Research Overview

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raoul Daniel Zöllner, Vice-rector Research, Transfer, Innovation
Research at the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences is application-oriented, interdisciplinary and aimed at strengthening the technology region of Heilbronn. Our activities are founded on trust-based relationships with the strong regional players from business and society.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raoul Daniel Zöllner, Vice-rector Research, Transfer, Innovation

Main Areas of Research

Konstruktionszeichnung Auto auf schwarzem Hintergrund

Automotive & Mobility

Read more
Forscher im LAbor in weißem Kittel am PC

Digital Living Environments and Health

Read more
Händeschüttel zwischen Robotor- und realer Hand im Labor

Materials Processing & Engineering

Read more

Research professorships

Research professor for electric mobility systems

  • Promotion of electromobility
  • Building processes for research-oriented learning in electric mobility
  • Interlinking of university activities in electric mobility with wider society

    “Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences conducts research into the subject of electric mobility networked with participants in the region. That is our goal.”

    Research professor for logistics system planning and simulation

    • Material flow planning in factories and logistics systems
    • Simulations for the optimisation and validation of logistics in trade and industry
    • Development of maintenance strategies in intralogistics

      “Logistics, particularly its subdivision of intralogistics is characterised by increasing automation of investment-intensive conveyor and storage equipment. In the context of Industry 4.0, simple material flow elements (driverless transport vehicles, shuttles, cranes etc.) are becoming complex systems due to parallel processes and adaptive algorithms. The validation of such systems and their controls, taking into account many internal or external factors, is essential before investment. The goal of this professorship is to make a contribution to the development and validation of control and maintenance strategies of complex logistics systems.”

      Research professor for sustainable development in bicycle mobility and tourism

      • Sustainability management and controlling
      • Sustainable and digital businesses
      • Harmonisation of sustainable and digital management

        “With the model of research professorships at universities of applied research, HNN with its Education Campus is laying down a significant foundation throughout Germany, combining in a purposeful way the requirements of academic rigour and practical relevance, which are essential for successful research.”

        Research professor for artificial intelligence

        • Development of AI-based methods for machine perception
        • Environmental interpretation for automated vehicles using various sensor classes
        • Detection of anomalies in production processes

          “Artificial intelligence is not coming – it’s already here. Let's be part of shaping it to make the best use of this technology for us humans!"

          Research professor for hydrogen propulsion systems

          • Use of hydrogen as a motor fuel
          • Operating behaviour of hydrogen motors and fuel cells
          • Optimisation of motor design with regard to the use of alternative fuels

            “CO2 emissions must be drastically reduced in all sectors and above all fast. “I am certain that with hydrogen and the fuels produced from it, we will be able to decarbonise the transport sector quickly and economically. It is great to be participating in this task of the century!”

            Research professor for tourism politics and development

            • Social and political relevance of tourism
            • Regional tourism development
            • Integration of tourism and mobility

            "Tourism in all its forms makes a significant economic and social contribution that is often not properly perceived in public debate. I would like to take this importance into account, especially in a regional context, with socially and scientifically relevant research and thus support the development of tourism."

            Research professor for autonomous systems

            • Probabilistic and AI-based sensor data fusion and learning methods
            • Sensory perception and situational understanding
            • Prediction and planning methods – in everyday settings

            “Research is the initial spark for innovations and thus the guarantor for the social prosperity of our high-tech region.”

            Current research

            Research professor for interoperability and digital processes in medicine

            • Digitalisation of processes in medicine and healthcare
            • Application-oriented use of standards such as HL7 FHIR and BPMN 2.0 or IHE
            • Translation between research, medical applications and the health system

            “Digitalisation has a great deal to do with us as people, because it is the work processes that we are redesigning – also and especially in medicine."

            Research professor for sustainable development in the wine industry

            • Sustainable development of the wine industry
            • Sustainable economic systems
            • Market-oriented business management

            “My research is concerned with sustainable business systems in the wine industry, because it is very close to my heart and I want my work to contribute to the industry and its companies so that in future they and their children will still be able to prosper from it."

