Crucial impulses for design

Since the beginning of the sixties, industry has increasingly complained about a lack of capable, creative designers. The discussions and studies carried out by the VDI and the industry under the working title "bottleneck construction" resulted in the establishment of numerous professorial chairs for design methodology towards the end of the sixties.

The TU Braunschweig was already setting up the Institute for Design, Machine and Precision Mechanics (IKMF) under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Karlheinz Roth. In the area of design methodology, Prof. Roth performed a wide range of pioneering work, e.g. through the development of flowcharts for the structuring of the construction activity or the development of construction catalogs for structured, access-friendly processing of construction knowledge. In the field of machine elements, the name Roth stands for the systematic development of special toothed gears – in particular also the involute toothed gearing, which allows the use of single-pinion gears. In addition, Prof. Roth began the development of program systems for the computer support of the design process.

Individual solutions for specific tasks

At the end of the 1980s, the industry faced new challenges. Competition, time and cost pressure had increased as a result of the increasing globalization and has still been continuing to increase until today. Products have become more and more complex and product development processes have as well.

In 1988, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Joachim Franke took over the management of the Institute for Engineering Design and took up the new tasks, especially in the fields of variant management, cost-effective and recycling-compatible design, process optimization and the targeted computer support of the development process. Prof. Franke is a founding member of the Berliner Kreis and a member of the Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Maschinenelemente, Konstruktionstechnik und Produktentwicklung e.V. (WGMK). In 2011, they were merged into the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Produktentwicklung (WiGeP). Prof. Franke and his co-workers published about 150 specialist publications. During his years as an institute leader (more than twenty years), Prof. Franke successfully led over 40 doctoral candidates to the doctorate.

In the years from 1988 to 2009, new foundations for a methodical development of complex products were created, among other things, in focal programs and special research areas (DFG) at the institute and in collaboration with other institutes of the TU Braunschweig. Through many industrial projects and publicly funded collaborative projects (such as AiF, BMBF, EU, MWK), the methods and procedures elaborated could be transferred from the university to industrial practice in a targeted and task-specific manner.

From the idea to the product

Since he accepted the chair for Engineering Design in 2009, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Vietor has been head of the Institute. Through his industrial experience as a product developer in the automotive industry, he connects the competences of vehicle and construction engineering. Thus, led by Prof. Vietor, the IK became a member of the Niedersächsisches Forschungszentrum Fahrzeugtechnik (NFF), where he is responsible for the research area Flexible Vehicle Concepts.

In the field of teaching, new teaching concepts were introduced under Prof. Vietor and all previous courses were overhauled and modernized. Thus, in addition to solutions for eLearning, lecture recordings were introduced which support the individual teaching. In terms of both teaching and research, Prof. Vietor has expanded international relations to China, India and Mexico.

In 2013, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Christine Langer has been appointed professor for vibroacoustics and has been contributing her competences into the IK, especially in the areas of sound and numerical calculation methods. This opens up the possibility for the IK to deepen the area of acoustics, which is very important in design engineering, and to deepen the future field of computer-assisted development.


Professor Karlheinz Roth


Professor Hans-Joachim Franke

since 2009

Professor Thomas Vietor

since 2013

Professor Sabine Christine Langer

  last changed 21.05.2019
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