DFG Approves Funding for Two Collaborative Research Centers


The Grant Committee of the German Research Foundation, DFG for short, has now approved two research proposals for collaborative research centers involving RWTH Aachen University. Thus, a new transregional research center on “Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Complications in Chronic Kidney Disease” will be established in 2018. Furthermore, the DFG has decided to renew funding for a transregional research center concerned with “Function-Oriented Manufacturing Based on Characteristic Process Signatures.”

Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) are DFG-funded, university-based research institutions which are established for a period of up to twelve years. By bringing together researchers and resources from different fields and disciplines, they make it possible to address demanding research projects on a long-term basis. Transregional CRCs, TRR for short, are jointly proposed and carried out by two or three universities.

Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Complications in Chronic Kidney Disease

About 50 percent of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease are also affected by cardiovascular disorders, which result in mortality rates of up to 40 to 50 percent. By contrast, only 26 percent of patients with normal a kidney function suffer from cardiovascular disorders. Moreover, the pathophysiological processes of cardiovascular diseases of patients with chronic kidney disease are different from those of patients with healthy kidneys, which might explain why traditional approaches to treating cardiovascular events in patients with kidney disease often fail.

Among other activities, the new research center seeks to investigate the molecular mechanisms that increase the cardiovascular risk of these patients. To this purpose, 18 research teams will pool their expertise from areas such as cardiology, nephrology, biophysics, and molecular biology.

The transregional collaborative research center is a joint project between RWTH Aachen University and Saarland University. The center’s research activities will be coordinated by RWTH Professor Joachim Jankowski from the Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research. The partnering institutions have applied for 10 million euros in research funding.


Professor Dr. Joachim Jankowski
Institute of Molecular Cardiovascular Research
Phone: +49 241 80 80580

Function-Oriented Manufacturing Based on Characteristic Process Signatures

This collaborative research center seeks to continue the development and specification of the concept of process signatures to drive a paradigm shift in the area of material-oriented manufacturing.

Today, the industrial production process of high-performance components, such as gear wheels for wind power stations, is well capable of achieving the desired dimensions, shapes, and surface geometries. However, so far, industrial production is not capable of achieving the same degree of control over a component’s surface integrity, that is, near-surface properties such as residual stresses and hardness, which are essential for the operating behavior and the lifetime of components. For this reason, it is essential to achieve a fundamental understanding of material modifications as a result of machining processes and to specify them in so-called process signatures.

In the first funding period of the TRR, it was possible to demonstrate the viability of the concept of process signatures under simplified conditions. In the upcoming funding period, the concept is to be further developed to make it applicable in industrial practice. The long-term objective is to achieve a knowledge-based solution of the so-called inverse surface integrity problem in the design of production processes and thus make it possible to predictively control component properties and component quality based on process signatures

The transregional research center is a joint initiative by the University of Bremen, RWTH Aachen University, and Oklahoma State University. The University of Bremen acts as the coordinating university for the TRR. At RWTH, the center’s research activities will be coordinated by Professor Stefanie Reese from the Institute of Applied Mechanics, who takes over this role from Professor Fritz Klocke. In total, the partnering universities have applied for 9.5 million euros in funding.


Professor Dr. Stefanie Reese
Institute of Applied Mechanics
Phone: +49 241 80 25000

Dr. Andreas Klink
WZL Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Phone: +49 241 80 28242