Stefan Reich

the faces behind our research

#IamDAP: Sebastian Bold

Sebastian – Chemist and Dr. rer. nat. – is a hydrogen expert and music enthusiast. He is one of the newer members of the DAP and joined the chair in February 2022 as the new manager of the Research Area Hydrogen. Now working in Aachen, he studied chemistry at the University of Jena before joining the DAP.

Sebastian, you started your academic career in chemistry at the University of Jena. How did you get from Jena to Aachen and from chemistry to additive manufacturing?

As so often in life, chance played a major role: My doctoral thesis on hydrogen production was coming to an end and I was looking for postdoctoral positions in the field of hydrogen or renewable energies in general. Then my sister (Marie-Noemi Bold, group leader AdMat) offered me to talk to our Chief Enigneer Stephan Ziegler, who is very well connected in Aachen, to see if maybe someone in Aachen had a corresponding position. That’s when it turned out: The DAP needed a scientist for the position of Research Area Manager Hydrogen – the perfect coincidence!

Now you are Research Area Manager in the field of hydrogen at the DAP. Can you briefly introduce your research area and your tasks?

As Research Area Manager I basically coordinate all activities related to hydrogen at the DAP and work together with scientific staff from different groups. At the moment, these are first and foremost our three projects in the Future Cluster Hydrogen, but my tasks also include developing new ideas for applications of AM in the hydrogen economy and related topics and turning them into new projects. To do this, I naturally try to help my colleagues with chemical expertise. .

Hydrogen is often mentioned in the context of energy transition. Many still know this element from oxyhydrogen experiments in school. What does hydrogen actually have to do with AM?

A good question, it’s not necessarily obvious at first. But you have to imagine that we have to detach our entire energy system and material flows, e.g. in the chemical industry, from fossil sources and hydrogen can step in here at many points, especially as an energy carrier. This means that from the production of green hydrogen to its storage, transport and use, there is a wide range of necessary components for the entire hydrogen economy, where AM can be used as a production technology. We are also trying to cover this breadth in the Future Cluster Hydrogen.

#ichbinDAP: Marie-Noemi Bold am Keyence Digitalmikroskop. © RWTH DAP / Irrmischer.
#ichbinDAP: Marie-Noemi Bold auf Ihrer Fahrradtour durch Deutschland. © RWTH DAP.

Speaking of the Future Cluster: Who is involved and what are you currently working on?

A good question, it’s not necessarily obvious at first. But you have to imagine that we have to detach our entire energy system and material flows, e.g. in the chemical industry, from fossil sources and hydrogen can step in here at many points, especially as an energy carrier. This means that from the production of green hydrogen to its storage, transport and use, there is a wide range of necessary components for the entire hydrogen economy, where AM can be used as a production technology. We are also trying to cover this breadth in the Future Cluster Hydrogen.

Can you explain, why hydrogen burns but water doesn’t?

Why does natural gas burn but carbon dioxide does not? In both cases, one is the combustion product of the other: Hydrogen burns, i.e. reacts with oxygen, to form water. This releases energy, which is why hydrogen can be used as an energy carrier. Incidentally, the same reaction takes place in total in the fuel cell, which then supplies electrical energy. In the electrolyser, the reverse reaction takes place: Water is split into oxygen and hydrogen.

At the DAP you’re the Area Manager, in your free time it’s more like Accordion Manager. Surely there’s a good story to go with that?

Apart from the fact that Stephan is convinced that I listen exclusively to “pan flute metal”? Although I play mostly Latin music on the accordion now, I used to play tenor horn when I was in school. At that time, my tenor horn teacher directed his students to the orchestra of the Cologne public transport company (KVB), where you could earn some extra money on top of your pocket money. We always wore uniforms with the KVB logo at the gigs, and that’s when I got to know the phenomenon of “uniform greetings” – even as a 14-year-old in uniform, every bus and train driver suddenly greets you!

Stefan Reich

Sebastian Bold, Dr. rer. nat.

RWTH Aachen Chair
Digital Additive Production DAP
Campus-Boulevard 73
52074 Aachen

→ sebastian.bold@dap.rwth-aachen.de

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