April 13, 2016

Focusing on lightweight design and crashworthiness – DLR transport researchers sign cooperation agreement with Canadian universities

To make the cars of the future lighter and at the same time safer, researchers from the To the Institute's website at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have been working on new lightweight, hybrid design methods and innovative crashworthiness concepts. In order to network this pioneering research work internationally and increase its scientific visibility, the Stuttgart-based DLR Institute signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Waterloo and the University of Windsor on 11 April 2016. The two Canadian universities are located in the province of Ontario, which, like the Stuttgart region, has strong connections with the automotive industry.

Across continents – lightweight construction as a subject for the future

Central elements of the collaboration will be research into and the exchange of scientific data on the subjects of lightweight construction and the crashworthiness of vehicles, as well as planning and collaborating on projects. Mutual exchanges of scientific staff, students and trainees are also foreseen.

The collaboration agreement was signed by the Director of the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Horst E. Friedrich, the Vice President of Research at the University of Waterloo, D. George Dixon, and the Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of Windsor, K. W. Michael Siu, in a formal ceremony held during the International Crashworthiness Symposiums, which was organised by the three collaborating partners. The symposium took place in Windsor, Canada, on 11 April 2016 and was attended by some 100 representatives from industry and research institutions.

Trilateral collaboration combines unique expertise

"With this collaborative agreement, we have managed to bring together three strong, internationally renowned research institutes, in order to combine scientific expertise on lightweight construction and crashworthiness – areas of ever increasing importance for the future of automotive construction – and to create intercontinental synergies," said Horst E. Friedrich, on the occasion of the signing of the agreement. The University of Waterloo is one of the leading research institutes in the country for the engineering sector and is primarily contributing its expertise in the areas of materials research and the behaviour of materials in the event of a crash. The University of Windsor is one of the world's leaders in the area of energy absorption through metalworking processes. The DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts works on and coordinates research areas relating to transport technology, new vehicle concepts and vehicle technologies. In its research area of lightweight construction and hybrid construction methods, it is closely involved with new crashworthy lightweight construction methods for road and rail vehicles, and provides a unique research infrastructure with its component crash test facility.


Dorothee Bürkle

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Media Relations, Energy and Transport Research

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst E. Friedrich

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Head of the Institute of Vehicle Concepts
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart

Dr.-Ing. Elmar Beeh

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Vehicle Concepts
Material and Process Applications for Road and Rail Vehicles
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne