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Inventors of the Year 2016

New Talents

Already a Senior Key Expert at the age of 35, Heiko Claussen of Corporate Technology (CT) in Princeton, New Jersey, has had a meteoric career. The range and implementability of his ideas have won him an award as Inventor of the Year 2016 in the New Talents category. Born in the idyllic Allgäu region of Germany, Mr. Claussen was drawn abroad at a very early stage. He studied electrical engineering in parallel at Kempten University of Applied Sciences in Germany and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He gained a doctorate at the University of Southampton in England but already had a part-time job at CT in Princeton at the time.

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Self-learning systems monitor machines

Heiko Claussen loves efficiency. For the young researcher, this specifically means getting additional benefits from existing data that has been collected. To this end, he develops self-learning systems that process data in real time and notice immediately, for example, if a machine is no longer running as it should.

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Immediate detection of deviations from normal operation

Claussen is particularly proud of a system that can be used universally for a variety of equipment. “You simply connect it and can monitor a machine,” he explains. The system’s software learns how a machine behaves in normal circumstances – for example, which vibrations occur routinely in certain parts of the machine. If the data starts to differ from this learned behavior, the software notices this and sends an alert over a wireless connection.

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Gas turbine eavesdropping

Claussen has also developed a system that analyzes acoustic signals from the combustion chambers of Siemens’ most powerful gas turbines, the SGT-8000H series, and monitors whether the flames are actually on in all of the chambers. “That’s very important because the turbine could be damaged if a flame is not burning but gas continues to flow into the combustion chamber,” he says.

Basic research is interesting but, from the very beginning, I wanted to experience how my ideas are applied in industry. That’s why I feel that I’m in exactly the right place at CT in Princeton because many colleagues collaborate closely with the Business Units here and you get a very good overview and can gather experience.

Dr. Heiko Claussen, Senior Key Expert at Corporate Technology, Princeton, United States
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