The Institute of Drive Systems and Power Electronics (IAL) was founded in 2001 when the two Institutes of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics merged

The Institute for Electrical Machines was founded in 1924 and was formed following the establishment of the first electrotechnical institute at the Technische Hochschule Hannover in 1884. K. Humburg was the director until 1954, and the institute became world-famous mainly due to the groundbreaking scientific achievements of H. Jordan in the 1960s. On the basis of the rotating field theory, Jordan developed calculation methods for magnetically-excited vibrations and noise, pendulum moments and other parasitic effects of upper fields, which have essentially shaped the state of the art to this day. Since 1975 H.O. Seinsch has built up its international reputation through its work on drives with rotating field machines. Parallel to this, H.-D. Stölting worked in the field of small machines since 1980, including groundbreaking work on miniaturization. Problems on drives with rotating field machines as well as small and microdrives are also the focus of current research activities at the institute.

The Chair of Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering and Power Electronics was founded in 1978 and established its research and teaching activities by K. Heumann in the years that followed. Due to the intensive development of this discipline, the independent Institute for Power Electronics was founded by J. Nestler in 1991. Research activities deal with power electronic systems and their control and regulation for applications in controlled drive systems and in electrical energy supply.

While maintaining independent disciplines, the integration into a joint institute reflects the technological development towards integrated overall systems. On one hand, this structure enables very close cooperation and, on the other hand, offers highly developed expertise in both fields.