Institute and division management


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Fritz Klocke

  • Executive Director of Fraunhofer IPA
  • Responsible for the commercial area (Administration and Business Development)
  • Responsible for the divisions “Surface Engineering and Materials Technology“ and “Manufacturing and Process Engineering“

Since July 1, 2018, Professor Fritz Klocke has joined the management of the Fraunhofer IPA.

From 1970 to 1976, Klocke studied production engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Lippe in Lemgo and at the Technical University of Berlin.

After his studies he worked until 1981 as a research assistant and until 1984 as a chief engineer at the Institute for Machine Tools and Production Technology of the TU Berlin. In 1982 he obtained a doctorate in engineering from the Technical University of Berlin.

In the years 1984 to 1994 Klocke worked in industry at Ernst Winter & Sohn in Norderstedt near Hamburg. After a short assistance he became head of the process control and from September 1985 he took over the management of the mechanics department.

In 1995, he was appointed university professor for the subject "Technology of Manufacturing Processes" at RWTH Aachen University. Professor Klocke headed the Chair of Manufacturing Technology and was a member of the Board of Directors of the WZL Machine Tool Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University. Until the end of 2017, he was Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen. From 2001 to 2002 he was Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and from 2007 to 2008 President of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). Klocke is retired in Aachen now and came to Stuttgart as director of the Fraunhofer IPA on July 1, 2018.

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl

  • Director of Fraunhofer IPA
  • Director of Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management (IFF) of University of Stuttgart
  • Responsible for the divisions “Resource-efficient Production“, “Networked Production“, “Intelligent Automation and Clean Manufacturing“ and “Medical Engineering and Biotechnology“

Since September 2011, Professor Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl is Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart in Germany. He is also Director of the Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management (IFF), which belongs to the University of Stuttgart. His scientific focus is on production organization, factory planning, energy efficient production, surface engineering, automation and process engineering. From October 2012 till January 2015, he was also Director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production EEP at the University of Stuttgart.

Bauernhansl studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University. After completing his PhD with honors, he embarked on his career with the Freudenberg concern in 2003, advancing to become Director of the Technology Center at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. His key areas of work included site planning, factory planning, outsourcing, technology management and lean production. Lastly, Bauernhansl was responsible for the regions Europe, North and South America, optimizing the “global footprint” of the production network made up of over 50 production sites.

Bauernhansl is on diverse advisory boards and management committees in industry, associations, research and politics. He is a member of WGP, the German Academic Society for Production Engineering, as well as being a member of the strategy committee of the German government’s “Platform Industrie 4.0” and Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee Alliance Industrie 4.0 BW. He has written and edited numerous books on topics such as adaptability in manufacturing, Industrie 4.0 and production management.

Dr. rer. nat. Michael Hilt MBA

  • Deputy Director of Fraunhofer IPA
  • Division director “Surface Engineering and Materials Technology“
  • Head of department “Coating Systems and Painting Technology“

In October 2016, Dr. rer. nat. Michael Hilt MBA took over as Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA. The chemist with a doctoral degree is division director “Surface Engineering and Materials Technology“ and is also responsible for the department “Coating Systems and Painting Technology”.

Hilt obtained his doctoral degree in 1988 at the Institute of Polymer Chemistry at the University of Stuttgart and at the Research Institute for Pigments and Coatings (FPL e.V.) in Stuttgart. In the same year, he started his professional career at Daimler-Benz AG as a coating and corrosion specialist. After passing through various manufacturing engineering and materials science departments at Daimler with a focus on coating technology, Hilt returned to FPL in 2009, realigning the Research Society for Pigments and Coatings e.V in his new post as CEO. As part of the re-structuring process, he integrated the institute section of FPL into Fraunhofer IPA to create the “Coatings and Pigments” department. In 2012, a merger led to the birth of the “Coating Systems and Painting Technology” department, which Hilt has been running ever since. He is also General Manager of the Research Society for Pigments and Coatings e.V.

Hilt is an active member of numerous research societies and associations. He is currently chairman of the GDCh expert committee “Coatings Chemistry” and on the management board of GDCh e.V. (German Chemists Society). Since 2015, he is President of FATIPEC (Federation of Associations of Technicians for Industry of Paints in European Countries). He is also an expert in the polymer chemistry group at AiF (German Federation of Industrial Research Associations “Otto von Guericke” e.V.)

Divisional management

Dr.-Ing. Udo Gommel

Dr.-Ing. Udo Gommel is division director »Intelligent Automation and Clean manufacturing« and head of department »Ultraclean technology and micromanufacturing«.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Sauer

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Sauer is division director "Resource-efficient Production". He is deputy head of business unit "Energy" and head of department "Efficiency systems".

Dr.-Ing. Marco Schneider

Dr.-Ing. Marco Schneider is division director "Manufacturing and Process Engineering". He is deputy head of business unit "Machinery and Equipment Industry" and head of department "Lightweight construction technologies«.

Dr. med. Urs Schneider

Dr. med. Urs Schneider is division director »Medical Engineering and Biotechnology«. He is deputy head of business unit »Medical Engineering and Biotechnology« and head of department »Biomechatronic Systems«.