The Chair of Materials Handling and Warehousing (Lehrstuhl für Förder- und Lagerwesen, abbr. FLW), founded at TU Dortmund University in 1972, is one of the most long-standing logistics departments. In an interdisciplinary team of around 20 employees we research, develop and teach in the fields of intralogistic designing, engineering and controlling. We also carry out fundamental- and contract research as well as planning and consultancy projects for our clients from the industry, trade and service sector, equally for public and research institutions. A milestone of recent scientific work is set by fundamental developments of the Internet of Things – the origin of the “forth industrial revolution”. In this context the first “Spring Meeting on AutoID” took place in Dortmund in 1999, which dealt with the automatic identification of goods and commodities – not only within logistics. The chair, settled in the faculty of mechanical engineering, evolved into an interdisciplinary institution of teaching and research: Scientists from the disciplines of logistics, computer science, engineering, electronics, statistics and design work and research together on the future of logistics. “PhyNetLab” has its origins from this cooperation involving hundreds of “intelligent containers” and other smart devices, for instance the “Coaster” (currently largest testbed for cyber-physical systems in logistics). The chair is resident at the LogistikCampus since 2013, an interdisciplinary research center of TU Dortmund University and the Fraunhofer IML, which mostly originated from the work of FLW and its professor Prof. Dr. Michael ten Hompel.
The underlying idea of the LogistikCampus is the concentration and the expansion of its fields of competence: “technical logistics” and “information logistics”. Close co-operations with the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML encourages new opportunities and chances. As a result an interdisciplinary research center for logistics with scientific and technical know-how was established. The new constructed building at the TU Dortmund University became a representative point of reference for education, research and science. Excellent researches and projects from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) shall appear more obvious in international contexts. However, the industry-orientated research within logistics and IT remains the focus in Dortmund.
After the inaugural ceremony on April 22nd, 2013 the new constructed building is officially handed over to Prof. Dr. Ursula Gather (headmistress of TU Dortmund University) and Prof. Dr. Michael ten Hompel (executive management of the Fraunhofer-Institute IML). The project was sponsored by the ministry of science in NRW with an investment of 4.4 million euros. The six-storeyed building covers an area of around 2650m² and occupies 50 employees of the TU Dortmund University, the Fraunhofer-Institute and the Graduate School of Logistics. Events and meetings are held in its foyer, lectures and presentations take place in its auditorium.
The goal is to encourage fundamental research in logistics. Interdisciplinary research has a leading part as a competitive factor in order to promote Germany internationally. With the construction of LogistikCampus an essential step was already taken in order for Dortmund to become the European research center for logistics issues.