Division 3 is divided into nine thematic electoral clusters. Each institute of Division 3 is clearly assigned to an electoral cluster. In the following, the electoral clusters with their thematic content and the associated institutes are briefly presented.
The creation of products - from product development to production to sales and taking into account use and disposal - is researched and taught in the "Product Development" cluster. It is important to us to evaluate our research results on real systems and in cooperation with industry and to transfer them into innovations. Central research fields are the technical systems, the development processes, the role of humans in the development and in the product use, the manufacturing processes, the logistics and the material flow. These are dealt with at an internationally high level by the institutes IPEK (product development), ifab (work science), wbk (production technology) and IFL (materials handling and logistics).
With its six institutes (IAI, IRS, MRT, IIIT), the Automation Technology Cluster covers the entire range of automation technology, which is a key discipline for numerous future and innovation fields of KIT. The methodological work covers automation theory, control engineering, measurement technology, and signal and image processing. With this systems science focus, the participating institutes therefore represent KIT in numerous research programs of the Helmholtz Association. Automation technology is indispensable for practical implementation in industrial production. The fields of application are therefore extremely diverse: in addition to classical domains such as automotive engineering, robotics, and aerospace engineering, there are currently strongly discussed challenges for society as a whole in energy automation, electromobility, or the development of cooperative and autonomous vehicles. In some areas, the integration of some institutes into the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI) also promotes the support of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular.
The Institute for Applied Materials (IAM) is a leading institution in research and engineering education in the field of materials science and materials engineering. It is one of the largest facilities at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and is positioned across faculties. It combines the missions of KIT research, teaching, and innovation and makes significant contributions to the topics of energy, nano- and microtechnology, and mobility systems. At the IAM, we pursue an interdisciplinary approach to materials research, covering the diversity and multiscale nature of materials science issues. Together with national and international partners, we investigate materials from their atomic structure to their function in the product. We bridge the gap between material development, process technology and system integration. The IAM designs the teaching in the study program Materials Science and Materials Engineering and carries the materials science education for other study programs in engineering and natural sciences. The IAM has broad methodological competences in the fields of manufacturing and processing, characterization and simulation. It thus offers its members an attractive scientific environment and excellent professional and personal development opportunities.
In the cluster of institutes Mechanics and Turbomachinery, institutes with research focus on solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and turbomachinery operate in a network. The institutes are united by a strong focus on fundamental research in mechanical engineering and a comprehensive commitment to fundamental teaching in both bachelor's and master's education. The institutes' extensive expertise in modeling and simulation as well as in experimental methods finds its way into applied research in cooperation with domestic and foreign industrial partners. Associated institutes: ITM, ITS, ISTM, ITT.
The electoral cluster "Nano- and Microsystems" covers with its three institutes (LTI, IMS and IMT) a large spectrum of modern nano- and microelectronics. On the one hand, the research activities of the cluster are focused on the development, fabrication, characterization and application of opto- and quantum electronic devices, microsystems for life sciences and micro- and nanoactuators (NENS, MEMS). On the other hand, the electoral cluster is a leader in the field of energy-dispersive sensors, photonics, plasmonics, and teratronics and thus contributes significantly to or actively shapes numerous future and innovation fields of KIT. Light, EVG, and plasma technologies as well as photovoltaics and energy technologies complete the scientific orientation of the electoral cluster. To achieve the ambitious goals of the electoral cluster, state-of-the-art micro- and nanotechnology as well as numerical and theory-based simulation models are used.
The research focus of the electoral cluster "Power Plant Technology" focuses on various aspects of the energy transition in Germany: Against the background of the decided phase-out of nuclear energy, we are concerned with the optimization of the dismantling of nuclear facilities (technologies, strategies), the treatment and final disposal of radioactive waste materials (long-term behavior of radioactive waste forms and relevant radionuclides) as well as comprehensive safety considerations for nuclear power plant operation (prevention, mitigation and assessment of incidents). In view of the long periods of time that the complete phase-out of nuclear energy, including final storage, will require (several decades), special emphasis is placed on the further development of urgently needed competencies in all necessary nuclear science disciplines. Linked to the planned increased use of renewable energy sources, we are developing new unconventional energy technologies (concentrating solar thermal, geothermal) and urgently needed storage technologies based on hydrogen generation, storage as well as thermal processes. As a long-term option, technologies and components for the construction and operation of base-load capable fusion power plants are being developed. Associated institutes: ITES, INR, IATF, INE.
Within a broad spectrum of scientific and innovative work, the electoral cluster "Information and Communication" essentially covers the following topics: Development of new modules and systems in microwave technology, methods and computer-aided tools for the design of electronic systems and microsystems, modeling of the human heart with its electrophysiological as well as mechanical properties and biosignal processing, mobile communication and the digital signal processing that dominates it, virtual engineering in the product life cycle.
Accordingly, the partner landscape is composed of all innovative industrial branches of information technology. Organizationally, the cluster includes the institutes CEL, IBT, IMI, IPQ, ITIV and IHE.
The electoral cluster "Electric Power" focuses on research topics for safe, efficient and environmentally friendly energy generation, distribution, conversion and use. These include compact and efficient technologies for energy systems; processes and components for the generation of regenerative energies; key technologies for fusion power plants; grid management strategies and control concepts for distributed energy producers and consumers; and the efficient conversion and storage of electrical energy. Topics in the area of electrical energy applications include research and development of energy-efficient industrial processes, motors and power converters, and energy-efficient drive and power converter systems. All research topics are interdisciplinary. There is a close connection to physics, material sciences and mechanical engineering/mechatronics. In addition to the industry-relevant topics, basic research to gain theories and fundamental knowledge has a high priority. In the electoral cluster "Electric Power", the Electrotechnical Institute (ETI), the Institute for Electrical Energy Systems and High Voltage Technology (IEH), the Institute for High Power Pulse and Microwave Technology (IHM) and the Institute for Technical Physics (ITEP) have joined forces.
The electoral cluster Automotive Engineering comprises the institutes FAST (Vehicle Systems Technology) and IFKM (Piston Machines). Road and rail vehicles, mobile machinery, lightweight construction technologies and
combustion engines for mobile and stationary applications and their integration into their overall systemic context are the focus of activities in research, teaching and innovation.