Technische Universität Wien
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2010-07-19 [

Florian Aigner

 | Press Release 46/2010 | Public Relations Office ]

Research for the world's climate

The Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) is investing in research in the field of energy and environment. A newly created doctorate course should strengthen research further - those interested can apply now.

Vienna (TU). - Preventing global warming, obtaining energy from renewable sources in an environmentally friendly way — these tasks rank amongst the most important challenges facing us in the twenty-first century. In light of the importance of this topic, the Vienna University of Technology has declared the field of energy and environment to be one of its key areas of research. This interdisciplinary research area is now being further supported by a newly created doctorate course.

Another ten young scientists will now be granted places in the doctorate course entitled Energy Systems 2030 (ENSYS 2030). Research will be intensified as a result and TU Vienna's involvement in top international research will be further enhanced.

Four key topics for greener technologies

Four key topics have been selected for the doctorate course. The first two come from the field of solar technology:
Offshore solar power stations in the Mediterranean Sea, which make it possible to utilise the sun's energy, could soon play an important role in Europe's supply of electricity. As part of this doctorate course, the objective will be to find answers to the crucial open questions surrounding this technology, from floating stability and storage concepts to the mechanical stability of the constructions.
Solar chemistry is an area of research which will lead to completely new methods of using solar energy. Solar energy is stored in the form of molecular hydrogen (H2) and can then be converted into fuel cells, for example, in an environmentally compatible way. Today hydrogen is usually obtained industrially from methane, a fossil fuel.

A completely different topic that is just as important is electromobility. If the future transport of goods and people is ever going to rely on electricity rather than fossil fuels, many challenges must still be overcome, for example in the area of electricity supply, the heating and cooling of the engine, battery and drive cell, or even in the field of vehicle dynamics and safety. TU Vienna wants to be an important driving force here as well.
The fourth key topic of the Energy Systems 2030 course is the "energy-plus building". Energy efficiency is fortunately already an important focal point in creating new buildings, however even modern low-energy or passive houses can still be significantly improved. There is much to research in this field, from the development of energy-efficient devices all the way through to physics-based engineering questions.

A related cross-sectoral topic, "energy storage" covers all of the four focal points of the doctorate course. Power stations, energy transport and energy storage must be improved in many areas in order to meet the requirements of future electrical technology.

TU Vienna is looking for the brightest and the best

Students wishing to take part in ENSYS 2030 have the opportunity to conduct cutting edge interdisciplinary research in close collaboration with world-class scientists. ENSYS 2030 is taught and coordinated by ten professors from the Faculties of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Technical Chemistry, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Civil Engineering and Mathematics and Geoinformation.

Detailed information on the research project and on applying for the dissertations can be found at

The following ten dissertations are available:

  • System development for offshore solar thermal and photovoltaic power stations
  • Mechanical analysis of pneumatic floating structures
  • The determination of the geometric shape of stationary and mobile objects using multimedia photogrammetry
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics of two-step thermochemical water splitting
  • Thermoelectric water splitting
  • Peripheral pump storage systems for increasing electromobility
  • Thermomanagement for alternative drive concepts
  • Detection of error conditions on drives of electric vehicles, examination of their effects on the vehicle dynamics and development of emergency scenarios
  • Development of physics-based models for describing components for energy-plus buildings
  • Development of a dynamic compartment model for optimising components, facades which can be opened, sunscreen systems and heating/cooling systems for energy-plus buildings

For more information, please contact:

Vienna University of Technology
Institute for Energy Systems and Thermodynamics  
Dr Karl Ponweiser
Getreidemarkt 9, 1060 Vienna, Austria
T +43-1-58801-30210

Vienna University of Technology
Public Relations Office
Operngasse 11/5. Stock, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Florian Aigner
T +43-1-58801-41027