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Polymer Engineering Celebrates One Year

On December 9, 2010, the university celebrated the one year anniversary of Polymer Engineering studies at the JKU. Professors, students and representatives from the plastics industry took stock of a very successful first year since the degree programs in Polymer Engineering were introduced in Linz.

The introduction of the degree programs has been a great success; in Fall 2009, approximately100 students enrolled in the programs, taking advantage of a modern course curricula in a program with excellent future career perspectives. In addition to a top quality academic program, research in the field of polymer engineering at the JKU is outstanding: “Since September 2009 we have submitted applications to acquire 15 million Euros in grants and funding and 12.5 million Euros in research funding has already been approved.” said JKU Vice Rector of Research, Gabriele Kotsis.

Axel Greiner, managing director of the Greiner Group, has been particularly impressed at how quickly polymer engineering studies have taken off at the JKU. He remarked: “The JKU and all involved partners have really pulled out all of the stops; it is an enormous feat considering initial talks on the program, etc. began only three years ago and since then, professors have been hired, institutes have been established and students can now enroll in specific degree programs.” He is very pleased that this degree program has been so well established in such a short period of time in order to cover the need for well educated professionals in the Upper Austrian plastics industry.

Werner Pamminger, head of Clusterland Upper Austria and the Plastics Cluster emphasized what this means for the local plastics industry: “Between 2002 and 2008, the plastics industry in Upper Austria has grown 7-8% on average per year and over 5% of employees in Upper Austria are directly employed within the plastics industry. Those currently studying polymer engineering at the JKU are truly in the right field in the right region at the right time.”

In order to continue supporting the interests and needs of students and future graduates, students enrolled in Polymer Engineering, along with department heads of Polymer Engineering institutes, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an “Association of Polymer Engineers at the JKU Linz”. Among other things, the association intends to serve as a platform to address academic related needs, offer career services in regards to jobs and internships, provide academic support for students enrolled in a Bachelor and Master’s degree program, and organize professional student excursions to attend conventions and visit companies. In addition, the association intends to attract business partners from the plastics industry to work together with the association.

The future of Polymer Engineering at the JKU looks bright: “In two years we plan to offer four polymer degree programs – a Bachelor’s degree program and three English-language Master’s degree programs. In this regard, the JKU will offer one of the broadest university polymer programs worldwide,” pointed out Reinhold Lang, professor of Polymer Materials at the JKU in regards to an international comparison of Polymer Engineering programs. With currently eleven (in short, twelve) professors, the JKU boasts a unique spectrum in the subject discipline of polymers.

ÖGL Award Presented to JKU Employee

In the context of the annual symposium ‘Grabenlos’ (=Trenchless) hosted by the Austrian Association of Trenchless Technology and Pipe Maintenance (ÖGL), DI Anna Maria Hartl, assistant professor at the Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing, was presented with an award by the ÖGL for her Master’s thesis. The award was accompanied with prize money in the amount of € 2000.


The Master’s thesis, completed at the Polymer Competence Center Leoben (PCCL) titled “Evaluation of Surface Defects and Fracture Mechanics Lifetime Assessment of Internal Pressurized Polyethylene Pipes” was written under the Kplus research program at PCCL.

Th 2010/11/18 16:00: Campus for Change: STUDENTEN VERÄNDERN!

Campus rof Change

Campus for Change ist ein Zusammenschluss von Studenten, die sich zur Aufgabe gemacht haben soziale Verantwortung zu übernehmen und die Botschaft zu vermitteln, dass wir zusammen etwas erreichen können. Wir engagieren uns aus Überzeugung ehrenamtlich in unserer Freizeit, um unseren Beitrag zu einer positiven Entwicklung der Gesellschaft zu leisten.
Michael Roiss, zugleich Gründer der Initiative präsentiert Campus for Change.  (Neues Fenster)

SciencePark MT327

Th 2010/11/18 16:00

Michael Roiss

Registration by E-mail to ipmt(/\t) requested.

