Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Workshop on managing material efficiency in automobiles - HWK, Germany


Electro Mobility: Assessing the Shift from Energy Efficiency to Material Efficiency in the Automotive Life Cycle

June 16-18, 2014


Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK)
Lehmkuhlenbusch 4
27753 Delmenhorst


Dr.-Ing. Alexandra Pehlken, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Prof. Dr. Steven Young, SEED, University of Waterloo, Canada
Wolfgang Stenzel, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg

Automobiles have become lightweight, smarter, safer and more electric. Each of these trends has demanded new types and new combinations of materials – materials that have become more complex. 

This workshop suggests that in the future the dominant challenge for developers and manufacturers of cars may no longer be issues of energy efficiency and fuels. Instead new questions are growing on the use of new, sometimes scarce and environmentally problematic materials, which challenge the life cycle management of automobiles and materials. 

Critical metals have already gained attention as important to the automotive sector, due to increased use of electrical devices like motors, sensors and batteries. Cobalt and gallium, rare earth elements (e.g. neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium and terbium) and other metals are critical in automobiles — and all classified as strategic raw materials. It is therefore important to manage material destiny at the end of service life, with an aim to recover them for further use.

There is a lack of data concerning the amount of critical metals in vehicles and on recycling technologies that will need to keep up with rapid changes in material content of future vehicles.

Sessions will cover a number of highly relevant topics, such as Design and Manufacturing, Use and Maintenance, and End-of-life, etc. Invited international experts will give insights in their own research. A World Café session will give all participants the opportunity to get involved and to share their ideas, questions, and comments, leading to new perspectives for future research.


The organizers acknowledge support from the

Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg, North-West Germany (Metropolregion Bremen-Oldenburg im Nordwesten e.V.)

Chemical Industry Fund (Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, FCI)