Em. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg Menges
Born on 19 December 1923 in Gernsbach, Baden, Germany, Menges began studies of mechanical engineering in 1949 at TH Stuttgart. In 1953 he became a Diplom Ingenieur and graduated to Dr. Ing. after completing his doctorate with Prof. Dr. Ing. E. Siebel with a thesis research paper on brittle fracture. In his first years in the field, he worked at steel mills at Südwestfalen AG and Deutschen Rhodiaceta AG where he helped to set up manufacturing facilities for semi-finished plastic products. From 1962 to 1965, he worked as a freelance consultant for plastics processing and applications.

Professor Menges was head of the "Institut für Kunststoffverarbeitung" (IKV - Institute for Plastics Processing) from 1965 to 1987 at RWTH Aachen. During this time, he established IKV as an internationally recognised institute for research and education. He and his institute received prestigious national and international awards for their great services to plastics processing. Professor Georg Menges, who played a key role in furthering the development of plastics technology, is considered to be one of the major pioneers of plastics processing.
"It is an honour for me to support Reifenhäuser's Innovation Contest so that the company can pursue new and certainly audacious ventures. I have worked in the plastics industry for the past 51 years. During this time, I have experienced many contests and awards ceremonies - however none of them used the open format of this Reifenhäuser Innovation Contest. I am particularly fond of the idea that participants can inspire each other and share ideas. After all, the development process is all about team work. I am very excited about the ideas that this type of contest will bring about and I hope that many young, creative people will take part."

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Volker Schöppner
Volker Schöppner studied at the University of Paderborn. After completing his Diplom degree in 1989, he continued to work there as a research assistant and from 1995 to 1999 he was a senior engineer at the University. Schöppner completed his doctorate at the then-Institute of Plastics Technology with a thesis on "Simulation of Injection Plasticising Units in Single-Screw Extruders" (1995). After a period working as research engineer at Barmag AG (extrusion engineering) in Remscheid, Germany, he completed his postdoctoral thesis in 2000 on "Technical Process Design of Extrusion Systems". From 1999 to 2007, Volker Schöppner was active in various positions at Hella KGaA (supplier to automotive industry) in Lippstadt, Germany. Since February 2007, Schöppner has been Professor for polymer engineering at the University of Paderborn.

Volker Schöppner is a project supervisor at the Paderborn-based Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) - a research centre formed as a joint effort between the university and technology firms with a focus on rapid prototyping.

In addition to his work teaching and carrying out research, Schöppner was active as managing director of the "Förderung der Kunststofftechnologie e.V." (Association for the Promotion of Plastics Technology) in support of plastics technologies and their practical applications. Furthermore, he is also a member of the Polymer Processing Society (PPS), VDI Chairman at the University of Paderborn and Chairman of Commission XVI "Plastics Joining and Bonding" at the International Institute of Welding (IIW).
"The "Plastics Extrusion" topic of the Reifenhäuser Innovation Contest is a new venture for the Reifenhäuser Group that will further strengthen the company's ties to universities. This contest provides young people with a chance to introduce their ideas to the industrial sector without being held back by the naysayers. I hope that students at many universities will take advantage of this opportunity and contribute their many creative ideas and valuable proposals. There will certainly be many interesting discussions within the panel concerning the proposals put forward. I am really looking forward to the contest."

Dr.-Ing. Willi Fuchs
Willi Fuchs, born 1957, studied General Mechanical Engineering at the University of Siegen, Germany, where he also completed his doctorate thesis in 1986. After a period teaching at the University of Houston, Texas, he became managing director for Development and Quality Assurance at the Lemmerz works in Königswinter, Germany from 1987 to 1990. Immediately thereafter, he became managing director of the Dr. Reinold Hagen Stiftung in Bonn, Germany from 1991 to 1998. During 1998 and 1999 he was deputy director of VDI. Since May 1999, he has been the director and an executive board member of VDI and editor of "VDI nachrichten" magazine.

Willi Fuchs is also a member of many supervisory boards:

He was on the board of directors of "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Qualität e. V." (German Society for Quality) from 1994 to 1996 and from 1996 to 1998 he was president. From August 1999 until January 2006, he was CEO of the accreditation agency for engineering, computer science, science and mathematics courses (ASIIN). From September 2002 until September 2005, he was vice-president and, from October 2005 to October 2008, president of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI). Since April 2007, he has been a board member of the DVT German Federation of Technical and Scientific Organisations.

Willi Fuchs is honorary president of FEANI.
"Innovations help to maintain Germany's competitiveness on the international marketplace and Innovations in the form of ideas or ready-made products are chiefly the result of engineers from various disciplines working together in networks. VDI is highly interested in supporting initiatives that encourage networking in precisely this manner. The Reifenhäuser Innovation Contest is based on this very concept. But this is not all. This open contest is much more about actively encouraging networking between participants so that they learn how to help and learn from each other. The Innovation Contest from Reifenhäuser is being held in partnership with the "SACHEN MACHEN" (MAKE THINGS) initiative from VDI and follows two of our core objectives: "Inspire young engineers" and "promote innovation". Since both the younger generation and companies stand to gain from projects of this type, Germany as a whole profits by remaining viable as a location for technology."

Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Jakobi
Reinhard Jakobi was born in 1955 in Allendorf, Germany. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Kassel where he later worked as a research assistant in the field of fibre-reinforced composites. In this doctorate in 1987, he investigated stress, deformation and fracture analyses of thick-walled, pipe-shaped components made of fibre-reinforced composites. He continued his studies of fibre-reinforced composites after completing his thesis at BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Here, he focussed his efforts on thermoplastics, application technologies for thermoplastics and optimisation of thermoplastic components using CAE. From 1996 to 2000 he headed the "Large Sized Automotive Body Components Made of Thermoplastics" project. Since 2001, Reinhard Jakobi was active in many leading positions at BASF: From 2001 until 2003, he was head of application research for automotive body components, from 2003 until 2004 he headed the Application Engineering Powertrain division, and from 2005 until 2006 he was head of the Project and Quality Management division. Since 2007, Jakobi has been head of Processing Technologies at Engineering Plastics Europe. He has also been active in education since 2004: At the mechanical engineering department of TU Darmstadt, he holds lectures on design and construction of plastic components.
"Industry in Germany and Europe can only remain competitive through intense further development. Initiatives such as the Reifenhäuser Innovation Contest make an important contribution to this cause by promoting the innovative spirit of the younger generation. I hope that the contest participants enjoy visiting the contest platform and return often to exchange ideas and continue developing them. As the saying goes, "Engineers are the camels upon which commerce rides." Those who have been active in this field for a long time have certainly encountered situations where this saying applies. Nonetheless, I was and I still enjoy being an engineer. I hope that the Reifenhäuser Innovation Contest will inspire many young people to become interested in technology."

Dr. Bernd Kunze
Dr. Bernd Kunze, born 1960, studied electrical engineering at the Technical University (RWTH) of Aachen until 1986. Following his graduation, he worked as a scientific assistant in the Institute for Plastics Processing and earned his doctorate at the faculty of mechanical engineering in 1990. In the same year he started to work for Reifenhäuser as head of the process technology department for nonwoven lines. For some time he was additionally active as plant manager of Silver Plastics' nonwovens production. In the following time, he held various positions in the Reifenhäuser company: As head of the process technology department for extrusion lines, technical director for nonwoven lines and managing director of the joint enterprise LINOTEC. In 2001, Kunze was appointed head of the Reifenhäuser business unit spunbond lines. This area was spun off in 2005 to become an independent company within the Reifenhäuser Group. As managing director of this new company, Dr. Kunze has also cross-divisional innovation management responsibility for all groups and in this function he is heading the innovation forge of the Reifenhäuser Group.
"The Reifenhäuser Group is always looking for new, exciting ideas and approaches. In the past, we have mainly used our vast internal network for cross-company communication about our innovation forge. With the innovation contest we want to extend our network and open it to a larger circle of users. It is not our primary aim to learn about new ideas in this contest but to learn to know the persons behind these ideas. We are very much interested in working with talented young professionals also beyond the contest since we are sure that both parties can benefit from each other. I am very curious as to what and whom we will find."

Kurt L. Freye
Born in Basel, Switzerland on March 27, 1957, Kurt L. Freye studied International Business at the University of Washington in Seattle. After terminating his studies with an MBA degree in 1979, he was active in various sales positions of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen in Asia and the USA until 1989.

From 1989 to 1999, K. Freye was responsible for the sales and marketing activities of Windmöller & Hölscher, USA in the field of flexo and gravure printing. In the years of 2000/2001 he worked as a consultant to the flexible packaging industry (Bryce Corporation, USA), and as COO (Klöckner Packaging Machinery Corporation, USA).

Since October 2001, Kurt Freye is employed with Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion GmbH in Worms. As director of sales worldwide and member of the executive board he has given the sales business a more international orientation and contributed significantly to the continued success of the company.

Thomas Porstner
Thomas Porstner, born 1963, studied process engineering at the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg from which he graduated in 1989 with his thesis on multiphase/ multicomponent flows. After completing his studies and gaining first experiences in the management of refinery processes he was active in various positions in the automotive industry: At Federal Mogul he assumed responsibility for the further development of production processes in the areas of surface treatment and casting and finishing of aluminium materials used in engine construction. He also worked as a quality and plant manager of the world's largest slide bearing production plant. At Peguform, a supplier to the automotive industry, he improved process engineering methods for the launch of new products into the plastics industry. In his position as business unit manager at ISE Automotive he optimised the launch of Mercedes chassis and body components. In September 2009, Thomas Porstner was appointed managing director of Reiloy Metall GmbH where he is responsible since then for the production of screws and barrels - key components of all Reifenhäuser extruders and injection moulding machines of many renowned manufacturers.
"Innovations require a high level of creativity, and this creativity arises, as a rule, from a free exchange of ideas between various experts. In my opinion, it is a fascinating aspect of our development work. The Extrusioneers' Innovation Contest offers the chance to bring together many different experiences and competencies. I hope the contestants have the courage to present their thoughts and ideas how small and simple they might appear to be at first glance. Every idea may be important and even decisive. I am pleased to participate in this project and I am looking forward to evaluate and honour the best ideas and concepts."

Dr. Tim C. Pohl
Tim C. Pohl, born 1974, studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University (RWTH) Aachen. He earned a doctorate at the university of Paderborn where he wrote his thesis at the Institute for Plastics Technology on the subject of high-speed single-screw extruders. From 2003 to 2010 Tim Pohl worked in various leading positions at TROESTER GmbH & Co. KG, Hannover. Since 2010 he is heading the Business Unit Extruder Center of Reifenhäuser Extrusion GmbH & Co. KG.

In 2004 Tim Pohl was awarded the Erwin Brunnhofer prize by the Scientific Alliance of the University Professors of Polymer Technology, and in 2005 he won the Rector's Award of the University of Paderborn.
"The Reifenhäuser Innovation Contest not only promotes creative ideas, but uses the power of the internet to tap into innovative potential. It is exciting to discuss new ideas on extrusion technology not behind closed doors and with a limited number of experts. I hope many motivated people agree with me and participate in the Contest."