WinGD Global Head of Testing Appointed as new Director of R&D

WinGD has announced that Dr. Sebastian Hensel, former Head of Global Testing & Validation at WinGD, has been appointed as the successor to Dominik Schneiter as Director of R&D. With a proven commitment to research, development, and innovation, Hensel is poised to lead WinGD’s efforts in the development of alternative fuel technology offering more efficient solutions, setting the stage for a cleaner future. 

Hensel will lead the charge in driving innovation across a spectrum of areas, from alternative fuel technology development, electrification and hybrid power systems, digitalisation and autonomous engine rooms to the fundamentals of two-stroke engine design, and beyond. He will be supported by a global team of experts and a network of advanced facilities including the Engine Research & Innovation Centre (ERIC) in Winterthur, Switzerland and the Global Test Centre in Shanghai. 

Collaboration centred around WinGD’s core engine technology is at the heart of these advances. Hensel will continue to work closely with the company’s global engine builder partners, universities and specialist laboratories, bringing together the brightest minds across industry to accelerate the decarbonisation goals. 

With today’s keen focus on bringing ammonia and methanol fuelled engines to market, much of WinGD’s global R&D capability, including the Test Centres and the newly established Future Fuel Lab in Winterthur, are focused on accelerating the low-carbon technology roadmap. Hensel is confident that they are on track to bring the new fuel technologies to market in 2025. 

Hensel said: “Throughout my more than 20-year career in R&D, I have yet to witness the level of dedication and collaboration across industry that we experience today around our common goal of decarbonisation. It is an immense privilege to take on this role, to lead the team of experts at WinGD as we drive the transformation to our sustainable future. I am confident in our people and our partnerships to deliver the safe, reliable, efficient solutions that our customers rely on us to provide.”   

Hensel succeeds Dominik Schneiter, who was promoted to CEO last month. The moves highlight the continued focus on research and innovation as the company celebrates 125 years since its first diesel engine was started. 



Hensel holds a Master's degree in Engineering and a PhD in Combustion Engines from the renowned Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. He also gained an Executive Master of Business Administration (eMBA) from ZHAW.  

Hensel’s career at WinGD began in 2009 as a combustion and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) expert. Over the years, he demonstrated strong leadership and dedication, advancing through various roles such as Project Manager, Team Leader, General Manager of Collaborative Research, and General Manager of Engine Performance. 

In 2019, Hensel became Head of Global Testing, overseeing WinGD’s testing programme and facilities in Switzerland and China as well as the global collaborations with engine builder partners. 

Hensel has played a pivotal role in the development of X-DF dual-fuel engines. He has been instrumental in the entire dual-fuel engine development journey, from the conceptual phase and basic layout to the successful rollout.