Change in the management of the Institute for Brick Research in Essen

The Institute for Brick Research Essen e. V. (IZF), which was founded in Essen in 1952, has a new director, Dr. Rigo Giese, since 1 September 2023. His predecessor, Ms Annette Ilg, will support him as deputy director of the institute and will continue to manage the commercial side of the institute. She will also take over the management of the Institute's subsidiary, QSM (Gesellschaft für Qualitätssicherung und Materialprüfung mbH), from Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ruppik.

Ms Ilg had taken over the management of the IZF on 1 April 2019 from Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ruppik, who retired and is currently a consultant at the institute. According to the IZF board, at the time of the takeover they had been looking for a successor from within their own ranks. Ms Ilg possessed the necessary familiarity with the Institute, its staff and its economic data as well as relevant administrative experience beyond the Institute.

As head of the IZF, she was responsible for the administrative processing of the second and third research institutions, among other things. In 2022/2023, she was administratively responsible for 26 research projects with a total turnover volume of 13.6 million euros. Universities as well as other research institutions sought Ms Ilg's advice on processing, gladly accepted her expertise and implemented it for their projects. Ms Ilg maintained very intensive contact with the research funders. "We are very grateful to Ms Ilg for her years of dedication. She took on the task at a difficult time and fulfilled it brilliantly," says Mr Murray Rattana-Ngam, Chairman of the Board of the IZF and Managing Director of Ziegelwerk Bellenberg Wiest GmbH & Co. KG. The board of the IZF said that the decision to replace the director was taken after long deliberation and in agreement with the old and the new job holder.

Reorientation of the IZF

According to the board, the question of appointing a new scientist to head the institute arose in the course of the strategic reorientation of the IZF. As a research partner of the brick industry, the Institute is currently particularly challenged to develop scientific solutions for the challenges of the industry. The change in administrative responsibility for "industrial joint research" from the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations to the German Aerospace Centre by the end of the year also affects the IZF, which is dependent on research funding. With the upcoming generation change at the IZF, professional continuity must be ensured. For this reason, it was decided to look for a scientific director for the institute.


The new director Dr Rigo Giese

The board said it had offered Dr Rigo Giese the institute's directorship because he had shown over the past two years that he could add value to the institute in research and funding. Dr Giese had joined the IZF as a research associate in April 2021 after holding various positions as project, team and department head in the areas of process engineering and process optimisation.

As director, Dr Giese is to strategically realign the IZF. The focus will be on representing the scientific approach of the IZF to the outside world.

"For the future of the IZF, we consider the scientific orientation to be central. We have to put research in the foreground and we are convinced that Dr. Rigo Giese is very well suited for this," Mr. Rattana-Ngam commented on the board decision.

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