Website of the department pmd

This is the homepage of the Institute for Product Development and Machine Elements. Here you can find further information about the institute, studies, research and career.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Kirchner

The infrastructure that we are continuously building up in the department is based on the research needs of the working groups. It is our aim to be able to demonstrate new effects based on measurements conducted and to be able to derive scientifically sound statements from reliable and reproducible measurement results in functional tests. In order to be able to prove the functionality and practical suitability of mechatronic machine elements in particular, we are investing further in the necessary testing technology in order to be able to also make statements about the effects of fatigue and wear in the near future.

About the pmd – Infrastructure

Since its departure from the city centre campus in September 2017 the pmd is located on the second floor of the mechanical engineers’ building (L1|01) on the Lichtwiese campus . Furthermore, the institute has a testing area of approximately 400 m² with vibration-decoupled foundations and a connected electric capacity of up to 350 kW for testing and experimental validation of the research results in the 2017 opened Gerhard-Pahl-Centre (L1|10). The GPZ also contains a workshop with 16 workstations for tutorials and a lecture room with up to 48 seats.


The pmd is a member of various research and industry associations. A few examples can be found here.

About the pmd – Orientation

With the relocation to the Lichtwiese campus, the research topics were also reoriented. Trend-setting smart machine elements are going to be developed which are required for smart products or smart production systems geared to industry 4.0. In addition, the additive manufacturing of products, which offers new design possibilities, has emerged as a further area of research. The developed products and intelligent machine elements can be tested directly in the test field of the institute and the research results can be validated. In addition, some funded research projects are carried out in close cooperation with industrial partners in order to conduct research on industrially used products and to be able to validate industry relevant research projects.

About the pmd – History

The Institute of Product Development and Machine Elements (pmd) was founded in 1964 under the name of Machine Elements and Design theory and was headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Dr. h.c. mult. Gerhard Pahl until 1990. After him the institute was led by Prof. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Dr.-Ing. Herbert Birkhofer who was succeeded by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andrea Bohn in 2011. During this time period the institute was renamed to Product Development and Machine Elements. After the departure of Prof. Bohn in 2012 the institute was provisionally led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Peter Groche. Since 2016 the institute is under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Kirchner.