Surface Engineering Institute, IOT


The Surface Engineering Institute is a part of the faculty of mechanical engineering of RWTH Aachen University. The Institute originally traces back to the Institiute of Materials Technology B (IWK B) and respectively the Chair of Materials Technology B, which was led by Professor Otto Knotek since 1970. In February 1980 Prof. Dr. tech. Erich Lugscheider founded the Department of Materials Science, better known as the Materials Science Institute. In April 2005 Prof. Lugscheider handed over the institutes leadership to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kirsten Bobzin. At the same time the name was changed to Surface Engineering Institute (Institut für Oberflächentechnik - IOT).


Formerly at two different locations in the metropolitan area of Aachen, recently at one central location (Kackertstr. 15) active research and development works have been conducted in the areas of PVD/CVD technology, Thermal Spraying, deposition welding, hard and high-temperature brazing as well as modelling and simulation of these processes. For each of these individual technologies fundamental knowledge is acquired in the field of materials science and applied in the area of materials engineering from the project idea to complete system solutions to pilot production. This work is always conducted in close cooperation with industrial corporations. In addition to materials development, process optimisation, procedural and quality assurance, our services include, above all, the development and application of coating and brazing systems. The spectrum of materials processed includes everything from pure metals, metal alloys, intermetallic materials and hard metals to oxide and special ceramics, cermets, hard materials, hard alloys, fibre-reinforced materials and even polymers.

The Institute comprises of six research and development departments:

PVD Technology (Components)

PVD Technology (Tools)

Thermal Spraying (Shield Coatings)

Thermal Spraying (Process Technology)

Brazing Technology

Deposition Welding

Building upon universitary, interdisciplinary fundamental research, the cornerstone of study is, above all else, national and international application-oriented research complemented by a number of industrial projects that provide the ability to apply research directly. Extra-curricular educational events, colloquiums and seminars are offered in addition to lectures, practical exercises and internships. Cooperation in interdisciplinary forums within RWTH Aachen University and work with associations, workgroups and standardisation committees constantly leads to new ideas both for education and research as well as industrial research