About us

Exceptional expertise and a unique range of highly-specialized test benches and self-developed measurement, testing and simulation methods make the independent Research Institute for Automotive Engineering and Powertrain Systems Stuttgart (FKFS) a sought-after partner in the international automotive industry. Around 180 highly-qualified and motivated employees work to solve complex and demanding problems; undertaking research and development projects in the fields of Automotive Powertrain Systems, Automotive Engineering and Automotive Mechatronics.

With its outstanding infrastructure and interdisciplinary approach, the institute is ideally equipped to handle the challenges of mobility in the future.

Founded in 1930 as an independent foundation under civil law, FKFS cooperates closely with the Institute for Automotive Engineering Stuttgart (IFS) at Stuttgart University. The three members of the FKFS Board of Management are simultaneously also the three Chairs of IFS.


We, the employees of the FKFS,

  • combine the requirements of the industry with the findings of science
  • research and develop in the service of the automotive industry
  • meet the requirements of our clients dynamically and flexibly
  • we guarantee our clients integrity, reliability and quality
  • support the next generation of scientists within our projects
  • strengthen the reputation of the University of Stuttgart in research and teaching
  • are responsible for our results to society and politics
  • respect foreign cultures and equal opportunities between the sexes
  • cultivate a working atmosphere characterised by honesty, fairness, credibility, justice, collegiality and open communication
Name Organisation Position (in German)
Anke Kleinschmit Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung
Jumana Al-Sibai MAHLE Behr GmbH & Co. KG Vorsitzende der Geschäftsführung 
Dr.-Ing. Bernd Mahr    
Wolfgang H. Schwenk^    
Dr.-Ing. Peter Schäfer    
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Felix Tropschuh Audi AG Leiter Wissenschaftsprojekte, Hochschulkontakte, Corporate Responsibility, Governance
Meyseng Se Tchao DEKRA Group Vice President DEKRA Group
Prof. Dr. Lino Guzzella ETH Zürich zuletzt Präsident der ETH Zürich
Prof. Giorgio Rizzoni The Ohio State University Director Center for Automotive Research
Franz Loogen e-mobil BW GmbH Geschäftsführer
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Nejila Parspour Universität Stuttgart Leiterin des Instituts für Elektrische Energiewandlung
Wolfgang Zahn*   zuletzt Vorstand Forschung und Entwicklung bei Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG
Anna Steiger Universität Stuttgart Kanzlerin der Universität Stuttgart
Claus Mayer Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Tourismus Baden-Württemberg Ministerialrat
Susanne Ahmed Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg leitende Ministerialrätin
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Ressel Universität Stuttgart Rektor der Universität Stuttgart
Dr. Sabine Lutz FKFS

Betriebsratsvorsitzende FKFS

Steffen Müller NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH Director Systems and Applications
Dr. Dirk Walliser ZF Group Corporate Research and Development
Dr.-Ing. Torsten Eder Mercedes-Benz AG Leiter Produktgruppe Antriebe
Dr. rer.nat. Friederike Lindner Robert Bosch GmbH Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Sensors and Small Control Units, Powertrain Solutions
Prof. Dr.rer.pol. Dipl.-Ing. Meike Tilebein Universität Stuttgart, Institute for Diversity Studies in Engineering Director of Institute
Honorary members    
Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Meinrad K. Eberle ETH Zürich zuletzt Direktor des Paul Scherrer Instituts, Villigen (CH)
Prof. em. Dr. rer. Franz Effenberger Universität Stuttgart Emeritus des Instituts für Organische Chemie und Isotopenforschung
Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Wiedemann Universität Stuttgart zuletzt Lehrstuhlinhaber für Kraftfahrwesen am Institut für Verbrennungsmotoren und Kraftfahrwesen (heute Institut für Fahrzeugtechnik Stuttgart)
Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Michael Bargende Universität Stuttgart zuletzt Lehrstuhlinhaber für Fahrzeugantriebssysteme am Institut für Fahrzeugtechnik Stuttgart
Advisory Board    
Christian Enderle Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche Leiter Entwicklung Antriebe
Dr. Martin Berger ZF Group  
Dr. Marco Warth Mahle International GmbH Bereichsleiter


*= Chairman; ^= Vice Chairman;

The Institute for Automotive Engineering Stuttgart IFS is part of the Faculty of Design, Production and Automotive Engineering of the University of Stuttgart and deals with research and teaching in the field of automotive and engine technology. The cooperation between IFS and FKFS combines basic university research with applied contract research.

