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Preface Preface – Vice Rector for Research The research strategy of the TU Vienna for the period 2010 through 2014 is part of the current development plan and comprises at its core of the establishment of five new strategic research focus points. The objective lies in enhancing our research profile and to improve our international appearance, as well as building cooperation at all levels. We would like to expand the collaboration among our ­faculties, among other national and international research organisations and with the economic and private sectors. The research focus point “Energy and Environment” is focused on six research fields and pursues a technological and interdisciplinary approach. The competences of the TU Vienna within the energy sector – ranging from the

beginnings in basic research to already existing applications – are complemented with internal scientific expertise in the areas of climate, environment, economy and resources. Abiding the mission statement of the TU Vienna “Technology for People“ holistic solutions for important future local and global questions in research, economy and society are developed, as well as for complex interdisciplinary research tasks. That makes the TU Vienna a competent partner for energy and environmental related demands of the future.

Research Focus Point “Energy and Environment”  4


Facts and Figures  6

Energy active settlements and infrastructures  10

Sustainable and low emission mobility  11

Climate neutral, renewable and conventional energy supply systems  12

Environmental monitoring and climate adaptation  13

Efficient utilisation of natural resources  14

Sustainable technologies, products and production  15


Energy and Environment Preserving the environment means developing new ideas Population growth and worldwide industrialisation constantly increase the primary energy demand – new ideas are required. Alternative energy sources need to be developed, reliable solutions for climate problems are sought after and serious problems of pollution are still unresolved. Even if great successes could be seen in these fields in the recent years, many open questions still exist which can hardly be answered by traditional technological approaches. Answers to environmental problems can never be found in rejection and scepticism towards technology and industry. On the contrary: only with pioneering basic research and modern technology, real progress can be achieved. The research topic “Energy and Environment” certainly belongs to the most important research

fields of our time and reinforces the merging of futureoriented basic research and practical applied research. The Vienna University of Technology emphasises the relevance of this topic and has declared “Energy and Environment” as one of its five research focus points.


Broad range of competences

Technology for people

At TU Vienna a broad range of competences can be found in the areas of energy and environment. The research topics range from questions about energy generation and energy storage to ideas of energy-efficient ­architecture and regional planning. Additional topics include the design of intelligent electricity networks, and also energy saving measures and energy policy concepts. In the field of environmental research the main focuses are placed on environmental monitoring – reliable data on the state and change of our environment is essential for the development of new strategies. At the TU Vienna research is furthermore concentrated on solutions for the efficient utilisation of resources, environment-friendly creation of products and production processes, as well as on concepts for low emission mobility.

Many of the research groups at TU Vienna are key competence experts in Austria and international renowned triggers for innovation. In order to establish excellent research, specific working groups which network internally, nationally and internationally are a self-evident necessity. Often, environmental problems can only be understood on a global scale and solved in an international context. However, at the same time, it is of particular importance for a country like Austria (with its ecologically sensitive Alpine- and river regions) not only to adapt knowledge in the environmental sector from other countries, but also to pursue future oriented environmental research with emphasis on our own specific problems.


Facts and Figures Strategic research focus points The strength of the five research focus points of the TU Vienna are reflected in its ability to acquire third party funding. Figure 1 shows the share of the research focus points in the third party funds within the time frame 2007-2009. During this period more than 80 % of the incoming third party funds were invested in research themes related to the five research focus points. This is an important indication that a main goal of the profiling process – the promotion of areas with high scientific and economic potential – is continuously implemented.

Figure 1


Energy and Environment In this research focus point all eight faculties of the TU Vienna and more than two-thirds of the 54 institutes are represented. More than 80 research groups are specifically doing research different aspects of energy and environment.

Within the six energy and environment ­research fields − E1: Energy active settlements and infrastructures − E2: Sustainable and low emission mobility − E3: Climate neutral, renewable and conventional energy supply systems − E4: Environmental monitoring and climate adaptation − E5: Efficient utilisation of natural resources − E6: Sustainable technologies, products and production basic research projects as well as applied research projects provide latest scientific ­findings.


Facts and Figures In-kind contribution

Third party funds and publications

The TU Vienna contributes with in-kind activities to the development of the research focus points. In addition to the permanent staff (Figure 2), the funding scheme of “Innovative Projects” funds junior scientists and invests in technical equipment. This initiative is complemented by internal PhD programmes. The invested budget for these activities amounts to 1.6 million € in the three year period between 2007 and 2009.

The research output of the individual research fields is quite diverse – illustrated by several index numbers showing the quantification of the research activities. Figure 3 indicates the third party funds acquired per habilitated researcher; figure 4 points out the scientific publications per habilitated researcher.

Figure 2

Besides the varying accomplishments in the research fields the data also represents the different research and presentation cultures. Within the topics more related to the natural sciences (e. g. environmental monitoring and climate adaptation), scientific publishing has a different value than within more architectural related research fields (e.g. energy active settlements and infrastructures).


