Career at the WZL
for Graduates


Working and gaining a PhD at WZL – a package with impact today and tomorrow

Engineering graduates and those of associated disciplines find a unique environment at the WZL when working as a postgraduate research assistant. They are responsible for demanding projects that require a high degree of independence and offer the potential for considerable personal development. At the same time, they have the opportunity to gain a PhD at one of the most highly renowned institutes in production technology. The aspect that sets us apart is the combination of a broad spectrum of work experience covering specialist engineering know-how, spanning several industries and involving a high level of responsibility on the one hand with the depth of scientific analyses on the other.


From the start we provide our employees with challenges and with support, both professionally and personally. Preparing, managing and carrying out applied research projects as well as development and consulting projects for medium-sized to large companies is part of the daily work of our postgraduate research assistants. Every one of our employees assumes responsibility for precisely recognising and meeting the challenges facing the producing industry both today and in the future. We put our results to the test on a regular basis by presenting them to engineers and managers in several training events held at the WZLforum. Each member of staff at the WZL and Fraunhofer IPT can thus gain intensive and diverse insights into various industries and companies from an early stage, gather comprehensive project experience and build up their own network for the future.

Here is a summary of all advantages of working at the WZL and IPT:

  • Research activity from the start with the aim of assuming project management with operational responsibility within the first 1-2 years at the institute
  • Subsequent structured PhD schedule lasting 2-3 years
  • Employee management from the start:
    • as a postgraduate research assistant
      (management of student assistants, management responsibility for up to 3 people)
    • as group leader
      (management of postgraduate research assistants, management responsibility for up to 10-15 people)
    • as head of department
      (management of engineering and permanent salaried employees, management responsibility for up to 50 people)
  • Young colleagues and a dynamic working environment
  • Worldwide reputation of the WZL in the entire spectrum of production engineering
  • Development of a comprehensive personal network in industry and research that may be consulted during an entire career and when it comes to job change
  • Targeted courses offered by external trainers to extend know-how during the time at the institute. These courses provide information on project management, negotiations and acquisitions an personnel management, etc.
  • Project mix made up of publicly supported and industry-financed projects, leading to the possibility of both academic and industrial career paths
  • Secure employment prospects even in times of economic difficulty

Development opportunities

Postgraduate research assistants have optimum career prospects following successful completion of their PhD at the WZL. Our internal personnel consultant Karrierepool advises each one of our current and former research assistants on an individual and confidential basis on career matters, and provides contacts to suitable companies.

Alumni - Network

We are proud of our alumni - they hold key positions in industry and research. And our alumni are also proud of us. Years or even decades later they always find their way back to Aachen, either on business with us or simply because there is a cause for celebration.

If you wish to find out more about the tasks of a postgraduate research assistant, you can obtain an overview .here. And here you may browse the postgraduate research positions currently available.