Ideas for the Future – Research and Development in a new highly innovative SME

In 1971, immediately postdoctoral and based on his research activities at Darmstadt University of Technology, Professor Horst Peter Wölfel founded his company Wölfel Beratende Ingenieure. Today, such a young enterprise would be called “high-tech start-up” and “spin-off” of Darmstadt University of Technology. During the first couple of years the company’s aim was to make the arising computer simulation – namely the Finite Element Method – accessible to Germany’s industry, so to serve as mediator between university research and industrial application. To this day this mediator role is a distinctive feature of our company, since we have always been keen to be at the top of technological developments, in spite of changing tasks.

In the 1970s, we focused on FE-simulation with particular emphasis on dynamics; in the 1980s, we completed simulation by experimental modal analysis based on our dynamics know-how and merged calculation and measurement.

In the 1990s, we were mainly involved in probabilistic risk studies and today we are engaged in industrial oriented, applied research in the area of dynamics, our core competence, including themes as:

  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Seating Comfort
  • Active Vibration Reduction
  • Structural Health Monitoring

Our main research areas

With a view to the industrial application of our research results, we have been cooperating with universities, research institutes and industrial partners in our R&D projects. Our R&D activities focus on the following topics:

 

Industry: Wind Energy

  • Structural health monitoring of rotor blades, tower and foundation, load monitoring (e.g.: SHM Wind or Underwater Inspect)
  • Grouted joints (e.g.: QS-M Grout)


Industry: Mobility and Transport

  • Dynamic seating comfort of seats in motor vehicles (e.g.: UDASim)


Technology: Earthquake Engineering

  • Lightweight structures (e.g.: IRIS or I-SSB)
  • Vibration reduction (e.g.: ELISSA)


Technology: Risk analyses, risk management for loads imposed by external events

  • Vulnerability study regarding load case airplane crash (e.g.: RiskPROTEC CI)
  • Resilience analysis for load case blast (e.g.: GRASB)
  • Non-linear concrete failure  (Bsp.: IRIS)

 
Technology: Active reduction of vibrations, structure-borne noise and air-borne noise

  • Development of different technologies for the reduction of resonance and forced vibrations (e.g.: active noise control, Safe Pipes or WiTiRohr)


Industry: Biomechanics and life science

  • Dynamic seating comfort of seats in motor vehicles (e.g.: UDASim)
  • Reduction of load-induced diseases of people in wheelchairs and bedridden people


Technology: High-end simulation

  • Composite structures (e.g.: Organobridge)
  • Optimization of the textile trimming of seats and shoes


Technology: Structural health monitoring and signal analysis

  • High-temperature pipes in plant engineering (e.g.: IRIS)
  • Bridges (e.g.: Organobridge or PiezoEN Bridge)
  • Railways