Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize 2019 goes to TU Hamburg and RWTH Aachen // Awards presented at Hamburg Aviation Forum on ArtificiaI Intelligence

Dominik Pridoehl of RWTH Aachen University and Christoph Schrock of Hamburg University of Technology received the Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize 2019 on 14 November for the best final theses on aerospace topics. The universities and the supporting employers, CTC Stade and Airbus, are equally delighted. The winners received the trophies at the 56th Hamburg Aviation Forum at the Hotel Hafen Hamburg. The forum was focused on how the use of artificial intelligence is changing the industry.

The Composite Technology Center Stade (CTC GmbH) has been behind a Young Talent Prize winner for three years in a row now. RWTH Aachen University graduate Dominik Pridoehl took out the award in the bachelor’s thesis category. His thesis involved the development of a method for optimising composite fibre materials produced in 3D printing. The software developed by Pridoehl produces a structure which is optimised in terms of design and fibre orientation based on the requirements entered; this structure serves as the basis for the 3D printing process.

First prize in the master’s thesis category was won by Christoph Schrock of Hamburg University of Technology (TU Hamburg) for a concept developed in collaboration with Airbus. Innovative calculation methods are investigated in the master’s thesis, making it possible to forecast the probable service life of metal aerospace components produced using additive manufacturing techniques. The use of such methods in the design of a component renders individual finishing steps unnecessary, thus reducing the production effort.

Fabrice Windus from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences took second prize in the master’s category. His successful cooperation with Diehl Aviation saw him develop a washbasin for the on-board lavatory which, thanks to its modular construction, can be installed in various aircraft models. The use of fibre-plastic composite materials saves money and weight.

There were two third place prizes awarded in the master’s category this year. Lars Rath of the Hamburg University of Technology, working at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, investigated the mechanical and process-engineering suitability of so-called friction surfacing for conventional aluminium alloys, which are not ideal for fusion welding. The new process creates a new, fault-free material that could, for example, be used in joining the outer skin with supporting components in aircraft manufacture. Rath also highlighted the suitability of the process for additive manufacturing of structural components with improved mechanical properties.

Equal third place was shared with Marco Kaehler of the Free University of Berlin. In his successful cooperation with Airbus, he explored future digital business and service models in the aircraft cabin, examining, for example, how artificial intelligence can be used to determine passenger needs on the basis of their usage behaviour.

Second place in the bachelor’s category went to Felix Brenner of the University of Stuttgart. His work, carried out at Airbus, tested the durability of a newly developed “Printed Electrics” film for aircraft seats. The “Printed Electrics” process replaces wiring harnesses with conductive ink printed on film. Brenner evaluated the film’s ability to withstand high and low temperatures, high and low pressure, and moisture.

In collaboration with Lufthansa Technik, Sascha Max developed an innovative approach to detecting oil de-icing fluid in the bleed air system of a commercial aircraft. Fixed sensors detect the substances and raise an alert in the cockpit. This brought the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences graduate third place in the bachelor’s category of the Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize.

The Young Talent Prize is Hamburg Aviation’s way of giving committed and promising university graduates the opportunity to present their ideas and innovations to the region’s aviation industry. Submissions were received from 16 universities for the seventh iteration of the prize. What unites them all is that the theses have a direct connection with aerospace in Hamburg.

The winning theses from this year are once again focused on the latest issues facing the aviation industry. Credit for this goes to the teaching and also to the strong partners here in the region who encourage the students to think through their thesis projects from an initial idea to application. The fact that more than a third of entries in the Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize this year came from female graduates is also an encouraging indicator of the emphasis being placed on diversity in aerospace-related study programmes,” says a delighted Professor Dr Jens Peter Wulfsberg, Director of the Production Technology Laboratory at the Helmut Schmidt University and member of the Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize jury.

The winners of the Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize each receive a cash prize of 1,500 euros and may take part in Hamburg Aviation Forum gatherings for the following year free of charge. The trophies were once again sponsored and produced by Hamburg Aviation member Krueger Aviation.

Looking into the future: Hamburg Aviation Forum focuses on specific use of AI

The Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize, sponsored by Airbus, Krueger Aviation and Lufthansa Technik, is traditionally presented by Hamburg Aviation at the Hamburg Aviation Forum. Fitting to this focus on the future, the forum was dedicated to change in the industry resulting from the increasing deployment of artificial intelligence. The programme included an introduction to the trending topic of AI from the University of Hamburg, a panel discussion with representatives from Airbus, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Lufthansa Technik, the ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research and Hamburg data company VecCtor, and concrete examples of the application of intelligent software in aviation. Diehl Aviation, for example, is using voice processing to make aircraft lavatories accessible for passengers with reduced mobility. Synergeticon and Scholz Mechanik presented the opportunities and prerequisites for deploying AI applications on the workshop floor. And three startups —, Panda and Carrypicker — introduced their services in an interactive pitch session.