About Us


Laboratory of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences becomes an institute and company recognized internationally


2015 is for I.F.I. (full name I.F.I. Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH Institut an der Fachhochschule Aachen) a special year: it marks the institute’s 25th anniversary. 
25 years we can be proud of.

I.F.I. was born from the wish of two professors of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences to connect science and business with one another. The idea was to apply theory, research and teaching to concrete industrial projects and to contribute to the progress of science by developing solutions for companies. The objective was, in close cooperation with the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, to create an institution which was to specialize in the different fields of industrial and building aerodynamics. In 1990, the project was ready: Professor Kramer and Gerhardt founded I.F.I. Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH, Institute at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences.

Starting with two collaborators, who already worked for the Ingenieurgemeinschaft Kramer/Gerhardt, the staff was quickly enlarged to permanent employees and students. In the beginning, the laboratory was shared with the Ingenieurgemeinschaft and the WSP GmbH, a company specialized in the construction of special plants, also founded and directed by the professors. With the range of activities being extended to testing in the fields of smoke extraction, fume cupboards and roof waterproofing membranes, the number of employees and the need for extra space increased.

After a majority holding by a large German consulting company for several years, I.F.I. regained its independence in 2012 after a management buy-out. Today, I.F.I. has 25 permanent employees, who are temporarily assisted by students writing their final assignments at the Institute. I.F.I. has a large number of test rigs and test devices among which two boundary layer wind tunnels, one industrial wind tunnel, one aeroacoustic wind tunnel, a roof tester, a room for testing fume cupboards and pressure differential systems, as well as several mobile devices such as equipment for fire tests in buildings and tunnels.

The interrelation of business and science, our position at the interface between institute and company has been motivating and driving us for 25 years: from wind tunnel measurements on buildings, analyses for PV systems, testing and certification of different systems and construction products to the performance of spectacular fire and smoke tests. Our contribution to German and European Committees for Standardization, publications in professional journals and the continuous development and improvement of our test rigs, measurement equipment and procedures are not only a proof of the quality of our services, but also the basis for further exciting and future-oriented projects.

We owe the first 25 years of our existence to our clients, our partners and our employees. 
On this basis we look forward to the next 25 years.


Important dates at a quick glance

2013 After a short serious illness the co-founder and long-time director of I.F.I.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Joachim Gerhardt

dies at the age of 69 on August 4, 2013
2011 All shares of I.F.I. are re-bought by Hans Joachim Gerhardt and the management of I.F.I.
2010 Professors Harald Funke and Thomas Heynen are appointed as new members in the Scientific Board of I.F.I.
I.F.I. is certified by TÜV Rheinland for its Quality Management System in accordance ISO 9001
2006 Professors Gerhardt and Grundmann retire as directors of I.F.I. and the authorized signatories Bernd Konrath and Rolf-Dieter Lieb are appointed as new directors. Professors Gerhardt and Grundmann remain however members of the Scientific Board of I.F.I. and continue to support the Institute with their services and their contacts with clients
I.F.I. is acknowledged by DIBt (the German Institute for Building Technology) as European notified body for testing, inspection and certification, No. 1368 for the testing of Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilators (NSHEV) in accordance with EN 12101-2
2002 DS-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft für ganzheitliche Bauberatung und -planung mbH becomes partner of  I.F.I. GmbH
1990 I.F.I. is recognized as „Affiliated Institute“ (An-Institut) of the FH Aachen by the Ministry of Science of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in accordance with Bylaw IIIA2-6222/012. I.F.I. hereby becomes the first Affiliated Institute of a University of Applied Sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia
1989 The founding members Gerhardt and Kramer are asked by the Rectorate of the FH Aachen to convert WSP Consulting Engineers into an Institute affiliated to the FH. For formal reasons, I.F.I is founded as the successor of WSP Consulting Engineers and an application for recognition as an “Affiliated Institute” (An-Institut) is initiated
1974 WSP Consulting Engineers is founded by professors Gerhardt, Kramer, and Stein of Aachen University of Applied Sciences (in the following FH Aachen) and Woelk of RWTH Aachen University

Fields of Activity

The name Institut für Industrieaerodynamik (Institute for Industrial Aerodynamics)emphasises fields of interests in aerodynamics outside aeronautical engineering. The main fields of interest of WSP Consulting Engineers were taken over by I.F.I., namely:

  • building aerodynamics
  • vehicle aerodynamics
  • wind tunnel technology
  • industrial fluid mechanics

An important field within building aerodynamics is represented by fluid mechanics studies for fire protection, in particular smoke management studies.

In addition to consultancy and development in the fields mentioned above, I.F.I. performs tests in accordance with German and European Standards for a number of products, such as: natural smoke and heat exhaust ventilators (NSHEV), fume cupboards and mechanically fastened flexible roof waterproofing membranes.

I.F.I. is Notified Body pursuant to the Construction Products Regulation for natural smoke and heat exhaust ventilators (NSHEV) in accordance with EN 12101-2.

Scientific Board

In memory

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Joachim Gerhardt

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Joachim Gerhardt

the co-founder and former long-time head of I.F.I. Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH, Institute at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, passed away unexpectedly on August 4, 2013. He died after a short, serious disease aged only 69.

Until only a few weeks before his death he could be found working at his desk every day on several projects - cheerful, open-minded and friendly as always. In mid-June he returned to his second home in the South of England, to his little cottage on the Cornish coast. From there he kept communicating with the I.F.I. staff, except when he was sailing his beloved historic sailing boat. He passed away peacefully in his Cornish home by the sea surrounded by his family.

For more than 30 years Professor Gerhardt lectured on Fluid Mechanics at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. He was an internationally recognised expert and scientist. We owe him fundamental insights in many fields such as wind engineering – and in particular wind actions on buildings and building envelopes – smoke extraction or control and fire protection. His scientific findings became part of numerous standards plus guidelines. He also found ways of implementing his insights into practical use. In addition to his lectures he organised many seminars, colloquia, workshops and training courses for professionals.

We have lost not only an excellent professor and scientist, but also a highly respected and friendly colleague and a very warm-hearted person, always ready to help.

We owe him a lot, his life and work will always inspire us.

The employees       The scientific advisory board       The management


To see our German downloadable contents, switch to the German page.

Current brochures and flyers

Available Downloads



Under this heading you will find our documents, such as certificates

Available Downloads

Testing Agency Certificate of Approval

Certificate "Department of Building and Safety", City of Los Angeles, USA

Valid until: September 1, 2020
Date of issue: September 1, 2019



I.F.I. Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH
Institut an der Fachhochschule Aachen

Welkenrather Straße 120, 52074 Aachen, Deutschland
+49.241.879708-0 | +49.241.879708-30 |

© Copyright 2019 I.F.I. Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH | Contact | Privacy policy