Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Reinhart Poprawe

Short Biography

Prof. Dr. Reinhart Poprawe holds a M. A. in Physics degree from the California State University in Fresno which he received in 1977. After completion of his diploma and PhD in physics (Darmstadt 1984) he joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen where he began working as head of the department „Laser oriented process development“ in 1985. From 1989 to 1/1996 he has been managing director of Thyssen Laser Technik GmbH in Aachen. Since February 1996 he is managing director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology and holds the University Chair for Laser Technology at the RWTH Aachen. Currently he is a member of the board in the AKL Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e. V. Aachen. Prof. Poprawe has been elected to the grade of Fellow in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in USA (SME) since 1998. In 2006 he became Fellow of the Laser Institute of America LIA and in 2012 Fellow of SPIE. Since 2001 he is a member of the board of the Laser Institute of America (LIA) and serves in many national and international boards as advisor, referee or consultant, for instance at the National Laser Centre of South Africa NLC. During the period of 09/2005 until 09/2008 he was Vice-Rector for Structure, Research and Junior Academic Staff. He still is chairing the RWTH-International Board, is the Rectors delegate for China, received an Honorary Professorship at Tsinghua University and the Schawlow Award of the Laser Institute of America in 2014.


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Reinhart Poprawe M.A.(Calif. State Univ.), rongyu jiaoshou(Qinghua University in Beijing)(honorary professor)

Family status married to Anette Poprawe, born Kraus,
four children
Date and place of Birth January 23, 1954, Offenbach/Main Germany
Father Dr. Erwin Poprawe (Bankier)
Mother Ruth Senta Poprawe, born Wagner
April 1960 - March 1965 Elementary School Falkenstein/Ts
April 1965 - June 1973 Taunusschule Königstein (Abitur)
October 1973 - July 1975 Physics at University of Mainz
(Vordiplom 21st of April 1975)
Nov. 1975 - Feb. 1976 Student at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen
Feb. 1976 - July 1976 Physics at University of Mainz
Sept. 1976 - Sept. 1977 Physics at California State University/ Fresno
(Master of Arts 12th of August 1977)
June 1980 - March 1985 Assistant at Technical University Darmstadt
(PhD 27th of July 1984)
April 1985 - May 1989 Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Laser technology/ Aachen (Fraunhofer-Prize on 22nd of October 1987)
June 1989 - January 1996 Managing Director of Thyssen Laser-Technik GmbH Aachen
since February 1996 Director of Fraunhofer Institute for Laser technology/ Aachen und Head of University Chair for Laser technology, RWTH Aachen
July 2005 – Sept. 2008 Vice-president for Research, Structure and scientific youth at RWTH-Aachen University
14th of November 2011 Innovation Award of Northrine Westfalia 2011
(Additive Laser Manufacturing)
Jan 2012 – Dec 2012 President of the Laser Institute of America LIA
21st of March 2014 Honorary Professor of Tsinghua University, Beijing
22nd of October 2014 Schawlow Award 2014, Laser Institute of America LIA


Laser Application:
Drilling, cutting, joining (welding, soldering), Surface treatment, Laser Additive Manufacturing (Selective Laser Melting, Laser Metal Deposition), Rapid Manufacturing, Polishing, Micro Technology, System Technology, Process Control, Photonics in Life Science, Direct Photonic Production.

Laser Development:
Diode pumped Solid State Lasers, Diode Lasers, Pump Modules and Amplifiers for multi sectorial applications (Information- und Communication Technology, Display, EUV-Lithography, ps-, fs-Laser), coherent coupling, incoherent Superposition, Beam shaping in space and time, Ultrafast Lasers, Production processes for Diode Lasers.

Plasma Technology:
Process Analysis, Sensors for Laser Processes, laser induced Plasmas, EUV-Sources for Lithography and Microscopy, XUV-Sources, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS).


  • Member of the Board AGIT GmbH, Aachen (2001-2012)
  • Member of Beirat EdgeWave GmbH (Chair)
  • Member of the Board Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik AKL e. V. (dep. Chair)
  • Member of the Board Coopération Laser Franco-Allemande (CLFA)
  • Member of Board Laser Institute of America LIA
  • Fellow Society of Manufacturing Engineers (1998)
  • Fellow Laser Institute of America LIA (2006)
  • Fellow of SPIE (2012)
  • Member of Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Ferdinand Braun Institute, Berlin (until 2015)
  • Member of Investitionskomitee High-Tech Gründerfonds (until 2015)
  • Member of Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Lasertechnik e. V. WLT
  • Member of the Nordrhein-Westfalian Academy of Science
  • Member of Club Aachener Casino 1805
  • Member of Rotary Club Aachen