Kickoff Event for the Aachen Engineering Award

RWTH and City of Aachen Award Engineering Prize

NRW Minister Svenja Schulze: "Aachen is at the heart of engineering."

Engineers are rising up to the challenges of the modern world: They deliver innovations and develop solutions for questions that are both economically and socially important. As employees or founders of a new company they are indispensable for Germany as a place of innovation. Aachen, like no other city, represents the training of engineers from various disciplines along with RWTH Aachen. RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg and the Mayor of the City of Aachen, Marcel Philipp, decided to use this as an opportunity for a new honor: the Aachen Engineering Award.

“When I was asked to be active in the advisory board for the Aachen Engineering Award, I spontaneously said yes with conviction," said Svenja Schulze, NRW Minister of Science, during the kickoff event in a video message. "Aachen is at the heart of engineering and holds the key for solutions to numerous societal challenges."

The kickoff event for the Aachen Engineering Award took place in the RWTH SuperC with numerous participants from the university, city, and Sparkasse Aachen, the primary sponsor. "Technology permeates our world; it was natural to initiate an award that honors the life achievement of engineers. With its award culture, the City of Aachen is the ideal background," emphasized Ernst Schmachtenberg as Rector of RWTH. Above all, the model function of the award recipient is important to him. "The selected individual will speak at the first large RWTH graduation celebration the day after receiving the award and be able to give young people guidance for their professional life."

Mayor Marcel Philipp also found the idea for the Aachen Engineering Award long overdue: "The universities are the most important institutions of our city. The Aachen Engineering Award is a lively example of our good collaboration, because we want the best minds to come to Aachen."

The award will be annually presented by the city and RWTH Aachen. It will be awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the positive perception and further development of engineering with their life's work. Award recipients are expected  to have left their mark in their technical field by providing impulses and achievements in the economy and society.

The award recipient will be announced in summer 2014. The prize will be awarded on Friday, September 5, 2014, during a celebratory evening event and in combination with the RWTH graduation celebration, taking place the next day. Around 5000 participants are expected at the celebration. The award winner will be given the honor of holding the keynote speech and talking about their life's work to graduates.

The award recipient will receive a certificate and a sculpture designed by Mexican artist, Mariana Castillo. Dr. Werner Dohmen, Chair of the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, NAK, played an advisory role in the selection of the artist. The Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, VDI for short, is sponsoring the sculpture.

Kickoff for the Aachen Engineering Award: WDR Moderator Christian Herrmanns (middle) interviews Mayor Marcel Philipp, RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg, Hubert Herpers, Chair of Sparkasse Aachen, Stefanie Peters from "Neuman & Esser“, Professor Achim Bachem, Chair of Forschungszentrum Jülich, and Dr. Werner Dohmen from the "Neuer Aachener Kunstverein" (from right).

Photo: Andreas Schmitter