            Current research

            Research professor for educational technologies and innovative software development

            • Innovative software systems for technology-enhanced teaching, learning and testing in the healthcare professions
            • Intelligent software and assistance services for support in the workplace

            “My motivation as a researcher is to make people cleverer and healthier through the development and use of innovative software!”

            Current research

            Research professor for social informatics

            • User-oriented IT development
            • Leadership and collaboration in digitalisation
            • Innovation methods

            “In my research I am concerned with the psychological aspects of the design of interactive technologies. My focus is on the technological development process, I research how people and IT teams can develop their full potential or how to enable a positive user experience for various target groups.”

            Current research

            Research professor for human-technology interaction

            • Usability engineering
            • Augmented and virtual reality
            • Innovative interactive technologies

            “The interaction and collaboration between people and technology is a very exciting, innovative and interdisciplinary field of research. New technologies such as virtual and augmented reality are increasingly finding their way into all areas of our lives. These new technologies have to be developed and adapted to the needs of people and their tasks.”

            Current research

            Research Professor for Neuroinformatics

            • Biomarkers for mental and neurodegenerative diseases
            • Modeling of cognitive processes in the human brain
            • Empirical methods and machine learning processes

            "In order to even begin to understand the complexity of our brain, we have to think beyond disciplines and individual methods. All of this is held together by computer science, which lays the foundations for this research by means of data collection, storage and processing."

            Research professor for health economics and management

            • Health economics analytical models
            • Machine learning methods
            • Data analysis in the fields of medicine and epidemiology

            “The digital transformation places people at the centre and finds effective and economic solutions for the medicine of the future.”

            Research professor for metal forming and bodywork construction

            • Dimensional accuracy of sheet metal formed parts
            • Springback of complex sheet metal formed parts
            • Springback compensation, cost reduction and quality optimisation in bodywork construction

            “We research and develop almost exclusively topics of which we are convinced that we can really put the results on the road in a useful way in the short and medium term"

            Research professor for fluid mechanics

            • Modelling and simulation of flow and transport in porous media
            • Flow simulation (computational fluid dynamics)
            • Application fields include: Aerosol filtration, topology-optimised microplastic and hydraulic filters, catalytic converters, medical technology, SARS-CoV-2 protective masks, fine dust deposition in the respiratory tract, metered dose inhalers for asthma medications.

            “The freedom which the introduction of the research professorship at HHN offers me to implement my research plans is superb. “I think it’s great, that I can put even more commitment into my favourite occupation.”

            Current research

            Professor Ott

            Research professor for 3D sensor technology and sensor data processing

            • Optical sensor technology
            • Radar sensor technology
            • Sensor data evaluation using machine learning and/or cloud-based tools


            “My research team and I want work with passion, creativity, care and stamina to open up new paths in sensor technology and sensor data processing for the benefit of our society.”

            Current research

            Research professor for innovative simulation methods in continuum and fluid mechanics

            • Simulation of thin fluid layers
            • Potential and variation methods
            • Biomechanics and coatings technology

            “Hidden paths are waiting to be discovered off the beaten track. My goal is to make them useful!”

            Current research

            Research professor for electromagnetic systems

            • Electromagnetic energy converters
            • Magnetic sensor technology
            • Magnetic materials testing
            • Analytical and numerical calculation methods/simulation techniques


            “Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature; and in such things as these, experiment is the best test of such consistency”. This quotation from Michael Faraday corresponds to my personal attitude and motivation towards applied research and development."

            Research professor for materials engineering and science

            • Nitriding/nitrocarburising of stainless steels and heavily formed components
            • Heat treatment of steel (bainitising T< Ms)
            • Material and tribological investigations on gear wheels
            • Physical metallurgy of welding

            “Progress in materials engineering and science has a high relevance for industrial applications, because here the potential for important subjects such as innovative strength and competitiveness can be implemented. Materials also have a societal significance in answering the question how energy saving, CO2 reduction and conservation of resources can be implemented. These topics can be dealt with even more intensively within the framework of my research professorship than was previously possible.”

            Current research

            Contact to the Prorectorate for Research, Transfer and Innovation

            Logo Familienfreundliche Hochschule
            Logo Weltoffene Hochschulen gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit
            Logo Charta der Vielfalt
            Logo der HSW Hochschulförderation SüdWest