“Innovation Award” for Bremen Doctoral Student of Microsystems Engineering

Dr.-Ing. Cord Winkelmann has received the “Innovation Award” granted by the Schaeffler FAG Stiftung for his doctoral dissertation. The Microsystems engineer received the foundation’s first prize worth 10,000 euros for his doctoral research on sensory surfaces. Winkelmann has developed a method whereby the running surfaces of roller bearings can be equipped with sensors, making it possible to measure the forces which arise there. In the laudatory speech this was referred to as an “absolute pioneering breakthrough”. Meanwhile Cord Winkelmann is trying to turn his idea of monitoring the surfaces of machines and industrial components with the aid of sensors to commercial use and has set up a university spin-off enterprise called “Winkelmann Mikrosysteme” (

The research project

Winkelmann worked on his doctoral project under the supervision of Professor Walter Lang at the University of Bremen’s IMSAS Institute for Microsensors, -Actuators and -Systems. The successful young Bremen researcher investigated the possibility of equipping roller bearings with sensors to monitor the forces that arise on the bearings’ running surface. This involved embedding sensor elements into the running surface so they would be protected against the stresses the bearings have to stand up to. The main task was to develop a manufacturing process to embed microstructures into the hardened steel roller-bearings are made of, both on flat as well as on curved surfaces. Sensor integration is a focus of the research carried out at IMSAS. Beside metals, sensors can also be integrated into the fiber-reinforced composites used in the manufacture of aircraft and wind turbines, as well as the polymers used among other things to make industrial gaskets. The doctoral research project was co-financed by the University’s Central Research Unit “Integrated Solutions in Sensorial Structure Engineering” (ISIS).

The Schaeffler Group

The Schaeffler FAG Stiftung has been funding university research and teaching in the sciences and engineering disciplines since 1983. Each year the Schaeffler Group singles out young researchers and students who make important contributions to the development of roller-bearing technology in the areas of manufacturing technology, product innovation and marketing strategy. In addition to this the foundation also supports school projects designed to interest school students in the sciences and technology.

The companies in the Schaeffler Group develop and produce precision components and systems for automobile engines, gearboxes and vehicle chases, as well as solutions for roller and slide bearings for many industrial applications. In so doing, the foundation makes an important contribution towards “tomorrow’s mobility”. The Schaeffler Group is active in 49 countries and employs 80,000 people at 170 different locations.

If you would like to have more information on this topic, please contact:

University of Bremen

Faculty of Physics / Electrical Engineering

Microsystems Center Bremen (MCB)

Prof.Dr. Walter Lang

Kai Burdorf (scientific coordinator)

Phone: +49 421 218-62640

Man with glasses smiling at the camera
Dr.-Ing. Cord Winkelmann: He received the Innovation Award of the Schaeffler FAG Foundation for his doctoral dissertation