TUM – Latest news https://www.tum.de Latest news of TUM en TUM Mon, 22 Jul 2019 21:45:13 +0200 Mon, 22 Jul 2019 21:45:13 +0200 Gerhard Kramer new Senior Vice President Research https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35594/ Prof. Gerhard Kramer is one of the world’s most acclaimed scientists in the field of communications engineering, information theory and the applications of these disciplines. His research focuses on ways of increasing the information density and reliability of messages, enhancing network performance and optimizing information storage methods. In spring of this year, companies used a method developed by his chair to set a new speed record for data transfer over fiber-optic networks.

Born in Canada, Kramer studied electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba and was awarded a doctorate at ETH Zurich. Afterwards, he worked as an engineer at Endora Tech, a Swiss IT company, before moving to Bell Labs – the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia). In 2009, he was appointed professor at the University of Southern California. One year later, he secured Germany’s highest endowed research award, the Humboldt Professorship. Since then, he has held the Chair of Communications Engineering at TUM. His three-year term as Senior Vice President Research and Innovation will commence on October 1.

Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35594 Mon, 22 Jul 2019 10:34:32 +0200
Fourth victory in the fourth race https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35591/ For the fourth time in a row, the Hyperloop team of the Technical University of Munich has won the globally publicized Hyperloop competition. Their pod reached 288 miles per hour (463 km/h) – just under the world record of 290 miles per hour (467 km/h) set by the TUM team in last year's competition.

At 160 miles per hour (257.5 km/h), the Swissloop team of ETH Zurich came in far behind. The EPFLoop team of the EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland) reached 148 miles per hour (238 km/h). The pod of the TU Delft triggered a full stop after 200 meters, following a communication breakdown.

Space X founder Elon Musk introduced the concept of Hyperloops, ultrafast trains that race through an evacuated tube system, in 2013. To advance his idea, he launched the "SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition" in 2015. This year a total of 21 student teams from around the world competed against each other with their prototypes for the Hyperloop cabin capsule, the so-called "Pod."

Campus news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35591 Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:16:41 +0200
TUM remains University of Excellence https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35585/ "After securing this latest accomplishment, I will be pleased to hand over the office of president to my successor, Thomas Hofmann, on October 1," said President Wolfgang A. Herrmann, who has been in office for 24 years. "Our far-reaching and consistent reform efforts over the past two decades have proved that we were on the right track. We have set new standards in many areas, and are now positioned among the leaders and ready for the future." The President thanked the State of Bavaria for the ongoing support of his university. With the prize money of 105 million euros for the 2019 - 2026 period, the TUM Agenda 2030 can now be implemented.

Campus news news-35583 Wed, 17 Jul 2019 13:42:35 +0200
"It was the greatest adventure of the 1960s" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35584/ Professor Schreiber, how big an impression did the Moon landing make on you when you were young?

It wasn't just the Moon landing as such. What amazed me most were the steps that led up to it. It was a huge technical challenge. For example the question: How do I accelerate a rocket to reach the Moon? Back then, the technical possibilities were still quite limited. Each individual aspect of this megaproject involved all kinds of challenging issues. It was the amazing adventure that you could live through as a young person in the 1960s. My siblings, my classmates and I ate, slept and dreamed of the lunar missions. I think it also influenced my career choice.

What was it that fascinated you so much?

For me it was all about the technology. When I was young I was fascinated by the idea of people being able to move outside our normal habitat, in other words the Earth, and how a mission like that can be made a reality. After studying physics I received an offer to work at the observatory in Wettzell. And the Moon fever took hold of me once again. The work being done there involves laser-based distance measurements, which I was very interested in. But what motivated me most of all was the technical challenge. 

There is also a link between the Moon landing and laser distance measurements.

To signal that the mission was not driven by military objectives, there was already a scientific component with the first Moon landing. There were basically two experiments: a seismometer, which was to collect data to learn about the internal structure and composition of the Moon, and a laser reflector. In the meantime there are already five reflectors on the Moon, placed at widely distributed locations. They can be used to make very precise measurements of the distance between the Earth and the Moon. It is not enough just to transmit laser pulses to the Moon because I have no way of knowing where the echo is coming from. Is the pulse bouncing back from the bottom of a crater or the top of a mountain, for example? Nor can I be sure that I am hitting the same point today as yesterday. When measuring distances to an accuracy in the centimeter range, the start and end points must be precisely defined.

