15. March 2022

“Development of a service (portfolio) to support the market ramp-up of the hydrogen economy!”

That was the task with which TÜV NORD GROUP approached the students of RWTH Aachen. A challenge that the students tackled exactly as the Essen-based company had imagined, innovatively and with a practical orientation. The solutions submitted were correspondingly diverse, from which the jury made a preselection in order to meet the most innovative five teams in person at TÜV NORD in Essen. In the final of the now 18th Aachner Case Competition, the jury had the opportunity to scrutinize the teams’ approaches in order to ultimately select the winners of the competition. The jury consisted of Dr. Dietmar Schlößer, Dr. Carsten Gelhard and Dr. Alexej Merkel from TÜV NORD GROUP, Ruben Conrad from FIR at RWTH Aachen University and Maximilian Schacht as a representative from our Team.

There were five solutions to evaluate

The first solution presented, “Hydrogen Heating Systems Services,” involved building a comprehensive portfolio of different services to address the full range of technological options for hydrogen heating. The second team’s solution, “PowerPaste,” had been dedicated to the possibilities of providing a hydrogen paste for large-scale use of hydrogen as a fuel for micromobility. Team three presented a comprehensive offering to optimize the conversion process from natural gas pipelines to hydrogen pipelines through training supported by an app with the project title “H2Pipline Conversion”.
Followed by team four with their “HydroStart” solution, which aims at developing a fund to support start-ups in the hydrogen sector with the help of TÜV NORD GROUP’s specific know-how and network. The fifth and thus last approach showed “HydroWise”, a retraining/ and further education offer tailored to certain new, non-academic hydrogen professions.
Five exciting solutions, which did not make the decision easy for the team around Dr. Dietmar Schlößer, Dr. Carsten Gelhard and the other jury members. All solutions had something exciting and differed from each other, so that each approach was inspiring in its own right and made a direct comparison with each other difficult. A circumstance that led to the fact that even before the winning team was chosen, it was clear: “We can’t let these young talents go now, we should get to know each other better and talk about a common future!”
For students, the case competition is often the first time they get to know their future employer.

Only one team can win the competition

Then the time had come, the decision had been made, and during the discussion the jury kept reminding themselves: the solution should be innovative, practical and feasible. For the jury, this was most likely to be the case for the solution “Hydrogen Heating Systems Services” by Angela Mulè and Francesco Perrone, second place went to “H2Pipeline Conversion” by Helen Grobe and Agustin Gonzalz, and third place went to “HydroStart” by Malte Stoffers and Niklas Reinartz.
We also congratulate them on their successful presentations and look forward to meeting the students again soon in a different context!

After the Competition is before the Competition

At this point we are pleased to announce the partner of the next Competition: Parker Hannifin, a leading global manufacturer in the field of drive and control technologies. And also the rough direction of the case is already known, it is about no less a requirement than “shaping the distribution of the future”. This is an exciting challenge that will certainly be taken up by students of the RWTH Aachen lecture “Service Design Engineering” as well as numerous other students.

Are you a student and want to dedicate yourself to this topic? Contact Lukas Bruhns and also, if you would like to make the next case for the winter semester 2022/2023, profit from the creative and innovative ideas of the students, Lukas Bruhns is your personal contact.