Scientific Counter-Visit from Canada - Prof. Qureshi from the UoA visits Aachen


It was his first stay at RWTH Aachen University and certainly not his last, as he admits: "I should have come much, much earlier, because all of this is really very impressive". Professor Ahmed Qureshi from the University of Alberta (Faculty of Engineering – Mechanical Engineering Department) is particularly pleased not only about the opportunity to tour the unique research infrastructure around the Internet of Production (IoP) at the Melaten Campus, but also about the reunion with Martina Müller, research associate at the Chair of Manufacturing Engineering at the Machine Tool Laboratory. Just a few weeks ago, Müller herself spent three months as a guest researcher at Professor Qureshi's institute. After the long, pandemic-related dry spell surrounding all of the IoP's activities involving international exchange, Müller's stay was now the second IoP-related stay at the UoA in 2022. "To be able to have the young researchers from Aachen not only visit me, but also experience their work here on site now, is of course a really great and unique opportunity," said Qureshi.

  Martina Müller and Ahmed Qureshi Copyright: © Anja Wassong Prof. Ahmed Qureshi and Martina Müller

Especially the common topics around "Additive Design" and also "Manufacturing Systems Laboratory" are the main focus for the exchange activities at the University of Alberta as well as the contents of the Research Group of the Cluster of Excellence "Internet of Production". In the future, the exchange activities will also concentrate on the development of data analysis and dashboarding of high-frequency manufacturing data for quality control, process control and management decisions. Within the internationalization strategy of the IoP, the expansion and strengthening of student exchanges in the above mentioned area, the development and collaborative mentoring of students is supported.

Martina's current research at the WZL centers mainly around damage development during deep drawing and deep drawing of dual-phase DP800 steel. She answered a few questions about her stay in Canada.

  Waterfall Copyright: © Martina Müller

How did the idea for the trip develop and how did you get in touch with Prof. Qureshi?

Two years ago, I was looking for opportunities to advance my personal development. After I heard about the research stay in South Korea that my former colleague Lennard Hermann was involved in, I informed myself about the possibilities that existed for me. The intercultural exchange as well as the possibility to get to know other approaches and ways of thinking in the field of research were particularly important for me. So I approached the former managing director of the IoP Cluster of Excellence, Matthias Brockmann. We then discussed some possibilities together and decided to contact the University of Alberta in order to additionally strengthen the already existing strategic partnership between the UoA and the RWTH with my stay. Together with Rene Seyfarth, we then very quickly held initial talks with Prof. Qureshi. The research visit was originally planned for April 2021, but after two postponements, it finally became possible for it to start in April 2022.

  mountain Copyright: © Martina Müller

What did the research stay at the University of Alberta encompass?

My stay in Canada was almost exactly three months long, from the beginning of April to the end of June. During my visit, the focus of my tasks was on a topic that serves the intersection of Prof. Qureshi's research activities and those of the Department of Forming Manufacturing Processes. The goal was to investigate tool wear during the deep forming of filigree structures, such as flowfields of bipolar plates, as well as the possibility of remanufacturing the tools using additive manufacturing. The benefit of my stay lies mostly in strengthening the strategic partnership of the University of Alberta and RWTH, as well as my personal development. I learned about other ways of thinking and approaching things, which now allow me to see things from other perspectives in many places. In addition, we were able to lay the foundation for further collaborations with Prof. Qureshi, which we will strive for in the future.

  Elk Copyright: © Martina Müller

What are your impressions and highlights that you took back home with you from Canada?

My highlights were definitely the contacts I was able to make in Canada, as well as the insight into a different university and research life. And of course the landscape, which I was able to see in different facets. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to extend one or two weekends with 1-2 vacation days during my stay. This allowed me to visit some national parks that were 4-5 hours away from Edmonton by car. As a European you can hardly imagine the dimensions of the country, but the national parks were all still in the same state. And I must say that the landscape is simply beautiful. Most of the national parks I visited were in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Due to my stay from April to June I could see everything frozen and snowed in, because many lakes are still frozen until June. At the same time I was lucky to see everything "green" and "thawed" in June. Both were definitely experiences that I will not forget and that simply cannot be described with pictures. The nature is just breathtakingly gorgeous, but you should never forget to take bear spray with you.