Cooperation with Siemens
CKI CONFERENCE CONNECTS INNOVATIVE MINDS TO REVOLUTIONISE ROAD AND RAIL TRANSPORT
CKI Conference connects unconventional thinkers to create a revolution for road and rail traffic.
The conference, which changes new cooperation topics annually, is the magnet for Siemens representatives of various research areas from all over Germany and professors, postdocs, PhD students and RWTH Aachen University students.
This year, the prominent speakers and guests included, among others, the new Siemens Board and CTO Dr. Ing. Roland Busch, who is also a member of the RWTH Aachen University Council. He presented to the public the new fields of innovation and technology in which the group would like to invest 500 million euros in the future. Among other things, the Company Core Technologies from Siemens includes networked mobility; indeed, autonomous systems and the networking of intelligent systems are transforming the mobile transport solutions of tomorrow.
One of these solutions is the e.GO city automobile[BC1] , which runs on an electric motor and was launched in series production in 2017. It constitutes the centerpiece of electromobility research and development at RWTH Aachen University. Its founder, creator and the director of the Siemens CKI cooperation, the RWTH Aachen University professor Günther Schuh proves how much progress is being made with e.GO in this area. Motivated by the afore-mentioned success, Andrea Kollmorgen, Siemens Head of Connected (e)Mobility, announced several joint projects – still under wraps – between Siemens and RWTH Aachen University. The Future Train 2025+ multi-million euro project, for which Siemens and RWTH Aachen University are jointly reforming the construction of locomotive units, was also presented with great suspense: “The goal is to develop a completely new generation of rail vehicles.”
Monika Sturm, of Siemens Corporate Technology, and Jessica Menold, a guest lecturer at RWTH Aachen University and expert in “Design Thinking,” also invited interested parties to the Design Thinking Workshop. Together, they investigated the problem definition and creative tasks – about how automated and networked traffic networks would influence and change the mobility of persons in the future. According to Siemens, “Industrial Design Thinking” is the method the company uses for “tricky” innovation problems: “Not only is the solution unknown, but the challenges on the part of the customer are in the dark, too.” This creative process uses visual and haptic impressions more than other methods. A particular strength of design thinking is that it also identifies needs that the user is not yet aware of. Around 40 students, Siemens and RWTH Aachen University representatives tested this method. During the workshop, the artist Christian Baum drew and combined the haptic and visual impressions into a larger whole.
The conference ended on the RWTH Aachen University Campus with a tour of the start-up factory and the electromobility laboratory eLabs as well as a joint conclusion at the Photonics Cluster, home of the Siemens Manufacturing Center of Excellence.
The Center of Knowledge Interchange (CKI) Conference is the annual framework for the strategic partner meeting between Siemens and RWTH Aachen University. Since 2012, Siemens has been researching and developing innovative solutions, together with RWTH Aachen University in the Collaborative Research Centers “Rare Raw Materials” and “Future Trains” (2016), each with its own research and development topics.
The upper design graphics are by the artist Christian Baum, who drew the impressions during the Design Thinking Workshop. If you want to know more about the artist, please see: http://www.achristianbaum.com/
Quote on “Design Thinking”: https://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/home/pictures-of-the-future/forschung-and-management/innovationsmanagement-industrial-design-thinking.html, last accessed on Feb. 26, 2018