Recyclable wind turbines and airplanes? Is that possible?

April 27, 2023

Carbon and glass fiber composites dominate the automotive industry, but there are limits to their use. Bio-based natural fiber composites are therefore becoming increasingly important. But is there a market for them? And how can we break into this market? ENI is inviting applications for a master's thesis on this subject.

Why biobased natural fiber composites?

Challenges facing society as a whole, such as climate change, require the use of modern, innovative materials, which on the one hand should be sustainable and on the other hand particularly environmentally friendly. At the same time, however, such materials must not be inferior to conventional materials in terms of cost, skills, strength, etc. This makes recycling and use more difficult. In many cases, traditional materials are preferred because they are known to meet the challenges placed on them. Fiber-reinforced plastics are a new type of material that is currently being developed and is already being used in some applications.

This material is considered to have great potential, especially in the automotive industry. So far, carbon and glass fiber composites have dominated this sector due to their excellent property profile. Nevertheless, there are limits to the use of these composites due to a high energy input in the manufacturing process as well as poor recyclability: biobased natural fiber composites are therefore becoming increasingly important due to the aspect of sustainability, and their use has a positive effect on the life cycle assessment. At the same time, they exhibit comparably good mechanical properties at a significantly lower density and therefore offer considerable potential in the context of energy and mass savings. Through this future-oriented material, sustainable lightweight construction with high stiffness and significant weight savings can be implemented. Biobased natural fiber composites are currently prominently used in the automotive, motorsport and shipbuilding industries.

The master thesis

What repeatedly prevents new materials - as good as they may be - from achieving a breakthrough and being used is the lack of know-how in the transfer between research and development of a material and its use in industry. In cooperation with the IFB, ENI is setting itself the task of firstly: finding a suitable market for NFVKs and secondly, developing a concept to penetrate this market.

In this context, the ENI invites applications for a thesis that aims to address these two issues. Students who successfully apply for the thesis will receive support from both ENI and IFB.

The thesis follows the common research paradigm of business and social sciences and the topic is investigated using qualitative or quantitative research methods. This includes interviews, experiments, surveys or similar. The call for applications is therefore primarily aimed at students of the following disciplines: Business Administration M.Sc., Business Administration t.o. M.Sc., TeMa M.Sc., Real Estate Engineering and Real Estate Management M.Sc. and Business Information Systems M.Sc. However, other interested parties are also welcome to apply.

Interested students should send their informal application (a one-page letter of motivation) to: and


This image shows Andreas Wahl

Andreas Wahl

Dr. rer. pol.

Head of Teaching


Florian Helber, M.Sc.

Allmandring 5b, 70569 Stuttgart

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