„It is a great honor and pleasure for me to receive this high academic distinction from the Catholic University of Leuven today. By receiving this recognition, I am very touched to become a part of the almost 600-year-old history of your excellent and important university,“ said Prof. Neugebauer in his acceptance speech. Rik Torfs, Rector of the KU Leuven, distinguished the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for his contribution to the reconstruction of the Saxon manufacturing industry following the German reunification, for his contributions in questions of energy, resource efficiency and sustainability in modern manufacturing, the establishment of international research networks as well as his leading role as a research manager in the manufacturing industry.
Cooperation in research and teaching
Through research projects in mechanical engineering and production engineering, Fraunhofer is closely associated with the Belgian city of Leuven. Together with the KU Leuven, Europe‘s largest applied research organization is, for example, one of the drivers of the European research project „Added Value in Manufacturing.“ Organized as a knowledge and innovation community (KIC), the project is one of the five planned KICs of the current European Commission for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. A deepening of the cooperation with the traditional Belgian university is also planned for new production processes, such as ECDM (Electrochemical Discharge Machining) and generative manufacturing.
KU Leuven and Fraunhofer go hand in hand with the training of young professionals: In the Erasmus Mundus program „Master of Science in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (EMM-Nano),“ the Belgian university, together with Fraunhofer Institutes in Dresden, is setting up a multidisciplinary approach in theory and practice for young scientists.
Fraunhofer is working closely with the „Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC)“ in Leuven, one of the largest research centers for nanotechnology and microelectronics in Europe. Both organizations are currently cooperating in 17 Horizon 2020 projects. One of the most important of these projects is PRIME (Ultra-Low PoweR technologIes and MEmory architectures for the Internet of Things). In this context, 18 project partners are working on cost-effective and energy-efficient applications for the Internet of Things.
Belgium‘s largest university with a long tradition
The Catholic University of Leuven (in Dutch: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, KU Leuven) is Belgium‘s largest university and one of the oldest universities in Europe. Its history dates back to the year 1425. As a leading European research university, it now offers a wide range of academic programs in Dutch and English and conducts high-quality, interdisciplinary research. More than 6,000 researchers from over 120 countries are involved.