Researcher Highlight – Gabriel Stankiewicz from Project B

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Gabriel Stankiewicz
We hope to give a better insight to the program by introducing our IRTG members. We start this interview series with the FAU PhD student Gabriel Stankiewicz from Project B – Excitation-Conforming, Shape-Adaptive Mechano-Electrical Energy Conversion.


 Where do you come from and how did you become a part of the IRTG program?

I originally come from Szczecin, a city located in the northwest of Poland, close to the German border. I have completed a Master Degree in Computational Engineering at FAU. During my master thesis I have received an offer from Prof. Paul Steinmann and Prof. Julia Mergheim to join the PhD position as a part of IRTG.

 Tell us a little about your current research for the IRTG and your research group.

I work at the Institute of Applied Mechanics at FAU. Together with my colleague Chaitanya Dev we develop a software for structural optimization. We have introduced a novel method to couple two main branches of structural optimization, that is, topology and shape optimization. The ultimate goal of our work is to apply our method and provide a tool that automatically designs shape adaptive, vibrational energy harvesters. Given the boundary conditions on the frequency range, geometry and durability, our software will be able to generate a compliant mechanism that can tune its natural frequency within the desired spectrum by geometric adaptation. In this way, the mechanism can harvest energy while constantly being in structural resonance with the environment excitations.

 What are your plans/goals after graduation?

Maybe move to Iceland or New Zealand? But realistically, I am looking forward to get a position in my field somewhere closer to the Alps in Germany. I could see myself as a software developer of a commercial FEM simulation program.

 What are you looking most forward to after this pandemic, and when you will be able to go to our partner institute in Japan?

I used to travel a lot, both with my girlfriend and for landscape photography with my friends. In my everyday life there has been always lot of sports too. In the last couple of years I regularly trained calisthenics and played tennis. In the pandemic none of these is possible, so I (very) impatiently wait to get back to these activities. If we are allowed to go to Japan during our research, I would like to travel around the country and get a good feeling of its nature, culture and, of course, sushi!