Figure 3

All data relates to the time frame 2007-2009 and represents the averages of these three years.

Figure 4


Energy active settlements and infrastructures Research topics Energy efficient buildings • Eco efficient construction • Application of renewable energy systems • Building concepts/resource optimisation • Simulation/modelling overall system Old-building renovation Intelligent buildings • Monitoring buildings • Building service engineering/distributed systems • Building automation • Energy management/micro grids Ecological aspects • Building and real estate assessment • Construction materials • Climate change impacts

Sociological aspects • Consumer behaviour • Well-being environment Innovative real estate and infrastructure projects • Holistic planning process • Economic analysis/modelling • Life-cycle-analysis Future urban and spatial development


Sustainable and low emission mobility Research topics Motor vehicles (2-, 4-wheel, rail) • Optimisation • Alternative propulsion systems (hybrid- and electro-propulsion systems) Components • Actuation • Power transmission • Power electronics Energy supply • Alternative fuels • Energy storage • Energy and grid management Infrastructure • Rail • Navigation • Charging stations • Smart metering, ICT

Traffic concepts and mobility management • Logistics • Traffic systems (public, individual, motorised, non-motorised) • Consumer behaviour • Political framework Analysis and scenarios • Overall system views • Future scenarios • Energy-, mobility- and emission models • Business models


Climate neutral, renewable and conventional energy supply systems Research topics Renewable energy systems • Hydro power • Solar energy • Geothermal energy • Biomass

Peripheral storage systems • Thermal storage • Chemical storage (fuel cells) • Mechanical storage (magnetic bearing, pump reservoir storage, etc.)

Power plant optimisation • Modelling • Components/construction • Processes • Materials • Nuclear fusion

Energy economics • Climate change impact • Environmental economy • Business models • Political strategies

Intelligent grids • Operation management • Grid integration of renewables • Distributed control and regulation • Supply Side Management/Demand Side Management (SSM/DSM)


Photo: NASA

Environmental monitoring and climate adaptation Research topics Natural disaster management • Flood water • Water management • Hydraulic engineering • Mass movements • Tectonics/earth quakes • Environmental law Contaminant measurements, quality analysis • Particulate matter, greenhouse gases • Particles, heavy metals • Dosimetry • Drinking water analysis • Organic elements • Emissions • Noise, etc.

Environmental analysis and modelling • Monitoring and forecast of geological/hydrological/atmospherical processes • Development of intelligent measurement systems • Bio-chemistry Mathematical/geometrical data basis • Satellite systems • Environmental statistics Environmental risk assessment


Efficient utilisation of natural resources Research topics Renewable raw materials • Biomass • Wood • Ecological construction materials • Starch/cellulose Recycling/urban mining • Metallic materials • Composites • Construction materials • Minerals Disposal/processing • Sewage water • Chemicals, etc.

Mass flow analysis • Metals/toxic substances • Air pollutant • Sewage water • Solid waste management • Resource economics Water supply and distribution • Water body ecology • Watershed management • Ground water economy • Ground water usage


Sustainable technologies, products and production Research topics Resource efficient production and process optimisation • Production and process management • Modelling, simulation and optimisation • Controlling, regulation and automation

New technologies • Filter • Sensors • Laser • Ultrasonic

Alternative sustainable methods • Carbon Capture • Hydrogen generation

Materials research and development • Thermo electrics • Light weight structures • Extreme environments • Fuel cells • High temperature superconductors • Fibre technology

Green Chemistry • Bio fuels • Materials • Development of Omics-tools

Contact: Dr. Gudrun Weinwurm Coordination / Project management T: +43-1-58801-40123

The Research Centre “Energy and Environment” Interdisciplinary network of different ­departments In order to enhance and intensify networking and communication between the research groups at the TU Vienna, the “virtual“ Research Centre “Energy and Environment” has been established – it is set up free of organisational boarders such as institutes or faculties, organised as an open network and bundled up in a central management node. The research centre acts as a communicationand project platform for the researchers at the TU Vienna in order to enable new ideas and cooperation within innovative interdisciplinary projects and to develop holistic solutions across faculties. It is anticipated that this initiative will foster internal synergies and increase public awareness, as well as the awareness of funding authorities and clients concerning the competences of the TU Vienna.

Publisher: Vienna University of Technology Karlsplatz 13 A-1040 Vienna Editorial office: Research Centre “Energy and Environment“ Graphic arts: Martin Dunkl, Dunkl Corporate Design Title illustration: EVACHROMOSOM / Typeset: typothese-m.zinner grafik/Sanja Jelic © April 2011

Energy and environment at the TU Vienna  

Energy demand and climate change - Challenges of the future. Competences across faculties for research partners and clients.

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