Dr.-Ing. Tilman Traub, who worked as a research assistant at the Institute PtU from 2014 to 2019 and had a lasting impact on the Institute as a senior engineer from 2015, received this award last year. Dr Traub wrote his dissertation on a “Methodology for the conception of decision-supporting assistance systems using the example of roll forming”.
In his doctoral thesis, Dr. Traub revolutionised the roll forming process. He investigated the design of assistance systems to support the plant operator in decision-making, thus relieving him and increasing plant efficiency. By integrating sensor technology into the process, he identified suitable correlations between incorrect settings of the plant stands and geometric errors of the profiles. Furthermore, he defined measures to avoid energetically inefficient plant settings and was thus able to increase the forming efficiency to up to 89 %.
Prof. Christian Brecher, President of the WGP, praised the results of his work at the award ceremony: “Tilman Traub has succeeded with his work in making this important area of production faster and more resource-efficient. He has thus taken roll forming important steps forward”.
Hello Tilman, congratulations. You look chipper after the exhausting party. (Laughter)
In the regulations on the awarding of the Otto-Kienzle commemorative coin, I just see:
“The WGP awards the Otto Kienzle-Memorial Coin upon application by one of its members. If possible, younger engineers (up to the age of 35) should be nominated for the honour.”
May we know who proposed you?
According to the statutes, the award is given on the proposal of a WGP member. In my case, the proposal originated from Prof. Groche as a WGP member.
Can you please briefly describe your curriculum vitae, starting with your studies?
I studied at the TU Darmstadt from 2008 to 2013, venturing across the pond to the USA for a semester in 2012. Already during my studies, I found access to PtU in the context of project work and a job as a student assistant. After my studies, I started working as a research assistant at PtU at the beginning of 2014. After about a year, I was promoted to the position of senior engineer and was thus able to play a significant role in shaping the institute in addition to my research. At the beginning of 2019, I submitted my doctoral thesis and left PtU after five exciting years. Since then, I have been working at Dreistern GmbH & Co. KG in Schopfheim as Head of Innovation and Business Development and work on disseminating my research results from my time at PtU to industry.
Here at PtU, it is little surprise that you, of all people, have received this prestigious award. You have always been considered a high-flyer here. (Laughter)
Now back to the process of selecting candidates for the Otto Kienzle commemorative coin: Can you tell us something about that, we are quite curious.
How long does the procedure take?
Proposals for possible award winners must be submitted by WGP members by 31 July of the year. By the time of the autumn conference, expert opinions will have been drawn up, on the basis of which the WGP Board will prepare a proposal for the prize winner. This proposal is then voted on at the autumn conference.
I received the first hints that something might be coming my way relatively soon after the autumn conference last year. Since it was uncertain for a relatively long time when and in what context the Otto Kienzle commemorative coin could be awarded due to the Corona situation, it took until 2021 before I officially heard the good news from the WGP.
How many competitors are there?
Oh, that's a good question. Realistically, it can be assumed that each member probably submits a maximum of one proposal, which still leads to more than 50 potential competitors. Oh, that's a good question. However, I don't know how many there were in my case.
Do they come from all over the world?
Of course, origin is not an exclusion criterion.
Do you have to think of it as being similar to the Oscars: some subjects have better chances?
In addition to research activity, the selection criteria list a wide range of other qualities that the chosen person or persons should possess. I believe that the whole package has to be right. The roll forming process I am investigating is not a mainstream topic.
Oscar is the right keyword. It is indeed very similar. Dinner jacket, red carpet, tension with the 4 envelopes (laughter).
No, that's not how it works here….(Laughter)
Do you know what tipped the scales for you?
Laughter. Well, obviously the whole package was right… In the laudation, in addition to my research work, which used a wide range of different methods, the lively publication activity, my commitment to supervising students and my commitment as a chief engineer were mentioned. In the end, only the selection committee will know what made the pendulum swing in my direction.
Finally, can you give our WiMis a few good tips along the way? Maybe one or the other of them would like to be nominated for this medal later on.
Research with joy, share your results in articles and at conferences, supervise students and use the freedom that Prof. Groche gives you to develop yourselves and the institute. And in the end, you also need a bit of luck. (Laughter)
Tilman, thank you very much for the interview. I wish you all the best and much success in the future. (Interview conducted by E. Henkes)