Possehl Engineering Prize

Award of the Possehl Engineering Prize 2021

They digitise, make illnesses visible and design in a UNESCO World Heritage site 

The Possehl Engineering Prize 2021 of €5,000 for graduates of Lübeck Technical University goes to Micha Studer for his bachelor’s dissertation, “Field simulations to integrate antennas into a ventilator”. Jan Oertling and Lennart Kaster each won an award of €2,500 at the prize-giving ceremony on 14 December.

From left: Award winners Lennart Kaster and Jan Oertling, Possehl Prize-winner Micha Studer, © Agentur 54° John Garve

Commended: research to digitise hospitals

The digitisation of hospitals is a great opportunity to relieve overworked staff of documentary and administrative work, as well as the need to make manual adjustments to medical equipment. This gives the nurses more time for their most important task, caring for patients. It was precisely this topic that Possehl Prize-winner Micha Studer investigated in his bachelor’s dissertation.

“One important area when it comes to digitising hospitals is to network ventilators, patient monitors and incubators, for example”, says Studer. Wireless connections using antennas are receiving increasing attention, because this type of connection provides a high level of flexibility for the medical staff. “Here the problem is that when antennas are installed in a ventilator, it alters the electrical properties of the antenna. The device acts as a shield around the antenna, for instance. This means the device can no longer transmit the information to the receiver”, continues Studer.

In his bachelor’s dissertation the prize-winner examined the question of whether these changes in the electrical properties of the antenna can be predicted using computer simulation. The student built a 3D model of a medical ventilator with an integrated antenna and simulated how it transmitted information. For comparison he took measurements from the real ventilator and it turned out that his forecasts were highly accurate. “This method could help to advance the networking of hospital equipment”, says Micha Studer.

Examining damaged lung tissue with x-rays to spot illnesses

Lennart Kaster, a graduate of Lübeck TU, received an award for his bachelor’s dissertation. As part of a research group at Munich TU the student of biomedicine had the chance to look closely at phase-contrast and dark-field X-ray imaging. In contrast to conventional X-ray images, the dark-field imaging technology is based on the scattering of X-rays, which shows up soft and delicate tissue, like the small, branching structures of the alveoli in the lungs.

“This imaging technique already helps medical staff to identify illnesses such as COPD and covid-19 earlier and with greater certainty. But the new methods can also help with many other illnesses, such as breast cancer or lung cancer”, says Lennard Kaster. For his bachelor’s dissertation Kaster built a physical model that can determine the properties of the tissue that are characteristically altered by illness for the dark-field imaging. This could make it possible to distinguish better between different illnesses in future.

Designing in a UNESCO World Heritage site – the ultimate challenge

For his master’s dissertation the architect designed a building right on the Willy-Brandt-Straße in Hamburg’s historic Kontorhaus district. Opposite the Chilehaus, surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage, and with a direct view of the Speicherstadt, the historic warehouse district. “Dealing with the World Heritage is the ultimate challenge, because there are so many nuances to take into account”, explains the 27-year-old. There are currently no guidelines on how to build in a UNESCO World Heritage site. The architect took up the challenge.

“The question for me was, how can I develop a protected group of buildings so that the people in the area derive a benefit from the new building?” His solution was to plan a multifunctional building that brings three groups of users together under one roof. Retail and trade on the ground floor, offices in the middle and residential space at the top of the building, complete with a flat roof for urban gardening. “My design is intended to capture the genius loci – the spirit of the place. It is inspired by the typical regional style, the façades, window shapes and Hamburg brick architecture”, adds Jan Oertling. His aim was to assume his responsibility as an architect and make a contribution to reaching the 1.5-degree goal by creating a timeless building that will still fit with the fabric of the city in future generations and that people will enjoy.

The prize-winners present their work

Micha Studer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD9Gjt9RiH4
Lennart Kaster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WMTZ1Lsa9U
Jan Oertling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwBGqd2egcU 

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