Research Group
"Cascade Use"

Dr. Alexandra Pehlken (group leader)

+49 (0)441 798-4796

A5-1-114 (campus plan)


Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Research Group Cascade Use
Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118
D-26129 Oldenburg


We congratulate our CCU member Rikka Wittstock for finalizing her Master
Degree at Oldenburg University and her phD position at University of

Her master thesis "Resource Constraints for the Diffusion of Fuel Cell Vehicles: Assessing the Role of Recycling in Meeting Future Platinum Demand“ was done in cooperation with the Department of Chemistry at Oldenburg University, CCU and NEXT ENERGY in Oldenburg.

The full master thesis is available under downloads and here.

TU Wien STAN workshop at CCU

In November 2015 Oliver Cencic of TU Wien was giving a STAN workshop for all Cascade Use members. STAN (short for subSTance flow ANalysis) is a freeware that helps to perform material flow analysis and was developed mainly by Oliver Cencic at the TU Vienna, Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management (Prof. Rechberger). After two days we have now good knowledge the software thanks to our perfect trainer. Already two master thesis are based on STAN at CCU and the number is still growing.

Zhongkai Li has published his new paper in Journal of Engineering design

Our guest researcher from China has published a new paper in cooperation with Cascade Use in the Journal of Engineering Design. You can find the article with the title "A systematic adaptable platform architecture design methodology for early product development" here.

"E-Mobility" – Workshop "How Efficient is Electro Mobility?"

How "green" is E-Mobility really?

The field of "e-mobility" is highly complex and highlights one of the greatest issues of the future. The field challenges many research disciplines, the political world and many economic sectors. In June 2015, at the invitation of the University of Oldenburg and the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, a high-quality, international panel of experts was assembled to discuss the status of development in this field and the current problems faced.

According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority of Germany, in the start of 2015 44.4 million passenger cars were registered, of which almost 19,000 were electric cars. The federal government aims to reach its goal of having one million electric cars on the country’s roads by the year 2020. "Given the manifold problems, this is a very ambitious goal, which cannot be achieved with introducing sales incentives only," asserts Alexandra Pehlken, head of the junior research group Cascade Use of the University of Oldenburg regarding the development plans of the nation. “There is also still a long way to go until the concept of E-Mobility really becomes a green solution.”

You can find the complete article here.

Dr.-Ing. Pehlken now also head of Steinbeis Transfercentre "Ressource"

Since October 2015 Dr.-Ing. Pehlken is now also heading the Steinbeis Transfercentre "Ressource". Ressource is offering services around ressource efficiency and is adressing companies.

Infos about Steinbeis can be found here:

Infos about Steinbeis "Ressource" can be found here:[profile]=2567&cHash=179fb294b8b8402cf65a665e603719e3

Cascade use presented at LCM 2015

Cascade Use members Alexandra Pehlken and Clayton Burger presented some research results at the Life Cycle Management Conference 2015 in Bordeaux.

A poster on Sunstainable resource management for Lithium-Ion Batteries for electric vehicles can be downloaded here.

A full paper is available on the Journal of LCA.

Article published by JADLeT

Matthias' article on A Game-Based Learning Course for Education on Remanufacturing Supply Chains was recently accepted for publication by JADLeT Journal of Advanced Distributed Learning Technology (available online). In this article, Matthias discusses the potential of a game-based course for teaching requirements specific to the management of remanufacturing supply chains (closed-loop supply chains). Matthias gained teaching experience in game-based learning courses at the University of Bremen (Germany) and at the University Arturo Prat (Iquique, Chile) between 2011 and 2014. He could build on this previous knowledge when researching remanufacturing supply chains. With this article Matthias addresses a gap between the already developed theoretical foundation of closed-loop supply chains and its limited implementation in education and practice.

Participation in 7th ITEE International Conference in Port Elizabeth (South Africa)

(As announced at 1st of June) Matthias went to ITEE in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to present his joint paper with Alexandra on Support for improved scrap tire reuse and recycling decisions during the 7th ITEE International Conference (July 14-16th, 2015). He took advantage of being in Port Elizabeth to meet with Cainos Mukandatsama, a PhD candidate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), who attended our Summer School at HWK earlier this year.

Furthermore, Matthias went to visit VW South Africa and Lumotech Ltd. and he met some industry representatives during the conference.

