2024 Programme

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The 2024 Conference programme




Conference Opening

  • Pierre DUYSINX, Vice-Rector for international affairs, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Jean-Christophe DEPREZ, IIS Contribute Wallonia


Conference Introduction

  • Introduction and programme
  • Jürgen TIEDJE, Head of Unit for Sustainable Industry Systems, DG for Research & Innovation, European Commission


Session 1 – Voice to policy makers

« The importance of lightweighting to support the Green Deal goals. The vision of Policy Makers »


  • Lionel BONJEAN, Director General – Economy, Employment and Research, Public Service of Wallonia (SPW EER), Belgium
  • Lena KILLANDER, Vinnova – Swedish innovation agency, Sweden
  • Michael KELLNER, Member of the German Bundestag, Germany (Video Greetings)


Lunch and networking


Session 2: Additive manufacturing and lightweight materials

« Additive manufacturing has drastically changed the manufacturing capabilities enabling more freedom to designers. Combined with innovative redesign tools such as topology optimization, large mass and material savings are possible. Everyday researchers and experts highlight some remarkable applications exhibiting the great potential of additive manufacturing in aerospace, mechanical or civil engineering. This session will discuss the recent developments of additive manufacturing techniques able to manufacture plastic, metallic, large scale metallic parts (WAAM), reinforced plastic with continuous fibres or even concrete structures. »

Keynote speaker:

  • Stephan UCSNIK, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Austria



Panel discussion:

  • Stefanie BRICKWEDE, DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH, Germany
  • Amaya IGARTUA, Coordinator of Materials Initiatives (EUMAT, AMI), TEKNIKER, Spain
  • Jonas GALLE, VALCUN, Belgium
  • Tomasz DUDZIAK, Krakowski Instytut Technologiczny, Poland


    Session 3: Advanced simulation and digital twins for lightweight structures

    « Designing lightweight structures and materials is boosted by the continuous development of numerical simulation and computer aided software tools. Nowadays, the modern concept of digital twins is the incandescence of preceding computer techniques. »

    Keynote speaker:

    • Samson COOPER, 3Ds – Dassault Systems, UK


    • Michael BRUYNEEL, GDTech Engineering, Belgium

    Panel discussion:

    • Martin SCHWAB, 4a engineering, Austria
    • Marie JONSSON, Linköping University, Sweden
    • Christian HAMM, ELISE and Alfred Wegener Institute & Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
    • Rafael CEBOLLA, Go Ahead Engineering, Spain


      Coffee break and networking


      Session 4: Reducing mass, CO2 and Cost in Aeronautics

      « Advanced composite materials are key technologies to tackle energy consumption reduction in aerospace. Developing new manufacturing technologies can also reduce their cost and CO2 footprint. The session will review current trends and inspiring proof of concepts showing it is possible to envision simultaneously lighter and more cost effective components for future aircrafts. »

      Keynote speaker:

      • Miguel Angel CASTILLO, AERNNOVA, Spain


      • Etienne MAILLARD, SONACA, Belgium

      Panel discussion:

      • Peio OLASKOAGA, IDEKO, Spain
      • Michael EFFING, AMAC, Germany
      • Harald CREMER, NMWP.NRW, Germany


        Session 5 : Wood and natural material solutions for lightweight applications

        « Nature provides many lightweight materials such wood, plant or rock fibres, or clays … Natural materials can present a high recyclability and sustainability, while also being able to exhibit high strength and physical performance in dedicated applications. Natural materials coupled with a matrix are known as composites, and they offer superior strength and durability over petroleum-based or human-manufactured products. While they have been used in human constructions for centuries, there is a great revival interest to revisit the (optimized) implementation of natural materials in present and future lightweight structures in construction, but also energy systems (e.g. wind turbines) or even ground and aerospace vehicles. The session 5 will brush the state-of-the-art of current research on various natural materials and their implementation in lightweight applications that are highly inspiring. »

        Keynote speaker:

        • Anita CATAPANO, Bordeaux Institute of Technology, France


        • Bernard VOSS, ISOMATEX, Belgium

        Panel discussion:

        • Thomas KRENKE, Innovation center W.E.I.Z., Austria
        • Herfied LAMMER, Competence Center for Wood Composites and Wood Chemistry, Austria
        • Riccardo PANCIROLI, FUKO, Italy


        Session 6: White paper “Lightweighting for Climate Action”

        è »This session is devoted to share the last version of the White Paper « Lightweighting for Climate Action ». Rapporteurs will present the latest status of the White Paper and to discussion the dissemination strategy. »

        Keynote speaker:

        • Werner LOSCHEIDER, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Germany


        • Pierre DUYSINX, University of Liège, Belgium

        Panel discussion:

        • Alexander POGANY, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria
        • Boel WADMAN, RISE Research Institute of Sweden, Sweden
        • Martin NOSKO, Slovak Academia of Sciences, Slovakia


        Conclusion of Day I


        Free time


        Departure to Colonster Castle of the University of Liège by Bus


        Gala Diner at Colonster Castle


        Return by bus to Van Der Valk Sélys Hotel




        Welcome for the opening of day II


        Session 7: Circular materials and lightweighting

        « Is it possible to combine materials from circular economy and lightweighting? The session will discuss if it is possible to break the paradoxical situation and will share different success stories from different domains and kinds of materials. »

        Keynote speaker:

        • Marco DIANI, Politecnico di Milano, Italy


        • Eric PIRARD, University of Liège, Belgium

        Panel discussion:

        • Carina SCHLÖGL, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Austria
        • Olivier MANTAUX, University of Bordeaux, France
        • Jean-François NIVART, CIRKLA Interreg Project, Belgium


        Session 8: Reducing mass, CO2 and Cost in Transportation

        « Multimaterial and composite structures have shown a remarkable potential to reduce simultaneously the mass of components in aerospace and transportation industry. However recently the Light Vehicle 2025 in EUREGIO has showed with 4 demonstrators that it was possible to reduce simultaneously the mass, the CO2 emissions and the cost of the 4 automobile components when considering the holistic redesign of the components. »

        Keynote speaker:

        • Frantisek SIMANCIK, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia


        • Jean-Pierre HEIJSTER, RAI Automotive Industry NL, The Netherlands

        Panel discussion:

        • Karl RADLMAYR, Voestalpine Metal Forming, Austria
        • Sai CHENNOJU, Automative Management Consulting , Germany
        • Cecilia WARROL, Technology industries, Sweden
        • Stefan GEH, SGL Carbon, Germany


          Coffee break and networking


          Session 9: EU Advanced Materials Initiative 2024 opportunities

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          « Advanced materials are obviously a major trend in EU research and leading-edge technological industry. Information about partnerships. Coordination between EU and national/regional calls. Feedback from industrial actors. »

          Keynote speaker:

          • Amaya IGARTUA, Coordinator of Materials Initiatives (EUMAT, AMI), TEKNIKER, Spain


          • Anne MERTENS, University of Liège, Belgium

          Panel discussion:

          • Lars MONTELIUS, Lund University, Sweden
          • Ahmed RASSILI, CRM Group, Belgium
          • Alexander POGANY, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria
          • Tomasz DUDZIAK, Krakowski Instytut Technologiczny, Poland


          Final discussion and conclusion of the 4th ELN conference

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          Lunch and networking

          Get in touch

          Please reach out to us with any questions you might have about the conference or the European Lightweighting Network.