Fraunhofer celebrates 10 years at MSU

September 17, 2013

The Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications (CCL) celebrated its 10-year collaboration with research partner Michigan State University during an anniversary event at the Engineering Research Complex on Sept. 13.

Thomas Schuelke and Eckhard Beyer
Thomas Schuelke and Eckhard Beyer

Fraunhofer CCL focuses its research on laser materials processing, and diamond materials and coatings.  Its business is based on industry connections and collaborations. 

"The Center for Coatings and Laser Applications is not only mutually beneficial to the partners but also provides applied research services to many companies in Michigan,” said Dr. William Hartman, executive vice president of Fraunhofer USA Inc. “We are proud to be contributing to the economic development in Michigan, the location of our corporate headquarters since our beginning in 1994."

Jes Asmussen, executive director of Fraunhofer USA Inc. CCL and an MSU University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, welcomed guests and spoke on the “Ten Years of Success in Science and Engineering.” Asmussen is an international expert in diamond coatings, plasma system technology and microwave processing of materials.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon called MSU’s collaboration with Fraunhofer “a smashing success” and thanked the German company for a decade of helping students learn about real-life problems in real time. “The tribute to Fraunhofer is that this venture is even bigger and stronger than we dreamed of 10 years ago. We are extraordinarily grateful,” she added.

Other speakers included Eckhard Beyer, executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology in Dresden, Germany, and Thomas Schuelke, director of the Coatings Technology Division, Fraunhofer USA Inc. The program was followed by laboratory tours that featured physical vapor deposition technologies, diamond synthesis and reactor technology and diamond doping for electronics and electrochemistry.

Doctoral student Nutthamon "Kwan" Suwanmonkha
Doctoral student Nutthamon "Kwan" Suwanmonkha

The 10-year year collaboration with MSU is just one of the partnerships Fraunhofer USA has with universities.  The Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation is on the campus of Boston University.  The Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering is at the University of Maryland, and the newest center, the Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut.  Other important university partnerships include the University of Delaware, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan.  The partnerships serve as a bridge between academic research and industrial needs.

About Fraunhofer

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the leading organization for applied research in Europe.  Its research activities are conducted by 66 Fraunhofer Institutes located throughout Germany.  The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft employs a staff of about 22,000 who work with an annual research budget totaling 1.9 billion euros. 

Fraunhofer USA Inc. is a subsidiary of Fraunhofer with its headquarters in Plymouth, Mich.  Fraunhofer USA, a 501(c)3  non-profit research organization, operates labs in fuel cell technology, sustainable energy, biotechnology, computer security, manufacturing innovation, laser technology, and industrial coatings.  Fraunhofer USA's research centers collaborate with major research universities in the United States to bring innovative technologies to the marketplace.

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University, a member of the Association of American Universities and one of the top 100 research universities in the world, was founded in 1855. MSU is an inclusive, academic community known for traditionally strong academic disciplines and professional programs, and its liberal arts foundation. The cross- and interdisciplinary enterprises connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society's rapidly changing needs. As a public, research-intensive, land-grant university funded in part by the state of Michigan, its mission is to advance knowledge and transform lives.