Interview with Dipl.-Ing. Musa Akdere
1.) You are currently doing your doctorate at the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University. In which project are you involved?
"I’m working in the man-made fibre department, in the carbon fibre group. Having graduated in Computational Engineering Science I gladly support all of my colleagues with regards to simulational topics. However, my main task is to investigate the carbon fibre manufacturing and to improve the manufacturing process with simulational means. For this I have a public founded project in which we measure the diffusion coefficients of the wet spinning process with Raman spectroscopy and use these coefficients as input parameters for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of the fibre building process."
2.) What is working at the ITA like? Please give us an insight into a typical day at work.
"Working at ITA is always exciting and challenging. Being responsible for different kind of projects you have to keep an open and fresh mind. There is always an new task requiring your attention and most of the time to think out of the box. Besides the project work you also have to establish new business connections to industry and engage in cooperation with other universities. Therefore, it involves a lot of traveling and meeting new people. Additional tasks are supervising students doing their thesis, conducting labor scale or industrial scale experiments or doing research on a new topic. To sum it up in a nutshell; it never gets boring."
3.) Working at ITA means working in an international environment. Is the personnel at ITA also culturally diverse?
"We have a lot of cooperation partners with different cultural backgrounds like Japan, India, Russia, Turkey and France, just to name some. We also have students from all over the world. This year I supervised a Master thesis from a student from Nepal and had an intern from Turkey. From other colleagues I know that we have students from Mexico to Australia."
4.) Textile Engineering is a very specific field of research. When and why did you decide to become an expert for technical textiles?
"During my study at RWTH Aachen I was looking for a project thesis for applied simulation and found a very interesting thesis about modeling the melt flow in an electro spinning plant. The more I researched the technical textiles the more I understood how important they are for our everyday life. Especially my field of carbon fibre research has a very promising future. Lightweight design and the possibility to save weight with carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) are getting more and more attention from the industry. I want to become an expert for carbon fibres become an intermediate layer between industry and research facilities. ITA as a textile research facility offers solutions for a variety of problems."
5.) What did you study in your Bachelor’s and Master’s? How did you manage to get into your doctorate position?
"I studied Computational Engineering Science, which is a combination of mathematical modeling and mechanical engineering. Graduates are predestinate simulational engineers. After graduating I worked at an automotive supplier in the simulation department. After three years I decided to return to university and apply for a doctoral position. During my work experience I realized how many textile solutions are used in the production of automobiles and I wanted to contribute to that development."
6.) What are your future career goals?
"After earning my Ph.D. I want to continue to build bridges to new technologies and also new cultures and people. This can be done by transferring the developed technology to a different country in form of an spin-off or by strengthening the bound to universities abroad as a lecturer. Both possibilities seem reasonable for me right now."
Thank you very much Musa Akdere and all the best for your PhD!