Head of department
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Professor Dr.-Ing. Holger Ruckdäschel has been head of the Chair of Polymer Materials at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bayreuth since January 1, 2021.
After studying materials science, he earned his doctorate in 2009 at the Chair of Polymeric Materials under Prof. Altstädt in Bayreuth. After 13 years of industrial experience at BASF, he thus returned to his academic roots. At BASF, he was involved in a wide range of topics and most recently headed the digital strategy of the plastics division. His other positions include polymer research and senior global roles in wind energy research and plastics additives. In recent years, he also drove digital innovations and new business models for the plastics industry with his team.
Professor on leave
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Since October 1, 2000, Professor Dr.-Ing. Volker Altstädt has headed the chair for “Polymer Engineering” at the “Faculty of Applied Natural Sciences” / “Faculty of Engineering Science” at the University of Bayreuth. Since September 30, 2020, he has been relieved of his duties as a university lecturer but is still linked to the University of Bayreuth via a service contract.
He is an elected member of the German Academy of Engineering Sciences (acatech) and Executive Officer of the Polymer Processing Society (PPS). After studying physics and obtaining his doctorate in 1987 at the “Institute for Materials Engineering” with Professor Ehrenstein in Kassel, he worked for 8 years in the “Polymer Research Division” of BASF SA in Ludwigshafen. In October 1995, Volker Altstädt was offered full professorship at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, where he headed the “Plastics and Composite Materials Department” until he accepted the chair at the University of Bayreuth. From July 2009 till December 2021 he has also been the managing director of “Neue Materialien Bayreuth LtD”.
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M. Sc. Tobias Standau started as a scientific staff member at the department of Polymer Engineering in the polymer foams working group in February 2014 and working on the development of extrusion foams made from chemically modified polylactide. From July 2016 to March 2020, Mr. Standau was the group leader of the polymer foams group and has been the chief engineer of the chair for Polymer Engineering since April 2020.
From 2008 to 2013, Mr. Standau studied chemical engineering at the Dresden University of Applied Sciences (HTW). In his bachelor thesis he dealt with the surface modification of polyurethanes by means of electron beam treatment. In the subsequent master’s degree, he dealt with the characterization of polymers and successfully completed his degree with a master’s thesis on the subject of “Development of thermally conductive polypropylene composites”.
Group Polymer Foams
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M.Sc. Christian Brütting has been working at the Department of Polymer Engineering in the Group of Polymer Foams since June 2018. Starting in October 2020, Christian Brütting operates as Research Manager in the Group of Polymer Foams. As part of his scientific work, he is investigating the processing behavior of Polylactide(PLA)-based particle foams.
From 2012 to 2015, Christian Brütting studied mechanical engineering (B. Eng.) at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) Mosbach. In his subsequent master’s degree (M. Sc.) in “Materials Science and Engineering” at the University of Bayreuth, he focused on lightweight construction and polymer materials. He successfully completed his studies with a master’s thesis on “Investigation of epoxy-based resins for a novel additive manufacturing process”.
Group Thermosets and Composites
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Martin Demleitner has been working at the Chair of Polymer Engineering since July 2017 and since June 2018 he is group leader of the Thermosets and Composites group. His focus in on the aging behavior and the elucidation of structure-property relationships of high-temperature epoxy resin systems.
From 2011 to 2013, Martin Demleitner studied chemistry at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. In the subsequent master’s program “Materials Chemistry and Catalysis” at the University of Bayreuth, he focused on polymer chemistry. He successfully completed his studies in October 2016 with a master’s thesis on “Dielectric Analysis for Thermoset Cure Monitoring in the Resin Transfer Molding Process
Group Thermoplastic Processing
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M. Sc. Julia Utz (Hutschreuther) has been working as a research assistant at the Chair of Polymer Materials since September 2017. Since April 2021 she is group leader of the Functional Thermoplastics and Manufacturing group. Her focus is on additive manufacturing and the investigation of the mechanical behavior of polypropylene.
From 2011 to 2017 Julia Utz studied Material Science and Technology at the University of Bayreuth with special emphasis on polymer and lightweight materials. During her master thesis she investigated biopolymer-based fibers and gradient materials.
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Dr. Rodrigo Albuquerque has done his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry in Brazil and have worked as a researcher in Switzerland, Germany and England where he investigated different materials (e.g. Supramolecular polymers, nanoparticles, coordination compounds) by means of computational chemistry and machine learning techniques. Recently he became guest lecturer at Technical University of Munich to teach and apply Machine Learning techniques.
