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

Director of Fraunhofer IPA

Responsible for the divisions "Networked Production", "Intelligent Automation and Clean Manufacturing" and "Medical Engineering and Biotechnology"

Director of the Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management IFF, University of Stuttgart

Professor Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl has held his current position as Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany since September 2011. He also serves as Director of the Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management (IFF) at the University of Stuttgart. His scientific focus is on digital and biological transformation, production organization, factory planning, automation and robotics. 

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

Bauernhansl serves on diverse advisory boards and management committees in industry, associations, research and government. He is a member of the 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 Chair of the Steering Committee Alliance Industrie 4.0 BW. He has written and edited numerous books on topics spanning adaptability in manufacturing, Industrie 4.0 and production management.

© Fraunhofer IPA, Photo: Rainer Bez

since September 2011

Director Fraunhofer IPA and Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and
Management, IFF, University of Stuttgart

July 2014 – October 2016

Dean of Studies “Technology Management” (University of Stuttgart)

October 2012 – January 2015

Head of Instituts for Energy Efficiency University of Stuttgart

January 2011 – August 2011

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Head Global Process Technology


October 2007 – December 2010

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Head of Technology Center Europe

–  Segmentation of production and location planning

–  Facility planning, outsourcing and ramp up management

–  Lean production (inclusive Six Sigma), technology management

November 2003 – September 2007

Freudenberg Systems and Tools Engineering Ltd.

Speaker of corporate management

July 2003 – October 2003

Freudenberg Systems and Tools Engineering Ltd.

Director of business unit ”tool manufacture”

–  Freudenberg Systems and Tools Engineering Ltd.

–  Assistant of Corporate Management

June 2002

Doctoral Degree Dr.-Ing. (summa cum laude)

Thesis: Evaluation of Synergy Potential in Mechanical Engineering

March 2001 – March 2003

Department Manager of ”Integrated Product Development” and starting 2002

”Corporate Development”

Juni 1999 – Januar 2001

Group Manager ”Process and Technology Planning”

March 1998 – March 2003

Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Machine Tools and Production

Engineering (WZL), Chair of Production Engineering (Prof. Eversheim / Prof. Schuh), RWTH Aachen University

Managing Board Member of Verein zur Förderung produktionstechnischer Forschung FpF e.V.

Board Member of Leipold Group

Managing Board Member of Leichtbauzentrum Baden-Württemberg – LBZ-BW e.V.

Research Board Member of Platform Industrie 4.0

Member of Board of Trustees IMPULS Foundation VDMA

Supervisory Board Member Technologieförderung Reutlingen-Tübingen GmbH

Member of Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Produktionstechnik (WGP)

Member of Board of Trustees of Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee Alliance Industrie 4.0 BW

Board Member of »Zukunft der Arbeit/ Industrie 4.0« IG Metall

Board Member of Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP)

University of Stuttgart

Member of Board of Trustees KSB-Foundation

Advisory Board Member of the Excecutive Committee for Robot Olympics

Member and Representative of Fraunhofer with ManuFuture-DE

Member of CONNECT Advisory Forum EU Program »Horizon 2020«

Member of Steering Committee Fraunhofer Alliance Ambient Assisted Living

Board Member of C. Hafner GmbH + Co. KG

Strategic Advisory Board Member of Quadriga Capital GmbH

Board Member of des DEKRA e.V.

Member of Scientific Board of Bundesvereinigung Logistik (BVL) e. V.

Board Member of Accenture GmbH

Supervisory Board Member of EOS AG

Member of High-Tech Gründerfonds Investitionskomitee 1

Board Member of EJOT GmbH & Co. KG

Board Member of WAGO GmbH & Co. KG

Board Member of der SCIO Automation GmbH

Advisory Board Member of Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH