PhD students of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Technical Journalism

"I find new energy in applied research." (PhD student David Dreistadt, Department of EMT)

Applied research has become indispensable in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and technical journalism. In the following, we give a small insight into the variety of topics covered by the research work of our doctoral students and list by whom they are supervised at the H-BRS. Further links lead to research institutes, cooperation partners, publications, etc. (Selection, last update January 2021).

Michael Bareev-Rudy, TREE

Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier that has received more attention in recent years. Through electrolysis, excess renewable energy can be converted into hydrogen, stored, converted back into electricity at a later time, or used in other energy sectors. Storage systems based on this principle can be implemented at different scales, ranging from self-sufficient energy supply for several houses, to stabilization of energy supply networks. PhD student Michael Bareev-Rudy is working on the meta-modeling of hydrogen-based hybrid storage systems to enable optimal sizing and control for different scenarios. 

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Gerd Steinebach


Mario Bedrunka, TREE
Currents and turbulences surround us every day: we see them pouring milk into coffee, in the smoke of an incense stick or feel them during a turbulent flight. Predicting these flows requires both mathematical descriptions and methods to solve these equations. Mario Bedrunka is researching Lattice Boltzmann methods for calculating these flows. In recent years, these methods have proven to be a mature tool for flow simulations and enable the efficient calculation of turbulence, which is always present in aerospace or electromobility. With the focus on turbulence in porous media, current issues such as hydrogen storage in chemical form can be analysed. Since 2019, Mario Bedrunka is scholarship holder of the research Institute TREE.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dirk Reith


Samer Chaaraoui, IZNE
The Ghanaian health sector suffers from an unstable power supply, which is often compensated with diesel generators. However, in addition to the environmental and financial burden, this has also led to a health burden for sick people and residents. Renewable energy sources can help to ensure a clean and cost-effective energy supply, but they pose risks to the stability of the power supply. PhD student Samer Chaaraoui is researching model predictive controls for PV-diesel hybrid systems based on load and radiation predictions. Different prediction methods are investigated, ranging from simple statistical methods and numerical weather prediction models to the implementation of deep neural networks and artificial intelligence.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Meilinger


Tobias Dörnenburg
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Schümchen


David Dreistadt, TREE
Hydrogen as an energy carrier is a promising alternative to fossil fuels. An important aspect for its use is storage, for which metal hydrides are suitable. The gas is chemically bound in a metal or metal alloy. One of David Dreistadts' research goals is to investigate the integration of such metal hydride storage systems for hydrogen into modern energy supply networks. With the help of the simulation, knowledge about the optimal design and operation of these networks is to be gained. Since 2018, David Dreistadt is scholarship holder of the Department EMT.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Meilinger.


Dirk Grommes
Despite the search for alternatives, plastics have become an integral part of our daily lives. PhD student Dirk Grommes simulates the behavior of plastics at the molecular level. Computer-aided models can be used to predict properties of plastics that are difficult or impossible to determine experimentally. This makes it possible to better describe the complex behavior of plastics. On the other hand, on the basis of this knowledge, plastic products can be designed as resource-saving as possible.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dirk Reith


Caroline Knoch, IMEA
Doctoral student Caroline Knoch examines the relationship between text and image within different sign systems. The basis for this is formed by the pictorial poems of the French poet and writer Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), which have their origins in the Asian language area and have been taken up again in avant-garde typography. A pictorial poem, also known as a calligram, not only communicates the content of a text, but also creates a visual object of perception with its own level of meaning, thus combining text and image. In her dissertation Caroline Knoch asks the question whether the colourful helpers of our digital communication - we are talking here about the so-called emojis (Japanese: picture characters, or moji Japanese: writing) - can be regarded as the digital heritage of 20th century pictorial poems.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Oliver Ruf



Markus Matt,  IMEA
The importance of digital games has changed in recent years. In addition to economic growth and constant technical innovations, a further development can be observed: narrative structures are becoming increasingly complex. In this context, Doctoral student Markus Matt is working on the narrative character in digital games. He would like to explore their specific dynamics as well as their nature as an elementary involvement factor and ultimately their function as virtual world openers.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Oliver Ruf


Patrick Michels, TREE
Extrusion blow molding is one of the most economical processes for the production of thin-walled plastic hollow bodies, such as bottles, canisters or fuel tanks. After production, shrinkage and distortion of the components occur due to cooling under the pressure of the mould. These undesired deviations from the ideal geometry are still a major problem for the blow molding industry. In cooperation with the Dr. Reinold Hagen Foundation, PhD student Patrick Michels is working on the simulative prediction of material shrinkage and the associated component distortion. The focus of the PhD project is the identification and calibration of a suitable material law for the description of the complex time-, temperature- and process-dependent material behavior of the polymer materials used. The improved models for shrinkage and warpage analysis will then be integrated into the standard CAE workflow of blow-molded plastic hollow parts. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Olaf Bruch


Patrycja Muc, IMEA
Architectural journalism is considered an untapped subject area in science. While there are already empirical studies on journalistic genres such as political, science and technology journalism, there is little knowledge about architectural journalism. In the context of society as a whole, architecture plays a no less important role than politics and business. This becomes clear in questions of urban planning and development, new housing concepts and public building projects. Doctoral student Patrycja Muc therefore examines in content analysis how German daily newspaper editorial offices report on architecture. In addition, guided expert interviews with architects and journalists will shed light on how both actors assess the relevance of architectural issues.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Schümchen.


