4. Fraunhofer-Alumni-Summit 2019

The Alumni Summit 2019 will take place on 20 November 2019 in Berlin on the topic of Artificial Intelligence.

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Events for Fraunhofer-Alumni

Exclusive events or free trade fair tickets - benefit from special conditions as a Fraunhofer Alumni!

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Mentoring - A new programme for Alumni

As a member of Alumni e.V. you are invited to get involved as a mentor or within the framework of an industrial partnership for young start-ups. Are you planning to start your own business? Accompany a young team or get started with exciting Fraunhofer technologies! Information and contacts can also be found in our Fraunhofer Alumni Portal.

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EXCELLENT NETWORKING

Since 2016, the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. has been offering an international network for experts with many advantages and a constantly growing range of services across industries and disciplines.

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Alumni-Spotlight - Dr.-Ing. Rodrigo Pastl

Dr.-Ing Rodrigo Pastl – Leaving Fraunhofer IPK to Brazil as UNIDO Ambassador

Dr.-Ing Rodrigo Pastl
© Privat
One of the pilot plants in which the research company CIBiogás produces methane gas. In the background you can see the hydropower value of Itaipú Binacional on the Paraná River. It is one of the largest hydropower plants in the world with an output of 14,000 megawatts. The power plant, in which Brazil and Paraguay are involved, is adjoined by a research campus.
© CIBiogás ER
One of the pilot plants in which the research company CIBiogás produces methane gas. In the background you can see the hydropower value of Itaipú Binacional on the Paraná River. It is one of the largest hydropower plants in the world with an output of 14,000 megawatts. The power plant, in which Brazil and Paraguay are involved, is adjoined by a research campus.
CIBiogás's main objective is to build small plants in the immediate vicinity of large farms. The waste products from these farms are used to harvest electricity and gas.
© CIBiogás ER
CIBiogás's main objective is to build small plants in the immediate vicinity of large farms. The waste products from these farms are used to harvest electricity and gas.

Rodrigo Pastl "just wanted to learn a little German" when he left Brazil to go to Berlin in 2013. He stayed for almost five years and made his greatest dream come true at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK. Now he is back in Brazil as a climate saver as the Ambassador of UNIDO, the industrial development organization of the United Nations. He has set out to research as Digitalization and Quality Manager the optimization of biogas plants and is also involved in helping German technologies take root in the tropics.

 

Mr. Pastl, what brought you to Fraunhofer?

After my master's degree in Brazil, I worked as a Global Management Trainee at the mining company Vale S/A. As a telemetry engineer, I first worked as a coordinator and then as an internal manager responsible for service and maintenance management and development. On my first opportunity to travel, I went to Berlin on vacation. At first, I actually only wanted to learn a little German.

However, when I got to Germany, Dr. Tiago Borsoi Klein, Research Fellow at Fraunhofer IPK, and Dr. David Domingos, Managing Director at the Fraunhofer Project Center Advanced Manufacturing ITA, invited me to Fraunhofer. I had met them in 2010 while working on my Master's thesis at ITA in Brazil. A scholarship from the Brazilian government made it possible to fulfill my biggest dream: to do my PhD in Germany. Why was this my dream? Because I am a mechanical engineer and German quality is unbeatable!

At the end of 2017, the Fraunhofer IPK together with the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) opened the Fraunhofer Project Center for Advanced Manufacturing @ ITA. The center, FPC@ITA for short, maintains strategic cooperation between IPK and the Brazilian institute. That is how I came to the position as guest researcher and was able to coordinate various projects and collaborations in the field of Industrie 4.0 and additive manufacturing. Parallel to my work, I was a student supervisor, which gave me the opportunity to supervise a Six Sigma project (Green Belt). Several of my students are now in great positions, which for me is tremendously rewarding. Also, this gave me the opportunity to receive the Six-Sigma Black Belt Certificate. I also inititated several partnerships between German organizations and Brazil such as a cooperation between the Brazlian Embassy and the Technical University of Berlin, the Fraunhofer IPK and the "Science without Borders" program of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

During my time at Fraunhofer IPK, I worked in the "Production Systems" department headed by Prof. Eckart Uhlmann in the "Production Machines and Plant Management" department, where I reported to Eckhard Hohwieler. This was a very enriching experience, for which I am still very grateful. After all, I received my doctorate from Prof. Eckart Uhlmann. My project was even included in the Institute's annual report at that time.

