In September 2016, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Canadian University of British Columbia (UBC) launched the collaboration initiative DLR@UBC. Started with 10 researchers, today more than 40 German and Canadian scientists work on innovations all around materials and structures for sustainable mobility, especially for aeronautics and ground transportation. At the same time, they encourage technology transfer and exchanges with industrial companies. Strategic key element of DLR@UBC is to support the growth of aerospace industry in British Columbia.
International teamwork based on complementary competencies
The DLR@UBC research initiative focuses on materials, design, simulation, robotic technology and in a wider frame on digital solutions for “Industry 4.0”. German and Canadian researchers are working together on ideas for the aeronautic factory of the future, especially human-robot-interaction in the production process. Further key elements are the development of polymer fibre composite technologies and 3D-printing for aircraft as well as lightweight materials and concepts for automotive and rail applications.
Joint programmes and scientific exchange
The exchange of scientists, students and doctoral candidates forms a key part of the initiative. To enhance the value added for students and faculty a Ph.D. programme with the University of Augsburg and joint appointments are in development. DLR@UBC offices in Vancouver and Augsburg are coordinating the German-Canadian collaboration and establishing contact with industrial companies.
International cooperation with industrial partners
The results of the DLR@UBC initiative should also feeds into collaboration with industry partners. Collaborations with industrial partners, OEMs but also SMEs are planned for the future.
Further research topics and perspectives
New topics include research into aerogel batteries based on recycled carbon, the Digital Learning factory as well as topics of digitalisation, augmented reality, big data, machine learning and quantum computing.
Currently involved institutes and faculties
From DLR, the Institute of Structures and Design based in Stuttgart and Augsburg and the Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Stuttgart, as well as the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems located in Braunschweig are bringing their expertise to the DLR@UBC initiative. On the UBC side, both the Deaprtment of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Materials Engineering of the Faculty of Applied Science are the key partners in the collaboration.