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Inventors of the Year 2019

Munich, 28 November 2019

Category: Lifetime Achievement

Field of Innovation | Nondestructive Evaluation

Michael Clossen-von Lanken Schulz

Flashes of inspiration are overrated
Inventions don’t just fall from the sky, and they’re seldom the result of special flashes of inspiration, says Inventor of the Year Michael Clossen-von Lanken Schulz. His recipe for success is to constantly investigate technologies in all areas of expertise and exchange knowledge with experts in order to come up with ideas for applications. This policy has enabled the Principal Key Expert at Gas and Power to generate almost 80 patents that have made Siemens the world leader in innovative inspection and maintenance procedures for gas- and steam turbines. His current focus is on a robot that can collaborate with humans – a versatile cobot that could be used for multiple tasks.

Field of Innovation | Future of Automation  

Dr. Justinian Rosca 

From young math genius to an all-round inventor
A new generation of hearing aids, real-time signal processing, the future of Industrie 4.0: When it comes to artificial intelligence, it seems like Justinian Rosca has ideas for almost everything. The Inventor of the Year from Corporate Technology in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the pioneers of in this field. Today, Rosca has been researching ways for robots and transport vehicles to navigate and inspect their surroundings autonomously and safely, just like humans. They have to be able to receive visual and acoustic signals in real time, process them effortlessly, predict near future changes and decide about what to do next on that basis.

Category: Open Innovation

Field of Innovation | eFuels 

TEAM | Dr. Alexander Tremel, Dr. Manfred Baldauf, Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, Dr. Katharina Meltzer

Huge opportunity for green fuels
The team of inventors can combine climate-damaging carbon dioxide with hydrogen to produce a green fuel. This is an important contribution to protect the climate. The researchers developed a reactor which brings hydrogen and CO2 together at a very low cost. The result is methanol, which can already be added to gasoline or used on its own as a fuel. The reactor is working at flexible loads and operating cycles and it is very efficient. The chemical industry currently produces methanol in very large plants that have to operate around the clock to be economically feasible. The Inventors of the Year are Alexander Tremel, Katharina Meltzer, and Manfred Baldauf, all from Corporate Technology, and Chemical Engineer Professor Peter Wasserscheid of Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg.

Field of Innovation | 3D Mammography 

Dr. Anna Jerebko

Recognize breast cancer at a very early stage
Inventor Anna Jerebko wants to make even the tiniest changes in tissue visible using new medical imaging techniques to identify cancers or any abnormalities as early as possible. The Inventor of the Year at Siemens Healthineers has developed algorithms for mammography. From tomographic slices of breast tissue they gererate high resolution rotating 3D animations. There, radiologists can see and analyze microcalcifications just 100 to 200 microns in size. Breast cancer can develop from an accumulation of such microcalcifications. 

Field of Innovation | Rail Electrification – Overhead Contact Lines 

TEAM | Axel Schmieder, Wolfgang Braun, Thomas Koch, and Martin Altmann 

A boost for electrification of older railway lines
The transportation transition is already in full swing in the European rail network, and more and more lines are being electrified. This is a huge contribution to protect the climate: An electric freight train emits about 40 percent fewer CO2 caused by its power generation as a diesel train. Often, however, bridges are too low and tunnels too small for conventional contact lines. Axel Schmieder, Wolfgang Braun, and Martin Altmann of Mobility, along with Thomas Koch of Gas and Power, have invented a new arrester system solution that protects against lightning flashover despite the smaller clearances. Therefore, no complex reconstructions are needed when new power lines are installed.

Field of Innovation | AI

TEAM | Heiko Claussen, Norman Drews, Dr. Josep Soler Garrido, Dr. Ingo Thon, Johannes Frank, Andreas Macher, Renè Fischer

Flexible automation with AI
A new AI module for controllers is no larger than a postcard – and thanks to artificial intelligence, it’s revolutionizing automation in factory halls. A team of inventors at the Factory Automation Business Unit and Corporate Technology developed a module that lets customers run their own neural network in industrial control systems. The module can be used almost everywhere, and just needs to be plugged in to the Simatic controllers in the factory halls. The plan is to make it compatible with many different sensors and cameras so the data can be directly analyzed, and the results transmitted to the Simatic controller. It’s also possible to draw on real-time data from the Simatic controller for analysis. One example is an application of an autonomous robot. An algorithm uses data from a 3D camera mounted on the robot arm to calculate the ideal points for grasping a target object.

Category: Talents 

Field of Innovation | Simulation and Digital Twin 

Dr. Lucia Mirabella

Eagle eyes for mathematics
Inventor Lucia Mirabella teaches computers to develop new design approaches. She is an expert in generative design, which is revolutionizing the design process thanks to machine learning. Examples are gas turbines, heart models or 3D printed parts – complex mathematical models lead to completely new designs of objects or systems to make them work more efficiently. Her latest research involves calculating deformations, forces, and internal tensions to find entirely new forms for long-familiar objects with generative algorithms. 3D printing gave a big motivation for the topic, as removing manufacturing limitations allow for much wider design explorations. This is another area where Mirabella has performed in-depth research. Working at the computer, she simulated how printed components would perform when they’re part of a larger system.

Field of Innovation | Quiet MRI 

Dr. rer. nat. David Grodzki

“Quiet Please” – Getting the MRT to run silent
Usually a patient in the MR-“tube” is exposed to as much noise as at a rock concert. David Grodzki’s invention is making the experience a lot quieter. The Siemens Healthineers researcher is testing new processes to improve scans, shorten scanning times, or – as in one of his best inventions yet – to ease the patient’s experience, by reducing the typical noise of an MR unit by up to 97 percent. The noise is made as the overlapping magnetic fields – known as the gradient fields – are rapidly switched on and off which leads to slight distortions and strains in the coil at brief, rhythmic intervals. The shape of the MRT amplifies the noise like a loudspeaker. Grodzki solves the problem by applying new switching sequences. They handle the fields gentler causing less strains in the gradient coils.

Field of Innovation | Generator Cooling Arrangement 

Arwyn Thomas

From farmstead to master turbine builder
Wind farms off the coast are generating more and more climate-friendly electricity every year. The technology they use has improved dramatically in the past years, and inventor Arwyn Thomas, of Siemens Gamesa, is one of the key players making it happen. He is working on direct drive turbines which have no gearbox. The energy of the rotor is transferred to power directly in a generator. It’s only been cost-effective to build these large-scale offshore wind turbines for slightly less than ten years now. The 36 years old inventor contributed to double the generator’s torque in a 6 MW offshore turbine.

Category: Design and User Experience 

Field of Innovation | Embedded City Box Design 

Luo Sha Liu and Hai Liu

Designing the urban future 
The Embedded City Box (ECB) is the data collecting basis for the digital management of cities. It was developed by industrial designer Luo Sha Liu from Corporate Technology China and mechanical engineer Hai Liu from the IoT unit. They see every day how their cities are growing and changing. That’s why they’ve designed the ECB to improve life in metropolitan areas. The device for the Internet of Things (IoT) is the visible part of the Connected City Solution. It contains a variety of plug-and-play sensors and cameras which monitor air quality or the traffic situation. The data analyses are run on a software platform. Sophisticated prediction and simulation tools can be used to develop and compare a variety of strategies for action. For instance, it’s conceivable to limit car traffic with traffic bans for a short time, while concurrently increasing available service on public transportation.

Further Information

Roland Busch

Deputy CEO, CTO and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG


Florian Martini

Siemens AG 

+49 (89) 636-33446

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