How does this measurement actually work?

Laser ranging is a very elegant technology for measuring separations over very large distances. The principle is simple: I generate short laser pulses that take a certain time to cover the distance to the reflector. They bounce off it and return by the same path. On the ground, I can measure the total time very precisely. I multiply this time interval – approximately 2.7 seconds – by the speed of light, which is around 300,000 kilometers per second. Because we are measuring the distance to the Moon and back, I have to divide the result by two. Before I can use this measurement of the momentary separation, I have to apply some correction factors, for example for refraction. After the first Moon landing, it was possible to achieve accuracy within a few meters. Today we have a resolution of less than one centimeter. These precise distance measurements have many advantages when determining orbits, especially for satellites.

Campus news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35584 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:00:00 +0200
Understanding and shaping the digital transformation https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35586/ Together with Bavarian Minister of State for Science and the Arts Bernd Sibler, the president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities Prof. Thomas O. Höllmann inaugurated the BIT today. The new institute aims to anticipate and guide the dramatic impact of the digital transformation via independent research. 

„With the BIDT, we are aiming to prevent a much-feared digital divide.”— Alexander Pretschner, Professor for Software & Systems Engineering at TUM and chairman at the board of directors at BIDT

Interdisciplinary research, consulting, and societal dialog

As an institute of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the BIDT will bring together the relevant research groups in Bavaria on the topic of the "Digital Transformation". They will be selected and coordinated by the BIDT board of directors, which is led by Alexander Pretschner, Professor for Software & Systems Engineering at the TUM. In interdisciplinary collaboration, the teams will research changes in the fields of politics and society, the economy and work, as well as media and public communications due to digitalization. The goal is to provide a profound understanding that will enable stakeholders to actively shape digitalization processes. 

Apart from the research activities of the BIDT, a think tank will provide political decision-makers, the sciences, and other societal stakeholders with information from the field of digitalization. Furthermore, the BIT will provide an interaction platform for societal dialog via its web presence, publications, and events. 

Acting instead of reacting

"In order to actively shape processes, a rational basis is required, not fearmongering. For this purpose, we require the cooperation and collective intelligence of technical experts, lawyers, economists, political scientists, sociologists, philosophers, and many others. With the BIDT, we are aiming to prevent a much-feared digital divide and empower society to take the future into its own hands, as well as to consciously decide how we want to live in the Bavaria, Germany, and Europe of the future — instead of simply reacting to the latest technical developments from Silicon Valley", says chairman Pretschner. 

An important node in the network of our digitalization initiatives 

The new research institute is closely networked with other digitalization initiatives. For example, with the Competence Network for Artificial Machine Intelligence, in which not only the TUM and the Fraunhofer Society, but also the LMU Munich, the Helmholz Zentrum München, and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) collaborate. The decision to found the BIDT was made last year at the Bavarian Council of Ministers during its cabinet meeting at TUM

Campus news news-35586 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 12:41:41 +0200
The physiology of survival https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35582/ The survival and growth of cells are central factors in biological systems. Scientists such as Ulrich Gerland, Professor for Physics of Complex Biosystems at the TUM, are therefore trying to understand how the molecular components interact to maintain the viability of a group of cells in stress situations.

The team led by Ulrich Gerland has now succeeded in identifying two crucial factors for the survival of a bacterium: the basic energy consumption of a cell and the quantity of energy that the surviving cells can gain per neighboring dead cell, measuring the biomass recycling efficiency.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35580 Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:00:00 +0200
Tracking down climate change with radar eyes https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35579/ "The Arctic is a hotspot of climate change," explains Prof. Florian Seitz of the German Geodetic Research Institute at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). "Due to rising temperatures, the glaciers of Greenland are receding. At the same time sea ice is melting. Every year, billions of liters of meltwater are released into the ocean.” The enormous volumes of fresh water released in the Arctic not only raise the sea level, they also have the potential to change the system of global ocean currents – and thus, our climate.

