The WKI and its Directors

Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bohumil Kasal

Since 1st October 2010, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bohumil Kasal has been the Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI with locations in Braunschweig, Hanover and Wolfsburg. He is also Chair of Organic Materials at the Institute of Building Materials, Concrete Construction and Fire Protection (IBMB) at the Technical University of Braunschweig.

His main research at the TU focuses on the use of organic materials in constructive and non-constructive applications. The co-operation with the Fraunhofer WKI has been strengthened through the mutual Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures, which interdisciplinarily examines the ecologically and economically-meaningful use of renewable raw materials in the construction industry.

Prof. Kasal previously studied, taught and researched for many years in the USA. Before moving to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, he held the Hankin Chair at the Pennsylvania State University from 2005 to 2010 as well as professorships for architectural technology, civil engineering and environmental protection technology. His work there focused upon residential construction, wood science, heritage preservation, the impact of natural hazards on buildings and the use of composite materials in structures. At the Penn State University, he also headed the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center.

From 1992 to 2005, Prof. Kasal taught at the chair for wood and paper research as well as the chair for civil engineering at the North Carolina State University.

Professor Kasal was Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, Professor at the Czech Technical University in Prague and Honorary Research Associate at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

From 2001 to 2002, Prof. Kasal was Senior Fulbright Fellow and visiting professor at the Technical University in Dresden.

Prof. Dr. Tunga Salthammer

Prof. Dr. Tunga Salthammer assumed the position of Acting Director from 1st January until 30th September, 2010. Since 1st March, 2011 he has been the Deputy Director of the WKI.

Professor Salthammer studied chemistry at the TU Braunschweig.  After completing his studies and receiving his degree, he joined the Fraunhofer WKI in 1990 as a scientist. Since 1995 he has been the Head of Department for the Department of Material Analysis and Indoor Chemistry. In 2008 he habilitated at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the Technical University of Braunschweig. He works for diverse international commissions and authorized bodies and is recognized worldwide as an expert in the field of indoor air hygiene. He holds numerous guest professorships, for example in Denmark, China and Australia.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Marutzky

Prof. Dr. Rainer Marutzky was born in 1947 in Halle an der Saale. From 1968 until 1973 he studied chemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig. Following this, he worked until 1975 as scientific assistant in the Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung (Society for Biotechnological Research, GBF) in Braunschweig. In 1975 he was conferred a doctor's degree on the subject of enzyme chemistry and biophysics, following which he took his post-doctorate at the GBF. From 1976, Prof. Marutzky was employed at the WKI, initially as scientific assistant and later as Head of the specialist department for Environmental Research. From 1989, he was the Acting Director of the WKI. In 1992, Prof. Marutzky was officially appointed Director of the WKI.

In 1991 he had habilitated at the Institute of Natural Sciences at the Technical University in Braunschweig and in May 1996 he was appointed Professor.  His field of scientific work focused mainly on environmental protection within the wood industry and questions concerning wood bonding. He was also actively involved in European standardization. Professor Marutzky was Director of the WKI until 31st December, 2009.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gert Kossatz

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gert Kossatz was born on April 14th, 1929 in Dresden. After finishing high school, he began an apprenticeship as cabinetmaker which he successfully completed in 1949. He then went on to study industrial architecture at the University of Dresden where, in 1955, he graduated as an engineer. At the same time, he worked as assistant manager in the company where he completed his apprenticeship. From 1955 to 1960, he was a scientific assistant and later senior scientific assistant and lecturer at the Institute for Wood and Fiber Material Technology at the Technical University in Dresden.

In 1957 he was conferred a doctor's degree at the Faculty for Civil Engineering at the TU Dresden.  Following this, he worked as head of department at the Institute for Building Materials at the German Academy of Construction in Berlin, as consultant engineer for light construction and construction physics, and as project engineer for the wood and building material industry.

In 1969 he habilitated at the Faculty for Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University in Dresden. From 1974 onwards he was Director of the Wilhelm Klauditz Institute and simultaneously professor (apl.) in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, and honorary professor at the Technical University in Braunschweig. In 1986 he was elected as member of the International Academy of Wood Science. He left the WKI on 31st March, 1989.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gert Kossatz died on April 26th, 2013 aged 84 after a short illness.

Prof. Dr. forest. Horst Schulz

Prof. Dr. forest. Horst Schulz was born on November 6th, 1924 in Berlin. After finishing high school, he studied at the Humbolt University in Berlin/Eberswalde where he completed his studies with a diploma in forestry. Following this, he worked until 1953 as ranger’s assistant in the forestry office in Joachimstal, as administrator for the provincial government for forest utilization in Brandenburg and as assistant and then senior assistant at the Humbolt University in Berlin. In 1954 he was conferred a doctor's degree in forestry which was followed by his habilitation in 1960 at the Georg August University in Göttingen. In 1963 he completed a one-year research fellowship at the Harvard University, Mass./USA.

 From 1965 to 1968 he acted as FAO expert within the framework of the UNDP program (university lecturer and consultant to the wood industry in Chapingo/Mexico). From 1968 to 1973 he was successor to Dr. Klauditz as Director of the Wilhelm Klauditz Institute.
Prof. Schulz died on February 6th, 2002.

Dr. rer. nat. Günther Stegmann

Dr. rer. nat. Günther Stegmann was born on January 20th, 1914 in Berlin. After finishing high school he studied natural science at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin. In 1939 he was conferred a doctor's degree in natural science. From 1940 to 1941, he worked as scientific employee at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin in the department for fiber research, and from 1942 onwards as research officer and head of department at the chemical-technological institute of the Reichsanstalt für Holzforschung (German National Institute for Wood Research) in Eberswalde.

From 1946 onwards, he worked at the »Testing and consulting body for technical wood utilization of the Association for Technical Issues Related to Wood«, which later became the Wilhelm Klauditz Institute. After the death of Dr. Klauditz in 1963, Dr. Stegmann took over the temporary leadership of the Institute. He also continued publication of the renowned journal »Holzforschung« (Wood Research). He retired in 1977. Dr. Stegmann died on December 28th, 1999.

Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Klauditz

Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Klauditz was born on February 24th, 1903 in Vechelde near Braunschweig. He studied chemistry at the Technical University in Braunschweig and in 1928 he was conferred a doctor's degree in engineering science. In 1929 he joined the central laboratory of the Koholyt GmbH in Cologne. After the takeover of the company by the Feldmühle AG in 1934, Dr. Klauditz was in 1936 promoted to the position of the deputy head of Feldmühle's research laboratory in Stettin. In 1939 he moved to the Reichsanstalt für Holzforschung (German National Institute for Wood Research), where he worked as scientific employee. In 1941 he became the deputy director and in 1944 the director of the chemical-technological institute of the Reichsanstalt für Holzforschung.

In 1946, Dr. Klauditz contributed substantially to the foundation of the »Testing and consulting body for technical wood utilization of the Association for Technical Issues Related to Wood« and became its director. In 1950 he received the lectureship for »Wood research and wood technology« at the Technical University in Braunschweig. From 1951 onwards he published the trade journal »Holzforschung« (Wood Research). In 1953, Dr. Klauditz was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany). From 1954 onwards he worked in international organizations (OEEC, FAO, ECE). Dr. Klauditz died in a car crash on June 30th, 1963 during a business trip to Munich.

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