Taking a holistic approach to the mobility and energy system: Peter Gutzmer and Christopher Steinwachs lead FVV Board
The Executive Committee of the FVV | The Research Association for Combustion Engines (Forschungsvereinigung Verbrennungskraftmaschinen e. V.) re-elected Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer as its President. The mechanical engineer, who used to serve as Schaeffler’s Chief Technology Officer, has been managing the FVV since 2017. Dipl.-Ing. Christopher Steinwachs, who is responsible for the development of components for gas turbines in a senior position at Siemens, was elected as deputy president for the first time.
»The forthcoming transformation of our mobility and energy system calls for a re-orientation of our research focus on future powertrains and energy converters,« commented FVV Managing Director Dietmar Goericke on the election. »We are glad that we have been able to win two managers with many years of industry experience to accompany us in this exciting and challenging process.«
Peter Gutzmer (66) is committed to a sustainable transition towards zero emission and climate-neutral powertrain systems, for example as deputy head of the working group on alternative drive technologies and fuels for sustainable mobility of the National Platform „Future of Mobility“ established by the Federal Government. He is convinced that the combustion engine – operated climate-neutrally with synthetic fuels – is part of this transformation. »To achieve this goal, we must take a more system-orientated approach to research,« said Gutzmer. »In addition, we want to give new topics such as the fuel cell and hydrogen as an energy carrier a broader place in the FVV.« According to Gutzmer, this is vital, because many small and medium-sized enterprises lack the basic knowledge to master the transformation without the pre-competitive industrial collective research of the FVV.
Christopher Steinwachs (54) has been working in various positions at Siemens since 1992 to increase the efficiency of gas turbines. He is currently responsible for the manufacturing of hot gas components, i.e. the core of the turbines. »All meta studies show that the energy system transformation requires a backbone of chemical energy carriers that can be used to compensate for fluctuating power generation from regenerative sources,« explained Steinwachs. »It is an exciting field of research to find out how the energy sources and gas turbines required for this task interact with each other in an optimum way.« Steinwachs, too, is convinced that industrial collective research makes an important contribution to strengthening small and medium-sized suppliers.
Together with the strong international network of the FVV, Gutzmer and Steinwachs are keen to strengthen cross-sector research. They are supported by 170 member companies, more than 100 research institutes, several fellow associations of the Mechanical Engineering Research Federation (FKM) of the VDMA and its Power Systems and Engines & Systems trade associations. For instance, the FVV is currently working on a study to provide a life cycle analysis for various powertrains and energy sources. The results will be presented to the public in the coming months.
Furthermore, the presidency and management of the research association regard the training of young engineers as an important task for the future. Within the 125 ongoing research projects of the FVV, dozens of master’s theses and doctorates are written every year. »We are thus building a bridge between research and practice-orientated education,« said Goericke. »This is an important prerequisite for maintaining Germany as a leading industrial location in the grand transformation. And we continue to rely on the financial support for our research projects by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the industrial collective research programme (Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung – IGF).«