain. And modern astronomy relies almost exclusively on spectrometric investigations because of the inaccessibility of the objects being studied. However, the size and high price of high-precision spectrometers are still a hurdle for many applications. This is where the research work of three physicists from the Deggendorf Institute of Technology comes in. At the Technology Campus in Teisnach, Alois Schneider and Abdul-Hamid Fattah are researching a new method for examining light, for which a patent has been filed by Prof. Dr. Gerald Fütterer. This method enables a number of new technical applications, including the development of more compact and cheaper spectrometers. The scientists expect first results in autumn.
The 8th Day of Research of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) will take place on 11 March. Like last year, this time it will also be virtual. Start is at 1 pm. The event ends at 3.30 pm with awarding the three best posters and the best presentation.
Anyone interested in applied research at DIT can take a digital look over the fence for two and a half hours. Whether business, industry, society or even future students, everyone is invited to take part in the Day of Research. Uncomplicated from the office or from home. A total of eleven research topics will be presented. From the areas of sustainable management, innovative materials and energy, intelligent mobility, digital economy and society, as well as innovative working environments and healthy living. Each in three short minutes. After all, the aim of the Day of Research is not so much to delve into the depths of the respective scientific topic, but rather to create the basis for a reciprocal and, if desired, interdisciplinary dialogue. The same applies to the poster exhibition. The posters are designed in such a way that one grasps what they are about at a glance. This makes it possible to enter into a very low-threshold discussion with the young researchers at DIT. The three best posters will be awarded prizes. As in previous years, the trophy for first place was designed by the design class at the Zwiesel Glass College and produced in the educational institution's own manufactory.
Registration for the Day of Research is possible until 10 March via the DIT website: www.th-deg.de/dor-2021. Participation is free of charge.
One reason why more companies have not yet fully switched to electric mobility or do not offer charging stations is the concern about significant additional costs in terms of electricity consumption. Companies usually have a contractually agreed annual maximum load. If this is exceeded, depending on the size of the company, surcharges of up to several hundred thousand euros on the unforeseen load peak can be the result. The parking and charging management system “SmiLE” will soon provide a solution to this problem. Scientists at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) are developing the system.
Prof Dr Andreas Berl is responsible for the project and knows the explosive nature of the topic. The problem for companies is uncontrolled charging. The feared additional costs caused by peak electricity consumption are quickly reached. A load peak is when the average energy consumption in an interval of 15 minutes exceeds the maximum contractually agreed upon with the electricity provider. There are many reasons why a load peak occurs. According to Prof Berl, this is the case when charging processes are started immediately with maximum power and batteries are unnecessarily “fully” charged. When charging processes are unscheduled, without enquiring about the next use of the vehicle. Or if the charging processes are not coordinated with the rest of the company’s energy system (e.g. load management).
In order to solve these problems, the research group led by Prof Berl is developing the SmiLE parking and charging management system. The goal is to bring more companies to e-mobility. The system is connected to the company’s existing energy system. SmiLE also makes it possible to reserve a parking or charging option so that the e-vehicles are charged according to the reservation details. In addition, a company’s own vehicle fleet can be integrated into the charging management. With the help of AI-supported forecasting methods, the charging processes can be planned in such a way that no expensive peak loads occur. To this end, DIT is developing and implementing algorithms for optimal charge planning and forecasting models. In addition, the charging planning is to be optimised according to the entrepreneurial goals. Exampled of this are the maximum use of renewable energies, the extension of the service life of vehicle batteries and stationary energy storage or the minimisation of charging costs.
To identify the respective requirements, the many years of experience of E-WALD GmbH, one of the largest German charging infrastructure operators, and eeMobility GmbH, which operates charging infrastructure for companies throughout Germany, are of great importance. Seamless communication between the respective system components and in particular the connection between the SmiLE system and the charging stations is the focus of eeMobility GmbH in the project. The SmiLE project (No. AZ-1405-19) is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation. The project started in May 2020 and ends in 2023.
On 6 October the Research Centre for Modern Mobility (MoMo) opened in Plattling. It is the tenth Technology and Research Campus (TC) of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT). Hans Schmalhofer, First Mayor of the town of Plattling, DIT President Prof Dr Peter Sperber and Science Minister Bernd Sibler welcomed the number of guests, which was limited to 40 due to the pandemic, and highlighted the great development potential for the town of Plattling associated with the MoMo. The TC will be working with an interdisciplinary approach, which includes and combines the fields of energy storage, power electronics, autonomous mobility and robotics as well as robot-based computer tomography.
Even though the establishment of the Technology Transfer Centre for Plattling represents a considerable investment, it is a right and important step for the development of the town, said Mayor Schmalhofer and added, not without pride: “Plattling will become a research location for a university – with a key technology of the future! Indeed, the constellation of a thematically very well coordinated research community together with the scientific competences at DIT is a unique selling point in the field of modern mobility. “This”, according to the operational director of the MoMo, graduate engineer Katrin Juds, “should be a good basis for further research alliances which can additionally strengthen the region economically.” Minister of State Sibler also praised DIT and its role as an important East Bavarian piece in the Bavarian High Tech Agenda. Sibler stressed: “Thinking progress from the region – that is the formula behind the new research centre ‘Modern Mobility’. With its long tradition as a railway town and transport hub, Plattling is an excellent location for working on the mobility of tomorrow. Our universities of applied sciences and technical universities are strong drivers of innovation. It is from here that the future is shaped – for the region, for Lower Bavaria and for Bavaria”.
