Our current Fraunhofer UK Board of Directors comprises :


  • Dr Raoul Klingner, Director, Chair of the Board
  • Simon Andrews, Executive Director
  • Prof Gerry Byrne, Director
  • Dr Sophie Hippmann, Director
  • Prof. Oliver Ambacher, Director


  • Mrs Iona Dott, Company Secretary


(Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics staff and students are here)

Our people

Raoul Klingner Dr. sci. (ETH Zürich) , Chair of the Board, Director

Raoul Klingner was born in 1974. His professional background is wood science and engineering. He graduated at the University of Hamburg, Germany and received his PhD degree at ETH Zurich, chair of building physics. His professional career started in 2002 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Materials Research and Technology (EMPA) in Dübendorf near Zurich.

In 2005 he joined the Strategy and Internal Research Programmes department of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Munich. He was involved in strategic projects with respect to the central strategy and R&D portfolio of Fraunhofer, the development of the excellence programme ‘Fraunhofer Attract’ and established new central business development activities at Fraunhofer.

In 2010, Raoul Klingner became head of department of International Business Development of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Munich. The department manages the substantial international activities and networks of Fraunhofer abroad and supports institutionalized cooperation with leading foreign research entities in Europe, the Americas and Asia. As an expert in internationalization of R&D he is member in several advisory boards such as the advisory board of Baden-Württemberg International mbH (since 2014) and the board of the Bavarian University Center for LatinAmerican BAYLAT (since 2012).

In 2016 Raoul Klingner was appointed Director of Research, reporting directly to the president of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The division Research oversees all activities of the 67 Fraunhofer-Institutes in German.

Our people

Simon Andrews , Executive Director

Simon is a graduate in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics from the University of Strathclyde.  Over 13 years he built a career in industrial R and D with a range of roles from design and production engineering to R and D, operations and product management, often in start-up, spin-out and high-growth companies.

He has taken a wide range of medical devices from concept to market, through design, production, clinical trials, regulatory approval, marketing and user-training.  (Inc. cervical cancer screening, heart valves, blood flow monitoring, medical laser and microwave devices).  Having enjoyed working with universities whilst in industry, he moved to the Institute of Photonics to a varied business role for the next 7 years.  He brings experience in financial, marketing, commercial, legal and intellectual property matters to Fraunhofer.  He holds three patents and is a Chartered Engineer, EurIng, Chartered Physicist and Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

He has been employed by Fraunhofer UK since the company formed and in January 2014 was appointed Executive Director, following the retirement of Tim Holt.

Our People

Portraitshooting (29.03.2017) in München (Oberbayern) . Foto: Marc Müller (

Sophie Hippmann Dr.-Ing(TUM), Director, Head of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Think Tank


Sophie Hippmann was born in 1981. Her professional background is mechanical engineering and production technologies with the focus on castings. She graduated at the Technical University of Munich, Germany and received her PhD degree at TUM Munich, in forming and casting technologies. Her professional career started in 2013 at the Fraunhofer Headquarerters in Munich as the Scientific Officer to the president


In 2013 she started to build up a group acting like a corporate Think Tank to the Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Munich. She was involved in strategic projects with respect to the central strategy and R&D portfolio of Fraunhofer, and the development of the research programme 'Young Research Class'.


In 2016, Sophie Hippmann became head of the Corporate Think Tank of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Munich. This interdisciplinary Think Tank acts as a corporate hub for support of the decision making process of the Fraunhofer-Board by analysis, development of new concepts, identification of new focus areas of research. It reports directly to the president of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. 

Our people

Prof. Gerald Byrne, Director

BSc(Eng), M.A., M.Sc., DR-Ing, Chartered Engineer

Professor Dr.-Ing Gerry Byrne is the Director of the Research Centre which is based in the College of Engineering and Architecture in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at University College Dublin.  Professor Byrne is an Active Member of the Collége International pour l’Étude Scientifique des Techniques de Production Mécanique (C.I.R.P.) and a member of its Council. He is a former Chairman of the CIRP Editorial Board and is currently Chairman of the Scientific Technical Committee "Cutting" (STC"C").  He is College Principal and the Dean of Engineering at UCD. Professor Byrne is a former President of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland and of the Irish Academy of Engineering. He is an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK [FREng] and a life time Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (USA).  He is an adviser to Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.  

Research Interests:

Environmentally clean manufacturing

Precision and ultra-precision machining science

Machine tool technology

Rapid product development

Manufacturing processes for newer engineering materials

Thin film coatings for wear resistance

Machining of ‘difficult-to-machine’ materials

Our people

Prof Oliver Ambacher, Director

Oliver Ambacher obtained his diploma and his PhD in Physics (both with honors) at the Ludwig Maximilian University and the Technical University Munich in 1989 and 1993, respectively. At that time he focused on magnetic fluids and the production of photovoltaic cells based on amorphous silicon. Between 1990 and 1992 he received a fellowship for gifted students from TU Munich. In 1993 he obtained a position as a research assistant at the Walter Schottky Institute of TU Munich, where he concentrated on the growth process of GaN and its alloys using molecular beam epitaxy and chemical vapor deposition. In 1995 Oliver Ambacher focused the research of his team on the processing of GaN-based electronic and optical devices. He was involved in the realization of the first UV detectors, surface wave devices, microwave amplifiers and sensors as well as the research of polarization induced effects in GaN-based heterostructures and quantum wells. In 1998/99 he obtained the possibility to deepen his work in the area of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs for microwave amplifiers as a Feodor Lynen scholar of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation at Cornell University (USA). Subsequent to his habilitation in experimental physics in 2000 and his promotion to private lecturer in 2001 he was appointed full professor (C4) for Nanotechnology at the Technical University Ilmenau in 2002. Ever since then, the processing of Micro and Nano systems based on III-V- und IV-IV-semiconductors for electronic as well as sensor-related applications and their use in biotechnology and medical engineering is an important research focus of Oliver Ambacher. In 2002 he was elected senior director of the Institute for Solid State Electronics; two years later he became senior director of the Center for Micro- und Nanotechnologies at TU Ilmenau. Since October 2007 Oliver Ambacher is Professor for Microsystems Engineering/Compound Semiconductors at Albert Ludwig University Freiburg as well as director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF

Our people

Iona Dott, Company Seretary and Head of Finance and Administration

Iona trained as a Chartered Accountant with one of the big four accountancy firms in Glasgow initially working in the audit department and then specialising in corporation tax.  Since leaving professional practice she has worked in both public and private sector organisations most recently as Head of Finance for a renewables manufacturing company.
Iona has significant experience in implementing financial and administrative systems as well as delivering business change and process improvement in start-up and growing businesses.  She joined Fraunhofer UK in May 2015 and is responsible for all finance, administrative and HR matters alongside her role as company secretary.


Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd is a not-for-profit Research and Technology Organisation.

Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd is a company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland, SC419797

Registered address is 99 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RD, UK.

VAT registration number is GB 131 646530