(18.12.2023, Frankfurt a. M.) Once a year, the Dr. Wilhelmy Foundation and the VDE jointly award the Dr. Wilhelmy VDE Prize to up to three young female engineers in electrical engineering and information technology. The award, which is endowed with EUR 3,000 each, recognizes outstanding dissertations and makes an important contribution to countering the shortage of skilled workers in electrical engineering and information technology through positive image work. With a female student ratio of 19 percent, the subject brings up the rear among engineering degree courses. Role models such as the winners of the Dr. Wilhelmy VDE Prize are very valuable in demonstrating that women can successfully pursue their careers in electrical engineering and help shape the future. Dr.-Ing. Mona Fuhrländer, Dr.-Ing. Isabella Jolanda Lau and Dr.-Ing. Iulia Dan were honored for their work at the VDE Hauptstadtforum at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2023.
Award winner Dr.-Ing. Mona Fuhrländer: Considering uncertainties in product design quickly and efficiently
Efficiency in product development and production is one of the key drivers for industry. Uncertainties that can arise due to inaccuracies in the manufacturing process or variable material properties should already be taken into account during development so that the product reliably meets the requirements at the end. At the same time, waste is reduced and time and resources are saved. In her dissertation, Dr.-Ing. Mona Fuhrländer combined classic computer simulations with an approximation model based on machine learning in order to be able to precisely take uncertainties into account much faster than before.
The variance that occurs in the magnetization of electric motors served as an example. The strength and direction of permanent magnets vary within a permissible tolerance. Dr. Fuhrländer explains: "If I assume when designing the electric motor that the magnet meets the specifications exactly, I end up with a certain number of motors that don't work. My method helps to quickly gain an overview of such uncertainties and rule out problems." Thanks to the approximation model, only the simulations required for a valid evaluation are carried out, reducing the computing time from weeks or months to days or hours.
Dr. Mona Fuhrländer studied mathematics at the Technical University of Darmstadt and completed her dissertation "Design methods for reducing failure probabilities with examples from electrical engineering" with summa cum laude. In future, she would like to work on her goal of solving practical problems from industry with her expertise in a position in Research & Development.