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Optics, Excellence and Autonomous Horsepower: Minister of State Hendrik Hoppenstedt visits the PZH

Optics, Excellence and Autonomous Horsepower: Minister of State Hendrik Hoppenstedt visits the PZH

For the third time, Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, member of the German Bundestag, is a guest at the PZH at the end of September 2018, where he will find out how much has changed in a few years. After an overview of the PZH and current research topics, which Professor Hans Jürgen Maier, as spokesman of the PZH Board of Directors, will explain to the guest, two topics will be the focus of the guest's attention: The recently approved Excellence Cluster PhoenixD including the predecessor project PlanOS as well as the current racing cars of the Formula Student Team "Horsepower".

Excellent optics

Professor Bernhard Roth, Scientific Director of HOT - Hannoversches Zentrum für Optische Technologien - reports on the results of the PlanOS Collaborative Research Centre: Planar optronic systems, large polymer-based sensor foils that operate purely optically, have been created. In the new, also optical cluster of excellence PhoenixD, the essential manufacturing aspects are researched in the Centre for Production Engineering and integrated into the overall project.

The common goal is to develop optical precision devices quickly and cost-effectively from additive manufacturing. Scientists from mechanical engineering, physics, electrical engineering, computer science and chemistry are working together on the simulation, fabrication and application of optical systems; to date, optical lenses made of glass and the surrounding housing have been manufactured in several steps - often by hand. Dr. Hoppenstedt is impressed by the high degree of closeness to application, which is particularly effective in production technology despite or alongside fundamental research work.

Bachelor with racing car expertise

Finally, a small delegation of the current Horsepower team presents to the politician the "Formula Student" competition and its annual process of design, manufacture, construction and testing of each new racing car and its final use at the races at the well-known racetracks throughout Europe. A special highlight: Horsepower now not only competes in the electric racing car category, but also in the new "Driverless" class. In their PowerPoint presentation, the bachelor students show how their autonomous racing car "sees" and reacts. Then it's down to the test field of the Institute of Materials Science, the racing team's box. There the new monocoque, made from one piece, can be admired and touched in real life. Everyone is in agreement here - whether student, professor or politician: Anyone who is involved in building such a racing car is very welcome to take a year longer to complete his bachelor's degree...