Award Winners 2011

Pioneer in Aircraft and Lightweight Construction

Prof. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann studied aerospace technology at the University of Stuttgart. Then he worked as a scientific assistant at the Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (Germany‘s national research center for aeronautics and space) from 1977 until 1980. In 1980 he became the head of development and was responsible for the construction of a light aircraft at the company Gyrofl ug GmbH of which he became the technical director in 1984. For the fi rst time he succeeded in licensing an airplane in fi ber composite construction according to FAR 23 at the German Federal Offi ce of Civil Aviation and the American Federal Aviation Administration.

After a leading position at the Grob Luft- und Raumfahrt GmbH, he changed to the company Dornier Luft- und Raumfahrt GmbH in Friedrichshafen and worked among other positions as a chief engineer in Toulouse. In the end he was the senior head of the department of structural design and technology in Friedrichshafen and Oberpfaffenhofen. In January 1994 he was appointed professor for aircraft construction at the University of Stuttgart. There he took over the project management position for the solar airplane project icare. His fi elds of activity include in research and teaching aircraft design, construction and light construction in fiber composite construction. His main interest in research is the design of unconventional aircraft configuration. The main focus is here on efficient, environmentfriendly confi gurations which operate electrically. In the past few years he developed one of the most effi cient electric aircrafts with the signifi cant participation of his Steinbeis enterprise at the institute for aircraft construction together with e-Genius.

In 1995 he founded the Steinbeis Transfer Center Aerodynamics, Aircraft Engineering and Lightweight Construction. The Steinbeis Flugzeug- und Leichtbau GmbH emerged from that Steinbeis Transfer Center in 2008. The SFL-GmbH offers clients and partners from the aerospace industry development services for the design and development and the licensing of aircrafts in fi ber composite construction. His other main focus is on the development of highfl ying, unmanned aircrafts. In this connection the research topics and projects at the university and the transfer projects complement with each other ideally. Among his clients are big groups like EADS, ASTRIUM, but also several medium-sized enterprises such as the sailplanes manufacturer Schempp Hirth.

His scientific accomplishments in the aircraft development have been appreciated with numerous awards. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann is an active pilot and can besides his theoretical knowledge refer to an extensive practical experience with sailplanes, motor gliders and motorized airplanes.

Despite the numerous projects Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann has always kept his identification with Steinbeis. In situations that required exceptional steadfastness and reliability he held the Steinbeis flag exceptionally high when facing strong headwinds. He has been and is a deeply loyal partner.

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