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Audi Tool Trophy: Prize for talented young engineers

•Audi singles out innovative student toolmaking projects
•Jörg Spindler, Head of the Competence Center for Plant Equipment and Forming Technology: “Competition as opportunity to share technical know‑how and to forge new contacts”

Sharp edges, tight radii – it is the design of their bodies in particular that makes the Audi models so unmistakable. In Production these precise lines can often only be manufactured with specialized tools from the Competence Center for Plant Equipment and Forming Technology. In its search for innovative toolmaking ideas, the “Audi Tool Trophy” student competition is now entering its ninth year. The winners received prize money of up to 2,500 euros on May 3.
This year the competition was particularly exciting, with three‑minute pitches from the participants also included for the first time in the assessment. Ten students made it onto the shortlist and presented their projects to the expert jury. Of these, the automaker singled out the best two submissions from the “Master’s Dissertations” and “Bachelor’s Dissertations/Term Papers” categories.

“The Audi Tool Trophy is an established competition that we have now made even more interesting for talented young engineers,” explains Jörg Spindler, Head of the Competence Center for Plant Equipment and Forming Technology. “In addition to the opportunity to share technical know‑how with our experts, we also offer students the opportunity to forge important contacts for their professional career.”

The AUDI AG Works Council also singles out the participants’ creativity and initiative for praise. “It is impressive just how well these youngsters hammer out new ideas,” says Works Council member Jürgen Wittmann. “With their outstanding results they are enriching our working life of the future. They can be really proud of that.”

In the “Master’s Dissertations” category, Eric Gärtner from Mittweida University of Applied Sciences managed to sway the jury with his contribution about the technology development for friction spot welding of high‑strength aluminum alloys from the 7000 series. Second place was taken by Michael Grubenmann, a student at ETH Zurich, with his Master’s dissertation, which is a potential analysis of new failure criteria for sheet metal forming simulation.

Sascha Meckler also took first place, the Tool Trophy and prize money worth 2,500 euros in the “Bachelor’s Dissertations and Term Papers” category. With his development of a software to model the flow, flow location and forming limit curves and to derive corresponding material cards for AutoForm and LS‑DYNA, the student from the Friedrich‑Alexander‑University Erlangen‑Nuremberg managed to beat off the fierce competition. Philipp Kolmer from Braunschweig Technical University came in second place with his Bachelor’s dissertation about service life optimization for die‑cast aluminum tools.

The Trophy, which has been redesigned in the Competence Center for Plant Equipment and Forming Technology, was produced for the first time on a 3‑D metal printer. The public voting category was a new feature of this year’s awards. For the first time, guests, supervising professors and Audi experts from Production and Logistics awarded an additional prize for the best pitch. The winner, Michael Grubenmann, was delighted to receive a voucher for the Audi Driving Experience.

The Audi Competence Center for Plant Equipment and Forming Technology was founded in early 2017 by merging toolmaking and press shop. The previously separate disciplines have always worked together closely. They manufacture and operate, among other things, the press tools which make the Audi design possible. As a social program for the Audi Tool Trophy, the Competence Center showcased current projects at the technology forum.

Next year too, the Competence Center for Plant Equipment and Forming Technology will once again be looking for innovative student research projects and dissertations from the German‑speaking region. Audi will publish details of the application dates for the Tool Trophy 2017 in due course on www.audi.com.

Master’s Dissertations
1st place: Eric Gärtner: “Contribution to technology development for friction spot welding of high‑strength aluminum alloys from the 7000 series”, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences
2nd place: Michael Grubenmann: “Potential analysis of new failure criteria for sheet metal forming simulation”, ETH Zurich

Bachelor’s Dissertations/Term Papers
1st place: Sascha Meckler: “Development of a software to model the flow, flow location and forming limit curves and to derive corresponding material cards for AutoForm and LS‑DYNA”, Friedrich‑Alexander‑University Erlangen‑Nuremberg
2nd place: Philipp Kolmer: “Service life optimization of die‑cast aluminum tools”, Braunschweig Technical University

Public prize
Michael Grubenmann, ETH Zurich


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