Alexandra Pehlken elected to the Board of Directors of CENTOS

Alexandra Pehlken, research group leader of Cascade Use, was elected to the board of directors of CENTOS. Oldenburg Centre for Sustainability Economics and Management (CENTOS) is concerned with environmental economic analyses, and with the design of processes of change and learning in companies and other stakeholders in society. The focus is particularly on business networks, new services, application systems and institutional change in the context of sustainable development. At the overall economic level, the evaluation of environmental change, the design of environmental policy measures, their political and economic determinants and their economic effects are central. Please visit the CENTOS-Homepage for more information.

Discussing the future of E-Mobility

Challenging many academic disciplines, the highly complex issue E-Mobility is at the focus of a number of research groups at the University of Oldenburg, which foster an international dia-logue. For this reason, the research group Cascade Use was involved in organising the international summer school and conference "How efficient is electro mobility" that took place at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg in June 2015.

Whether the focus lies on battery, fuel cell and recycling technologies, energy efficiency, electricity grids and renewable energies or material cycles – research in a multitude of subjects relevant for E-Mobility is long-established at the University of Oldenburg, with the energy research network ENERiO, the research group Cascade Use and the affiliated institutes Offis and Next Energy being especially active in this area. Following their invitation, 50 researchers from all over the world convened at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst for three days in order to discuss the future of E-Mobility. This interdisciplinary workshop was sponsored by the programme International Promovieren in Deutschland – for all (IPID4all) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and by the Stiftung Innovationspool of the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg.

One of the conference’s key subjects was the topic of energy. Sustainable E-Mobility goes beyond just using renewable energies, the participants agreed, and requires smart grids. Demand-Side-Management, i.e. managing the demand of grid-connected services, remains an important field for research.

When considering the entire product life cycle, material flows, recycling and resource efficiency move increasingly into focus. "We urgently need new concepts and technologies", says Pehlken, whose research group deals with the utilisation of resources. "As it remains uncertain which type of battery will prevail in the future, the recycling industry is still hesitating", she explains. For example, the recycling of lithium-ion batteries has not been realised at an industrial scale yet and so far, initial solutions for automated disassembly only exist in laboratories.

Apart from batteries, fuel cell technology remains an important option for E-Mobility. This was demonstrated by contributions from Canada, one of the leading countries in fuel cell research. According to these experts, new recycling technologies – aimed at recovering the platinum contained in fuel cells, amongst other materials – are a prerequisite for the commercialisation of fuel cell vehicles. Further promising research on alternative materials for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which may significantly increase their power range, is conducted at the University of Oldenburg.

E-Mobility is also strongly promoted in China, where the focus lies on so-called New Energy Vehi-cles. These are hybrid vehicles that can be charged over the electricity grid. Since 2014, their share has increased drastically and today, one in 300 vehicles in China is a New Energy Vehicle. For com-parison: In Germany only every 412. vehicle was a hybrid and only every 2343. vehicle a full electric one in early 2015.

The conference was accompanied by a summer school attended by 25 PhD candidates from all over the world. As part of the summer school, the group also visited the Mercedes factory in Bremen and was given an introduction to the integration of electric vehicles in the city of Bremen by Veniox GmbH.

Text: Sabine Nollmann (translated from German by Rikka Wittstock)

Prof. Chen Ming meets the President

Prof. Chen Ming of Shanghai Jiao Tong University came to visit Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg from June 1st to June 6th 2015 and was invited to meet the President Prof. Dr. K. Al Shamery. Prof. Chen Ming is strongly cooperating with the research Group Cascade Use. This June Prof. Chen Ming was accompanied by three of of his Phd students who participated in the summer school "How efficient is electro mobility" in the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg. The summer school was supported and co-organized by Cascade Use. You can find the link to the event here.

Prof. Chen Ming himself was giving a presentation on the following conference on e-mobility and he gave some insights in the Chinese developments.

Cascade use will report on EnviroInfo & ICT4S 2015 Conference

Dr. Zhongkai Li, guest researcher from the research group Cascade Use, will participate the EnviroInfo & ICT4S 2015 held in University of Copenhagen during 7th-9th September, 2015. With the authors as Zhongkai Li, Jorge Marx Gómez, and Alexandra Pehlken, the article named "A systematic review of environmentally conscious product design" has been accepted by ICT4S 2015. Zhongkai Li will attend the conference to lead a discussion about the state-of-the-art review on product eco-design and explore future research directions in sustainable development for eco-friendly products. Detailed presentation photos and file downloads will be provided after the conference.

Upcoming conference participation

Matthias will be presenting his peer-reviewed case-study paper on Supply for Remanufacturing: Contradictions between Theory and Practise during the 20th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL) in Bologna from July 5–8th, 2015. The contribution will be published in the proceedings of the conference, more information can be found here.

