Inaugural lecture of Prof. Michalowski: when machines become experts

June 22, 2023 /

Machines need to understand their own manufacturing processes in order to unlock the full potential of artificial intelligence for manufacturing. Professor Andreas Michalowski sees this field as one of his research focuses at the University of Stuttgart. During his inaugural lecture, he outlined his vision of the laser manufacturing of the future.
[Picture: Regine Brendel]

Most lectures are about facts, formulas or theories, but rarely about visions. After all, students need the knowledge for their future careers. Inaugural lectures, on the other hand, are the official start of a teaching career, at the occasion of which professors like Andreas Michalowski introduce themselves to the faculty and the public in a celebratory setting. "I want to give a glimpse into the future of my field of research and hope that I can inspire the listeners with my thoughts," Michalowski explains. During his inaugural lecture on 16 June 2023, many other listeners from academia and industry sat in the lecture hall alongside professors, doctoral students and students.

Andreas Michalowski has held the newly established chair of "Laser Technology in Manufacturing" and deputy director of the IFSW since August 2022. The professorship was established at the University of Stuttgart as part of the InnovationCampus Future Mobility (ICM). Another ICM professorship at the University of Stuttgart and two more at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will follow.

At the inaugural lecture, the professors introduce themselves, their field and their positions. Since not only a specialist audience is present, this is done in a generally understandable and cross-thematic lecture. The title of Michalowski's lecture was: "Producing with lasers - today and tomorrow".

Michalowski strongly emphasised a future topic in the field of laser technology. "The dramatic advances in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are opening up entirely new possibilities in manufacturing technology," he explained. His vision is that manufacturing machines will become experts themselves and thus be able to produce very complex components cost-effectively, reliably and with the highest quality. This is an important part of securing the future and competitiveness of Germany as an industrial location. On the way there, data-driven AI algorithms would have to be expanded to include physical models and an understanding of causality. Only then would they be able to understand the mechanisms of action that underlie manufacturing. On this basis, the machines themselves could make predictions about how a laser process could be carried out with different materials, for example, and which parameters they would have to change for this. "I see this linking of manufacturing technology and artificial intelligence as a focus of my research work," said Andreas Michalowski.

Read more about the chair of "Laser Technology in Manufacturing" on the ICM website:

Inaugural lecture of Prof. Andreas Michalowski in the Richard-Feldtkeller-Hörsaal at the University of Stuttgart.
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