Perspectives on Mobility in Transition

Mobility as a holistic concept between past and future


The registration takes place via RWTH Online and is possible until September 30th. Further information about the registration process can be found in our FAQ.

All students can register for one module. You can specify two preferences. Please use the numbers “1” and “2”. If you have not been assigned a place in the project after the end of the assignment and are still interested in participating, please contact sibel.yildirim[@]ipw.rwth-aachen.de directly.

(If you have any problems with the registration or with RWTHonline, please contact Mrs. Sibel Yildirim (IPW), also stating your matriculation number: sibel.yildirim@ipw.rwth-aachen.de)

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Academic Responsibility

Univ.-Prof. i.R. Dr. phil. Paul Thomes

Teaching and research area Economic, Social and Technology History

Hon.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Streichfuss

Chair of Economic Geography and Senior Partner at Roland Berger

Contact Person





Monday, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.


In person

S12 (C.A.R.L.)
Claßenstr. 11
52072 Aachen


Mobility is a phenomenon that is as indispensable as it is dynamic and relative. Basically, it means the ability to move – under one’s own power or with the help of others. In the course of industrialisation, the individual range of spatial mobility expanded multimodally from local to global dimensions. The multiple effects of rapidly developing virtual mobility seem incalculably disruptive. At the same time, existential environmental problems are pushing for a basic mobility turnaround in the direction of sustainable traffic avoidance strategies with regard to goods, people and data; aspects that also demand a maximum of intellectual mobility: Squaring the circle? In a holistic, historically based approach, the seminar addresses selected mobility aspects, symbolically from head to toe, in the context of technology, economy, society (culture) and environment.

Mobility continues to be a basic human need. It was and is therefore an important driver of innovation. Until now, the motto has been faster, higher, further. The issue of sustainability played a subordinate role. The rapidly intensifying digital age is opening up completely new options. There is no alternative to a shift in mobility toward climate neutrality. New mobility patterns are emerging. Conventional mobility is being substituted. Is stationary VR glasses-based mobility the solution? Can on-site production replace long supply chains? Is there a renaissance of muscle mobility?

The seminar discusses the opportunities, risks and limits of combining mobility consumption and high technology against the backdrop of the need for sustainable use of resources in the form of energy, land and raw materials.

The prelude will be food for thought on historical mobility futures and an energetic stocktaking. This is followed by an evaluation of hydrogen as a beacon of hope. Outlooks into the future of conventional and innovative mobility media complete the range of topics.

In dialogue with the students, experts from the fields of IT/KI, mobility application, traffic organisation and innovation management discuss approaches to solutions with a view to structures, consumers and producers and the question of which dimensions of mobility and networking humanity wants or can afford in the future. The format deliberately focuses on interaction between students and speakers. Active participation by the students is explicitly desired.

Learning Outcomes

The contents of the course should enable the students to interpret mobility and its drivers historically based systematically and to accompany research and teaching actively-critically. Recommendations for action for the definition of sustainable mobility research and concepts are to be drafted independently.

Accordingly, the module places great emphasis on communication between students and lecturers; i.e. all sessions provide for a 45-minute discussion component. Targeted information material is available in advance in the learning room.



History, present and future of mobility

Prof. Dr. Paul Thomes
Research area Economic and Social History and History of Technology at RWTH Aachen


Challenges in overview

Hon.-Prof. Dr. Martin Streichfuss
Senior Partner, Roland Berger GmbH


How realistic is the Hyperloop?

Tim Vleeshouwer
Consultant, Roland Berger GmbH

Pascal Finker
Consultant, Roland Berger GmbH


Use of hydrogen in the mobility sector

Tim Evison
Senior Vice President, Clean Hydrogen and Sustainability at Messer Group


The future of aviation

Prof. Dr. Frank Janser
Research area Fluid Mechanics and Industrial Aerodynamics at FH Aachen


New Mobility

Marcel Philipp
CEO, e.Mobility.Hub GmbH


Seminar presentations


Seminar presentations and recap

Procedure/Working method​

Depending on the course of studies, module and examination, credit points can be achieved through participation.



Certificate of Participation (0 CP, not graded)


Protocol with critical analysis  (2 CP, not graded)

Project "Leonardo": Protocol with Analysis

Presentation (3 CP)

Project "Leonardo": Presentation

Term Paper 15-20 pages (4 CP)

Project "Leonardo": Study Paper

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