Teaching and Research Area Mechatronics in Mobile Propulsion

  Prof. Jakob Andert Copyright: © Michael Rennertz

The Teaching and Research Area Mechatronics in Mobile Propulsion is located between the domains of mechanical and electrical drive components as well as control algorithms. Under the guidance of Professor Jakob Andert, the institute researches innovative, environmentally friendly vehicle drives and particularly emphasizes electrification and simulation-based development methods.

The automotive sector is currently undergoing a major transformation that is in particular affecting the drive technology. Electrification is gaining enormous relevance as one of the key technologies to reduce or avoid emissions. Regardless of the specific technology, a steadily increasing complexity of both the hardware and the associated control algorithms is leading to the evolution of modern drives towards software-intensive, embedded mechatronic systems.

Future vehicles will differ significantly from today's concepts, not only in terms of drive technology but also in terms of connectivity and autonomous driving functions. These factors in turn have a major impact on vehicle propulsion systems. For example, predictive information is used for an efficiency-optimized operation with minimal emissions. Previously separate domains are now experiencing strong interactions, that are specifically addressed by the teaching and research area.

Scientific work in the field of Mechatronics in Mobile Propulsion by definition is interdisciplinary. Our research focuses on three levels:

  • Component research
  • Systemic developments
  • Methodology research

Also in teaching, mechatronics can be described as a comprehensive discipline that, alongside mechanical engineering, touches the areas of electrical engineering and computer science. Since 2014 the Teaching and Research Area, previously the Junior Professorship for Mechatronic Systems for Combustion Engines, is offering the lecture " Electronics for Combustion Engines". It enjoys great popularity with its interdisciplinary character and strong practical relevance. Since 2015, the course "Software for Combustion Engines" is included in the curriculum. In this context, a laboratory exercise including driving tests with real vehicles is offered in order to further extend the acquired knowledge. The "closing of the loop" can be experienced at first hand and theoretical foundations become comprehensible.

With regard to interdisciplinary topics, further cooperation is achieved through integration into the courses "Mobile Propulsion Fundamentals", offered by the Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems (TME), and "Electric Drives and Storage Systems", offered by the Institute of Electrical Machines and Chair in Electromagnetic Energy Conversion (IEM).