ITA won RWTH Innovation Award, Aachen, Germany

Prof. Thomas Gries, Kristina Simonis and David Schmelzeisen with the RWTH Innovation Award. Photo: Andreas Schmitter

The scientific employees Dr. Valentine Gesché, David Schmelzeisen and Kristina Simonis of Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University under the leadership of Prof. Thomas Gries, won the RWTH Innovation Award for their project “4D textile – additive manufacturing of hybrid materials for temporarily shape shifting applications.”

In this project, microstructures were printed in textiles using a 3D printer. The composite system reacts to external influences with deformation. Thus, a deformation is created without external energy input, because the required power will be saved through preloading in the textile itself. A change of environment (e.g. a rise of temperature or change of humidity) leads to a change of shape of the printed microstructure and thereby to a movement of the hybrid material 4D textile.

An international graduate college between the University of Wuppertal, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, the Massachusetts University Lowell, USA, and the RWTH Aachen University will be prepared right now to further push this research. At the moment the team is looking for new cooperation partners for further application fields of the new hybrid material.

The RWTH Innovation Award was awarded for the third time this year. Every year three projects are awarded a prize which underlines the innovation power of the region of Aachen, Germany, in a special way. Professor Malte Brettel, Prorector for economy and industry of RWTH Aachen University, handed the certificates at the RWTHtransparent“ event at the lecture hall complex C.A.R.L. in Aachen, Germany. The second prize was awarded to Moritz Cramer, Philipp Goergens, Dr. Simon Koopmann and Fabian Potratz of the Institute for High Voltage Technology, the third prize to Dr. Rebecca Engel and Dr. Marcus Rose of the Institute for Technical and Macromolecular chemistry.

About the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University

The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) belongs to the excellence university RWTH Aachen. Its core expertise consists of textile related production technologies and high performance materials. With the Centre for High Performance Materials ITA offers small and medium sized companies direct access to scientific research especially in the fields of high modulus fibres and composites. ITA provides research and development services and advanced training and creative workshops in cooperation with its partner company ITA Technologietransfer GmbH. Furthermore, ITA graduates students in various textile related courses. Please find further information at