But how fast do sea levels rise? And precisely what effect does this have? To answer these questions, climatologists and oceanographers require specific measurements over as long a period as possible.

In a collaborative effort, researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and from the TUM have now documented sea-level changes in the Arctic over more than two decades. "This study is based on radar measurements from space via so-called altimetry satellites and covers the period from 1991 to 2018. Thus, we have obtained the most complete and precise overview of the sea level changes in the Arctic Ocean to date. This information is important in terms of being able to estimate future sea levels associated with climate change,” says Stine Kildegaard Rose, Ph.D., researcher at DTU Space.

Finding water with algorithms

"The challenge lies in finding the water signals in the measured data: Radar satellites measure only the distance to the surface: Albeit, vast areas of the Arctic are covered with ice, which obscures the seawater," explains Dr. Marcello Passaro. The TUM researcher has developed algorithms to evaluate radar echoes reflected from the water where it reaches the surface through cracks in the ice.

„The homogenized and processed measurements will allow climate researchers and oceanographers to review and improve their models in the future”— Dr. Marcello Passaro, Scientist at the German Geodetic Research Institute at TUM

Using these algorithms, Passaro processed and homogenized 1.5 billion radar measurements from the ERS-2 and Envisat satellites. On the basis of the signals tracked at the TUM, the DTU team worked on the post-processing of these data and added the measurements collected by the current CryoSat radar mission.

From monthly averages to a climate trend

The researchers created a map with lattice points to represent the monthly sea level elevations for the period between 1996 and 2018. The sum of the monthly maps reveals the long-term trend: The Arctic sea level rose by an average of 2.2 millimeters per year.

There are, however, significant regional differences. Within the Beaufort Gyre, north of Greenland, Canada and Alaska, sea levels rose twice as fast as on average – more than 10 centimeters in 22 years. The reason: The low-salinity meltwater collects here, while a steady east wind produces currents that prevent the meltwater from mixing with other ocean currents. Along the coast of Greenland, on the other hand, the sea level is falling – on the west coast by more than 5 mm per year, because the melting glaciers weaken the attractive force of gravity there.

"The homogenized and processed measurements will allow climate researchers and oceanographers to review and improve their models in the future," concludes Passaro.

Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35578 Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:00:00 +0200
“We want to bring the energy transition to the consumer” https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35561/ Mr Hamacher, what is a microgrid?

In the future, passive electric power distribution grids that supply consumers will be restructured into active distribution grids – microgrids. Using newly created market structures, microgrids will consolidate producers, storage, flexible power consumers and grid interconnections into a higher-level grid layer. These microgrids will also be responsible for providing network services such as frequency and voltage regulation. As active elements in the power system, microgrids will streamline grid control considerably.

What will we need microgrids for?

The rapid expansion of renewable energy is driving two major issues. First, how do we best assimilate renewable energy fluctuations. And second, how can we transport large amounts of electricity to power consumers, considering that renewable energy comprises mainly electricity, which can also be used more efficiently. Examples of the new electric power consumers are heat pumps or, in the field of mobility, electric cars. Both provide boosts in efficiency, but at the same time significantly more electricity is consumed in households. The expectation is that microgrids will be able to handle the extra electrical power without having to expand the network infrastructure.

What exactly are you investigating in the new laboratory?

The laboratory has all the makings of a future microgrid; merely the house inhabitants are missing. We are investigating the interactions between consumers and energy producers. We can simulate four houses and a multi-family house using different heating techniques. The heating technologies range from conventional gas furnaces to combined heat and power plants and heat pumps. Heat storage and a small district heating networks can also be modelled. We reconstructed these systems in the laboratory. This allows us to bring together renewable electricity and heat supply. We want to play through the use of electricity in the entire household. The system will also include charging stations for the electric cars in front of our building, the Center for Energy and Information in Garching. The communication between individual elements can happen in a variety of ways. To this end, we are involving colleagues with the requisite expert background. Operating such a network optimally in the future calls for good predictions of user behavior, and the weather. Here, artificial intelligence techniques will play a role.

The energy transition has long been a topic of discussion. Do you think it will now really be implemented?

