2020 Best Paper Award of the IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy

April 22nd, 2021 | by

Univ. Prof. Ferdinanda Ponci, Teaching and Research Field Monitoring and Distributed Control for Energy Systems, and Univ. Prof. Antonello Monti, Head of ACS and Chair of Automation of Complex Power Systems, have received the 2020 Best Paper Award of the IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy for their publication “A benchmark system for hardware-in-the-loop testing of distributed energy resources”.

IEEE 2020 Best Papers and Outstanding Reviewers


Profile Area Information & Communication Technology

April 14th, 2021 | by

The Profile Area Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) plays an important role in all global challenges the institutional strategy of RWTH Aachen University addresses. Major topics of ICT such as Smart Systems, eHealth & AAL, Wireless Communication or Data Mining have an enormous research potential and a considerable practical relevance. On the following pages you will find detailed information about our objectives, issues, activities and results.

Audiovisual Virtual Worlds made in Aachen

Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly becoming a powerful and realistic tool for scientific and industrial applications. With it, “living” virtual worlds can be created. Users can interact with virtual agents (VAs). Convincing and dialogue-capable VAs are only conceivable through the realistic visual and acoustic reproduction of human behaviour.

In the profile area “Information & Communication Technology”, the Institute for Technical Acoustics and the Teaching and Research Area of Virtual Reality and Immersive Visualisation at RWTH are developing methods and algorithms for an audiovisual simulation of virtual worlds and especially VAs. The special feature here is the prioritisation of acoustic simulation.

The AUDICTIVE priority program, coordinated by RWTH professor Janina Fels, also deals with this topic and brings together the disciplines of cognitive psychology, acoustics and computer science.


Energy-Efficient Artificial Intelligence

A revolution in computer architecture – this is what scientists at RWTH are working on, among others, in the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Profile Area.

Today’s computers are not powerful enough for many artificial intelligence (AI) applications. They consume too much energy for complex pattern recognition tasks. New types of “neuromorphic” computers promise significantly improved energy efficiency and performance: they are based on the architecture of the highly efficient human brain.

The brain handles cognitive applications and pattern recognition much more energy-efficiently than conventional computers. Pattern recognition requires handling very large amounts of data in real time. The analysis of these data sets (Big Data) is a central building block of cognitive functions that dominate all AI applications, such as autonomous driving, the Internet of Things or smart cities


From Hardware Trojan to Blackout

Prof. Leupers, Chair for Software for Systems on Silicon, and Prof. Monti, Chair of Automation of Complex Power Systems at the E.ON Energy Research Center, are researching new cyber security methods for energy networks and microprocessors.

By exploiting security holes in the operating system, attackers are able to take unauthorised control of the system, spy on data or paralyse the system. Recently, there have even been attacks on the hardware of computer systems, especially on the processor. The energy supply is also increasingly targeted by attacks: by manipulating the infrastructure as well as falsifying the measurement results, the regulation of the network can be permanently disrupted.

This problem is to be solved by a “Phasor Management Unit”, which serves to regulate renewable energies in the power grid and withstands attacks. Since the technical possibilities of attackers will continue to improve, the topic of hardware security will remain relevant to research.


Panning Beams and High Data Rates

Mobile internet: the possibility of surfing on the move with high quality and speed. This is leading to a growing demand for higher data transfer rates. To this end, mobile network operators are expanding their networks and introducing new mobile radio standards. Compliance with immission protection limits for high-frequency electromagnetic fields is of decisive importance here.

Scientists at the Institute of High Frequency Technology at RWTH Aachen University are conducting research to determine and estimate the immission caused by new mobile radio technologies. The focus is on the compatibility of immissions of electromagnetic fields with the environment and especially with humans. One of the new technical possibilities is the use of massive “multiple input multiple output”.

With this, signals can be strongly bundled and radiated in so-called beams. In this way, users can be supplied with high signal strengths up to the edge of the radio cell and at the same time the interference of other users can be reduced.


Source: ICT Science Magazine – You can find more information on these topics there.

Future cluster NeuroSys – Interview with Professor Lemme

April 6th, 2021 | by

The future cluster initiative “Clusters4Future” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research promotes innovations that go hand in hand with the growing needs of our society. One of the winners of this ideas competition is the cluster “NeuroSys – Neuromorphic Hardware for Autonomous Artificial Intelligence Systems”, which is coordinated by Prof. Dr. -Ing. Max Christian Lemme from the Chair of Electronic Components. The future cluster “NeuroSys” researches adaptive and energy-efficient hardware that is oriented towards the way the brain works. The goal behind this is to allow intelligent and resource-saving on-site data processing and thus create an essential prerequisite for AI applications.

Watch the interview on this page or directly on our YouTube Channel

How catalysts become more active

March 26th, 2021 | by

Researchers from Jülich, Aachen, Stanford, and Berkeley have studied the layer-by-layer structure of catalyst material. They have discovered that a surface layer as thin as a single atom can double the activity for the reaction of water splitting – without increasing the energy consumption. This also doubles the amount of hydrogen produced.
The scientists hope that this increased understanding will allow developing better catalysts in the future to produce green hydrogen more energy-efficiently, and thus more cost-effectively, than before. Hydrogen is called green when it is produced by the electrolysis of water in a climate-neutral way using electricity from renewable sources. Hydrogen is regarded as an essential building block of the energy transition, partly because it can store wind and solar energy in times of oversupply and release it again later.

Part of the research results came about at the Peter Gruenberg Institute, Electronic Materials Division, in the Electronic Oxide Cluster Laboratory of Professor Regina Dittmann.