The institute has three chairs:

IFS is also home to the University of Stuttgart's student Rennteam. As of the year 2024, the two former teams of the university, the Rennteam and the GreenTeam, have combined forces and will develop an electric racing car for the Formula Student competition in the future. Together, the two teams have brought 11 world championship titles to Stuttgart.

1998 - today

In 1998, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Wiedemann succeeded Prof. Essers as Chair of Automotive Engineering. In the same year, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Bargende assumed the Chair of Internal Combustion Engines (since 2011 "Automotive Powertrains"). Both chairs formed the basis of the »Competence Center of Automotive Technology Stuttgart«. In 2004, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Christian Reuss assumed the Chair of Automotive Mechatronics and provided the center with the desired expansion. All three chairs are members of the Managing Board of FKFS whose chairmanship rotates every two years. Since April 1, 2019, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Wagner has been the successor of J. Wiedemann, who retired as member of the Board of Management responsible for Automotive Engineering. Since January 1, 2022, Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Casal Kulzer has been the deputy of the board area Automotive Powertrain Systems and will become Chair of Automotive Powertrain Systems in October 2022.

The strength of the FKFS can be found in its test benches, which are constantly undergoing further development. In autumn 2014, the large 1:1 vehicle wind tunnel was extensively modernised. Since 2015, the institute is also equipped with the Stuttgart driving simulator, the largest of its kind at a European research facility. In May 2019, three new test stands were put into operation: a high-performance electric drive train test stand, an Handling Roadway System and a hybrid engine test stand.


1971 - 1998

1971 übernahm Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulf Essers den Lehrstuhl für Kraftfahrwesen und Fahrzeugmotoren der Universität Stuttgart und wurde in Personalunion Direktor des FKFS. Neben seinen Aufgaben in Forschung und Lehre plante er den Institutsneubau auf dem Universitätsgelände in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. Die Räume wurden 1978 bezogen und 1988 um eine Windkanalanlage mit einem Modellwindkanal und einem Fahrzeugwindkanal erweitert. Professor Essers begründete den neuen Forschungsschwerpunkt »Geräuschminderung an Kraftfahrzeugen und Motoren«. Neben zahlreichen Projekten zur Geräuschminderung an Motoren und Reifen wurden mehrere lärmarme Nutzfahrzeuge entwickelt und in Prototypen dargestellt. Moderne Motorenprüfstände, auf dem neuesten Stand der Technik und ausgestattet mit der zugehörigen Messtechnik, waren die Basis für eine erfolgreiche Forschung an Motoren, wobei die Verwendung alternativer Kraftstoffe ein Schwerpunkt war. 1993 wurde der Fahrzeugwindkanal zum Aeroakustik- Kanal aufgerüstet und damit zum leistungsfähigsten Aeroakustik-Fahrzeugwindkanal Europas.


1945 - 1971

After 1945, this tradition was continued by his successor, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Paul Riekert. Following the repair of damages incurred during the war, the wind tunnel has been available to the German and European automotive industry for two decades, making a considerable contribution to the leading position of Germany in the field of vehicle aerodynamics. Professor Riekert continued his work on vehicle dynamics that he had started before the war, and he developed the »Stuttgart Friction Meter« for investigating the non-skid property of tire-road combinations.


1930 - 1945

In 1930, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wunibald Kamm, the first Professor of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart, established the private and nonprofit Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS). Under his direction, the FKFS became the largest and one of the leading research institutes in the field of automotive engineering. In addition to numerous projects involving motor vehicles and their engines, a major focus of his work dealt with automotive aerodynamics. Professor Kamm developed the so-called K-back car – the prototype of an aerodynamically innovative passenger car – and built the first full-scale wind tunnel for motor vehicles.