Juliane Orth
In our society, technology is still rather associated with masculinity. The image of a bearded man holding a heavy drill in his strong arms seems more familiar than that of a petite woman drilling a hole in a wall. The media also contribute to the spread of stereotypical gender images and anchor them in our minds. There have been hardly any studies on the relationship between visual technology communication and gender in Germany to date. In the first phase of her research, PhD student Juliane Orth therefore plans an analysis of current media images of people (in action) using technology. For this purpose, daily newspapers such as the FAZ as well as trade journals such as the Technology Review are to be examined under the magnifying glass. In a second step, the effect of existing and alternative media images will be evaluated by means of interviews with test persons.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Susanne Keil


Markus Rohde
In recent years, 3D cameras based on the time-of-flight method - also driven by the use in smartphones - have increasingly found their way into our everyday lives. The possible applications of this technology are immense, be it for automatic environment detection in the automotive sector, security and automation functions in robotics, tasks of automatic area monitoring, biometric problems or even the contactless control of technical devices. The aim of the research work of PhD student Markus Rohde is to expand the application areas of such 3D cameras. For example, the range for outdoor applications, which is currently limited to about 10 meters, is to be extended to more than 20 meters. For this purpose, innovative infrared laser illuminations are being developed and approaches to signal processing close to the sensor are being researched.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Robert Lange


Steffen Schedler, IZNE

The energy transition that Germany is striving for - away from fossil fuels and toward more renewable energies - requires more storage capacity. The fluctuating energy flows caused by changing weather conditions must be balanced by energy storage systems. Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier for this purpose. It can help to create a seasonal balance of solar energy. Hydrogen can be produced from water by electrolysis using electricity from photovoltaics (PV). Hydrogen can then be stored in metals or pressurized gas storage tanks. If required, hydrogen is converted back into electricity by means of a fuel cell, releasing heat in the process. For the FlexHyX project, PhD student Steffen Schedler is developing scenarios for the system integration of such hydrogen storage in the Cologne region. He is investigating how much energy from rooftop PV systems on residential buildings can be temporarily stored and how these storage systems can be integrated into future electricity and hydrogen gas grids. For this purpose, different sources from public databases are combined and the influence of building sizes (single to multi-family houses) is investigated in simulation models.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Meilinger, Prof. Dr. Tanja Clees


Martin Schenk, TREE
Molecular simulations are used for biological questions, such as structural investigations of proteins or the development of medical agents, and for material science problems, such as the determination of thermodynamic material properties or investigations of interface structures. Molecular simulations are therefore always used when real experiments are too expensive, too dangerous or even impossible. In his research, doctoral student Martin Schenk validates and develops atomistic molecular models for the simulation of ionic liquids. His goal is to predict the solubility of gases and gas mixtures in these liquids.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dirk Reith


Kevin Steinbach, Robert Bosch GmbH (eBike Systems)
When operating an eBike, vibrations and noises occur, e.g. due to the functioning of the drive unit or also due to the interaction between the rider and the bike. Due to dynamic effects, excitation occurs along individual structures up to system level. At free surfaces, sound is also dispersed into the environment. Since the development of eBikes is currently being strongly pushed and noise/vibration issues should be better understood, a computer-supported model of the drive unit is being developed under this aspect within the framework of this doctorate. With the simulation model, the so-called NVH behaviour (Noise Vibration Harshness) of the drive unit should then be mapped and predicted. This would enable optimisation measures to be taken on the virtual prototype and - in terms of resource-saving development - reduce time-consuming test patterns.


Robin Strickstrock, TREE
The heart of doctoral student Robin Strickstrock beats in science for molecular computer simulations of hydrocarbons and the force fields required for this. Force fields have a very large influence on the simulation results and are the subject of Robin Strickstrocks' doctorate. The main focus of his research is the (further) development of an automated, algorithm-controlled optimization of the force field parameters, which enables computer simulations to reproduce or predict the properties of new substances at both molecular and macroscopic levels.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dirk Reith


Dominik Wilde, TREE
Doctoral student Dominik Wilde is researching new methods for predicting compressible supersonic flows - his research is spreading with supersonics. For the first time since the "Concorde" was taken out of service in 2003, companies are again working on the development of civil supersonic aircraft. However, high pollutant and noise emissions are undesirable side effects of these high-speed technologies in aerospace. To predict and reduce these properties, computer clusters with modern calculation methods are used today, which were not yet available to Concorde engineers. Doctoral student Dominik Wilde is researching the further development of these methods, which help to optimise the pollutant and noise emissions of aircraft as early as the design process.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dirk Reith