The ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft – an officially recognized expert organization for railway technology, within Germany and abroad.
In it’s beginnings, the ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wiegand mbH & Co. KG can be traced back to the Chair and the Institute of railway systems engineering and traffic safety (IfEV) at the Carolo Wilhelmina Technical University in Brunswick (Germany). The first lecture in railway safety at a German Technical College took place in winter semester of 1896/97. Since then the following occupants of the Chair and the Directors of the Institute of railway systems engineering and traffic safety have particularly dedicated themselves to teach and research in the field of railway safety. For example, train protection systems using the so-called track conductor (Linienleiter, “driving on electrical sight”) originated from the research of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hermann Lagershausen from the 1960s. Professor Dr.-Ing. Klaus Pierick, who succeeded in 1970 as the Chair and Director of the department, was confronted with the transition from electro-mechanical and relay-based safety technology to electronic control and safety equipment. Due to his research the classical safety methods were systematically transferred and applied to the new railway safety technology, which are still in use today.
Practical work of larger scale could not be handled in the course of the daily work at the department. Therefore an independent expert organization was founded by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Pierick in 1971 , which became the nucleus of the ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft. A few years later, Prof. Dr- Ing. Klaus-Dieter Wiegand officially joined the enterprise and lead the company from 1997 until July 2011. Since 2006 the ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft has the form of GmbH & Co. KG (limited partnership with a limited company as general partner). General manager is Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Dirk Isola.
While the ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft maintains a separate existence from the University’s department, it still remains closely connected with the Technical University in Brunswick (Germany). The symbiosis between the work at the ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft and the research at the University allows a fluid transfer between the latest research and practical training. With it’s experts for railway installations and operations, signalling, and train control, the ipw Ingenieurgesellschaft generates expert opinions and the safety assessment of complex railway control and safety installations. As an independent company, it is active in providing consultation for technical supervisory authorities, transport companies and the railway industry.