We control the future: Innovatively. Interdisciplinarily. Scientifically.

According to this guiding principle, we are performing interdisciplinary research for the production technology and automation of tomorrow. Our focus is always on industrial applicability.

The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units was established in 1965 at the University of Stuttgart under the name "Chair of Machine Tools B" and subsequently developed into one of the leading research institutes in its field under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gottfried Stute. After the unexpectedly early death of its founder in 1982, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.h.c. Günter Pritschow was appointed as his successor, who headed the institute from 1984 to 2005. Since 2005, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Verl is head of the institute. During Prof. Verl's leave of absence from 2014 to 2015, Prof. Peter Klemm was appointed as provisional head of institute. Since October 2015, the managing senior engineer Dr.-Ing. Armin Lechler is deputy director of the institute. On November 1, 2016, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Riedel joined the institute management alongside Prof. Verl.
Prof. Riedel is holder of the newly established chair Production Information Technologies at the University of Stuttgart. Since January 15, 2021, Jun.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Wortmann complements the management of ISW. Through Dr. Andreas Wortmann, the competence fields of the ISW in model-driven system development and the systematic conception of new modeling techniques for production engineering will be further consolidated.

In the course of its 50 years existence, both the research areas and the fields of application could be constantly expanded at the ISW. The focus here is the development and application of control and other computer-aided methods for solving automation tasks. The institute therefore features the following main research areas:

  • Drive Control
  • Operation
  • Engineering
  • Communications
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Simulation
  • Control Algorithms
  • Control Architectures
  • Virtual Production

Research Areas

The ISW is equally committed to fundamental research and application-oriented development, which results in a successful collaboration with public project promoters as well as with the industry. For students, these intensive research activities are useful in several aspects: seminar papers and diploma theses are carried out within the context of projects, and the results are directly integrated into the teaching. Complemented by internships and seminars, the students of the University of Stuttgart are offered a multitude of lectures.


The scientific work carried out at the institute is continuously published in research papers, technical journals and at conferences. Our core themes can be found especially in the journal "Werkstattstechnik" and in the book series "Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Produktionsforschung" published by Fraunhofer Verlag.


Summer party at the ISW

Our Alumni

We are proud of our alumni and our alumni are proud of us. To promote networking and exchanges, the Association of Friends of the ISW was founded. It has around 200 members from 5 decades of ISW history. Today, most of the members are in top positions in industry and research, but still like to look back at their time spent at the ISW.

Every year, the members of the Association of Friends of the ISW are invited to a number of events in order to stay in touch with the ISW, to meet and exchange or to just have a beer together.

Get in touch with Association of Friends of the ISW:


Get in touch

This image shows Alexander Verl

Alexander Verl

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Head of Institute

This image shows Oliver Riedel

Oliver Riedel

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Head of Institute, holder of the chair "IT for Production"

This image shows Armin Lechler

Armin Lechler


Deputy Director
Managing Chief Engineer

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