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10/20/2023 | Pressemitteilung

Dr. Florian Gerland and Estella Arabel Landau receive IHK Science and Promotion Award

Together with the University of Kassel, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Kassel-Marburg awarded the IHK Science Prize and the IHK Sponsorship Prize to the young scientists Dr. Florian Gerland and Estella Arabel Landau yesterday evening (October 19) at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Kassel.

Image: Harry Soremski.
Pleased with the successful evening: (from left) Prof. Dr. Martin Schmidl (Rector of the Kassel University of the Arts), Prof. Dr. Ute Clement (President of the University of Kassel), Prof. Dr. Ludger Schmidt (University of Kassel), Estella Arabel Landau (winner of the IHK Sponsorship Award), Dr. Florian Gerland (winner IHK Science Award), Prof. Dr. Olaf Wünsch (University of Kassel), Désirée Derin-Holzapfel (Vice President of IHK Kassel-Marburg) and Dr. Arnd Klein-Zirbes (Chief Executive Officer of IHK Kassel-Marburg).

These awards recognize dissertations, post-doctoral theses and final theses of outstanding importance. IHK Vice President Désirée Derin-Holzapfel, who also chairs the jury, and Prof. Dr. Ute Clement, President of the University of Kassel, presented the awards, which are presented alternately each year at the university's Kassel and Marburg campuses. Representatives of the award jury, nominees and their professors as well as other guests were present. Before the award ceremony, Prof. Dr. Martin Schmidl, Rector of the School of Art and Design Kassel, gave a keynote speech on the "Innovation Laboratory of the School of Art and Design". The event was moderated by Dr. Arnd Klein-Zirbes, Managing Director of the Kassel-Marburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

"A few years ago, the EU Commission named North Hesse as one of the leading regions in the field of innovation. Two institutions that are jointly responsible for this success are the IHK Kassel-Marburg and the University of Kassel," said Prof. Dr. Ute Clement. "We often work hand in hand when it comes to promoting innovation, for example when it comes to entering the world of work or supporting start-ups. Together, we stimulate the transfer between science and business and provide impetus for the regional economy." Désirée Derin-Holzapfel also picked up on this aspect in her welcome address: "Technology transfer from the university to companies contributes to the innovation and competitiveness of our business location. It faces up to transformation processes such as those towards climate neutrality and digitalization." The construction industry plays an important role in the former. "We are highlighting this by awarding the business prize to Dr. Florian Gerland," said the IHK Vice President. Dr. Gerland's dissertation helps to ensure that the use of fresh concrete can be more resource-efficient. Estella Arabel Landau's master's thesis deals with the question of how 3D scanners and printers can be implemented in everyday life in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), "a topic that is important for the digital transformation", said Derin-Holzapfel. It was very pleasing to see that other entries submitted were also of high quality. "This proves that excellent scientific work is being done in our region," said the IHK Vice President. It is important to further intensify and promote cooperation between science and industry.

Subject of Dr. Florian Gerland's dissertation
Dr. Florian Gerland received the IHK Science Prize , endowed with 5200 euros, for his dissertation "Modelling and Numerical Simulation of the Rheology of Fibre Suspensions". The content of the thesis deals with the flow behavior of fresh concrete during the casting of structural components in the construction industry. Thanks to modern modeling techniques, efficient planning tools can now also be used in areas of civil engineering that were previously not available in this form. The dissertation is therefore of outstanding scientific significance, as the efficiency and accuracy of construction processes can be significantly increased by applying the methods and models developed. The work is particularly important for the construction industry in terms of sustainability and resource efficiency. A more accurate prediction of the flow behaviour of the material used will help to optimize the consumption of materials and reduce the energy required in the production of precast concrete elements. In addition, errors in the production of concrete components can be avoided, thus increasing safety in the construction industry.

During his doctoral work, the prizewinner and his research colleague Thomas Schomberg came across a scientifically related but practically more distant topic of economic and ecological importance: they looked at the effects of algae growth on the fuel consumption of ships. Together, they founded the company "Larabicus" in northern Hesse, which uses robots to keep the hull of ships clean, thus minimizing drag and significantly reducing fuel consumption.

Subject of Estella Arabel Landau's master's thesis
The IHK sponsorship award , which is worth 1,600 euros, was presented to Estella Arabel Landau, who impressed the jury with her master's thesis entitled "Creation and testing of a business consulting concept for the use of 3D scanners and printers". The concept was developed taking into account the principles of vocational and business education and the implementation was tested in the digital laboratory of the Future Center for Human-Centered AI in Production Work (ZuKIPro) at the University of Kassel, in which the IHK Kassel-Marburg is also involved as a project partner. The concept was planned, tested and further improved using the 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies as examples. Nevertheless, it is also transferable to other technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality and human-robot collaboration, which are presented in the digital laboratory of the Department of Human-Machine Systems Engineering using demonstrators for digital work system design and assembly support. The aim was to offer employees from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in production and the skilled trades high-quality management consulting.

The IHK Science Prize and IHK Sponsorship Prize, which have been awarded since 1984, stand for the close cooperation between business and science in North Hesse and the Marburg region. The impressive dynamic development of the location is characterized by the close networking of the universities of Kassel and Marburg with numerous companies. As a rule, the jury consists of three professors from the respective university, three entrepreneurs or representatives of companies from the Kassel-Marburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce district and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce's managing director or his Marburg deputy. The current jury consists of:

- Désirée Derin-Holzapfel | friedola 1888 GmbH

- Prof. Dr. Mark Junge | Limon GmbH

- Dr. Arnd Klein-Zirbes | Chamber of Industry and Commerce Kassel-Marburg

- Prof. Dr. Peter Racky | University of Kassel, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Construction Management

- Prof. Dr. Ralf Kiran Schulz | University of Kassel, Faculty of Economics, Department of Industrial Management

- Markus Strotmann | B. Braun Melsungen Aktiengesellschaft

- Prof. Dr. Klaus Vajen | University of Kassel, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Solar and Systems Engineering

Contact: Dr.-Ing. Tobias Heidrich, Team Leader Energy | Environment | Industry at the IHK Kassel-Marburg, Tel. 0561 7891-208, E-Mail: heidrich[at]kassel.ihk[dot]de