We never stopped working on it. With our research, we want to bring the energy transition to the consumer. To achieve the Federal Government's goal of making Germany climate-neutral by 2050, we must implement the energy transition in the next 20 years. We hope to provide policymakers with the information they need to work out the regulatory regime. But the general population will need to participate in the changes. The energy sector cannot be transformed overnight. The task will take decades. It is not just about regulation. It is also about asking questions like: Who will be responsible for the technical implementation? We need people who can bring together electrical engineering and heating. Here, as a university with an educational mission, we will need to need to go a step beyond what we would otherwise do. And not only to train qualified engineers, but also, for example, to provide training opportunities for craftsmen.

Campus news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35561 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:00:00 +0200
Which one is the perfect quantum theory? https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35570/ Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking for patterns that are characteristic of specific objects. Provided the system has learned such patterns, it is able to recognize dogs or cats on any picture.

Using the same principle, neural networks can detect changes in tissue on radiological images. Physicists are now using the method to analyze images – so-called snapshots – of quantum many-body systems and find out which theory describes the observed phenomena best.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35570 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 07:00:00 +0200
Award for social design project https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35571/ From laptop bags to garden benches – a wide range of design products with a unique origin can be ordered via the online shop "Haftsache.de". The joint project "Haftsache" by the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice and the TUM aims to assist detainees with their reintegration into society – while at the same time giving students the opportunity to learn under real-world conditions.

Design for education and jobs in prison

Inmates can also earn additional income by manufacturing the products. Furthermore, this skilled work raises their self-esteem and allows them to use their time wisely while in prison. Above all, it is particularly important that this work allows the prisoners to complete an apprenticeship which could well serve as the basis for a new life after they have served their time, says Fritz Frenkler, Professor for Industrial Design at the TUM. Buyers who purchase products from the "Haftsache" online shop therefore also contribute to the successful reintegration of ex-convicts.

A study project under real conditions

"Haftsache" also greatly benefits his students, says Frenkler. They needed to tailor their design drafts to the production conditions in the prison workshops – and work closely with the inmates while doing so. This brought students in contact with topics of societal relevance and gave them the opportunity to practice what is important for product design under real-world conditions. They were allowed a great deal of design freedom. The only requirements were that the products must be suitable for sale and be made of premium natural materials wherever possible.

Furthermore, the students acquired important basic business and legal knowledge, which they will definitely require later on in their professions: Because the products are actually produced and sold in the online shop, they also had to e.g. concern themselves with the signing of licensing contracts.

Design impresses specialists and consumers

With its concept, "Haftsache" came out on top of more than 70 competitors at this year's competition by the Munich Institute for Universal Design. The custom brand impressed both a panel of specialist judges as well as a group of 90 consumers. The cross-generational, wide, simple and intuitive usability of the products was recognized with both the UNIVERSAL DESIGN EXPERT 2019 and UNIVERSAL DESIGN CONSUMER 2019 awards. The fact that around 5,000 design objects were ordered via the online shop in 2017 affirms the persuasiveness of Frenkler's design under real market conditions.

Representing the designers and all other parties involved in the project, the Bavarian State Minister for Justice Georg Eisenreich accepted the awards at a prize award ceremony in the Vorhoelzer Forum of the TUM.

Campus news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-35571 Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:44:47 +0200
Successful T cell engineering with gene scissors https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35560/ There are two forms of T cell therapy: either a recipient receives cells from a donor, or the recipient’s own T cells are removed, genetically reprogrammed in a laboratory and unleashed against an infection or tumor in the body. While the first method has proven to be successful in clinical models, reprogramming T cells is still beset with problems.

Research news vera.siegler@tum.de news-35559 Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:26:00 +0200
New chair at the interface between IT and law https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35569/ Increasingly digital lifestyles are presenting society with a completely new set of legal challenges. On the one hand, the legal system has to incorporate these technical advances and, on the other, leverage technologies already available that enable automated enforcement of the law. With the appointment of legal expert Dirk Heckmann as Professor of Law and Security in Digital Transformation, TUM is expanding the reach of its digitalization research to systematically examine the interplay between the social sciences and technology. Through this interdisciplinary approach, TUM wishes to contribute to a better understanding of how rapid technological development is driving social change and help to shape that change in a responsible manner.

