André Gerlach, Dr.
Designing the acoustics of our products for humans
"Sound surrounds us everywhere. With hearing, humans possess an outstanding sense. Our perception is always open, we hear the quietest sounds, and we are incredibly efficient when it comes to analyzing and recognizing. This efficiency in hearing motivates me in my work. Bosch has a wide variety of products. As a researcher, I would like to predict and shape acoustics for all of them."
My work and research area is our products’ acoustics. With some products, I would like to improve the acoustics; with others, we use sound directly for their function. I continuously develop the methods for this. For my work, I use numerical simulations and methods of artificial intelligence. I can also characterize and visualize the acoustics through measurements in our sound measurement rooms. For this I use microphones, an artificial head, the acoustic camera, or laser scanning.
- Teaching mandate in Technical Acoustics, Lectures at the University of Stuttgart and the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Stuttgart
- PhD in Engineering / Method for predicting sound power, University of Stuttgart
- Information Technology degree, specialization in Acoustics, Technische Universität Dresden
Gerlach et al. (2020)Comparative analysis of isothermal decay of the surface potential of fluoroethylenepropylene electrets and of the sensitivity of electret microphones at elevated temperature
- A. Gerlach, M. Liebler, G.M. Sessler, H. v. Seggern, B. Scheufele, E. Hirth
- Journal AIP Advances 10, 095313 (2020)
Liebler et al. (2020)Experimental characterization of high-intensity focused airborne ultrasound fields
- M. Liebler, Ch. Kling, A. Gerlach, Ch. Koch
- The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America JASA, 2020
Henneberg et al. (2020)Periodically arranged acoustic metamaterial in industrial applications: The need for uncertainty quantification
- J. Henneberg, J. S. Gomez Nieto, K. Sepahvand, A. Gerlach, H. Cebulla, S. Marburg
- Journal of Applied Acoustics, Volume 157, 107026
Robert Bosch GmbH (2020)Method for detecting objects by adaptive beamforming
- A. Gerlach
- European Patent EP2804015B1
Interview with Dr. André Gerlach
Senior Expert Technical Acoustics and Ultrasound
Please tell us what fascinates you most about research.
My interest in new findings and in solving previously unsolved problems was piqued during my university studies and particularly during my work as a research assistant at the University of Stuttgart. Several professors of acoustics were my role models; they spurred me on and supported me. Even before my time as an associate, I visited the Bosch research and saw how new findings lead to innovative products in applied research. I wanted to be a part of that.
What makes research done at Bosch so special?
Bosch has many different and innovative products. Developing them is complex and demands vast basic knowledge as well as excellent engineering skills. Therefore, we work in interdisciplinary teams. I enjoy this. I also find it very important that we promote young talented students in research. I very much enjoy being involved in this personally. Which is why I supervise several Bachelor and Masters theses every year. I also have a teaching mandate in acoustics. In my lectures I train students for industrial practice.
What research topics are you currently working on at Bosch?
One current focus of my research work is automated driving. I would like to use ultrasound (high-frequency sound) to observe the vehicles or robots’ environment and detect other objects. Nature is my role model. For example, bats are very efficient in detecting objects and highlight the potential that exists. I am currently improving the technology’s efficiency by using methods of artificial intelligence for this.
What are the biggest scientific challenges in your field of research?
Acoustics is an interdisciplinary science. It starts with the generation of sound, continues with sound propagation and ends with human perception. Difficult-to-model effects play an important role in sound generation. Propagation can cover huge, sound-influencing areas. The perception of sounds by humans is complex. Frequently it is determined using auditory experiments; however, it is not yet completely mappable by means of a model. For a good product, we always need to go to the human stage; that is the challenge!
How do the results of your research become part of solutions "Invented for life"?
In my work I distinguish two product groups. In the first, sound contributes directly to the function. For example, I am working on our sound systems for the vehicle interior and on the ultrasound systems for the exterior observation of vehicles. In the second group, the focus is on shaping acoustics or reducing the sound. Here I am contributing to our electromobility drive systems. So I can really say: Acoustics is aimed at human perception or support and is therefore genuinely “invented for life.”