DLR@UBC - a successful international cooperation

DLR@UBC Enlarge image Prof. Dr. Heinz Voggenreiter, Head of Institute, DLR (© Iain Evans) DLR@UBC – Materials and Structures for Global Mobility

In September 2016, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Canadian University of British Columbia (UBC) launched the collaboration initiative DLR@UBC. Started with 10 researchers, today more than 30 German and Canadian scientists work on innovations all around materials and structures for sustainable mobility, especially for aeronautics and ground transportation. At the same time, they encourage technology transfer and exchanges with industrial companies. Strategic key element of DLR@UBC is to support the growth of aerospace industry in British Columbia.

International teamwork based on complementary competencies

 The DLR@UBC research initiative focuses on materials, design, simulation, robotic technology and in a wider frame on digital solutions for “Industry 4.0”. German and Canadian researchers are working together on ideas for the aeronautic factory of the future, especially human-robot-interaction in the production process. Further key elements are the development of polymer fibre composite technologies and 3D-printing for aircraft as well as lightweight materials and concepts for ground-based traffic.

Joint programmes and scientific exchange

The exchange of scientists, students and doctoral candidates forms a key part of the initiative. To enhance the value added for students and faculty a joint doctoral programme in conjunction with the University of Augsburg and joint appointments are in development. DLR@UBC liaison offices in Vancouver and Augsburg are coordinating the German–Canadian collaboration and establishing contact with industrial companies.


International cooperation with industrial partners

The DLR@UBC initiative feeds into collaboration with industry partners like MTU Maintenance Vancouver, a business unit of MTU Aero Engines, KUKA and Ford USA heading for extension to further industrial partners, OEMs but also SMEs. MTU Maintenance Vancouver, UBC and DLR recently signed a MoU to pool their expertise and conduct joint research in the field of sustainable and economical aeroengines.


Further research topics and perspectives

New topics include research into sustainable engines for aircraft with a particular focus on components, combustion processes and the use of biofuels as well as the topics of digitalisation, augmented reality, big data and quantum computing.


Currently involved institutes and faculties

From DLR, the Institute of Structures and Design based in Stuttgart and Augsburg and the Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Stuttgart, as well as the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems located in Braunschweig are bringing their expertise to the DLR@UBC initiative. On the UBC side, both the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Materials Engineering of the Faculty of Applied Science are the key partners in the collaboration. DLR@UBC Enlarge image Consul General Josef Beck, UBC Vice President Research Dr. Helen Burt (© Iain Evans)

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