Dirk Heckmann is a much-acclaimed expert in data protection law, IT security law, e-government and legal informatics. For many years now, legislators have been building on his research to inform laws governing online privacy and digital healthcare services, for instance, with a view to placing the interests of the individual and society in general at the heart of digital change. Heckmann, who up to now has held the position of Professor of Public Law, Security Law and Internet Law at the University of Passau, will take up his professorship at TUM on October 1, 2019. As a part-time constitutional judge at the Bavarian Constitutional Court and Consumer Ambassador at the Bavarian Center for Digitalization, Heckmann is a strong advocate of basic citizen rights. He was a member of the Ethics Committee of the Federal Ministry of Transport focused on autonomous and connected driving and was appointed to the Data Ethics Committee of the federal government in 2018. He is also a director at the Bavarian Hub for Digital Transformation (bidt).

Campus news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-35569 Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:00:00 +0200
Boltzmann Medal for Herbert Spohn https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35565/ Yesterday, TUM Emeritus of Excellence Herbert Spohn became the first German to be honored with the Boltzmann Medal of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). He received the medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Boltzmann Medal is awarded once every three years to outstanding scientists in the field of statistical physics who have not yet received the Nobel Prize.

From 1998 until his retirement in 2012 Spohn was Professor of Applied Probability Theory and Statistical Physics at the TUM Department of Mathematics. His work is motivated by issues from the field of physics, in particular electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and crystal growth. Above all, he dedicates himself to the study of many-particle systems and their thermodynamic limiting cases, asymptotic developments of these systems, and the influence of random interference. Herbert Spohn gained recognition due to his work on the microscopic derivation of the Boltzmann equation and the hydrodynamic limit of interacting stochastic particle systems. It was Spohn’s wide-ranging and highly influential work in non-equilibrium statistical physics which was now honored with the Boltzmann Medal.

In 1993, Spohn received the Max Planck Research Award, in 2011 the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, both the Leonard Eisenbud Prize of the American Mathematical Society and the George Cantor Medal in 2014, the Henri Poincaré Prize in 2015, and the German Physical Society's Max Planck Medal in 2017.

Campus news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-35564 Wed, 10 Jul 2019 15:41:00 +0200
Dancing robots, satellite images and insect hotels https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35563/ TUM is situated among museums in the midst of Munich’s Kunstareal complex. For the fourth time, the district’s cultural institutions are inviting the public to a two-day festival. TUM is participating with the following program items:

Guided tour: “Buildings and artistic design of TUM”

The tour of the TUM’s downtown campus features many fascinating stories and details about the buildings from the founding of the university in 1868 to the present, for example the remains of the Neureuther structure destroyed in the war or, gangways originally from the old Munich airport in Riem.

Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Registration (limited number of participants)
Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Registration (limited number of participants)

Workshop for children and teenagers: “Insect hotel – building with wood”

What properties does wood have, and what can be built with it? Children and teenagers can experience this in a playful setting by sawing, hammering and gluing together with staff from the Chair of Architectural Design and Timber Construction. The completed insect hotels will then be set up in various locations around the city.

Sunday, July 14, 2 to 5 p.m.: Registration (limited number of participants)
TUM stand, Gabelsbergerstrasse

Robots dancing in the museum

Technology meets art: The small humanoid robot Nao will be showing off its skills at the Pinakothek der Moderne. It dances, plays soccer, and can even answer questions. The robot is mainly used in teaching at TUM’s Institute for Cognitive Systems

Sunday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., every hour on the hour.
Foyer of the Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Strasse 40, 80333 Munich
No registration required, free admission

Exhibition: The blue planet from above

Satellite images show the world as it is — and even more than the bare eye can perceive in the visible landscape. The exhibition, designed by the Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management, reveals the hidden beauty of hydrological areas of study.

Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vorhoelzer Forum, Arcisstrasse 21
TUM main building, 5th floor, south wing

Workshop: “Actions of Participation”

Participatory architecture — how does it work? In a workshop by the Chair of Architectural Design and Participation, a piece of “urban furniture” engages the community. The results inspire future architectural and urban strategies for the Kunstareal.

