RWTH: Research with particular social relevance

For their outstanding dissertations, the RWTH scientists Dr. Lars Nolting from the Chair of Energy Systems Economics and Dr. Weihan Li from the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives received the German Study Prize 2022 from the Körber Foundation. With this award, the foundation honors the best doctorates with particular social significance in the subject groups “Cultural Sciences and Humanities”, “Natural and Technical Sciences” and “Social Sciences”. The German Study Award is one of the most highly endowed young academics in Germany.

The electricity comes from the socket, doesn’t it?

dr Lars Nolting, Senior Engineer at the Chair of Energy System Economics at RWTH Aachen University, receives the first prize in the social sciences section, which is endowed with 25,000 euros. Nolting convinced the jury with his entry “The electricity comes out of the socket, doesn’t it? – Introduction of AI-based meta-modeling to assess the security of supply of electricity”.

Current crises and upheavals are leading to ever more complex energy systems. Is the supply of electricity secured in the future? Or are there even threats of gaps in the supply of electricity? How likely or unlikely are power supply interruptions given the current upheavals in the energy system, and how can security of supply be assessed in the context of increasing complexity? Nolting developed a meta-model that allows well-founded statements to be made about the security of supply. It is based, among other things, on artificial intelligence and calculates how reliably an energy system can supply its consumers with electricity for a large number of potential scenarios.

Efficient use of batteries in mobility and energy supply

dr Weihan Li, head of a junior research group at the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives at the RWTH, was awarded second prize in the natural and technical sciences section for his contribution “Machine Learning for Efficient Battery Use in Mobility and Energy Supply for Sustainable Climate Protection”.

In the fight against climate change, batteries play a crucial role as a flexible energy storage system for renewable energies. However, the limiting factor for an efficient and reliable energy system is the aging of the battery during use. In his work, Li shows that machine learning enables online aging diagnosis, prediction of future aging history and optimization of operating strategy, which increases battery performance and lifespan and reduces unexpected failures. The methodology developed by Li improves battery use in mobile and stationary applications, enabling safer and longer-lasting operation. This minimizes costs and conserves resources.

Further successes at the Chair of Energy Systems Economics

In addition to the German Study Prize for Dr. Lars Nolting, the Chair of Energy Systems Economics headed by Professor Aaron Praktiknjo is also pleased about the award for his research associates Christina Kockel and Jan Priesmann. These took first and second place in the IAEE Best Student Paper Award in the international competition for the best young academic contribution at this year’s World Conference of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) in Tokyo.