20th Symposium “Verbundwerkstoffe und Werkstoffverbunde “

From July 1 - 3, 2015 more than 234 participants gathered at the Vienna University of Technology for the 20th edition of the “Verbundwerkstoffe und Werkstoffverbunde”. The Symposium was the forum for all professionals who are interested in the various aspects of composite materials with 156 lectures, 39 poster presentations, two plenary presentations per day, as well as evening activities such as the grill fest and a dinner at the Palmenhaus in the Burggarten.

We would like to thank specially Springer Materials for providing the prizes to the poster presentation winners: Mark Trautmann, Klaudia Lichtenberg and Kai André Weidenmann. Based on the success of the Symposium we decided to conduct a series of interviews with the poster presentation winners in order to share more about their research interests, their career plans and their impressions about the Congress. 

INTERVIEW: Maik Trautmann, 1st place at the  poster presentation during the Verbundwerkstoffe Congress in Vienna

Could you please tell us what are your specialization area and your current research about? 

I have studied automotive construction: materials and components at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. For my diploma thesis I studied dissimilar joints of aluminium and steel for a sports car manufacturer. Since 2010 I have been working as a research assistant at the chair of composite materials at the TU Chemnitz. First I was part of the ESF Junior Research Group "TranS-Ver". In this project I specialized in the coating of carbon fibres by means of vapour deposition. I am currently working in the Federal Cluster of Excellence “Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures”, studying layer composites of metal and fibre-reinforced plastic. Carbon fibre plays a central role in my scientific work. 

When and how did you first hear about the Verbundwerkstoffe Congress and how was your experience?

I have known about the conference since starting my work at the TU Chemnitz. We organised the conference itself in 2011 to take place in Chemnitz. Since then I attended it in Karlsruhe and now in Vienna. The conference is an excellent platform for my work and an intellectual exchange. I can inform myself about almost all topics that interest me scientifically. Of course I will remember the wonderful atmosphere of the evening event in the Palm House in Vienna, which was part of the Award, for a long time. 

What is the impact of the prize that you obtained during the poster presentation on your career? What was your presentation about?

A direct impact was the addition of an extensive book on engineering to my current bookshelf. This was given to me as part of the price. During the conference I was able to have multiple interesting conversations in the area of my poster. The price itself is a confirmation of the fact, that I have sparked scientific interest with my poster and that it always pays off to showcase your own work for a broad audience in an attractive manner.

I presented a method based on a digital analysis in the micrometre range on the basis of fibre cross-sections captured by a scanning electron microscope. This enables the determination of the roughness, which plays a role for the fibre/matrix interaction, the potential coating and many other things and properties. In this way, various reinforcing fibre geometries and the influence of fibre pretreatment processes and coatings can be compared with high accuracy. 

Which are your career plans? Would you like to pursue your career in the Industry or in Research?

I would like to finish my dissertation in the near future. This will revolve around the coating of single carbon fibres utilising the shape-memory alloy NiTi. I can imagine both, a career in the industry, as well as in research. I think a combination of both would be ideal. Teaching and transferring knowledge to students gives me a lot of joy. I am curious to see what the future holds in store.


INTERVIEW: Klaudia Lichtenberg, 2nd place at the  poster presentation during the Verbundwerkstoffe Congress in Vienna

Could you please tell us what are you studying and which is your specialization area?

At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), I work in the research group Hybrid and Lightweight Materials within the Institute of Applied Materials (IAM). My specialization area includes three topics: Metal matrix composites (MMCs), metallic glasses and gas pressure infiltration. My current research is about combining these three topics – the characterization of innovative aluminum based metallic glass particle reinforced MMCs produced by gas pressure infiltration.

When and how did you first hear about the Verbundwerkstoffe Congress and how was your experience? 

I first heard about the Verbundwerkstoffe Congress two weeks after I started working at KIT in 2013. Verbundwerkstoffe Congress then took place another two weeks later in Karlsruhe, all my colleagues of the research group participated and I was allowed to join, too. I already learnt to appreciate the relaxed and familiar atmosphere at the Congress back then and this experience was renewed in Vienna this year. The social evening is always a highlight of the Congress.

What is the impact of the prize that you obtained during the poster presentation on your career? What was your presentation about?

The presentation was about my current research (see above). I showed my latest results about the feasibility of embedding metallic glass particles in a metal matrix by melt infiltration and a first assessment of the compound’s mechanical properties.

At this point of my career, an impact of the prize is not foreseeable to me.

Which are your career and research plans?

The next step I aspire in my career is to complete my PhD. And then… let’s see!

Which are your hobbies?

I really like to do sports - volleyball, climbing, hiking, kayaking... As balance, I’m also part of the jazz choir JCK at KIT.


INTERVIEW: Kay André Weidenmann, 3rd place at the  poster presentation during the Verbundwerkstoffe Congress in Vienna

Can you give a brief summary of your poster presentation?

The poster deals with the edge shear test as a novel method to determine the interfacial shear strength. This characteristic value for composite materials is quite often determined by the ILSS which is known to be not a very reliable method but featuring the advantage of a very simple specimen geometry. Other methods described in literature need very elaborate sample preparation. With the test rig presented in our poster, we tried to merge the advantages of all methods and to overcome the shortcomings.

How did you feel when found out that you were awarded the prize? 

The problem in measuring the interlaminar shear strength is a well-known one in composite science, Hence, we were thrilled when we found this alternative method and the developed test rig working for the determination of the interlaminar shear strength for the compsoites we investigated at that time.

How was your experience at the Verbundwerkstoffe Conference?

The Verbundwerkstoff Conference is attractive in its familiar atmosphere. Almost all experts of the German-speaking community in composite materials are meeting every two years to discuss about current issues in research. The conference covers nearly all aspects, such as production, characterization and modelling of composites based on polymers, metals and ceramics. Since I have taken part the first time in 2005 in Kassel as a doctoral student, I have joined this conference every two years and could see the increasing importance of this field of research

What would you like to see in the next Verbundwerkstoffe Conference? 

First of all, I would like to see all my fellow colleagues again in Bremen! Joking apart, I would appreciate to see more participants from the field of polymer composites and manufacturing research. The relationship between processing, microstructure and properties is the basis of materials science, hence it would be good to have all aspects represented in the contributions. 

Which is the implication of this prize on your career?

For me, it is an honour to get this price at a quite advanced stage of my career. I know, that this award is more or less dedicated to junior scientists and I did not really expect to be awarded.

Which are your plans for the future? Publications? Working in the Industry? At Universities? 

My plans are to continue my university career. At the moment, I am heading a workgroup with roundabout ten scientists working on the materials science of composite materials with a focus on in-situ-characterization. I hopefully have the opportunity to continue this work in a successful manner.

The symposium conference proceedings can be found in an electronic format in English at the TTP Verlag. They are available under the journal series “Materials Science Forum” in the homepage of TTP Verlag: http://www.ttp.net/978-3-03835-515-1.html

For more information about the 20th Verbundwerkstoffe Congress click here.

The next Symposium "Verbundwerkstoffe und Werkstoffverbunde" will be held from 5-7 July 2017 in Bremen.