Composites United e.V. bids farewell to its long-serving CEO Alexander Gundling, who is retiring. His successor Dr. Tjark von Reden comes from the association’s ranks.

Alexander Gundling (right) ends his full-time activity in Composites United e.V., his successor in the General Management is Dr. Tjark von Reden (left).

There will be a change in the management of Composites United e.V. (CU): As of September 30, 2021, the Chief Executive Officer Alexander Gundling (64) has terminated his full-time function in the association as planned. Alexander Gundling had held this position together with Dr. Gunnar Merz since 2019. The CU was formed in January 2019 through the merger of the two pre-existing associations Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV) and CFK Valley e.V.

Alexander Gundling has closely accompanied the development of the CCeV since its founding in March 2007 and has left a lasting mark on it. Initially, he served on the board of the association while he was responsible for the Innovation and Environment business area at the Swabian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, a founding member of the CCeV. Since April 2014, he has been in charge of the CCeV’s business, played a key role in shaping the merger of the CCeV with CFK Valley e.V. and was the CEO of Composites United, which was newly founded in 2019. He looks back on the past years with pleasure: “It was and is a matter of concern to me to reveal and apply the immense potentials of carbon fiber-based lightweight design. For the climate-neutral economy of the future, this technology is part of the solution.”

Prof. Dr. Hubert Jäger, spokesman of the Composites United e.V. executive committee, summarizes the executive committee’s position on the change of managing director: “Alexander Gundling has provided many fundamental impulses with his expertise over 14 years, has driven forward the further development of the association and has represented the interests of the CU members on the political stage in Berlin. He has built up and established important structures regionally, nationally and in the DACH region, and played a key role in initiating the MAI Carbon cluster of excellence. On behalf of the Executive Committee, our members and the entire team, I would like to thank him for his many years of passionate commitment.”

Prof. Dr. Dieter Meiners, spokesman for the Composites United e.V. executive committee, adds: “Alexander Gundling, together with Gunnar Merz, played a key role in shaping the merger of the two associations with great commitment. We are therefore very pleased about his willingness to continue to promote multi-material lightweight design in the spirit of the CU at regional and national level. We are also very pleased that we have been able to fill the key position in the managing board with a proven expert from our own ranks. Dr. von Reden is someone who has been very familiar with the association, its members and its structures for many years.”

Dr. Gunnar Merz concurs with the statements of the Presidium spokespersons: “I would also like to thank Alexander Gundling and would like to complement by highlighting his very prudent management of the finances during the merger under pandemic conditions. I wish him all the best for the next stage of his life. I look forward to continuing the good preliminary work with Dr. von Reden and the entire team and to leading the association into a good future for the added value of our members. Internationalisation, the further expansion of the head office in Berlin and an even stronger connection to politics are just some of the focal points I am looking forward to.”

Dr. Tjark von Reden (44) studied aerospace engineering and holds a PhD in braiding technology for carbon fibers. Through his professional career, with various stations in research, teaching and cluster management, he not only brings extensive expertise in the field of fiber composites, but also valuable experience from networking. Thus, Dr. von Reden perfectly combines the fields of science and business. In 2012, he took over the management of project and knowledge management and then in 2014 the general management of MAI Carbon, the Bavarian leading-edge cluster of Carbon Composites e.V. Since mid-2017, in addition to his work for MAI Carbon, he has already been deputy managing director of the CU.

As of October 1, 2021, Dr. von Reden will take over the general management of Composites United e.V. together with Dr. Gunnar Merz and will be responsible for the operational areas of administration, technology, education, events as well as public relations and marketing. Dr. Merz will be responsible for the areas of strategic development, internationalization, technology centers as well as politics and lobbying. The new dual leadership with the focus of the areas of responsibility on operational and strategic topics is intended to further increase the efficiency and dynamism of the association.

“I am pleased to be able to continue the successful work of Alexander Gundling. He has progressively developed the association and, with the merger, also set the final course for the future,” says Dr. von Reden and adds with regard to his future area of responsibility: “Hybrid fiber composites can and will meet the changed expectations and requirements for sustainability and resource conservation. Here, together with our members, I want to set new impulses and communicate innovations and proposed solutions to society. In addition, the networking of our members must of course not be neglected, for which we also want to establish new forms and ways.”