Sunday, July 14, all day
TUM stand, Gabelsbergerstrasse

pflücken: Memories shape spaces

The “pflücken” (in English "plucking") initiative promotes interpersonal relationships through the medium of architecture and opens up the retirement home system to the outside world: Old people use their memories to design spatial interventions and implement them in their surroundings, bridging generations. 

Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In front of the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst

Art event “Portrait”

During a picnic on the lawn in front of the Alte Pinakothek, students from the Chair of Fine Arts will share insights into their work on the topic of portraits: image, profile, and identity. For example, a portrait of the Department of Architecture using a collection of quotes. Visitors are also invited to create their own special portraits.

Saturday, July 13, 1 to 4 p.m.
Lawn in front of the Alte Pinakothek

Performance: Shaping urban spaces with contemporary dance

In the performance “transposition”, the dancers interact with the surrounding architectural spaces through sound and movement. Each performance lasts 45 minutes.

Saturday, July 13, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 3:30 p.m.
Entrance to the Pinakothek der Moderne

The Workshop for children and teenagers: “How does an electric circuit work?” has been canceled.

Event lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-35563 Tue, 09 Jul 2019 12:01:20 +0200
The legacy of the Bretton Woods Conference https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35562/ The exchange rate system agreed 75 years ago at a conference in Bretton Woods in the US state of New Hampshire collapsed around 30 years later. However, two institutions established at the same time have developed into influential global policy actors: the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their current influence at the international level could not have been foreseen when they were founded.

Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, Professor of European and Global Governance and the founding dean of the TUM School of Governance, is the editor of a special issue of the Review of International Political Economy marking the 75th anniversary of the conference. In two articles, Prof. da Conceição-Heldt and her co-authors studied how the World Bank and IMF have changed and how they are shaping new institutions.

Research news paul.hellmich@tum.de news-35562 Tue, 09 Jul 2019 08:28:00 +0200
Plan virtually, build better https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35557/ "Digital methods in construction can drastically reduce the amount of time and money consumed by construction projects," says Prof. André Borrmann of the Chair of Computational Modeling and Simulation. "In recent years we've been able to resolve a lot of open issues on the technical side," he says, adding that the greatest challenge is now organizational implementation in the highly fragmented construction industry. Any given construction project usually involves a large number of various different companies. At the same time, he points out, many legal regulations have to be followed as well. "There is a great need for standards here," Borrmann explains. "This means the federal government, as the most important construction principal in the construction sector, has to set the tone."

In order to promote digitalization in the construction sector, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community have launched a national BIM Center of Excellence. In doing so the German federal government is investing a total of 10 million euros in the digitalization of the construction industry. The Center of Excellence is to function as a central contact point, coordinating and driving the necessary development activities.

The TUM Chair of Computational Modeling and Simulation is part of a consortium of 19 partners that has been awarded funding for the planning and operation of the Center of Excellence. Says Borrmann: "Over the last few years we have gained comprehensive expertise in model-supported planning and execution of construction projects as well as in the development of standards for data exchange. We are pleased to now be able to implement this expertise in the Center of Excellence."

Campus news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35557 Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:48:28 +0200
"Eyes" for the autopilot https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35556/ At large airports the Instrument Landing System (ILS) makes it possible for commercial aircraft to land automatically with great precision. Antennas send radio signals to the autopilot to make sure it navigates to the runway safely. Procedures are also currently being developed that will allow automatic landing based on satellite navigation. Here too a ground-based augmentation system is required.

However, systems like these are not available for general aviation at smaller airports, which is a problem in case of poor visibility – then aircraft simply cannot fly. "Automatic landing is essential, especially in the context of the future role of aviation," says Martin Kügler, research associate at the TUM Chair of Flight System Dynamics. This applies for example when automated aircraft transport freight and of course when passengers use automated flying taxis.

Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35553 Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:17:00 +0200
Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35554/ Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus electricity from wind power plants. However, the platinum used in fuel cells is rare and extremely expensive, which has been a limiting factor in applications up to now.

