Possehl Engineering Prize

More international than for a long time

In 2020 the Possehl Engineering Prize of €5,000 for graduates of Lübeck Technical University goes to Pablo Andres Amador Rodriguez from Columbia. Jamiu Damilola Mustapha from Nigeria and Patrick Scheunemann from Germany were each awarded €2,500 at the prize-giving ceremony on 1 December.

(From left: Klaus-Peter Wolf-Regett, award winner Patrick Scheunemann, Possehl Prize winner Pablo Amador, Roland Kral on behalf of his student Jamiu Damilola Mustapha, Hanno Brüggen and Henrik Botterweck)

 “My work addresses the problem of malnutrition. At this very moment, more than 820 million people in the world are starving”, said Pablo Amador in a Science Slam to present his work that is being shown on the social media channels of Lübeck Technical University on Friday. The Columbian was awarded the Possehl Engineering Prize at the premises of the Possehl Foundation for his outstanding master’s dissertation. Visibly thrilled by the award, he said: “This prize comes as a big surprise for me and is a great pleasure.”

In his master’s dissertation the graduate in Biomedical Engineering investigated how agriculture and plant science can produce more food and higher yields from a limited area while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems. The good news is that Pablo Amador has developed an approach to improve the study of plants.

Praise from the Jülich Institute

In his master’s dissertation, “Evaluation of Image-Based 3D Plant Reconstruction Methods”, Pablo Amador demonstrated that 3D models of plants could be produced with standard digital cameras. The young researcher discovered in his experiments that 4K videos are particularly suitable for capturing the appearance and characteristics of the plants. These include the number of leaves and the structure of the roots, for example.

Amador’s tutor, Dr Hanno Scharr, a scientist at the renowned Jülich Research Centre, was also impressed by the quality of the work. In his commendation he emphasised the level of detail achieved by Rodriguez’ 3D plant models: “The quality of the acquired dataset with ground truth given by the scanner is exceptionally high.”

Aircraft and machine learning

The dissertations by Jamiu Damilola Mustapha and Patrick Scheunemann were also of high quality. In his master’s dissertation, “Predicting Reserve Factors of Aircraft Crossbeams Using A Machine Learning Approach”, Mustapha dealt primarily with forecasts for the airworthiness of aircraft components. The engineering student focused his research on the crossbeams of the aircraft cabin structure. Over time, experienced engineers gain a feeling for whether components will withstand a given load. Jamiu Mustapha used machine learning to translate this “intuition” into predictive scenarios, thus creating a process that saves a great deal of time and money.

Economic and ecological advantages of fuel cells

According the German Environment Agency, buildings alone are responsible for around 35 per cent of final energy consumption and around 30 per cent of carbon emissions in Germany. Climate change calls for a radical rethink in building services engineering. One potential solution is described by Patrick Scheunemann in his bachelor’s dissertation, “Concept for a Fuel Cell Energy Supply in Residential Construction”. While studying energy and building services engineering in the construction department at Lübeck Technical University he drew up an overview of German and European suppliers of fuel cells. In his bachelor’s dissertation Scheunemann examined the use of a fuel cell system in a block of flats in Eutin. His conclusion was that even today, a fuel cell system can be economically and ecologically attractive, if the effect of potential subsidies or a carbon tax are taken into account.

In view of the current restrictions, the prizes were awarded without any invited guests on the premises of the Possehl Foundation. 

Science Slams by the prizewinners

Patrick Scheunemann: https://youtu.be/d2DyISZK-vI
Jamiu Damilola Mustapha: https://youtu.be/a-rKexrLyzA
Pablo Andres Amador Rodriguez: https://youtu.be/Tf9aSxW6s8s 

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