Marcus Lehmann holds an M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and an honors degree in Technology Management from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). His project Calwave is incubated by Cyclotronroad, an early-stage energy technology incubation program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For the TUM office in San Francisco, he has answered questions about his research and his studies at TUM.
How did you choose this area of research and what is your project about?
During my final project in high school in 2005, working on a solar model car, I learned, for the first time, details about the status of our planet’s rapidly changing conditions due to the anthropological contribution to climate change and the findings and projects of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Based on these learnings, I concluded that it is the duty of our generation to provide solution for a sustainable energy supply for the coming generations. Since then, I have dedicated my career towards this effort and enrolled in a Master’s Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on renewable energy and product development.
Besides my formal education, I attended the Cleantech Forum in Munich in 2012 and San Francisco in 2013 as well as the SF Cleantech Global Forum to learn more about current innovations and commercialization efforts in the clean energy sector. Throughout the six years of my diploma and double major, I’ve been closely following innovations in the clean energy sector and got in closer contact with companies working on low cost floating river turbines, micro solar desalination, power to fuel, service providers for the design of solar tower systems, compressed air energy storage and marine renewable energy.
What is your project about?
Throughout the six years of my diploma and double major, I’ve been closely following innovations in the clean energy sector and got in closer contact with companies working on low cost floating river turbines, micro solar desalination, power to fuel, service providers for the design of solar tower systems, compressed air energy storage and marine renewable energy.
After reading in the MIT technology review about the innovative wave energy converter concept of Professor Reza Alam at UC Berkeley, I expressed my interest and he offered me to join his group for my master’s thesis. As the result of my thesis, I developed a first working prototype for the novel concept that lead to a joined provisional patent with Professor Alam.
Could you tell us more about the Department of Energy’s Wave Energy Prize, a competition in which CalWave is one of the selcted finalists?
The Wave Energy Prize is the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest public prize challenge, an investment aimed at driving down the cost of marine and hydrokinetic technologies. It will encourage the development of more efficient Wave Energy Converter (WEC) devices that double the energy captured from ocean waves, which in turn will reduce the cost of wave energy, making it competitive with other traditional energy solutions.
How would you describe studying at TUM?
The first semester at TUM was quite overwhelming by the sheer amount of other students and course load, but programs like TUTOR made the start much easier and once the undergraduate program was completed, I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of the master’s program and was able to study a semester abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with the help of the TUMexchange program.
What was your goal after graduating from TUM?
My goal was to continue to work on renewable energy, ideally in an entrepreneurial context where I could contribute with my background in mechanical engineering and product development.
In your opinion, how have your studies at TUM prepared you for your following career?
The high quality of the education at TUM helped me significantly to improve in my ability to work on technical problems approaching them from a first principle and systematic manner as well as trained me well to be able to handle a high work load under time constrains.
In which ways have you maintained a connection with TUM?
As an alumnus of TUM Management Alumni e.V., the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) and the Elite Network Bavaria, I stay in close contacts with individual Alumni and the Alumni networks.
What advice can you offer to new students interested in studying at TUM?
My advice is to regard your time at TUM as an ideal time and framework in your life to personally and academically grow as an individual and to honor this opportunity by being proactive and not falling into a pure reactive "consumption" mode.
Did you study or complete your doctorate at TUM? Currently, there are already more than 50.000 TUM alumni and students who benefit from the TUM network, which will accompany them throughout their lives: www.together.tum.de