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Our research experts

Imke Heeren

Ceramic high tech solutions for energy conversion, automotive and healthcare

“Not only the power of observation, but also the ability to utilize one's observations, to recognize the connections, and to draw conclusions from what has been observed is necessary in order to be successful. Alongside this, imagination also plays a role, to be able to place what has been seen where it belongs.”

Imke Heeren, Senior Expert for Ceramic Materials and Near-Net-Shape Technologies

In the competence field “Materials and functional coatings” I am working as a senior expert with deep expertise in functional materials and ceramic high-tech solutions. In close contact worldwide with all ceramic-producing Bosch business units and leading external manufacturers, we push forward the industrialization of multi-functional components for autonomous driving, energy conversion, and medical technologies to enable entry in new markets.

Curriculum vitae

Robert Bosch GmbH

2018
Leader of interdisciplinary team for development of smart medical devices

Robert Bosch GmbH

2016
Build-up of novel business model for ceramic solutions for novel markets

Robert Bosch GmbH

2013
Senior Expert “Net shape technologies,” Robert Bosch Inventor of the Year

Selected publications

  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2016 - 2017)

    Medical devices
    • I. Heeren
    • 3 patent families
    • Multifunctional surgical devices based on ceramic carriers and metallic circuit paths to enable different therapy treatments, e.g. cutting, coagulation and application of medicine. Description of brain spatula with light sources
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2014 - 2018)

    Combustion chamber pressure sensor
    • I. Heeren
    • 1 patent family
    • A ceramic material and a feedstock composition for an injection-molding process to realize a production an insulation punch of a combustion pressure sensor
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2014 - 2016)

    Starter
    • I. Heeren
    • 1 patent family
    • Starting a combustion engine needs a bridge to reduce the initial peaks of current. Description of a multicomponent solution containing pyroelectric conductor materials
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2013 - 2018)

    Electrochemical Energy Storage
    • I. Heeren
    • 3 patent families
    • Improvement of performance and cycle stability of lithium based battery cells via structuring of electrodes using e.g. nanoimprint lithography or dispersed microorganisms. Manufacturing techniques based on aerosol deposition
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2012 - 2016)

    Spark Plug
    • I. Heeren
    • 6 patent families
    • Design and material composition for high resistance spark and glow plugs. Novel design for housing of laser spark plugs, which are composed of a monolithic sleeve made of 2-components glass ceramic/alumina. Manufacturing concepts of the insulating body via ceramic injection molding
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch GmbH (2011 - 2018)

    Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
    • I. Heeren
    • 37 patent families
    • Invention of materials and material combinations for full ceramic tubular and planar Fuel Cell designs for energy conversion. Furthermore combination of cells to stacks for 1kW to 10 kW systems; description of methods for producing cell and system devices
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2010 - 2013)

    Laser Distance Meter
    • I. Heeren
    • 1 patent family
    • Ceramic lens carrier for long-distance Laser Distance Meter ensure the required high electromagnetic compatibility for measurements up to 250m. Invention of a feedstock for the ceramic injection moulding manufacturing process
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2010)

    Method for controlling ceramic sintering process
    • I. Heeren
    • 1 patent family
    • Description of a method for controlling the sintering process for mass production of ceramic components by regulation of the temperature during the sintering process based on comparison results
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch GmbH (2006 - 2018)

    Exhaust Gas Sensors
    • I. Heeren
    • 18 patent families
    • Description of highly resistant ceramic-based sensor concepts and packaging design for exhaust gas of combustion engines; Sensor concepts and design proposals for measuring the partial pressure or soot particles; Manufacturing methods
  • Publications

    Robert Bosch Gmbh (2005 - 2007)

    Boiling point sensor
    • I. Heeren
    • 1 patent family
    • The boiling point of a liquid medium containing small amount of water, particularly brake fluid, hydraulic oil or a liquid in pressure transmission devices can be measured with a ceramic based sensor concept

Interview

Imke Heeren

Imke Heeren

Senior Expert for Ceramic Materials and Near-Net-Shape Technologies

“Please tell us what fascinates you most about research.”

For me, science is a fascinating area where I can discover and learn something new, and at times completely unexpected, every day. I find it extremely inspiring to transfer this knowledge to the Bosch world and in this way to contribute to or even create the initial spark for new business.

Imke Heeren

Imke Heeren

Senior Expert for Ceramic Materials and Near-Net-Shape Technologies

“What makes research done at Bosch so special?”

The diversity of topics and activities in our company is in my view unparalleled. It is unbelievable the amount of knowledge we have from all our other divisions, especially from automotive, and how openly I can discuss things with my colleagues and develop innovative product ideas. The task of transferring these ideas to the business units and production facilities at an early stage to jointly develop genuine product innovations is particularly exciting.

Imke Heeren

Imke Heeren

Senior Expert for Ceramic Materials and Near-Net-Shape Technologies

“What research topics are you currently working on at Bosch?”

The core of my work is to develop innovative ceramic components that feature a high degree of functional integration. In addition to parts made of materials with new chemical and physical properties, monolithic multi-component parts made of different material pairings are increasingly becoming the focus of attention. This allows a maximum of functional integration in a small space. These components create unique selling points in such applications as exhaust gas sensors, high-temperature fuel cells, hybrid circuits for power electronics, optical carriers for laser-based distance measuring devices, and surgical instruments for medical technology.

Imke Heeren

Imke Heeren

Senior Expert for Ceramic Materials and Near-Net-Shape Technologies

“What are the biggest scientific challenges in your field of research?”

I find the greatest challenge is the balancing act of harnessing new results from scientific research and applying them to our industrial use. The quote from Robert Bosch gets to the heart of the issue – it is a matter of bringing this knowledge into the broader context of the Bosch product business. This requires a broad network both in the scientific environment and within the company.

Imke Heeren

Imke Heeren

Senior Expert for Ceramic Materials and Near-Net-Shape Technologies

“How do the results of your research become part of solutions "Invented for life"?”

I am currently working in the field of medical technology on the development of new surgical instruments that combine the possibility of therapy and diagnosis in a single device. The central feature of these devices is ceramic components with additional sensory functionality, for example to obtain important information about the condition of tissue during surgery. By combining Bosch knowledge from diverse technologies with data management developed for industry 4.0, completely new product ideas and technologies can be “Invented for life".

Get in touch with me

Imke Heeren
E-mail

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