Currently, Dr. Albuquerque participates in the digitalization of the Department of Polymer Engineering, where he applies Machine Learning models to different problems, besides providing hands-on training about the same topic.
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M.Sc. Marcel Dippold joined the Department of Polymer Engineering as a research associate in October 2021 in the Polymer Foams group. Within the scope of his scientific work, he is mainly concerned with the development and characterization of open-cell foams for medical technology. From 2013 to 2019, Marcel Dippold studied materials science and engineering at the engineering faculty of the University of Bayreuth. During his master, he focused on polymer materials and their processing. In his master thesis he dealt with the establishment of structure-property relationships and the fire behavior of non-miscible polymer blends with ceramic nanotubes. Subsequently, he worked for 2 years at the Research Institute Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH in the field of additive manufacturing on the development of additively manufactured hybrid materials for aerospace engineering.
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M. Sc. Lukas Endner joined the Department of Polymer Engineering as a research associate in February 2022. His focus lies in the field of composite materials and resins, specializing on the development of epoxy foams.
From 2016 to 2021, Lukas Endner studied material science and engineering at the Engineering Faculty of the University Bayreuth. He focused on the processing of polymers.
In his current position, he strives to combine his acquired expertise in the field of foaming thermoplastics with the knowledge of kinetic processes that determine the aging of epoxy resins to develop said thermoset foams.
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M.Sc. Nico Geis joined the Department of Polymer Engineering as a research associate in February 2020. His scientific work is mainly focused on UV-curing resin systems and the optimization of their properties for additive manufacturing.
Mr. Geis studied material science and engineering at the University of Bayreuth. During his master studies, he focused on polymer materials and their processing. His master thesis was about the establishment of structure-property relationships of immiscible polymer blends.
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Andreas Himmelsbach M. Sc. ist seit Juli 2021 als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Polymere Werkstoffe in der Arbeitsgruppe Polymerschäume tätig. Als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter beschäftigt er sich vorwiegend mit der Struktur-Eigenschafts-Beziehung von r-PET/PBT Blends hinsichtlich deren Schäumungs- und Verschweißverhaltens. Ein Hauptaugenmerkt ist dabei die thermische und rheologische Untersuchung der Blends.
Von 2015 bis 2019 studierte er Chemietechnik an der Hochschule Kaiserslautern. Im anschließenden Masterstudium Polymer Science an der Universität Bayreuth vertiefte er sein Wissen in der Polymersynthese und Verarbeitung von polymeren Werkstoffen. In seiner Masterarbeit beschäftigte er sich mit der thermischen und dynamisch-mechanischen Charakterisierung von Partikelschäumen unter Berücksichtigung der Schaumstruktur.
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Michael Hoffmann M. Sc. has been working as a research assistant at the Chair of Polymer Materials in the thermosets and composites group since November 2020. Within the scope of his scientific work he is engaged in the development of polyurethane-based carbon fiber reinforced plastics.
From 2015 to 2018, Michael Hoffmann studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth. His bachelor thesis dealt with supramolecular foam nucleation. With the subsequent master’s degree program in Polymer Science, he was able to focus specifically on polymer-specific topics. In his master thesis he investigated the influence of a toughness modifier on the molecular relaxation capacity of an epoxy resin matrix using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
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M. Sc. Justus Kuhnigk has been working as a research assistant at the Department of Polymer Engineering in the Group of Polymer Foams since November 2019. His scientific work focuses on the design of polyesters for temperature-resistant bead foams and the clarification of structure-property relationships during foaming and welding.
From 2013 to 2016, Justus Kuhnigk studied chemistry at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. After completing two research internships in England and Italy, he completed the Master’s programme “Polymer Science” at the University of Bayreuth. He successfully completed his studies in October 2019 with his master’s thesis on the topic of “Influence of molecular weight and distribution on the foaming process and gas sorption behavior of engineering thermoplastics”.
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M.Sc. Huan Long work at the department of polymer engineering as a member of foam group since November 2019. Her research topic is the foaming of crosslinked polymers.
From 2012 to 2016 Huan Long studied “Polymer materials and engineering” at University of Jinan and finished her bachelor study with thesis of “ Investigation of the copper ions absorption behavior of porous polyurea”. From 2016 to 2019 she studied “Polymer Science” at University of Bayreuth and completed her master degree with master thesis of “Polylactide (PLA): investigation of the impact factors of batch foaming”.
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Since August 2021, Florian Max is a member of the thermosets and composites group at the department of Polymer Engineering. His scientific work focuses on the clarification of structure-property relationships of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics and their application in sport goods, such as running shoes or medical insoles.
