Maximilian Schuster of the HTW University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, and Filipp Koehler of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden) have received the Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize 2017 for the best thesis on an aviation-related topic. The prize, which was awarded at the 50th Hamburg Aviation Forum on Thursday night, was given away for the best Bachelor and the best Master thesis for the first time this year. More than 200 participants from Hamburg’s aviation industry came together for the event. The Hamburg Aviation Forum is a successful networking event that takes place three times a year. The jubilee was celebrated with high-ranking speakers from the political and industrial spheres, looking at topics that will shape the future of the industry.
In a first for the Young Talent Prize, one company was supporting both winners; that company was Composite Technology Center Stade (CTC GmbH). Maximilian Schuster won over the jury in the “Bachelor’s Thesis” category. His thesis, written for the HTW University of Applied Sciences in Berlin in cooperation with CTC Stade GmbH, explored the reusability of “prepeg”, bundles made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics which are heated and fused into a solid material for aircraft construction.
The first prize in the “Master’s Thesis” category went to Filipp Koehler of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, who was also supported in his work by CFRP specialists at CTC in Stade. In his victorious thesis, he developed methods for the automated production of composite materials combining different types of fibers. The so-called “Hybrid SMC Process”, for example, can be used to produce particularly lightweight composite components for use in the aircraft cabin.
The best thesis for tomorrow’s world of aviation
The Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize is traditionally awarded at the network gathering Hamburg Aviation Forum. For the fifth year of the award there were a total of 32 submissions from 15 universities — united by the common direct link between the student papers and Hamburg’s aviation industry.
With its Young Talent Prize, Hamburg Aviation gives committed university graduates the opportunity to present their ideas and innovations to the aviation industry in Hamburg. “We are delighted to have once again such a breadth of very up-to-date, high quality theses to honor. The students provide a vital impetus for the industry. With a fresh outlook and enthusiasm about the material, they inspire us all to question established approaches. This represents a decisive contribution to the future of aviation,” said Dr Christoph de Beer of Lufthansa Technik, a member of the jury.
The winners can enjoy prize money of 1,500 euros along with free participation in the Hamburg Aviation Forum next year. And for the first time, the winners also received something exclusively from the region: Krueger Aviation in Barsbuettel, global leader in the production of mirrors for aircraft lavatories, sponsored the trophies, which were produced in the company’s own halls.
The Hamburg Aviation Young Talent Prize is presented by Hamburg Aviation with the support of Airbus, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation (BWVI), the Hamburg Centre of Aviation Training Lab (HCAT+), HECAS and Lufthansa Technik.
Celebrating a strong network
The Hamburg Aviation cluster hosts the Hamburg Aviation Forum three times a year at the Hotel Hafen Hamburg. This year’s 50th Forum was opened by Dr. Rolf Boesinger, State Councilor in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation in Hamburg. “The effective cooperation between industry, politics and the universities in the cluster, Hamburg Aviation, successfully keeps topics in Hamburg over the long-term,” he said, full of praise for the city’s globally pioneering cluster policy. Andreas Sedlmayr (BDLI German Aerospace Industries Association) addressed the gathering, too, emphasizing Hamburg’s pioneering role with Germany’s aerospace industry.
Innovative strength from Hamburg
Hamburg’s aviation industry is addressing the challenges that are currently shaping the industry by progressively digitalizing all areas of activity. Andreas Fehring, Head of Production at Airbus, presented the Airbus “Smart Factory”, a vision for a future world of work in which humans and machines work together more and more. This concept will already be reality in the 4th final assembly line for the A320, due to open at Finkenwerder this year. Dr Johannes Bussmann, Chairman of the Executive Board at Lufthansa Technik, also shed light on current and future areas of innovation at the world’s leading MRO provider. Hamburg’s two new institutes of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), due to open their doors at the ZAL TechCenter in November, will carry the flame for the next “industrial revolution” with the focus on aircraft systems and virtual MRO. Prof. Rolf Henke of the DLR Executive Board introduced the institutes at the Forum as well.
With more than 40,000 highly qualified personnel, Hamburg is one of the biggest locations in the world’s civil aviation industry. The two giants of the industry, Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, are joined by Hamburg Airport and more than 300 suppliers, as well as a variety of scientific and technological institutions. Every one of them contributes know-how and expertise. Companies, universities, associations, the economic authority and other partners have come together to form Hamburg Aviation, a cluster dedicated to advancing the city as an aviation location. Together they pursue a common goal: to network research and development, thereby bringing to market high-quality products and services for the aviation of the future – products that are good for passengers and set the standards in terms of resource protection. Hamburg Aviation concentrates on five product areas: the development and construction of aircraft and aircraft systems, the development and construction of cabins and cabin systems, the optimization of aviation services, improving the efficiency of the air transportation system, and aviation-related information and communications technology. In 2008, Hamburg’s aviation cluster was honored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as a Leading-Edge Cluster. In 2014, Hamburg Aviation was honored with the GOLD Label by the European Commission’s ECEI Initiative, recognizing it as one of Europe’s best managed clusters. Hamburg Aviation was also honored as one of the 100 “Landmarks” in Germany by the initiative “Land of Ideas” in 2016.
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