What was your research about?

We developed a mobile app that ensures quality in the process of selective laser welding. In addition to ensuring quality, the app also allows us to evaluate the data. "Additive Manufacturing AM 4.0" is an application for decentralized online process and machine monitoring. This makes it possible to react quickly to situations that compromise quality. Intelligent algorithms allow the app to identify different systems and the machine's condition. This means the app also enables predictive maintenance.

Did your research prepare you for your current task?

Most definitely! The most important thing I learned from my time at Fraunhofer is how to apply research in practice to develop new ideas. I've now returned to Brazil with this mindset. Here my work also includes working on maintenance processes in which I interlink networks, Industrie 4.0 and data science.

 

 

© Fraunhofer ESK
The Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. invites you to Munich on the topic "E-Mobility, Connected Cars & Autonomous Driving". The Alumni Association of the University of St. Gallen, the HSG Alumni Club Munich and the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. will jointly organize this conference at the headquarters of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The Fraunhofer ESK and Fraunhofer AISEC also participate. Information and registration under:
CONNECTING ALUMNI
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) aims to promote sustainable economic development in developing and transition countries.
© CIBiogás ER
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) aims to promote sustainable economic development in developing and transition countries.
The CIBiogás plants under the management of Rodrigo Pastel do not only produce electricity. The gas from agricultural waste, for example, can also be used as fuel for vehicles.
© CIBiogás ER
The CIBiogás plants under the management of Rodrigo Pastel do not only produce electricity. The gas from agricultural waste, for example, can also be used as fuel for vehicles.

What kind of projects are you currently working on?

Right now, I am basically filling in two roles. I work for the research institute CIBiogás-ER and at the same time I am a consultant for UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. For the first time at UNIDO there is a project to expand the use of biogas in southern Brazil, which will run for five years. In conjunction with UNIDO, we are also maintaining partnerships with several countries. As I am responsible for the "tropicalization" of a variety of technologies, Germany is, of course, one of my priorities.

And what are you doing at CIBiogás-ER?

We are an independent research institute in the Technology Park ITAIPU, the largest hydropower plant in the world. More than 20 companies and organizations are involved in the research project. We are researching the production and applications of biogas and biomethane. Also, the "Digitization and Quality" division I founded is investigating how we can optimize these processes with the help of data science, IoT and continuous improvement processes.

We are generating energy from waste, which is sustainable and currently has great potential. The city of Foz do Iguaçu is in a mostly agriculture region of Brazil, so there is an abundance of liquid manure, organic waste and waste from restaurants from which we can produce methane. This enables us to generate electricity and our waste no longer pollutes the environment. What is leftover is a great fertilizer that can be used to fertilize farmland or can be sold on the market.

In the meantime, we have already made significant progress with our research site and people are showing great global interest in our work. The UNIDO program draws additional attention to our project. For our first project with ITAIPU Binacional, currently one of the largest dams in the world, we are working on a major order for 17 biogas plants. Most of them will be built near pig farms. Of these 17 plants, 16 will generate a profit and, in addition, these farms will not only be able to supply themselves but also other consumers in the region with electricity on a decentralized basis. This allows us to also reduce the consumption of firewood and other energy sources. In other words, we are helping to reduce emissions of climate-damaging gases.

How important are renewable energy sources for Brazil?

Between 50 and 60 percent of our matrix consists of renewable energy. In regards to electricity, 80 percent of our matrix consists of renewable energy. However, the expansion of hydropower is now subject to severe regulatory restrictions. That is why the government is also pushing ahead with the development of alternative sources such as solar energy and biogas, among other things with corresponding legislation. However, this issue has not yet been well received by the general population.

What does your work for UNIDO look like?

I am responsible for bringing new technologies to our region. And I am looking for answers to the questions: what does Brazil need? which technologies can be of particular use in our region that can be adapted and applied to biogas and biomethane in Brazil? For this reason we are now approaching companies internationally with the aim of finding a match that will allow us to increase our competitiveness.

In February of this year, for example, we signed an agreement with the Economics and Science Center Brazil-Germany (WWZ-BD – Wirtschafts- und WissenschaftsZentrum Brasilien-Deutschland e.V.) for cooperation in the fields of business, education, science and technology. We are also working with WWZ-BD to establish contact with companies looking to expand to Brazil. We are conducting many promising negotiations and also have made contact with some well-known companies, such as Zeiss and a variety of German startups.

