Interview with Dipl.-Ing. Mesut Cetin

1. You are currently doing your doctorate at the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University. In which project are you involved?

"I am not only involved in one project. As head of research group „3D-Preforming“, I am involved in many projects. In addition to controlling the projects I support the projects with my experience regarding project management and dissemination of the results into the industry.
I focus on the development of new preforming technologies for the manufacturing of fibre reinforced plastics. The preforming process includes cutting, handling and joining processes of textile carbon or glass structures.
Within this topic I developed a new approach for preforming, handling and storage of textile preforms, which is also the main part of my PhD-Thesis.
In addition to my PhD, ITA gives me the opportunity to use my creativity and my engagement to develop and to implement new products. I have just launched a new textile product on the Kickstarter platform – the 3DLapPad. The special 3D textile architecture provides an optimum fresh air supply for laptops for better cooling and comfort.
Furthermore we developed with an industry partner a new innovative material – Carbonparkett. The material offers several different functionalities besides its precious look. The different functionalities (lighting, heating, touch) and the possibility to produce different surface designs offer a broad application for the product in many fields."

2. What is working at the ITA like? Please give us an insight into a typical day at work.

"The processing of the projects requires a lot of activities which are based on the communication aspect. The communication between colleagues and industry partners is the most important success factor. For this reason  most of my time I am coordinating projects, organizing appointments, organizing my students, supervising student projects, discussing with partners the project status, visiting and talking with new industry partners and looking for new project partners. Another big part is developing new approaches for the composite market. For this I organize workshops with internal colleagues or with industry partners."

3. Working at ITA means working in an international environment. Is the personnel at ITA also culturally diverse?

"Definitely it is. If you analyze our projects and project partners you can see that we are represented internationally. The growing number of international contacts and business relations leads to an increasing number of international scientists, guest lecturers, foreign students and foreign industry visits."

4. Textile Engineering is a very specific field of research. When and why did you decide to become an expert for technical textiles?

"During my studies I got in contact with ITA for a student project. All this time, I've had so much fun working for and with ITA that I decided to continue in this field. After my studies I decided to make my PhD at ITA in the field of composites."

5. What did you study in your Bachelor’s and Master’s? How did you manage to get into your doctorate position?

"The requirements to get into a doctorate position are quiet challenging. During my studies and my student project I tried to learn as much as I could from the PhD students and tried to be involved in industry projects. Thus I was able to acquire a wide knowledge and work experience to get into the doctorate position."

6. What are your future career goals?

"I hope to finish my PhD next summer and hope to change into the industry sector. I don’t want to focus on the composite sector. I am always open to take new challenges. I could also see myself starting up a company for innovative products, for example the 3DLapPad. For me, a very important thing is, that work is enjoyable."

Thank you very much Mesut Cetin and all the best for your future career!