Matthias will further present a joint paper with Alexandra on Support for improved scrap tire reuse and recycling decisions during the 7th ITEE International Conference 2015 in Port Elizabeth from July 14-16th. The conference proceedings will be published in a Springer Series book. More information about the conference can be found here.

Cascade Use collaborates with German-Chilean Project for Sustainable Raw Material Supply

Matthias Kalverkamp, researcher from the research group Cascade Use participated in a scientific exchange which took place in April 2015 as part of a BMBF-funded WTZ project for Green Supply Chains in raw material extraction. Since 2013, the BIBA – Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmBH and the University Arturo Prat are working jointly in this project. Thanks to an invitation from BIBA, Matthias joined the BIBA-scientist Thorsten Wuest on a visit to Iquique in the north of Chile. The purpose of their visit was to establish further contacts with scientist and companies in that region. Their joint research aims at a closer examination of carbon footprints in supply chain and logistics mining processes. In the long run they want to promote that carbon foot printing is considered in decision making in such processes in mining. Findings from this work are also used to assess raw material flows in the context of the research group Cascade Use.

In addition, the researchers initiated a knowledge exchange between the involved institutions regarding the extended utilization of resources. They conducted a lecture on optimal circular resource flows in industrial and commercial environments. Besides, they discussed potential future fields of cooperation. For the research group Cascade Use and in particular for Matthias it is interesting to further investigate the free trade zone of Iquique (ZOFRI) and its effects on the used cars and end-of-life vehicle (ELV) market.

For a report in Spanish about the lecture, please click here.

Cascade Use at IARC 2015 in Berlin

Cascade use presented his collaborative reseach as "Three continent approach" at the "International Automotive Recycling Congress"(ARC). Next to a cooperation with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China (Prof. Chen Ming), Cascade Use is strongly connected with University of Waterloo (Prof. Steven Young).

Please find here a download of the presented poster.

Further information can be found here.

CCU organizes conference about electro mobility at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg

The research group organizes a conference about the efficiency of Electro Mobility at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst. The conference with lecturers from different places of the world (China, Canada, South-Africa etc.) will take place on 4th and 5th of June.

You can register via this link:

Further information you can find here.

CCU was involved in Kick Off Event "IPID4all - International Doctorates in Germany"

The research group was involved in the Kick Off Event "IPID4all - International Doctorates in Germany", which was organized by the the PhD Renewable Energy Group. It took place at 21 April and pursued the goal to inform interested junior and senior researchers about the possibilities for international and interdisciplinary research cooperation within the DAAD funded programme "International Doctorates in Germany - for all" (IPID4All). The programme was dedicated to energy related topics, including research groups of the University of Oldenburg, affiliated institutes and international partner institutions.

You can find further information here.

PhD Summer School on Electro Mobility

After a successful workshop at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst last year we continue the topic "How efficient is electro mobility?" this year from June 1st to 5th, 2015.

We have funding opportunities for international students.

Please visit this website for the funding application:

Deadline: April 13th, 2015.

You can download all information here.

Cascade Use visits NEXT ENERGY

A visit to NEXT ENERGY, the EWE Research Centre for Energy Technology, had been taken place at the beginning of march. The Research Group had the oppertunity to discuss about important topics concerning sustainability. You can find further information about NEXT ENERGY here.

Happy Birthday "Cascade Use"

The research group "Cascade Use" celebrates its first birthday. We are looking forward to another successful year. Happy Birthday.

Welcome Clayton Burger

The Cascade Use group is now complete. Since February 16th Clayton Burger is a new member of the Cascade Use group. Clayton has a master degree in computer science of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and he used to work as a lecturer in Computer Science at NMMU. Clayton was already connected to Carl von Ossietzky University since he was part of the DASIK project. We welcome Clayton to our group!

Jin Tian is new member in Cascade Use

Jin Tian is our most recent Cascade Use member. Jin is actually a phd-student at Shanghai Jiao Tong University under the supervision of Prof. Chen Ming. Prof. Chen Ming is our official research partner in Cascade Use. Jin will add the chinese state-of-the-art in car remanufacturing to our research group. Welcome to Oldenburg Jin Tian.

Start of collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Research Group Leader Dr.-Ing. Alexandra Pehlken was visiting Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in November 2014. Cascade Use is collaborating with Prof. Chen Ming in the School of Mechanical Engineering at SJTU. Prof. Chen Ming is one of the leading experts for remanufacturing in China. For the next years Prof. Chen Ming and Dr. Pehlken agreed to organize joint workshops and summer schools in both countries togehter. In addition, one of Chen Ming's phd students is going to work in the Cascade Use team for one year.

(Changed: 20 Jun 2024)  | 
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