Hella, Wincor Nixdorf and ThyssenKrupp Transrapid – have profited from mathematics
“Who needs mathematics?” – The answer to this provocative question: “everyone”, was undisputed during the Symposium Economy meets Mathematics, organized by the Institute for Industrial Mathematics (IFIM). The Institute, founded in 2005 by the University of Paderborn, sees itself as the bridge between mathematical research and industrial application. The number of successful cooperations continues to grow steadily. The host of the symposium, Paderborn-based Orga Systems GmbH, is also building on cooperation with the local university. “81% of our employees have a university background”, says Rainer Neumann, CEO of Orga Systems GmbH. The University of Paderborn is our most important partner in research and development.
University President, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Risch, is pleased with this statement: “We have consciously opened up to Technology Transfer and are now reaping the first rewards together with our industrial partners.” This was confirmed by Prof. Dr. Franz J. Rammig, Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics: “The IFIM is a real-life example of the claim to interdisciplinary work.” The IFIM Chairman, Prof. Dr. Michael Dellnitz, emphasized that “acquiring partners is one of the most important tasks of the institute”, and that “we have already achieved a lot in this regard in the first few years.”
Praise for the work of the IFIM also came from more prominent levels. Prof. Dr. Helmut Neunzert held the keynote lecture about Mathematics for Industry. The multiple-honored scientist is seen as the founder of technological mathematics in Germany. He made clear that “Industrial mathematics is something completely different to classical math.” Those who cooperate with industry will quickly see that it is always about gaining time. As examples he mentioned the production of a synthetic granular membrane or the minimization of waste during the polishing of raw gems. “Through the application of simplified computational models we achieved a 15 percent volume increase in a short amount of time”, the founder of the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological and Economical Mathematics explained. “You can make money with mathematics”, he gave as a good reason to cooperate with mathematical research.
Three successful examples for cooperation between industry and mathematics were given by the other symposium speakers. Dr. Thomas Weber from Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. in Lippstadt explained how mathematical equations are the foundation for the development of optimal car headlights. Michael Nolte from Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH in Paderborn, reported about a successfully completed cooperation with the IFIM, in which the security of ATMs was the main goal. Dr.-Ing. Florian Dignath of ThyssenKrupp Transrapid GmbH in Munich, spoke about a successful cooperation in the further development of the Transrapid, supported by the research of Paderborn students.
(English translation by PACE)