Dual leadership at Fraunhofer IWKS: Prof. Dr. Peter Dold and Prof. Dr. Anke Weidenkaff jointly lead Fraunhofer IWKS into a successful future

The topic of circular economy is steadily gaining importance. Fraunhofer IWKS is now strengthening its institute management to make research and partnerships even more future-proof.

© Fraunhofer IWKS
Prof. Dr. Peter Dold

Effective September 01, 2023, Prof. Dr. Peter Dold and Prof. Dr. Anke Weidenkaff will form a strong dual leadership for the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategy IWKS.

A mineralogist with a habilitation in materials science, he has worked for many years as an internationally renowned scientist with various professional stations abroad, including Japan and Canada, in both industry and academia. His scientific interests are particularly in the production and processing of materials from the semiconductor, metal, organic and plastics sectors.

Peter Dold can look back on many years of experience in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft: For in addition to his professorship in the field of "Renewable Energies" at the Martin Luther University in Halle Wittenberg, he most recently headed the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP, a branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, for more than 12 years and significantly built up the reputation of the institute. During this time, his focus was on the field of photovoltaics with an emphasis on crystallization, wafering and recycling. In recycling, the reprocessing of end-of-life PV modules was the main focus of his activities.

"I see it as an exciting challenge to take up new topics for the institution, to develop new strategies and processes for recovering recyclables from a wide variety of materials and, above all, to make them scalable as well as economically usable," says Dold with regard to his work at Fraunhofer IWKS. "I am also very much looking forward to working intensively on innovative solutions to adequately reintroduce the recovered raw materials into the recyclable material cycle, into equivalent or ideally also higher-value products. My goal here is to expand our spectrum to include other material systems, such as the electronics and IT sectors, the area of plastics recycling and organic recyclables." Crucial for Dold in his work at Fraunhofer IWKS is to focus on unsolved problems and particular sociopolitical criticality. "For us as a Fraunhofer institution, it's necessary for us to show our partners in industry potential improvements and savings that they themselves may not have realized yet."

And Prof. Dr. Anke Weidenkaff, Institute Director at Fraunhofer IWKS since 2018, is also pleased about the reinforcement in the management team: "Although we are still a fairly young institution, Fraunhofer IWKS already enjoys a very good reputation both in research and as a cooperation partner for companies. However, there are still big tasks waiting for us on the way to a closed loop of recyclable materials with circularly recycled raw materials." And Weidenkaff continues, "I am enthusiastic about the topic of recycling photovoltaic (PV) systems. I am all the more pleased that we have been able to win over Peter Dold, a proven expert with a great deal of experience in this extremely important topic. I am sure that we will complement each other perfectly and further advance the applied research of Fraunhofer IWKS together."

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, based in Germany, is the world's leading organization for application-oriented research. With its focus on key technologies of relevance to the future and on the exploitation of results in business and industry, it plays a central role in the innovation process. As a guide and stimulus for innovative developments and scientific excellence, it helps shape our society and our future. Founded in 1949, the organization currently operates 76 institutes and research facilities in Germany. Around 30,800 employees, most of them trained in the natural sciences or engineering, generate an annual research volume of around €3.0 billion. Of this, €2.6 billion is accounted for by contract research.

Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategy IWKS develops circular materials and materials science technologies for an ultimate sustainable, waste-free circular economy. In close cooperation with universities, other Fraunhofer institutes and industrial partners, the facility conducts research on the substitution of critical raw materials with more sustainable alternatives and develops solutions for the intelligent regeneration of future-oriented materials as well as their energy-efficient recovery as sustainable precursors for production. As part of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Fraunhofer IWKS aims to make research findings applicable to industrial companies. Together with its partners, it thus makes a valuable contribution to a transformation of industry and a healthy planet.