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Directorate History of the Manufacturing Technology Department

In 1986, the Leibniz Institute of Technology was expanded to include the Department of Production Engineering.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. P. Günther Werner (1986-1992)

In 1986, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. P. Günther Werner was appointed director at the IWT and then headed the main department of production technology. Prof. Werner had completed his doctorate in grinding technology at the WZL in Aachen under Prof. Opitz and then habilitated at the RWTH Aachen. After several years in industry, including in Singapore, he was appointed associate professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) in 1977, where he developed the scientific basis for high-performance grinding (HEDG). He brought this technology with him from MIT to the University of Bremen in the course of his appointment in 1980 and developed it further in the Department of Production Engineering. The professorship "Manufacturing Processes" represents one of the three founding pillars of the Department of Production Engineering.

A major focus of his work at the IWT was grinding technology. In addition to high-performance grinding, Prof. Werner's research also focused on abrasive silicon machining (rocking gates) for photovoltaics, honing and also the ultra-fine machining of mirrors by diamond turning. In addition, manufacturing technology took up the highly topical special fields of high-precision machining and ecological manufacturing and developed them further dynamically.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Prof. h.c. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Ekkard Brinksmeier (1992-2019)

In 1992 Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Ekkard Brinksmeier was appointed to the professorship of manufacturing processes at the University of Bremen as Prof. Werner's successor. He had received his degrees (materials and production engineering) at the Leibniz University of Hanover and had previously been a senior engineer at the Institute of Production Engineering and Cutting Machine Tools IFW for many years under Prof. Hans Kurt Tönshoff.

Prof. Brinksmeier's appointment as director at the IWT, combined with the management of the main department of production technology, was made by the IWT board shortly after his appointment to the University of Bremen. Prof. Brinksmeier greatly expanded the main department of production engineering and successfully headed it for 26 years. The main focus of the department was on grinding technology including workpiece edge zone analysis, research into cooling lubricant technologies in machining and the further development of ultra-precision technology using the facilities of the LFM (Laboratory for Micro Machining) which he founded.

The project work in application-oriented research was mainly carried out in the "ECO Centre" he established, which dealt with material-oriented manufacturing processes at the IWT from an ecological and economic point of view. The ECO-Centre also formed the platform for the first "ERC Advanced Grant" at IWT, a large-scale project funded by the European Research Council over a period of 5 years, which dealt with the development of future cooling lubricant concepts. Prof. Brinksmeier and his team at the ECO Centre also succeeded in establishing the IWT as a competent industrial partner in gear manufacturing within just a few years.

Other major projects co-initiated by Prof. Brinksmeier and led by him as spokesperson were the Collaborative Research Centres TR4 "Process Chains for the Replication of Complex Optical Elements" and TRR 136 "Function-Oriented Manufacturing Based on Characteristic Process Signatures", both jointly with RWTH Aachen University and Oklahoma State University. The close cooperation between manufacturing technology and materials technology at the IWT was an essential prerequisite for the success of these two SFBs.

In 1999, Prof. Brinksmeier was the first scientist from Bremen to receive the DFG's Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for his interdisciplinary research in the ECO Centre and in ultra-precision technology. Further awards followed, such as an honorary doctorate from RWTH Aachen University and an honorary professorship from Tianjin University, China. The scientific research successes of the main department of production engineering as well as the transfer of the internationally renowned university LFM to the IWT contributed significantly to the IWT's admission to the Leibniz Association. Prof. Brinksmeier retired in September 2019.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Prof. h.c. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Bernhard Karpuschewski (seit 2017)

In an overlapping reappointment as of 01.10.2017, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Prof. h.c. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Bernhard Karpuschewski succeeded Prof. Brinksmeier as Director of the Department of Production Engineering and Head of the Laboratory for Micro Machining (LFM) at Leibniz-IWT and took over the professorship for manufacturing processes in the Department of Production Engineering at the University of Bremen. Prof. Karpuschewski also took over as spokesperson and sub-project leader of the SFB TRR136.

Prof. Karpuschewski received his degrees from Leibniz Universität Hannover, where he obtained his doctorate in 1995 and then worked as a senior engineer at IFW under Prof. Hans Kurt Tönshoff until 1999. From 1999 to October 2020, he was an associate professor at Keio University, Yokohama (Japan) at the Department of System Design Engineering, Laboratory of Production Engineering, where he wrote his postdoctoral thesis. He then held the Chair of Production Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands for four years. From 2005 to 2017, Prof. Karpuschewski held the Chair of Machining Technology at the Institute of Production Engineering and Quality Assurance (IFQ) at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and was also the Managing Director of the IFQ. He received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Georgia in Tbilisi in 2016 and an honorary doctorate (Dr. h.c) from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Miskolc/Hungary in 2018.