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Professor Dr.-Ing. Manfred Boltze An interdisciplinary approach to transport

Professor Boltze, you are head of the “Transport” section at the LOEWE "Dynamo PLT - Production, Logistics and Transport" Cluster in Darmstadt. Why is it so important to integrate these three sub-areas? The problems in road traffic are well-known: they involve capacities, but also safety and environmental pollution. We have noticed that companies very often take too little account of the traffic environment in their production and logistics decisions. The road traffic authorities, on the other hand, often know too little about the consequences of their decisions for logistics - for example, when they close entire streets or inner-city areas to trucks for noise protection or air pollution control reasons. We want to bring the players closer together and at Dynamo PLT we are developing a tool for overall optimisation. In "transport management", for example, we are pursuing the strategy of increasingly influencing demand in order to rectify traffic peaks both spatially and in terms of time. This has long been practised as mobility management for passenger traffic, e.g. with job tickets or carpooling, and ticket prices for rail and air travel certainly vary according to demand.

You have been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs since 2009. What tasks and opportunities are associated with this position? We draw up expert reports and provide advice on topics that the Ministry asks us to address, but also using our own initiative. For example, we are currently working on the question of how urban transport can be financed in future. We are also being asked for advice on how we can best manage major projects. I find this work very useful, because my concern is always to ensure that what we are promoting in the academic world also attracts the attention of those implementing practical ideas and therefore decision-makers. Conversely, the experience that I gain in interdisciplinary cooperation on this committee and with the Ministry enriches my teaching and research.

During your doctorate in civil engineering and in the years following, you worked on traffic planning, including some time at Albert Speer & Partner. What did you gain from that time for your current teaching and research activities? My experience in the private sector, especially in project management, flows into my teaching activities in many areas, including the fact that we train most of our students for jobs in the business world. However, the intense level of cooperation with architects and urban planners was also important for me: it enabled me to get to know and appreciate interdisciplinary work. This is very often a crucial precondition for making any progress in the academic world - and this is particularly true of transport.

About the Person

  • Spokesman of the transport division at the LOEWE Cluster Dynamo PLT
  • Head of the Department of Traffic Planning and Traffic Engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Minister of Transport

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