JKU Scientists Develop Cutting-Edge Plastic Solar Thermal Collectors

[2010/09/06] Scientists at the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz have brought a large solar heating technology project to Austria involving the development of cutting-edge plastic collector systems designed to be more functional and more cost effective than ever before. The idea is to expand Austria’s top position in the field of solar heating and make significant contributions to the expansion of renewable energy technologies as well as reduce greenhouse emissions. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency’s research and technology program NEUE ENERGIEN 2020 for climate and energy funds will finance the 5.1 million Euro project.

Prof. Reinhold W. Lang

The network for plastic and solar energy research provides great potential for the further development of technologies in the field of solar heating, which is the conversion of the sun’s energy into useable thermal energy. Currently, the production of thermal collectors and collector systems is elaborate and expensive, requiring a variety of materials during production. Using polymer materials, solar thermal systems could be made to be more functional, optically more attractive, and more economical - all which could have positive effects in regards to penetrating the market.


Base Knowledge Research and Industrial Research for a New Generation of Collectors

In the context of the project “Solar Thermal Systems Based on Polymeric Materials (SolPol)”, JKU scientists will work on developing plastic collector systems. To reach this goal, the research project will be divided into two interrelating projects. During the first part - a base knowledge research project – scientists will explore the scientific and methodical requirements for the development of cutting-edge plastic thermal collector systems and evaluate the ecological and economical long term effects to penetrate the world wide market. The second part focuses on industrial research for the development of new polymer materials and the subsequent manufacturing of collectors and components. The research project’s goal is to not only strengthen Austria’s top position worldwide in the field of solar thermal energy but also contribute significantly to the expansion of renewable energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Sample for a fully-plastic collector

The four-year project with over 5 million Euros in funding will be overseen by Prof. Reinhold W. Lang, department head of the Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing. The project consortium consists of a total of nine scientific partners (including a number of additional JKU institutes in the field of polymer technology and polymer chemistry as well as the University for Art and Industrial Design in Linz, the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research), and ten company partners including Borealis, Engel, Greiner, Kekelit and Lenzing.

Prof. Lang considers the project the first big step towards a new market segment for plastic applications and sees a high potential for growth. “Analog to other areas will be created by the use of plastics in solar engineering subject to conditions such as high functional capability, diversity of design, and cost reduction necessary for the broad use of these technologies.”
JKU Rector Richard Hagelauer remarked: “We are very happy and proud to have successfully procured an international project of this size and caliber at the JKU. We have definitive plans to continue expanding our activities in the fields of polymer engineering and alternative energy sources.”


JKU Awards Title of Honorary Senator to Dr. Gerhard Roiss

In a formal ceremony held on Friday, May 7, 2010 at the JKU, Dr. Gerhard Roiss, Deputy CEO of the OMV and deputy chairman of Borealis, was presented with the title of Honorary Senator of the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz. He was honored for his outstanding services in support of academics and culture at the university.

(v.l.) Promotor Dekan Prof. Erich Peter Klement, Senatsvorsitzender Prof. Hans Irschik, Ehrensenator Dr. Gerhard Roiss, Rektor Prof. Richard Hagelauer, Laudator Prof. Reinhold Lang

“The title of honorary senator is conferred to outstanding individuals from the public sector who have ties to the university and whose outstanding achievements significantly reflect the university’s ideals and uphold the purpose of the university,” said JKU Rector Richard Hagelauer as he praised Dr. Roiss during the ceremony as one of the JKU’s most important supporters: “His support has contributed to the stellar international reputation of the JKU and he exceeds the criteria as an Honorary Senator.”

Among Dr. Roiss’ many services in support of the university, the following three are particularly noteworthy:


He was pivotal in initiating and supporting the expansion of Polymer Chemistry at the JKU and in cooperation with Borealis, he transformed three existing chemistry institutes and established a new institute.

