Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2020 for core components of modern fuel cell vehicles

Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2020

Press Release / October 09, 2020

Power for the mobility turnaround! Fraunhofer IISB is excited about the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2020 for our colleagues Dr. Bernd Eckardt und Dr. Stefan Matlok. They receive the award for the development of a completely new generation of extremely powerful DC/DC converters - key components for the fuel cell vehicles of the future.

Video: Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2020 for core components of modern fuel cell vehicles © Fraunhofer

Innovative SiC semiconductors as an important factor in the success of the development: The prize winners Dr. Stefan Matlok (left) and Dr. Bernd Eckardt in the clean room laboratory of Fraunhofer IISB.
Power electronics for tomorrow's mobility: Dr. Stefan Matlok (left) and Dr. Bernd Eckardt with a research vehicle for new electric drive trains developed by Fraunhofer IISB.

Dr. Bernd Eckardt and Dr. Stefan Matlok from Fraunhofer IISB in Erlangen were awarded with the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2020 for the development of outstanding high-performance DC/DC converters for fuel cell vehicles. 

DC/DC converters control the supply of energy from the fuel cell and ensure that the powertrain is always operated with the correct voltage. These converters handle the entire drive power of up to one megawatt. This poses extreme demands in terms of high efficiency, minimal overall space requirements, and high mechanical robustness and reliability. Thanks to numerous new approaches, the prize winners have succeeded in developing DC/DC converters with efficiency and performance way beyond the current state of the art. So, the future of electric driving comes a big step closer.

The award was presented to Dr. Bernd Eckardt and Dr. Stefan Matlok at a ceremony during the Fraunhofer Annual Conference, which was organized as an online event. The two scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB in Erlangen work on power electronic systems for e-mobility.  

The Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize is awarded annually by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to its employees for outstanding scientific achievements. The prize is given for system relevance and the inherent potential to make a significant contribution to solving challenges facing society as a whole and to securing Germany's future as a business location. This year, four prizes, each with prize money of 50,000 euros, were awarded. 

Further details and background information can be found in the press release of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

Research for the energy and mobility turnaround: The award winners Dr. Bernd Eckardt (left) and Stefan Matlok in the Test Center for Electric Vehicles of Fraunhofer IISB.
High efficiency despite compact dimensions: Dr. Bernd Eckardt (left) and Stefan Matlok with one of the award-winning DC/DC converters developed by Fraunhofer IISB.