Jump to main content
Press Office and Crossmedia Communications
University News
University News Honours

A Truly Successful Bridge Builder

Outstanding expertise from lightweight construction to transnational knowledge transfer: TU Wroclaw awarded Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll the title of "honorowego profesora" (honorary professor)

As a scientist, he not only works with bridges in lightweight construction but is also figuratively speaking a bridge-builder. We are talking about Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll, Head of the Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at the Technische Universität Chemnitz and Coordinator of the Federal Cluster of Excellence “Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures” (MERGE). The Wroclaw University of Technology honoured him on November 15th, 2015 with the title of “honorowego profesora” (honorary professor) for the many successful bridges he has established between Poland and Germany. The Polish University honours hereby a unique connection of science with regional economy, which Prof. Kroll has managed excellently for more than 20 years – transnationally as well.

This is evident for example in the Chemnitz Alliance Textile Lightweight Construction coordinated by Prof. Kroll, where university and non-university institutes cooperate closely with more than 350 small and medium enterprises. In the future such network structures will be developed even stronger than before in Poland; Prof. Kroll supports numerous partners in the neighbouring country - particularly in transnational projects. The internationalisation of the Cluster MERGE is mainly driven by the intensification and expansion of the existing close cooperation and contacts in the tri-border region formed by Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. With this concept, MERGE was successfully able to receive funding as one of only eleven chosen projects from a total of more than 100 submitted within the framework of the "Internationalisation of top-level clusters" funding measure of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. MERGE is also the only cluster of excellence (out of 43 in Germany) whose internationalisation is promoted in this way.

Clusters such as the Chemnitz Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE serve as a role model for universities in Poland. Thus, similar alliances have been and continue to be established between industry and research at the Technical University of Opole. The Rector of the TU Opole is therefore an active member of the Excellence Council of MERGE. In return, Prof. Kroll is providing support for the 1st Polish-German Bridge Conference to be held in Opole from April 7th through 8th, 2016, whose patronage the Saxon Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich has gladly taken over. The motto of the first conference day is “Politics and EU Strategies”, indicating the participation of numerous ministers and prime ministers of both countries. On the second day of the conference, renowned industry and research representatives will hold lectures on the topics of “Advanced Manufacturing Technologies” and “Advanced Materials and Systems”. The conference serves as a German-Polish bridge built both between industry and research as well as between the states of Saxony, Lower Silesia and Opole and provides a platform for the generation of joint projects at EU level.

This is a clear indication that the TU Chemnitz is increasingly being recommended as a competent network and transfer partner abroad. “I am currently experiencing in Poland a climate that shows the importance of cooperation between Polish and German companies, between Polish and German universities and lastly between science and economy. In addition, Polish universities and companies are oriented now more than ever towards Europe - particularly in the context of research collaborations”, says Kroll, who gladly contributes his expertise. The awarding of the title of “honorowego profesora”, as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the TU Wroclaw, represents for him a commitment.

Personal data: Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll

Lothar Kroll was born in Glogowek (Poland, earlier Oberglogau) on April 9, 1959. Since more than two thirds of the population of his home town in Upper Silesia at that time were German, he grew up multiculturally and multilingually. Therefore, a trusting relationship on an equal footing with both foreign colleagues and scientists as well as industrial partners has always come naturally. In 1981, while Poland was in a state of war, Prof. Kroll emigrated to Germany.

He studied at the Technical University of Opole (Poland) and the TU Clausthal in the field of automotive technology and mechanical engineering. He received his doctorate at the Institute of Applied Mechanics of the Technical University of Clausthal in 1992. In addition to a vast number of publications, patents and lectureships, Kroll has been a senior scientist at the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at the TU Dresden since 2000. During this time, he was involved in teaching and was responsible for the support of foreign students and scholars, particularly from Poland and the Czech Republic. Already, his Silesian origins led to the formation of numerous collaborations with the Technical Universities in Wroc?aw, Opole and Gliwice, which he continues to cultivate and intensify even to this day. Shortly after his habilitation at the end of 2005, he was awarded the Venia Legendi by the TU Dresden.

On June 1st, 2006 he was appointed to Head of the Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology at the TU Chemnitz. Since December 2007, he has been the Director of the Cetex Institut für Textil- und Verarbeitungsmaschinen gemeinnützige GmbH, an affiliated institute of the TU Chemnitz. He founded the Alliance Textile Lightweight Construction (ATL) in Chemnitz in April 2010 and in November 2012 he became the coordinator of the Federal Cluster of Excellence “Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures” (MERGE), established at the TU, receiving 34 million Euros in funding through 2017. He has also served as Dean of the Department of Mechanical Engineering since March 2013. Since June of the same year, Prof. Kroll has been the Head of the Fraunhofer Kunststoffzentrum Oberlausitz and the Research Centre Wolfsburg at the Fraunhofer IWU. In May 2015, the Saxon Landtag expressed its support for the Fraunhofer Research Centre STEX (Systems and Technologies for Textile Structures), which began work under his direction in September 2015.

Detailed professional career: https://www.leichtbau.tu-chemnitz.de/leitung.php.en

For further information, contact Dr. Isabelle Roth, Phone 0371 531-35632, email isabelle.roth@mb.tu-chemnitz.de

(Author: Mario Steinebach, Translation: Grätel Marksteiner)

Katharina Thehos

All "University News" articles