To content

Marathon Journey Takes Electric Car to TU Dort­mund University

  • Top News
  • Research
Four men in front of an electric car © TU Dort­mund
Marathon driver Rainer Zietlow (3rd from the left) meets at TU Dort­mund University with the logistics specialists for his tour: Nicolas Kämmerling, Professor Uwe Clausen and Dr. Sven Langkau (from left to right).

The record trip of an electric car over more than 20,000 kilometers around the whole of Germany brought it on Tuesday, 10 November, to TU Dort­mund University – which is not surprising: The route for this marathon journey was planned by a team led by Professor Uwe Clausen, Managing Director of the uni­ver­si­ty’s Institute for Transport Logistics (ITL).

By Tuesday, Rainer Zietlow and his co-pilot Dominic Brüner had already completed 17,000 kilometers around the country. There were a number of rules for their route from the south to the north of Germany: They were only allowed to call at each place once. In addition, they had to stop at all fast charging stations with a capacity of at least 60 kilowatts (kW) and also visit all VW dealers in the country.

Traveling Salesperson Problem

“With a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions, this task equates to the classic problem of the traveling salesperson,” says Professor Clausen. And in the world of logistics it is indeed known as the “Traveling Salesperson Problem” or TSP. “The challenge of visiting each place just once, along with the other criteria, sounds astonishingly easy. The traveling salesperson problem, however, is one of the most difficult from the standpoint of complexity theory,” explains Nicolas Kämmerling, Team Leader for Mathematical Optimization. Creating a suitable mathematical optimization model thus called for the ITL team’s expertise. “Everything has worked perfectly so far,” says Zietlow, the driver. “Professor Clausen’s team has once again found a great solution.”

Once across the country

The electric car’s journey started on 28 September at Germany’s southernmost hotel and ended will end on its northernmost parking lot west of List on the island of Sylt. One of the highlights of the tour was a stop at an SOS Children’s Village, which Rainer Zietlow has supported since 2005. He already has a lot of experience in driving long distances and with world records on all the world’s continents. Incidentally, one such trip already took him round the whole of Germany back in 2009 – on that occasion with a car that ran on gas rather than petrol. That route was also planned by a team led by Professor Clausen.

The tour online


Contact for further in­for­mation:

Cafeteria menus

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English)