Press Release 001/2024

2023 State Teaching Award Goes to Professor of Architecture of KIT

Interdisciplinary Course Combines Digital Design and Fabrication Technologies with Prototyping Based on Sustainable Materials
2024_001_Landeslehrpreis 2023 fuer Architekturprofessor des KIT_72dpi
Winner of the 2023 State Teaching Award: Tenure-track Professor Moritz Dörstelmann from KIT. (Photo: Riccardo Prevete, KIT)

The courses offered by Tenure-track Professor Moritz Dörstelmann at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) focus on the design of digital processes for circular construction with a minimum consumption of materials. For his innovative concept that combines digital design methods with application-oriented demonstration projects using innovative materials, Dörstelmann is granted the 2023 State Teaching Award in the amount of EUR 50,000 in the category of Innovation / Transformation by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts.  

“With their innovative teaching approaches, the award winners arouse the students’ interest in future-relevant topics, such as climate protection and transformation. They combine new and sometimes courageous didactic methods with an outstanding expertise,” says Science Minister Petra Olschowski. “I am very happy that we have many highly committed professors and teachers in Baden-Württemberg, who offer thrilling study courses.”

“The climate, resources, and energy crisis makes us face big challenges. To master them, we have to transform many sectors, including the construction sector. For this, we will need innovative ideas and motivated experts,” says Professor Oliver Kraft, Acting President of KIT. “KIT’s professors offer comprehensive scientific and application-oriented education. In this way, they create the basis for our graduates making viable contributions in future. I am very happy that this award has been granted to Moritz Dörstelmann, one of our young tenure-track professors. This confirms that tenure-track professorships have a high potential in the support of early-stage researchers.” 

“KIT’s interdisciplinary and research-oriented education familiarizes students with the use of tools they will need for executing their future tasks. Moreover, it enhances openness and curiosity. After their studies, our graduates will be capable of going new ways and developing creative and sustainable solutions,” says Professor Alexander Wanner, KIT Vice President Higher Education and Academic Affairs. “Thanks to the innovative concept of Professor Dörstelmann, his students manage this transfer rapidly and can directly apply the theory learned in practice. Our students learn to actively shape transformation processes in their later professional life.”

Innovative Teaching Methods for Digital Construction with a Minimum Consumption of Resources

Close-to-practice courses of Moritz Dörstelmann focus on the question how circular construction can be implemented. “Together with students of various disciplines, we first create digital models. Using 1:1 prototypes made of natural materials, such as clay and willows, we study digital pre-fabrication of components,” Dörstelmann says. At this interface between application-oriented research and industrial practice, Dörstelmann and his students analyze how digital design and fabrication methods, in combination with natural materials, can reduce the consumption of resources in the construction sector. 

In the courses, Dörstelmann and his team do not only impart the basics of architectural geometry, spatial thinking, and modern digital tools, such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer-based design tools. “We also want to enable our students to study on their own and learn for as long as they live,” the awardee says. “This means that they are expected to use today’s tools and to flexibly prepare for and actively shape future optimization of tools and technologies.”

With the prize money, Dörstelmann will buy three small robots to illustrate the potentials of robot-based production processes to students. Moreover, he will launch an innovation contest, in which teams of students from different disciplines are invited to implement and present their ideas.   

Click here for the German video on the 2023 KIT Department Teaching Award: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5-55gXFlDk

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

swi, 04.01.2024
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