"Since I'm personally very interested in research, it is really enjoyable for me to do a Ph.D. Not only can you study the topic you find fascinating, but you also get a decent scholarship and receive a highly valued degree after concluding your studies. I chose in particular to study at the computer science department in Paderborn due to matching research interests, as well as the department's and my supervisors' excellent reputation."– Peter Janacik, PACE PhD-student

Current student projects

Below you will find examples of short abstracts of the type of doctoral research currently being done by students at PACE.  We hope this will give you an idea of the type of project you could be doing if you choose to complete your PhD in Paderborn.


Name:Imad Al-Qaisi
Studies:Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Driving Simulator

Driving simulation is a type of motion simulation that is used in the car industry to design and evaluate the new vehicles and the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The goal of driving simulator is to give a realistic impression to the driver. This can be done by generating new trajectories (in a process called motion cueing)  based on the motion accelerations generated by dynamic virtual reality model and taking into account the simulator workspace and keeping the simulator within its technological constraints and capabilities. The driving simulator that is used at Heinz Nixdorf Institute which called ATMOS driving simulator, has a projection system with 270° field of view to project the virtual environment of the driving experiment, a shaker system with 3 degree of freedom and an acceleration system with 2 degree of freedom. With this projection system and the two dynamical parts, the driver of the driving simulator will perceive the longitudinal and the lateral accelerations, as well as the roll, pitch and vertical movements of the vehicle. The goal of my research is to design a model based motion control strategy (Motion Cueing Algorithm) for 5 degree of freedom ATMOS driving simulator. The perception system of the human being is also included in the new motion control strategy to ensure that the drivers of the driving simulator will perceive the same feeling as they drive normal vehicles.

Name:Mikhail Borzykh
Studies:Mechanical Engineering

The title of the research project I am engaged in is “RailCab”. The aim of the RailCab project is to develop small autonomous rail-bound vehicles, so called RailCabs, traveling on the existing railway infrastructure. The system is capable of transporting passengers and freight traffic as well as suburban and long distance traffic. A maximum of flexibility is guaranteed by using an on demand driven operation and an intelligent network. The usage of passive switches in combination with active steering vehicles allows travelling in a convoy with a very close distance, even over the passive switch. Using a passive switch in combination with an active guidance and steering system is a critical hazard, because a malfunction of the tracking module in the passive switch can cause derailing of the whole vehicle. My subject of research is the camber adjustment module, the goal of which is to increase the safety and ride comfort by driving over the passive switch. My main task is the development of the control strategy for this new module and investigating the use of actor redundancy in the case of failure.

Name:Ivan Kromov
Studies:Mechanical Engineering

Load emulator

Nowadays the electric actuators with the power of up to 150 kW are used in hybrid-electric vehicles. The actuator system consists of actuator itself, power electronic (inverter), which supplies the actuator, and electronic control unit (ECU), with implemented control algorithm. To ensure the correctness of the control algorithm, the hardware-in-the-loop testing (HiL) of ECUs had established. Here, the ECU is extended by the real-time models of the power inverter and actuator, which form the HIL environment. Due to the progressive integration of the ECUs and inverter in an installation housing the HiL test must extensively be performed not for ECU but for the bundle "ECU - inverter".
In this case the HIL environment must be directly coupled to the inverter under test and should therefore reproduce (emulate) the real currents and voltages of the simulated electric actuator. Such HiL test systems, containing the power-electronic part for the reproduction of the electrical quantities of the actuator, are called load emulators and the aim of this project is to develop a load emulator applicable for 20-150 kW actuator range. The developing deals with the study of applicable control strategies and the selection of the optimal power electronic configuration for the power emulator with the consideration of the flexible system requirements. After the subsequent construction of the emulator prototype the functionality of the chosen approach must be verified through the field trials.

Name:Johannes Renninger
Studies:Mechanical Engineering
To control the behavior of technical systems, it is necessary to determine the control variables. In many cases these variables are not directly measured by sensors. Therefore, it is necessary to estimate these variables by an observer. The models used for this estimation are often complex and have high orders. Driven by the need to reduce calculation time and improve usability, high order systems are often divided into two or more subsystems with lower orders. This research is focused on developing a strategy to decompose the complex model and find observer structures while taking into consideration of computing time, robustness against model uncertainties, usability, stability and estimation quality. For validation purposes, the strategy will be implemented on the X-By-wire test vehicle ‘’ Chameleon’’ which is developed by the Control Engineering and Mecharonics Institute at the University of Paderborn.

Name:Vinzent Rudtsch
Studies:Mechanical Engineering

Decreasing product life cycles force companies to constantly reduce the time-to-market of their products. This involves not only the reduction of the product development time itself, but also the reduction of production system development until the desired production output level has been achieved. Since the development of product and production system highly determine each other, they have to be developed in a close interplay to iteratively elaborate the system conception. As a result the development task becomes even more challenging since higher product complexity demands greater engineering efforts which additionally have to be carried out in shorter time periods.

During that development process it is therefore mandatory to regularly validate and assess alternative production system designs with regard to the defined requirements. For that purpose a procedure for the evaluation of production systems during conceptual design phase is being developed. The procedure is based on a multi-criteria-decision-support approach to consider several dimensions of performance measures, as for example energy efficiency, process robustness or changeability. By that a continuous validation of the production system design is enabled and a significant reduction of the development time and required financial efforts can be achieved.

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