From 2013 to 2018, Florian Max studied materials engineering (B. Eng.) at Hof University of Applied Sciences, the content of which was deepened in an interdisciplinary manner in the subsequent master’s program in sports technology (M. Sc.) at Bayreuth University from 2018 to 2021. Florian Max successfully completed his studies with a master’s thesis on “Influence of the epoxy resin structure on the dynamic-mechanical properties of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics for running shoe stiffness insoles”.
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Teresa Menzel M.Sc has been a research assistant at the Chair of Polymer Materials since July 2019 and is part of the thermoplastic processing group. As part of her doctorate, she works on the SFB project 1357 – “Microplastics” and investigates the formation and degradation of microplastics under simulated environmental influences.
From 2012 to 2015, she studied “Molecular Science” at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. She completed her Bachelor in “Polymer and Colloid Chemistry” in 2017 at the University of Bayreuth. In the subsequent master’s degree in “Polymer Science,” during her master’s thesis at our chair, she examined the “Influence of SMA concentration and MAH content on the morphological, mechanical and thermal properties of PPE / PA66 blends”. She completed her studies in July 2019.
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M.Sc. Johannes Meuchelböck has been working as a research assistant at the Chair of Polymer Materials in the Polymer Foams group since May 2020. His main focus is on the hysteresis behavior of bead foams.
From 2014 to 2020 Johannes Meuchelböck studied the engineering course of studies in materials science and materials engineering both in the Bachelor (B. Sc.) and Master (M. Sc.) with the focus on lightweight construction and polymers at the University of Bayreuth. In his master thesis he dealt with the investigation of the effect of ageing of prepregs on the mechanical properties of carbon fiber-based composites.
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Florian Rothenhäusler joined the Chair of Polymer Materials as a research associate in April 2021. Here, biobased epoxy resin systems, biobased flame retardants and natural fibers are the focus of his work. His goal is to implement sustainable fiber composite systems in secondary structures of aircraft.
From 2012 to 2015, Florian Rothenhäusler studied mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In the process, he discovered his passion for materials science and polymers. He then studied materials science and materials engineering in the Bachelor’s (B.Sc.) and Master’s (M.Sc.) programs, focusing on materials science and materials process engineering of polymers and their composites. During his bachelor thesis he worked on non-linear Fourier-transformed shear rheology of polymers. His master thesis in cooperation with Volkswagen AG focused on the validation and comparison of different direct fiber models for the process simulation of sheet molding compounds.
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Tim Scherzer has been working as a research associate at the Department of Polymer Engineering since September 2021. Within the Functional Thermoplastics and Manufacturing group, he is working on the modification of high-temperature thermoplastics, aiming for the use in high-frequency-capable circuit carriers.
In 2016, Tim Scherzer completed his studies in mechanical engineering with a focus on plastics technology and processing at the Technical University of Munich. Following this, he supported the TUM’s Medical Engineering Department as a research assistant in research and teaching in the field of thermoplastics processing, with a focus on injection molding technology and its process variants.
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Florian Schönl has been working as a research assistant at the Chair of Polymer Engineering in the Thermosets and Composites group since November 2020. As part of his scientific work at the chair, he is working on UV and thermally dual-curable resin systems for use in fiber-reinforced composites.
From 2010 to 2015, Florian Schönl studied process engineering with a specialization in polymers at the University of Applied Sciences Munich. At the University of Bayreuth, he then focused on the area of polymeric materials in the master’s degree programme in materials science and engineering, in particular on fiber-reinforced composites for the lightweight sector. In 2018, he completed his studies with a master’s thesis on the influence of the fiber morphology of carbon fibers and their coating with metals on the thermal conductivity in the thickness direction and their mechanical properties of carbon fiber-reinforced polymers.
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Sruthi Sunder joined the Chair of Polymer Materials as a research associate in November 2021. Within the Composites and Resins group, she is currently working on the development of transfer mechanisms for flame retardants used in epoxy resins to fiber-reinforced epoxy resin composites.
From 2013 to 2016, she studied Advanced Materials at the University of Ulm with a focus on Physics and Materials Science and Engineering. During her Master’s thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, she investigated “Adapting the properties of redox-active polydopamine using different monomers”. After her Master’s degree, she completed an internship abroad at BASF in Shanghai and then worked for a year as a research and development engineer in the materials industry in the Netherlands. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Nanotechnology at Amity University Dubai (U.A.E.) in 2013, with additional credits in Bioengineering at SASTRA University in India.