The close networking with the Deggendorf Campus ensures a broad spectrum of research and development capacities, as with all TCs of DIT. This includes contract research, funded projects, bachelor and master theses or seminars and workshops. At the scientific level, the MoMo is closely linked to its mothership in Deggendorf, for example, in the areas of electromobility, fleet management, virtualisation of resources and services and intelligent energy information network (smart grid). “Promising options for regional structural support in all areas of mobility are associated with the MoMo”, confirmed DIT President Sperber. Otto Kreutzer, head of the Power Electronics Research Group, also sees an ideal composition to enable area-wide climate-neutral mobility one day, hopefully not too far away. “An innovation driver such as the MoMo will help to push the technological status of regional companies forward,” says Kreutzer.
Intelligent mobile robotics will also play an important role at TC Plattling. In this context, division manager Prof Dr-Ing Berthold Bäuml would like to “conduct research at a top international level.” This will be done in close cooperation with the Institute of Robotics of the German Aerospace Centre and the Technical University of Munich. “Through close cooperation with the local companies, we will transfer the research results into concrete applications,” says the professor. The current topics range from the autonomous vertically-launching VTOL drone for the early detection of forest fires and bark beetles, the intelligent robotic assistant in production to the humanoid service robot with arms and hands as a personal assistant for older people.
Computer tomography is a powerful imaging technique for the examination of a wide variety of materials, components and products. In the field of e-mobility, companies are breaking new ground in many respects. Prof Dr-Ing Jochen Hiller, research group leader of robot-based computed tomography, sees a great need for the use of the most modern measuring and testing methods to comply with safety and quality standards. “Due to the extraordinary future viability of 3D imaging in combination with robotics, we see the MoMo as a nucleus for a further campus. But also as an opportunity for company spin-offs,” says Hiller. He added that there is definitely a need for more companies in Germany dealing with imaging processes and intelligent robotics.
The ecumenical blessing of the building was performed by Dean Josef K Geismar and Pastor Karolin Gerleigner. Afterwards, architect Robert Brunner symbolically presented the key to the laboratory hall to the First Mayor of the town of Plattling. He finally places it in the hands of the DIT president as the actual user of the building. The MoMo was thus opened and went straight into working mode. With a guided tour of the research rooms and laboratories for the guests.
Learn more about the MoMo: https://www.th-deg.de/en/tc-plattling.
Info Box Technology Development at MoMo
Chemistry and technology of electrochemical energy storage (modern energy storage systems for mobile applications, grid stabilisation through storage solutions, improved battery storage systems, innovative energy storage systems, hybrid solutions for Deutsche Bahn) – Prof Dr techn Michael Sternad
Power electronics (high-performance charging stations in combination with storage solutions, DC/DC conversion in fuel cell systems, smart grid, power electronics in the environment of rail vehicles, etc) – Prof Dr Ing Otto Kreutzer
Solutions for autonomous driving (sensors, algorithms, networking in the vehicle, metrological function validation, … all topics around autonomous systems and autonomous driving) – Prof Thomas Limbrunner
Info Box Intelligent Autonomous Robotics and Computer-Aided Measurement Technology at MoMo
Robot-based computed tomography (3D digitalisation of large objects up to complete vehicles with the help of a robot-based digitalisation cell based on X-ray computed tomography) – Prof Dr Ing Jochen Hiller
Autonomous Intelligent Robots – Joint Research lab with DLR Institute of Robotics (Learning robots that independently perform complex tasks: from humanoid assistance robots for home, production or agriculture to autonomous exploration drones) – Prof Dr Ing Berthold Bäuml
What exactly is Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI? In which way does AI influence our future, in Lower Bavaria, in the Bavarian Forest, or maybe even in Deggendorf. Prof Patrick Glauner from the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) can tell us more about it.
Scientists found out, primal fears are connected to AI: surveillance, enslavement, loss of uniqueness/exceptionalism, as well as the end of free will. "Exaggerated", that's what Prof Glauner calls it, when you're talking about the end of free will, just because people follow the algorithms through internet or media ads. People will not be replaced by robots in the near future. But somehow, artificial intelligence seems to have escaped from blockbuster movies, like the genie from the bottle. The movies that gave us goosbumpbs: The Matrix, Minority Report or the Fritz Lang classic Metropolis from 1927 - one of the most important pieces in film art history.
"We've been able to use AI for pattern recognition in radiological diagnostics. A great enrichment for our healthcare in oncology," said Glauner, referring to a prime example of beneficial AI developments. In addition to a whole range of other applications already available today, artificial intelligence could certainly one day include all the useful connections between the unmanageable scientific disciplines and make them visible and usable again. The polymath from antiquity no longer exists. What does a virologist even know about AI, what does a computer scientist know about viruses? Certainly not enough. And those who don't know anything must believe everything. The data is here. More than enough, big data in fact. And big data is the food for meaningful AI.
Patrick Glauner has been a professor for artificial intelligence since the age of 30. Previously, he worked at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva and at Krones AG, among others. He has been working on artificial intelligence for ten years, most recently in particular on AI innovation management. In spring 2020 he published a book on this subject in cooperation with the Springer-Verlag: "Innovative Technologies for Market Leadership: Investing in the Future".