It’s an enormous challenge, but it allows me to help to further develop Brazil! For this reason and because of my daughter, who is now almost 1 year old, I left Germany to return to Brazil.

 

 

Alumni-Meeting - »E-Mobility, Connected Cars
& Autonomous Driving«

15. Oktober - München

Together with alumni of the University of St. Gallen and the HSG Alumni Club Munich, the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. invites you to the Fraunhofer headquarters in Munich on the topic "E-Mobility, Connected Cars & Autonomous Driving". With Prof. Andreas Herrmann, Director at the Institute for Customer Insight, University of St. Gallen (HSG), and Mario Trapp, Director of the Fraunhofer ESK, two internationally renowned experts will talk about new mobility and security concepts. Further lectures, a discussion round and exhibits from the Fraunhofer world on the subject of "autonomous driving" are planned. Networking and a flying buffet will conclude our prelude to "CONNECTING ALUMNI - Experience and Expertise in Dialogue". This series of events is organized by Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. in cooperation with alumni associations of universities and companies.

More details and registration here.

Academia meets Management - the first INNOVATIONLOUNGE

 More than 120 experts from research and management discussed the opportunities and risks of digitization in medium-sized businesses at the first INNOVATIONLOUNGE of the Fraunhofer Alumni e.V. in Munich. Under the motto "Intelligent networking and AI in production", alumni of the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. as well as employees of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft exchanged ideas with managers of Atreus GmbH, a provider of interim management, about current digital technologies in companies. In addition to presentations on the Fraunhofer research status in digitization and artificial intelligence, Andreas Widl, CEO of valve manufacturer SAMSON, showed how his company is implementing digital transformation and is already expanding its lead over its international competitors.

To the Artikel.

The Fraunhofer alumnus that ist generating energy from ocean waves

© CalWave

Marcus Lehmann spent eight months at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft headquarters in Munich from the end of 2011. Today he runs a company that could make a decisive contribution to humanity's energy supply in the future. The company CalWave Power Technologies Inc., which was co-founded by the Fraunhofer alumnus and which he also chairs as CEO, is developing a power plant that generates electricity from ocean waves. In comparison to wind or solar energy, this process offers various advantages. If the energy of all ocean waves could be captured it would be possible to produce the amount of energy that was consumed worldwide in the entire year of 2008. It is estimated that by 2050 up to 10 percent of Europe's electricity requirements could realistically be covered by energy from the sea.  

The power plants of the young Californian enterprise float under the ocean's surface some distance away from the coastline. This has several advantages: Unlike wind turbines, these plants are under water and thus not visible. They can produce energy even during storms and do not depend on sun and wind. Above all, however, the energy yields from these power plants can be reliably predicted over a long period of time. CalWave Power Technologies was runner up to the U.S. Department of Energy's Wave Energy Prize and is a project of Cyclotron Road, a start-up incubator from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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IAP-Alumna Nguyen-Kim wins prestigious Friedrichs Prize

Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
© © WDR / Thomas Kierok Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim

The Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. is proud to announce that the "Quarks" presenter, science journalist, chemist and Fraunhofer-IAP alumna Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim has won the Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Award 2019 together with ZDF presenter Harald Lesch.

The jury was convinced by the "lively language and unbridled lust and curiosity" of the two journalists, with which they make even complex topics understandable for their viewers and users. Professor Alexander Böker, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, congratulated the 31-year-old on his cosmopolitan attitude. Nguyen-Kim is particularly interested in science among the younger generation. 

To article.  

The New "Career Portal for Fraunhofer Employees"

Since May 2018, the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. has been offering the "Career Portal", the main focus of which is on supporting departing Fraunhofer employees in their further career development outside the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

It addresses Fraunhofer employees who will leave the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft within the next 6 months due to the termination of a temporary contract, and offers them a platform to hire their own applicants. Former Fraunhofer employees who have been alumni for some time can also use this portal. Access to these application profiles is restricted exclusively to the Fraunhofer-Alumni e.V. companies interested in highly qualified specialists.

Interested Fraunhofer employees and institute administrations can find further information in the Alumni section of the Fraunhofer Intranet and in the flyer following this text.

If you have any questions, please contact us:

Martin Schindler    
Speaker Alumni - Editorial Office and Career Portal

martin.schindler@zv.fraunhofer.de
Phone: +49 89 1205-2158