New DLR institutes in northern Germany

The German government’s central research organization for aerospace technology, DLR, continues to expand its operations. It plans to build two new institutes, one to develop maritime energy systems and another to advance systems engineering in the transportation sector. On June 23, DLR’s oversight board gave the green light for both. At that time, the German parliament had already approved the economy ministry’s November 2019 request for EUR 22 million annually to build and run the new research facilities. Another EUR 2 million a year will come from the German states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

The DLR Marine Energy Systems Institute will be in Geesthacht, with Alexander Dyck serving as its acting director. Dyck, who leads the urban and residential development department at DLR’s Integrated Energy Systems Institute in Oldenburg, told H2-international that he is putting his current job on hold to take on the role. In the meantime, the new facility has been advertising for a director and a professor. Research work will focus on how to lower carbon emissions, improve sustainability and certify novel technology in maritime transportation. The institute will also investigate how to make the most of alternative fuels, integrate new equipment, such as fuel cells, and put up a fueling infrastructure on land. In all, 250 employees are to be employed on site.

By contrast, the Systems Engineering for Transportation Institute is a spin-off from OFFIS‘ transportation division, OFFIS being a private research organization on the campus of Carl von Ossietzky University. It will be headed by Professor Axel Hahn for the time being and is DLR’s second facility in Oldenburg besides the above-mentioned Integrated Energy Systems Institute, where Professor K. Andreas Friedrich, who also leads the electrochemical energy department in Stuttgart, is now the leader of the fuel cell research group.

“Making Germany an attractive place to conduct business and research requires a wealth of scientific knowledge and investigations into the technological, social and economic issues of today. The new institutes will advance our expertise in key areas, such as maritime energy and future-proof transportation.”

Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, formerly DLR’s executive chair

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