Vita Bernd Wetzel

Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wetzel, born 1971 in Heidelberg, has studied mechanical engineering with major focus on materials, damage theory and energy systems at the University of Karlsruhe. After conducting his Diploma Thesis at the California Institute of Technology, USA, he graduated in 1999.

From 2000 to 2006 he worked as scientific assistant to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Friedrich at the Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH in Kaiserslautern.

In 2004 he conducted research at the Materials Science Institute, Zhongshan University in China with Prof. Mingqiu Zhang.

After finalizing his dissertation on "Mechanical properties of ceramic nanoparticle reinforced epoxy nanocomposites" and receiving his doctorate degree from the University of Kaiserslautern in 2006, he took a Postdoc position as Representative Group Leader of the BMBF Young Researcher Group ”Nanoparticle reinforced high performance polymers: Technological performance and economical manufacturing techniques“ at IVW.

In 2008 he joined SchäferRolls  in Renningen, Germany, as the Head of Composites Research and Development and Product Line where he developed calender roll covers.

In 2012 he responded a call as the Research Director Materials Scienceof the Institute of Composite Materials. Since then he manages the competence field "Tailored Thermosets & Biomaterials", and from 2012 to 2017he was also head of the competence field "Tribology" from 2012 to 2017.

He is married and has a child.

Offices and Memberships

  • Member of the German Materials Society (DGM)
  • Member of the European Structural Integrity Society, Technical Committee “Polymers, Polymer Composites and Adhesives” (ESIS-TC04)
  • Member of the Scientific Board of the International Conference on Polymer Tribology (PolyTrib)
  • Reviewer of the German Research Foundation DFG in Standard Practice and for Research Units (since 2012)
  • Reviewer for international scientific journals: Tribology International; Engineering Fracture Mechanics; Wear; Journal of Materials Science; Composites Science and Technology; Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing; Applied Composite Materials; Plastics, Rubber and Composites.


Bernd Wetzel

Research Director Materials Science & Manager Tailored Thermosets & Biomaterials

Special Expertise: Multifunctional thermosets, nanocomposites, tribology, fracture mechanics, structure-property relationships


  • 2016 Innovation Award of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, Categorie „Cooperation“.
  • 2006 Elsevier Award of Most Cited Articles 2005-2009 in the journal Engineering Fracture Mechanics
  • 2006 Wilfried Ensinger Award Wilfried Ensinger Award of the Scientific Alliance of Polymer Technology (WAK) for the development and description of technical polymers for innovative applications.
  • 2004 SAMPE Japan Award of Excellent Paper for the development of “Electro-Conductive Piezo-Ceramic/Epoxy Nanocomposites“.

Research focus and interests

  • Nanocomposites
  • Tribology
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Relationships between processing, structure and properties of polymer composites
  • Biomimetics


The list of publications is available here.