Aachen’s RWTH remains a University of Excellence

The eagerly awaited decision by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) turned out positive for RWTH Aachen University, as it will retain its status as a “University of Excellence”. Furthermore, two clusters of excellence, including the cluster entitled “Integrative Production Technology for High-wage Countries”, and a graduate school will be funded for another five years. The Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University can thus continue its work in this cluster. Professor Christian Hopmann, head of IKV, together with 24 other professors of materials and production technology at RWTH who are working jointly in this cluster, are delighted with the decision.

The cluster is occupied with the central issue of 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. An important area of the research is the improvement of processing processes for plastics and the relevant part design. At IKV, eight scientific assistants are working in the cluster. IKV will thus be able to continue carrying out its 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 history of the Excellence Initiative: The German Federal and State Governments decided in 2005 to strengthen Germany’s position as a centre for scientific research on a sustainable basis, 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, which means it can continue to call itself a University of Excellence.