Dec 20, 2017

Human-Technology-Design, Hydrogel-based Microsystems and Adapting Software:

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted funding for three Research Training Groups (RTG) at TU Dresden.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) will fund three Research Training Groups, each for a period of 4.5 years. The Grants Committee approved a new RTG as well as two renewal proposals at the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Computer Science.

New RTG for Human-Technology-Design: Research Training Group 2323: “Conducive design for cyber-physical production systems”, Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering
In the newly established RTG 2323, junior scientists are investigating how human technology can be designed in a beneficial manner for highly variable technical systems. The increasing demand for customised products constitutes new challenges to the manufacturing industries since they were originally created for efficient mass production. Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPSs) offer a promising prospect: Unlike many systems today, they are not only capable of recording, evaluating, storing and controlling the environmental data, but moreover they are digitally interconnected and networked at all times. Highly complex algorithms are used to evaluate extensive data sets derived from the design process, the operation and simulations. This enables a higher degree of automation and swift system changes and additionally provides profound insights into hitherto invisible correlations. However, due to their complexity and flexibility, CPPSs pose great challenges for the human technology design. Previous development work has been primarily geared towards the technical aspects. RTG 2323 focuses on the human perspective: Scientists from the TU Dresden Faculties of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Psychology as well as Mechanical Science and Engineering are collaborating to explore how CPPS have to be designed in order to promote rather than jeopardise the trust, competences and the health of staff working with CPPSs. The researchers will conduct their investigations in two different fields of application: In modular process systems that are currently being introduced in the chemical industry, and in mobile agricultural systems (e.g. modern harvesting machines). This allows the transferability of insights and solutions to a broad range of CPPS domains to be tested.

Hydrogels as Actuators and Sensors: RTG 1865 "Hydrogel-based Microsystems", Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Hydrogels are cross-linked polymers that can absorb and release large quantities of water. During this process they greatly increase or decrease in size. The swelling process, which is reversible, can be triggered by physical and chemical variables such as temperature, electrical voltage or pH level. Therefore, hydrogels are ideally suitable for the measurement of physical or chemical properties of their environment. They can also convert this ability into motion or other physical quantities and thus serve as actuators. Integrated hydrogel-based sensors and actuators enable cost-effective microsystem solutions that can be used in a wide variety of applications. They could be utilised in e.g. microelectronics, biomedical technology, environmental protection and process measuring technology. In order to facilitate this application, there are still manifold problems to be solved that so far have impeded or even thwarted the practical use of hydrogels in technical applications. Over the past 4.5 years, scientists have already been able to gain numerous novel insights. Additional unresolved issues are to be addressed by the doctoral students in their future research projects, requiring a broad interdisciplinary approach: The RTG 1865 unites chairs from the Faculties of Chemistry; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Mechanical Science and Engineering as well as from the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden. The DFG will provide funding for 14 doctoral students as part of the RTG. The funding period commences on 1 April 2018 and will last for 4.5 years.

Adapting software: RoSI role-based software infrastructures for continuous context-sensitive systems (RTG 1907), Faculty of Computer Science
In the age of the "Internet of Things", research into software that is able to autonomously adapt to constantly changing conditions is of crucial importance. The goal is to use the role model to make software development more efficient and to make running software components more agile. Role-modeling during the development process allows explicit specification of possible changes of behaviour of software on the modeling level. Therefore, it outperforms the classical (object-oriented) approaches, especially with respect to the adaptability to existing surroundings. Possible fields of application include software for the SmartGrid - the intelligent power grid of the future, software for cyber-physical systems in the home, traffic and factory or context-sensitive search engines. Prof. Wolfgang Lehner, the RTG’s spokesperson and Director of the Institute of Systems Architecture: “Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution to the research of roles in the entire software life cycle and to enable an optimal supervision and guidance for our doctoral students. Here, professional excellence and the development of key skills play a decisive role”.  Presumably twelve doctoral students will have completed their doctorates by the end of the first project phase and it is expected that more than 100 scientific publications will have been released by the RTG. About 60 researchers from Germany and abroad have already contributed to the success of the Research Training Group by holding guest lectures, workshops and submitting joint publications.

Research Training Groups are established by universities to promote young researchers. They are funded by the DFG for a period of up to nine years. The aim is to prepare doctoral researchers for the complexities of the job market in science and academics and simultaneously to encourage early scientific independence.

Media inquiries
RTG 2323 Cyber-physical production systems (new)
Prof. Leon Urbas (spokesperson)
Tel.: +49 (0) 351 463-39614

RTG 1865 Hydrogel-based Microsystems (renewal)
Prof. Gerald Gerlach (spokesperson)
Tel.: +49 (0) 351 463-32077

Insa Malberg (co-ordination)
Tel.: +49 (0) 351 463-33463

RTG 1907 Role-based software infrastructures (renewal)
Prof. Wolfgang Lehner
Tel.: +49 (0) 351 463-38383

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Last modified: Dec 21, 2017