Keynote speech 13 January 2024

Prof. Dr. Thomas Gries
Saurer Open House, Übach-Palenberg 

Univ. Prof. Prof. h.c. (MGU) Dr.-ing. Dipl.-Wirt.Ing.
Thomas Gries

Thomas Gries born in Cologne, Germany, in 1964, studied at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He holds a diploma degree in mechanical engineering and economics and a doctorate in mechanical engineering.

From 1995 to 2001, he worked at Lurgi Zimmer AG, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, at the Department of Technologies for Fibres & Textiles in leading positions.


Since 2001, he is Director of the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University. The honoris causa professorship of Lomonossow University, Moscow, is the most distinguished scientific award of Russia given for his achievement of 3D-tailored composite reinforcements. 2019 he was Distinguished Visiting Researcher at Seoul National University dedicated to 4D-Textiles.


ITA was established in 1934 and is one of the world’s leading textile research institutes. Its fields of research comprise man-made fibre technology, staple fibre processing, fabric production, technical textiles & composites, medical textiles & biomaterials as well as smart textiles & joining technologies.

Today Thomas Gries is the thought-leader in 3D- & 4D-textiles. He made ITA the leading institution in digitalization and biotransformation of the textile sector. 

  • Budget: 13 mill. €, 95 % project based
  • Staff: 115 scientists, 56 technicians and service staff, > 150 undergraduate research assistants
  • Publications: more than 1,400
  • Education: Director of programs: (inter-) national courses “Textile engineering” (B.Sc., M.Sc., Dr.-Ing.)
    150+ supervised doctorates


Thomas Gries presently is

  • Member of the National Academy of Technological Science and Engineering: acatech
  • Member of the Working Group “Industrial Artificial Intelligence” of the National Plattform Industrie 4.0
  • Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Science
  • Member of the scientific advisory committee of the “Zukunfts­-initiative Textile NRW (ZiTex)” and other institutions
  • Evaluator for DFG (German Research Foundation) and for other national and international project funding organisations
  • Member of editorial board of several high ranked scientific journals and conferences