Daimler AG, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg Launch PhD Re-search Group
Karlsuhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Daimler AG establish a joint PhD research group focusing on electromobility. For a period of four years, Daimler will supply EUR 1.75 million in total to fund nine PhD students. The Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts, Baden-Wuerttemberg (MWK), supports the project with another EUR 500,000. The Behr company, systems supplier of automotive industry, also is cooperation partner and funds another PhD student. The PhD research group at the Project House e-drive is open in principle to other interested small- and medium-sized enterprises for participation.
With the PhD research group, the partners wish to enhance transfer between science and industry in the future-oriented field of electromobility. In this way, Daimler and KIT extend their research cooperation under the Project House e-drive that was founded by both partners in 2008 to accelerate the commercialization of electric and hybrid vehicles. The State Minister of Science, Professor Dr. Peter Frankenberg, said: “The PhD research group is a milestone in the cooperation between science and industry. It opens up new chances for young scientists to further qualify and to conduct research into a major technology for the future – in cooperation with partners from industry and with a large potential of applications in practice.” In his opinion, the high commitment of Daimler AG and the Behr company reflects the high trust of industry in the power of university research in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Top technology needs top research. This is why Daimler is constantly searching for young scientists, who are among the best of their discipline, and we find them at KIT. The new PhD research group will also contribute to bringing viable ideas much more rapidly onto the road.” “The PhD research group at the Project House e-drive is another important element of the comprehensive research and teaching activities of KIT in the field of electromobility,” emphasize the KIT Presidents, Professors Eberhard Umbach and Horst Hippler. “The PhD research group fits ideally to the ‘Competence E’ strategy of KIT to study the complete system from the energy store to the electric power train not only on the level of individual components, but also on the systems level.”
For a duration of four years, ten PhD students from various engineering disciplines will study important aspects of electromobility, for example, power electronics or electrification of the power train. The candidates will be selected by a steering committee consisting of representatives of KIT, Daimler, and Behr. The PhD students will be supervised by KIT together with one of both partners. The rooms and laboratory infrastructure will be provided by KIT. The PhD students will conduct research at KIT for three quarters of their working time. As it is the case for shared professorships, an instrument of KIT research funding with professors working at KIT and in industry in parallel, the PhD students will also be involved in the research and development work of Daimler. To further intensify know-how transfer, the PhD research group members will participate in close-to-the-job qualification seminars and curricula of the Daimler Technical Academy. Vice versa, employees of Daimler will join training at KIT. These close interconnections make the PhD research group stand out from other research groups established so far. The PhD students of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, and chemical engineering will also be active in teaching their disciplines at KIT. A major constituent of the PhD program is a stay abroad of three months’ duration at companies and research institutions working in the field of electromobility.