History and development of IKV - From 1950 until today

The future
Research takes us into the future. The plastics industry is a comparatively young industry that needs to strengthen its competitive position in the future with innovative processing technologies. With more than 300 staff, IKV is working hard researching these future technologies. That's a promise.

On 1 March 2023, the Centre for Plastics Analysis and Testing celebrates its 20th anniversary. With its founding in 2003, the IKV set up a central hub that offers holistic solutions for specific issues from a wide range of industrial sectors. 20 years later, the KAP operates as an independent division with extensive analysis and testing capabilities that meet the highest standards.

On February 28, 2021, Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Dr. mont. E. h. Georg Menges passed away. The IKV mourns the loss of his highly esteemed colleague, teacher and friend.

Start of construction of the Plastics Innovation Center 4.0 (PIC 4.0) for comprehensive and practical research on topics of digitalization in plastics production.
The 30th International Colloquium Plastics Technology is held in digital form for the first time.
The 30th International Colloquium Plastics Technology will be preceded by the 1st International Symposium on Plastics Technology.

The University of Leoben awards an honorary doctorate to Professor Georg Menges, the former institute director of the IKV.
The fourth construction phase of the IKV building complex on the Melaten campus is completed and the institute's headquarters are relocated from Pontstraße to Seffenter Weg.

The 2014 Innovation Award in the category "Innovation" of the State of NRW goes to Professor Christian Hopmann, Institute Director of the IKV. The Innovation Award of the State of NRW is one of the most important German research prizes and is endowed with a total of 150,000 euros.

The 26th Colloquium of IKV is a great success with more than 600 participants and more than 40 exhibitors. The Aachener Zentrum für Integrativen Leichtbau (AZL) - in English: „Aachen Centre for Integrative Lighweight Design“ - is jointly founded by RWTH, Fraunhofer IPT, RWTH WZL and IKV.

Professor Walter Michaeli hands over his functions at IKV to his successor Professor Christian Hopmann. After more than 23 very successful years Michaeli reaches retirement age in July 2011.

IKV mourns Professor Ullrich Masberg, who died in March 2011.

The 25th International Plastics Technology Colloquium is held with 500 participants. IKV celebrates six decades of research expertise.

Professor Walter Michaeli is awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st Class. More than 250 schoolchildren visit IKV, as a landmark in the "Land of Ideas".

Since the Institute was founded, 4,152 experimental theses and 2,709 degree theses have been written, 457 dissertations supervised, and 3,675 books and journals published. A total of 389,303 students have attended IKV courses (status: January 1, 2008).

As part of the Excellence Initiative launched by Germany's federal and state governments, the application submitted by RWTH Aachen University for the future concept of an integrated, interdisciplinary Technical University "RWTH 2020: Meeting Global Challenges" is approved by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association;  (DFG) and the Wissenschaftsrat (Science Council;  WR). As one of the institutes with the biggest funding from outside sources, the IKV has made a major contribution to this award.

Together with 17 other partners of RWTH Aachen University, IKV successfully participates in the Excellence Initiative of the Federal and State governments. On November 1, 2006, the "Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries" Excellence Cluster is launched. IKV, as one of the largest institutes, is actively involved in six individual projects of the Excellence Cluster.

IKV extends its activities to include materials analysis and testing, and establishes the Centre for Analysis and Testing of Plastics (KAP).
At the beginning of 2006, KAP receives official certification to ISO 9001:2001 (today: 9001:2008).

The Technical Faculty of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg awards Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Michaeli an honorary doctorate in engineering sciences.

The foundation stone for the new building is laid at the University's new site in Seffent Melaten (Campus Melaten).

For the 1991/92 winter semester, the "Polymers and Composites Engineering" EUPOCO post-graduate course is launched at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, with the participation of IKV. 35 students from 12 countries register for the course.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Michaeli is appointed to the Chair of Plastics Processing at RWTH Aachen University.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Walter Michaeli takes over from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg Menges as head of IKV and Director of the Association of Sponsors.

A Technology Transfer Point is set up for the skilled crafts and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The foundation stone is laid for the new extension being build on the corner of Pontstraße/Templergraben in IKV's 25th anniversary year. The new building is scheduled for completion in 1977.

In the winter semester of 1970/71 an independent plastics engineering course is introduced in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University.

The 3rd IKV Plastics Technology Colloquium takes place. From now on, the IKV's Plastics Technology Colloquium will be held every two years.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg Menges is appointed new head of the Institute and holder of the newly created Chair of Plastics Processing.

The new Institute building at Pontstraße 49 is inaugurated.

The Institute's Skilled Crafts department is set up. It provides wide-ranging training facilities in plastics processing for the trades.

IKV becomes an Institute at RWTH Aachen University. On the initiative of several companies in the chemical and plastics processing industries, the "Association of Sponsors of the Institute of Plastics Processing in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University" is established.

October 28, 1950: The IKV – Institute of Plastics Processing is founded during the course of the first "Plastics Processing" Colloquium. Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Karl Krekeler is appointed head of the Institute. The aim is to provide a practically oriented education for students and find solutions to the industry's technical problems through cooperation between industry and university research. "Research for practical use" becomes the Institute's motto.