A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) led by Roland Fischer, Professor for Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, Aliaksandr Bandarenka, Physics of Energy Conversion and Storage and Alessio Gagliardi, Professor for Simulation of Nanosystems for Energy Conversion, has now optimized the size of the platinum particles to such a degree that the particles perform at levels twice as high as the best processes commercially available today.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35554 Wed, 03 Jul 2019 09:06:35 +0200
The secret of mushroom colors https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35550/ In nature, specific colors and patterns normally serve a purpose: The eye-catching patterns of the fire salamander convey to its enemies that it is poisonous. Red cherries presumably attract birds that eat them and thus disperse their seed. Other animals such as chameleons use camouflage coloring to protect themselves from discovery by predators.

But climate also plays a role in coloration: Especially insects and reptiles tend to be darker in colder climates. Cold-blooded animals rely on the ambient temperature to regulate their body temperature. Dark coloration allows them to absorb heat faster. The same mechanism could also play a role in fungi, as the research team of Franz Krah, who wrote his doctoral thesis on the topic at TUM and Dr. Claus Bässler, mycologist at the TUM and coworker in the Bavarian Forest National Park suspect. Mushrooms might benefit from solar energy to improve their reproduction, as well.

Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35550 Tue, 02 Jul 2019 10:05:21 +0200
Aviation, aerospace and geodesy "take off" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35548/ Miniaturization, high-performance drives and materials, additive manufacturing processes and Artificial Intelligence are converging in the new challenges of the aviation and astronautics sector, with geodesy as an umbrella function. The result is a number of impending disruptions which will change society: Travel with flying taxis, extremely precise measurement of climate changes and flocks of satellites that provide gap-free Internet connections. New business models with new value chains point towards fundamentally different economic structures.

Campus news presse@tum.de news-35548 Mon, 01 Jul 2019 12:16:00 +0200
Innovative materials with carbon fibres made from algae https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35546/ The most recent global climate report (IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C) considers manufacturing processes which use more carbon dioxide (CO2) than they release to be an important option to get climate change under control.

The objective of the project started today under the title “Green Carbon” is to develop manufacturing processes for polymers and carbon-based light-weight construction materials based on algae which may be utilised in the aviation and automotive industry, for example.

The development of the various processes is accompanied by technological, economical and sustainability analyses. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) has dedicated funds amounting to around 6.5 million Euro to fund the research at TU Munich.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35546 Mon, 01 Jul 2019 07:00:00 +0200
One at a time https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35541/ It is becoming much more common for patients to be treated with several different medications. It is often necessary for the patient to take them at fixed intervals – a limitation that makes everyday life difficult and increases the risk of doses being skipped or forgotten.

Oliver Lieleg, Professor of Biomechanics and a member of the Munich School of BioEngineering at TUM, and doctoral candidate Ceren Kimna have now developed a process that could serve as the basis for medications containing several active ingredients that would reliably release them in the body in a pre-defined sequence at specified times. “For example, an ointment applied to a surgical incision could release pain medication first, followed by an anti-inflammatory drug and then a drug to reduce swelling,” explains Oliver Lieleg.

Research news paul.piwnicki@tum.de news-35540 Fri, 28 Jun 2019 10:00:00 +0200
University elections on July 2, 2019 https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35534/ Campus news news-35534 Wed, 26 Jun 2019 08:53:00 +0200 Bringing school to the university: 10 years of TUM-Kolleg https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35537/ Once a week it's "TUM Day". Then around 15 selected high school students each from Gauting's Otto-von-Taube-Gymnasium and from the Garching Werner-Heisenberg-Gymnasium leave their high-school classrooms for the university world of laboratory and library. In the first months of their senior phase the students are introduced to the topics of the TUM departments and exercises teach them about the methods used in the various subjects. Then the students make the plunge into science: They spend an entire year researching a question which they have developed jointly together with a given university chair. They do research based on existing scientific literature, perform experiments, interpret the results and write a final paper on their findings.

Past research topics include for example "Interaction between cell components of microalgae and magnetic nanoparticles", "Simulation of the temperature conditions at the lunar south pole" and "Max-plus algebra in algebraic structures and spectral analysis".

Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35537 Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:30:00 +0200