Dr. Roiss was foremost and key in establishing contact to the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi as well as actively supporting the collaboration of research and education. His involvement enabled the JKU to continue its internationalization efforts. Plans for future cooperation are expected to include the areas of Mechatronics and Economics.

Furthermore, his support enabled the development and expansion of new academic degree programs in plastics engineering at JKU institutes. OMV and Borealis provided initial funding in the amount of 3 million Euros to contribute considerably to a rapid start of introducing plastics engineering at the JKU. His support enabled the expansion of four new institutes in a short period of time as well as the acquisition of top faculty in the field to ensure a high quality of education. The JKU can fulfil the industry’s demand for well educated engineers who are urgently needed to continue economic growth.

Reinhold Lang, university professor for Polymer Materials at the JKU and laudator for Dr. Roiss commended Dr. Roiss for his vision and dedication to long-term, integrated objectives motivated by his unusually high, creative driving force: “Dr. Roiss’ support has contributed considerably to positioning the new polymer degree programs, including degree programs management and industrial engineering, internationally.”

A number of prominent guests from local government, the business community and the plastics industry attended the ceremony, including Governor Joser Pühringer, Chamber of Commerce President Christoph Leitl, ÖVP state secretary Michael Strugl, RLB CEO and University Council chairman Ludwig Scharinger, Borealis CEO and Chairman Mark Garrett and Plastics Cluster Manager Werner Pamminger.

"Inaugural Lectures: Plastics Engineering, the Second Round " (by Manfred Rathmoser)

[2010/03/17] This past Monday the Inaugural Lecture series in the area of Plastics Engineering continued with two newly appointed professors, Reinhold W. Lang and Zoltan Major. Prof. Georg Steinbichler and Prof. Jürgen Miethlinger held their inaugural lectures earlier at the beginning of March. Once again, numerous guests attended the lectures at the invitation of the JKU.

v.l. Vizerektor Dr. Franz Wurm, TNF-Dekan Univ.Prof. Erich Peter Klement, Univ.Prof. Dr. Zoltan Major, o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Reinhold W. Lang, Rektor o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Richard Hagelauer

The interest was immense: over 250 guests were on hand to listen to o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Reinhold W. Lang (Institute for Polymer Materials) and Univ.Prof. Dr. Zoltan Major (Institute for Polymer Product Engineering) talk about their teaching and research fields.

Prof. Major’s lecture titled “Consideration of the Ductile/Brittle Failure Transition for Design of Polymeric Components” addressed the introduction of a novel methodology to characterize and numerically simulate the deformation and ductile/brittle failure behavior of polymeric parts over a wide loading rate range.
Prof. Lang’s lecture focused on the role of polymeric materials and polymer science in regard to existing and expected contributions to some key future technology fields such as the transformation of the energy system towards the increasing utilization of renewable (solar) energy and aspects related to a sufficient water supply for the increasing global population.

In addition to top JKU officials - Rector Prof. Richard Hagelauer, Vice Rector Dr. Franz Wurm, Dean Prof. Erich Peter Klement of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences and Dean Prof. Gerhard Wührer of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business – a number of guests representing the business and political community were present, including parliament member Mag. Bernhard Baier, DI Werner Pamminger, Director of the Kunststoff-Cluster, Greiner CEO Dr. Axel Greiner, Ing. Leopold Katzmayer, President of the Vereinigung Österreichischer Kunststoffverarbeiter (VÖK), and Engel CEO Dr. Peter Neumann.

Inaugural Lectures
March 15, 2010, 4:00 pm:

Univ.Prof. Dr. Zoltan Major (Institute of Polymer Product Engineering):
"Consideration of the Ductile/Brittle Failure Transition for Design of Polymeric Components"

o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Reinhold W. Lang (Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing):
"Polymeric Materials and Polymer Science for Sustainable Development Technologies"