Press Release 91/2008

The Best of Two Worlds

KIT Supports Post-docs with a New Instrument: First Industry Fellowship Granted
Conducts research at the Universität and in industry: Hartmut Hetzler.
Photo by: Jana Mayer

By granting industry fellowships, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology supports young scientists directly after they have been awarded an excellent doctor’s degree. These scientists work partly at the KIT and partly at an industry partner that bears at least half of the staff and materials expenses and invests roundabout EUR 45,000 per year. In cooperation with Robert Bosch GmbH, KIT has now granted the first industry fellowship to Hartmut Hetzler from the Institute of Technical Mechanics.

According to Martina Purucker from the Research Department, the industry fellowships are used by KIT to transfer knowledge and talents. Research is closely linked to industrial applications. At the same time, this instrument that is not subject to any application deadlines provides an incentive for qualified young scientists to stay at the university. In addition, new fields of work are opened up by the young scientists. They profit from the industry fellowship, as they are given the opportunity to decide between the university and an industry career. Within a short term, young scientists familiarize with two workplaces and may rapidly transfer their ideas to practice. For this purpose, good equipment is available. “This”, explains Purucker, “facilitates the way towards a professorship”.

Hartmut Hetzler mainly appreciates the possibility to “conduct research at a university and in industry”. In close cooperation with the Bosch company, he combines the theoretical fundamentals that he studies in detail with practical experience. He expects this practical aspect of research to result in new ideas, better professional chances, and a more reliable planning of his career.

At the company’s Central Research Division, 31-year old Hetzler, who studied and received his PhD at the Universität Karlsruhe, works on the “Dynamics of Mechanical Systems with Tribological Contacts”. For Bosch, this problem is very important: “The behavior of material contacts affects the dynamics of machines. Moreover, it directly determines both energy efficiency and service life.” Based on the company’s know-how, Hetzler conducts research with respect to the modeling and simulation of contacts. “I want to enhance tribological aspects, such as lubrication.” In this way, Bosch’s developers shall be enabled to better understand and more precisely and efficiently describe and simulate the machine processes.

This is what Hetzler and his small team intend to do: At KIT and at the company, Hetzler will be assisted by a scientist and a PhD student until 2011. Thus, he will be able to start research at Bosch and remains connected with the Universität that offers a much broader spectrum and more flexible structures than industry. This also includes close contact to students: Hetzler supervises student projects and diploma theses and offers seminars covering his field of work.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

ele, December 08, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Klaus Rümmele
Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing (PKM)
Tel.: +49 721 608-7414
Fax: +49 721 608-3658
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