International Competence Center for Lightweight Metal Construction to be Established in Aachen


A new International Competence Center for Lightweight Metal Construction, ICM for short, will be established in Aachen. The new building for the Center and a five-year professorship for “Sustainability in Lightweight Metal Construction” will be jointly financed by the International Association for Lightweight Metal Construction (IFBS) and RWTH Aachen University.


The IFBS, located in Düsseldorf, is an association for lightweight metal construction of industrial and commercial buildings. Together with 215 member companies, including manufacturers, fabrication and assembly companies, and accessory suppliers, the IFBS formulates technical rules for lightweight metal construction which represent the state-of-the-art in this field.

The new building with a floor space of 1,700 sqm will include seminar rooms, offices, and a lab hall. Its proximity to the facilities of the Chair of Steel and Lightweight Structures and the Center for Metallic Design (zmb) facilitates future collaboration between the institutions. As RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg puts it, “With the establishment of this research professorship, Aachen’s top position as a location for metal and lightweight metal construction will be further strengthened.”

Uniquely in Europe, student teaching and learning as well as the continuing education of practitioners in the field of lightweight metal construction will be combined: lectures, seminars and hands-on courses will enhance the qualification of both university graduates and practitioners in construction. Dr. Ralf Podleschny, Managing Director of the IFBS and ICM GmbH, is positive that „due to the Center’s location in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, practitioners from the Netherlands and Belgium will participate in our continuing education programs.”

According to Dr. Horst Dieter Schulz, “the new Center will contribute decisively to improving the qualification of young academics and practitioners in lightweight metal construction.”