University professor Dr.-Ing. Christian Hopmann, now 42, will succeed Prof. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Walter Michaeli as head of the IKV(Institute of Plastics Processing), director of the Association of Sponsors of IKV and holder of the Chair of Plastic injection moulding Processing at RWTH Aachen University when the latter reaches retirement age next summer.
Hopmann studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, with a particular focus on plastics processing, and received his doctorate in 2000. His study of ceramic injection moulding was in fact supervised by Prof. Michaeli. Hopmann was initially a research fellow at the IKV. Later, he headed its department of part design and materials technology. From 2001 to 2004, he was chief engineer and, in this capacity, also deputy director of the IKV. This background prepares him well for his future activities.
Between 2005 and late 2010, Hopmann worked in industry. At RKW AG Rheinische Kunststoffwerke (today, RKW SE), a leading European manufacturer of high-quality polyethylene and polypropylene films, nonwovens and nets, he served as head of quality management at RKW’s site in Petersaurach, Germany, and as chief of extrusion. Since the beginning of 2010, he had been managing director of RKW Sweden AB in Helsingborg.
Hopmann is looking forward to his new assignment at the IKV. “The special constellation of the institute, which is outstandingly networked not only in interdisciplinary research inside and outside RWTH but also in industrial joint research, is the basis for excellent academic teaching,” he says. “Caring for and expanding this is a major challenge and an honour which I am very pleased to accept.”
The IKV at RWTH Aachen University is a large research institute employing more than 300 people who work on problems encountered during the processing of many different types of plastic. It is divided into four specialist departments covering injection moulding and polyurethane technology, extrusion and further processing, part design and materials technology, and composites. The institute comprises the Centre for Analysis and Testing of Plastics, and a Training and Further Education department, as well. It is run by the Association of Sponsors, whose membership now consists of about 250 plastics companies from all over the world.