Zelt für Katastropheneinsätze – a tent for disaster operations
Appreciation of the winners
by Rido Busse
Two years ago, Dr. h.c. August R. Lang, Bavarian Minister for the Economy and Traffic at the time, requested my opinion on the works that had been submitted. What I said back then was critical and holds true today: we need fewer entries but of higher quality. Implementing suggestions on how to achieve that has made it possible to do away with the highly controversial and cumbersome process of preselection based on photos. However, I was astonished by the results.
Few companies in the manufacturing or service industries appreciate team concepts being presented by job applicants because of the difficulty identifying the contribution of each individual on the team. However, the jury members were so impressed by team submissions this year that their decisions were unanimous.
Supervised by Prof. R. Knauer, the members of the first winning team were, in alphabetical order, Tom Allemeier and Rainer Weckenmann. The team’s task was to design a tent. Since the designers had no basic knowledge in this area, they were forced to adopt a systematic method to make sure they did not disregard any potential approaches in their search for a solution. The result – they designed a tent for use in disaster operations. During their research, Allemeier and Weckenmann found that even the best tents of this type are deficient either because of their heaviness or the effort it takes to set them up.
The result of extensive research was a tent for disaster operations which can be set up easily by one person. The design is coherent and all of the elements are stored together. To set up or dismantle the tent, two elements need to be brought into position correctly – a lever and a longitudinal brace. Up to a certain point these elements move independently, with little support required. To reduce the tent’s weight and keep the size of the entire package to a minimum, the designers chose a lightweight construction with only a few static elements. The pull and pressure required to set up the tent lead to the desired rigidity. A prototype has not yet been tested as a whole but due to the team’s intelligent approach the work has been awarded the Bavarian State Prize.