Research in lightweight design

Weight-saving, high-strength composites are the ideal material for drones. © FH OÖ
Weight-saving, high-strength composites are the ideal material for drones. Students at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria applied their know-how and expertise in lightweight design to develop a camera drone in a very integral design and enable a weight saving of more than 40 %. © FH OÖ
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The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, School of Engineering in Wels was founded in 1993 and is one of the pioneers in the UAS sector. With its focus areas and extremely successful research projects, it is one of the most renowned universities of applied sciences in Austria.

With around 150 scientific staff and a very high proportion of third-party R&D funding, Wels UAS has one of the best research track records of universities of applied sciences in Europe. Various research groups at the UAS Upper Austria focus their research activities on lightweight design and fibre composite materials. The launch of the "Lightweight Design and Composite Materials" Bachelor‘s and Master‘s degree programme in the winter term 2016/17, saw the UAS strengthen its focus on this promising field in education and research, making it possible to meet business needs in this sector.

Comprehensive infrastructure in lightweight design

As a scientific and technical university of applied sciences with established degree programmes in the fields of materials engineering, mechanical engineering, lightweight design and composite materials, as well as several active research groups in these fields, the UAS has a very wide portfolio of software, metrology, testing and production technology. The infrastructure in the research area of lightweight design goes far beyond the state of the art.

Versatile know-how

The aim is to research into the entire field, from manufacturing, and simulating the manufacturing process, through structural mechanics, material modelling, and non-destructive testing to optimisation. By way of an example: at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences research into FE-based draping simulations, the related material characterisations and their validation as part of the COIN development programme "Process Simulation for the Automation of Composite Manufacturing" (ProSim) has been on-going since November 2018. The acquired laying simulation know-how has already been applied in the "Fibre Composite Heat Treatment" (FIT) project, where a setup comprising a mechanical-thermal draping simulation for UD tapes coupled with an automated fibre placement (AFP) system was developed.

Forward-looking research topics

In addition to research focuses in the field of structure and process simulation, research into the production and processing of thermoplastic composites in automated manufacturing processes has already been on-going in the scope of the ProFVK project since 2016, in close cooperation with the Transfer Centre for Plastics Technology (TCKT) in Wels. Students are involved in all of these research projects right from the beginning to keep education closely practice-related.



FH Oberösterreich
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

School of Engineering
FH Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Roland Hinterhölzl
Professor for Fibre Composite Materials
Head of Lightweight Design and Composite Materials Studies

Stelzhamerstraße 23
A-4600 Wels
+43 50804 44550

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