Original publication: ‘Tuning electrochemically driven surface transformation in atomically flat LaNiO3 thin films for enhanced water electrolysis’
C. Baeumer, J. Li, Q. Lu, A. Liang, L. Jin, H. Martins, T. Duchoň, M. Glöß, S. M. Gericke, M. A. Wohlgemuth, M. Giesen, E. E. Penn, R. Dittmann, F. Gunkel, R. Waser, M. Bajdich, S. Nemšák, J. T. Mefford, W. C. Chueh
Nature Materials, 11 January 2021, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-020-00877-1


Find further information on the website of the Jülich Research Centeer

Awardees of the Brigitte-Gilles-Award 2020

March 24th, 2021 | by

The Brigitte Gilles Award 2020 honors projects and initiatives that improve the conditions for women’s study, teaching, and research at the university. In this way, they contribute to increasing the number of female scientists and students in courses with a low representation of women.
We congratulate all the winners but are especially pleased for the two winners from our faculty. Professor Janina Fels and Ms. Karin Loh from the Chair and Institute of Hearing Technology and Acoustics (IHTA) were awarded for their initiative “The interactive world of acoustics for big and small children”. Here, concepts were developed that enable girls between the ages of three and twelve to explore and learn about hearing and acoustics in a playful and interactive way.
The awards were presented in a total of four categories and are endowed with up to 2500 euros. The awards in the other categories were given to the following researchers and projects: Katharina Müller from the Chair of Production Systems, the project “Hlumani – giving the future a fair chance” from the Chair of Landscape Architecture at RWTH, the University of Stuttgart, and the University of Cape Town and Dr. Anna Stertz from the Chair and Institute of Psychology.

Preisträgerinnen des Brigitte Gilles Preises - Prof. Janina Fels und Karin Loh

Foto: Andreas Schmitter

(Deutsch) Online-Themenabend: “Karriereplanung in der Wissenschaft für junge Wissenschaftlerinnen”

March 23rd, 2021 | by

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Publication – Contactless, Battery-free, and Stretchable Wearable for Continuous Recording of Seismocardiograms

March 14th, 2021 | by

Photo: IWE1

Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Sven Ingebrandt and his research team published the article “Contactless, Battery-free, and Stretchable Wearable for Continuous Recording of Seismocardiograms” in the journal ACS Applied Electronic Materials.. This article presents a study to enable remote measurement of mechanical cardiac activity using a contactless wearable patch and seismocardiography (SCG). Near-field communication (NFC) technology is used for power supply and wireless recording of SCG data. A separate electrocardiogram (ECG) is used as a reference. The results of this study show a good signal-to-noise ratio and a close correlation between SCG and ECG recordings. This method could become another valuable tool for cardiac monitoring in the future.


Contactless, Battery-free, and Stretchable Wearable for Continuous Recording of Seismocardiograms

Milad Eyvazi Hesar, Dibyendu Khan, Niloofar Sadat Seyedsadrkhani, and Sven Ingebrandt
ACS Applied Electronic Materials 2021 3 (1), 11-20


2D materials for high-volume production of electronic components

March 12th, 2021 | by

RWTH Professor Max Lemme and research partners publish in Journal “Nature Communications”

Professor Max Lemme, Chair of Electronic Devices at RWTH Aachen University, and his research partners publish a new method to integrate 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines in the journal Nature Communications. The RWTH Aachen University researchers were supported by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich, AMO GmbH and Protemics GmbH. Currently, most experimental methods are not compatible with large-scale production. Moreover, they lead to significant degradation of the 2D material and its electronic properties. The method now being researched attempts to solve these problems. The two-dimensional materials will enable devices with significantly smaller sizes and enhanced functionalities compared to current silicon technologies. Overall, the range of potential applications extends from photonics to sensor technology and neuromorphic computing.

Quellmalz, A. et al. Large-area integration of two-dimensional materials and their heterostructures by wafer bonding. Nature Communications 12, 917 (2021).


Further information on the website of AMO GmbH

5 Years Helmholtz Institut Münster “Center for Ageing, Reliability and Lifetime Prediction of Electrochemical and Power Electronic Systems” (CARL)

March 11th, 2021 | by

Powerful battery technology is a core element that benefits us in many everyday applications. From smartphones to wireless work devices and electric vehicles – batteries are shaping our lives to an ever-increasing degree.
Around 2012, the idea was born to combine the expertise of Forschungszentrum Jülich, RWTH Aachen University, and the University of Münster in battery research. Thus, 5 years ago now, the Helmholtz Institute Münster “Ionics in Energy Storage” was founded, which has now become a respected part of the battery research landscape and leads to the continuous development of research infrastructures at the different locations. In Aachen, this is reflected by the construction of the “Center for Ageing, Reliability and Lifetime Prediction for Electrochemical and Power Electronic Systems (CARL)”.

You can find further information in the Newsletter of ISEA 

IKS Startup – Elevear

March 8th, 2021 | by

Digital ear-opening – Hearing aids and other hearables often cause wearers to perceive their own voice in a distorted way, and chewing, swallowing, and even walking also generate unpleasant noise. The reason for this is the so-called occlusion effect, which occurs when headphones or hearing aids close off the auditory canal. This problem is addressed by the startup Elevear, which emerged from the Institute for Communication Systems and was successfully founded by Stefan Liebich, Johannes Fabry, Raphael Brandis, and Elfed Howells on February 4, 2021. Their Occlear® technology suppresses the occlusion effect and allows natural voice perception.
The project has already received the RWTH Innovation Award in 2019 and was accepted into the RWTH Incubation Program in January 2021 as one of twelve outstanding founding teams.