1.4 million euro for cutting-edge research

Bavarian Research Foundation to fund three projects conducted by FAU researchers

Three research projects involving research scientists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) are to receive a total of around €1.4 million in funding from the Bavarian Research Foundation. One such project to receive additional funding is “eGaIT – embedded Gait analysis using Intelligent Technology: computer-aided biometric gait analysis”. Research for this project is being conducted by researchers from the Department of Computer Science 5 (pattern recognition) and the University Clinic’s Department for Molecular Neurology. Further funding is to go to the project “Rapid Tooling – injection moulding applications” at the Department for Plastics Technology and also to the project “ZERPA – Non-destructive testing on heterogeneous parallel computer architectures” at the Department for Computer Science 3 (computer architecture). All research projects are being carried out by research scientists from FAU in collaboration with partners from industry and other research institutes. Moreover, current students can also benefit from the funding as every project has capacity to take on students intending to write a Bachelor or Masters dissertation.

Almost €440,000 in funding from the Bavarian Research Foundation has been earmarked for the “eGaIT” project which hopes to facilitate the early diagnosis of illnesses such as Parkinson’s. Thanks to further funding from industry the project will receive a total of around €1 million over an initial period of three years. The research project will involve scientists using motion sensors and inserting them into everyday footwear. Mathematical pattern recognition processes allow computers to automatically recognise and evaluate changes and restrictions in the movement of those diagnosed with illnesses such as Parkinson’s. The project will be headed up by Astrum IT GmbH from Middle Franconia. “Projects such as these are a prime example of the close collaboration that exists in the region between industry and research, particularly in the field of medicine technology”, says Dr. Jochen Klucken, one of the participating research scientists and deputy head of the Department for Molecular Neurology at the Erlangen University Hospital’s Neurological Clinic. The department heads of the Medical and Engineering Faculty are also pleased with this close collaboration whereby interns, students and doctoral students from the faculties of medicine, engineering and computer sciences manage to combine technological and health care demands with their scientific research.

Around €516,000 is earmarked for the project entitled “Rapid Tooling – injection moulding applications” which will involve the collaboration of research scientists and students from the Department for Plastics Technology. Injection moulding tools are required in industry for the fast and efficient production of large quantities of various kinds of plastic parts – for example, for household appliances and children’s toys etc. The problem with their production is that the parts are produced at high temperatures and are subsequently left to cool in the moulding tool itself. Due to differences in temperature the parts can become deformed – a common problem, particularly when producing small and micro-parts. It is for this reason that researchers at FAU and participating partners want to develop and test injection moulding tools which can also deliver high precision results when producing such small parts. It is hoped that the desired high level of accuracy can be achieved cost effectively by using extremely precise moulding tool technology and variothermal process control– in other words through the dynamic temperature control of the injection moulding tool. In addition to FAU, tool manufacturer Siegfried Hofmann GmbH, Oechsler AG, Single Temperiertechnik GmbH and hotec GmbH are also involved in the project.

The third project, “ZERPA – Non-destructive testing on heterogeneous parallel computer architectures” at the Department for Computer Science 3 (computer architecture) is to receive around €460,000 in funding. Researchers are working on the automatic and non-destructive testing of components by means of X-ray and ultrasound processes which in turn places great demands on the computer engineering required to do so. Detailed calculations are required in order to draw safety-relevant conclusions in terms of, for example, service life or the degree of damage, and also to assess the condition of components, such as aircraft components, pressure vessels or vessels used in space travel. It is hoped that these highly technical IT requirements will be met via the transparent use of modern graphics processors and other available parallel computer engineering technology. The complexity programming entailed should be significantly reduced courtesy of a programming support environment created within the framework of the project. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits and intelligeNDT System & Services GmbH are conducting the project in conjunction with computer scientists from FAU.

Further information for the media:

PD Dr. Jochen Klucken
Tel.: 09131/85-34127

Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier
Tel.: 09131/85-27297

Rapid Tooling
Steve Meister
Tel.: 09131/85-29719

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Fey
Tel.: 09131/85-27003

uni | media service | news No. 10/2012 on 23.1.2012

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