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Eduardo Szpoganicz has been working as a research assistant at the Chair of Polymer Materials since March 2022. Within the Composites and Resins research group, he is developing a controlled permeable hydrogen tank made of epoxy carbon-fiber reinforced composite material for cryogenic operation in aircraft and aerospace industry.
During his master’s degree at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, he worked through the multiple topics of polymer science and engineering, focusing on the manufacturing and characterisation of fiber-reinforced composite materials. His master’s thesis gathered a throughout investigation on fracture mechanics of epoxy resins and carbon-fiber composites performing in cryogenic environments.
From 2014 to 2019 he studied Materials Engineering at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, focused on the characterization and processing of polymeric materials. His bachelor’s thesis was realised at the Chair of Polymer Materials, focused on the fracture mechanics and toughening behaviour of brittle epoxy systems.
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Christian Bauer has been working at the Chair of Polymer Materials since September 2010. His area of responsibility includes various resin injections and material tests.
After successfully training as an industrial mechanic with professional experience at Deutsche Bahn, he switched to the automotive supplier industry in the field of plastics technology, product sampling, extrusion, and toolmaking, injection molding. He was able to gain a lot of experience in these areas and put it into practice.
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Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Brückner has been working as a technical assistant at the Chair of Polymer Materials since March 2007. His responsibilities include dynamic materials testing, the construction of electrical and electronic measuring devices, and X-ray analysis. As the supervisor of the X-ray laboratory, he is also the chair’s radiation protection officer.
From 2001 to 2006, Alexander Brückner studied physical engineering at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences, majoring in physical technologies. The main focus of his studies was on sensor and actuator technology as well as nuclear and radiation technology. Within the scope of his diploma thesis, which was written in cooperation with Argillon GmbH, Redwitz, he developed and constructed a measuring station for the characterization of piezoelectric ceramics.
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Sebastian Gröschel is a technical employee at the department of polymer engineering since April 2011. He is responsible for thermoplastic processing, injection moulding, compounding and foam extrusion.
Mr. Gröschel completed the training of a process mechanic of plastics in 2008 and worked in the company Cherry GmbH in the department of injection moulding.
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Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Mainz has been working at the Chair of Polymer Materials since March 2007. His responsibilities include the supervision of mechanical materials testing. The aim of mechanical materials testing is to determine viable structural property relationships on various materials using modern testing methods. Within the scope of materials testing, he deals with physical testing methods ranging from classical tests to fracture mechanics. Another field is also the development of special component tests.
From 1997 to 2001 Mr. Mainz studied at the Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena in the field of materials engineering specializing in environmental engineering. After successful completion of his studies, he worked as an engineer and lecturer since January 2001, among other things for the training of industrial foremen for plastics and rubber technology. There he dealt with materials testing, general plastics technology and the processing of plastics.
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Mrs Pfaffenberger has been working in the department of polymer engineering since June 2015. She works in the fields of transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
After completed education as a chemical laboratory assistant in 2005 at the company Raps in Kulmbach, she worked there in the area of quality control in particular the sample assessment of various suppliers.
In April 2008 she started working as a technical employee at the department MC2 at the University of Bayreuth. The fields of activity were transmission electron microscopy and mass spectroscopy.
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Markus Schirmer has been a technical assistant at the Institute for Polymer Materials since October 2004. His tasks are thermoplastic processing, which includes compounding, extrusion and foam extrusion. The area of extrusion extends from laboratory scale to pilot plant scale.
After successfully training as a metal construction engineering specialist, he worked for the Zapf company in Bayreuth. There he also completed his training as a draftsman civil engineering. At the Institute for Polymer Materials, Mr. Schirmer is also a safety officer and radiation protection officer.
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Ute Kuhn is since June 2002 engaged at the chair of polymer engineering. She is working in the field of thermal analysis and rheology.
Ute Kuhn studied at the Comprehensive University of Paderborn Chemical Engineering with the focus of polymers. The theme of the diploma thesis was the creation and characterization of modified Isoprene. After her studies she was working for about two years at the public office of water handling in Kassel, subject: water endangering materials. Following she was engaged at Hoechst AG plant Kalle – Albert in Wiesbaden. In this location she was responsible in the application engineering of hydro-fillers for the automobile industry. After some years parental lease she is working since June 2002 at the chair of polymer engineering.
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Mrs. Adelhardt is part of our team since March 2012 as secretary/personal assistance.
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Mrs. Thuns is part of our team since 2022 as secretary/personal assistance.
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Mrs. Mosig is part of our team since September 2003 as secretary/personal assistance.