Darmstadt, Germany, November 4, 2015 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it has sponsored and helped organize the Hall of Fame of German Research for the first time. At today's event, Gerhard Ertl and Manfred Weck were added as two further members to this circle of distinguished scientists.
“As a science and technology company, we are pleased to bring the Hall of Fame of German Research to Darmstadt,” said Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “The way in which the links between curiosity, science and business, as well as personal calling have shaped the professional career of each laureate is fascinating. This closely resembles Merck's approach towards solving problems in areas where we hold a leading position. Our success as a company active in healthcare, life science and performance materials is based on innovations that to a certain extent arise in cooperation with external partners, and very frequently from the university environment.”
Today's ceremony at the darmstadtium science and congress center in Darmstadt was attended by around 140 guests from the worlds of business, science, and politics. In addition to Executive Board Members of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the attendees included Wolfgang Büchele, Chief Executive Officer of Linde, Martin Brudermüller, Vice Chairman of the BASF Executive Board of Directors, as well as Joachim Milberg, former Chief Executive Officer and former Supervisory Board Chairman of BMW.
Academic research was represented by, among others, Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation, and Hans Jürgen Prömel, President of the Technical University of Darmstadt and President of TU9, an alliance of the leading technical universities in Germany.
Each year, the Hall of Fame of German Research honors scientists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the further development of research, thus promoting Germany's future competitiveness as an industrial location.
The two scientists inducted into the virtual Hall of Fame of German Research on Wednesday evening were Gerhard Ertl (79), winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and long-standing director at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin-Dahlem, and Manfred Weck (77), long-standing director at the Institute for Production Technologies of the Fraunhofer Institute and at the Laboratory for Machine Tools of RWTH Aachen University. Ertl was recognized for his groundbreaking work on catalytic reactions, which among many other things also formed the basis for removing pollutants from the exhaust gases emitted by combustion engines and thus for the success of the German automotive industry. Weck's advances in automated turning, milling and drilling have helped the metal-processing industry and German mechanical engineering to expand their leadership positions in global markets.
The German publication “manager magazin” launched the Hall of Fame of German Research in 2009. Including the two scientists honored today, the Hall of Fame now has 18 members.
Last year, former Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, liquid crystals researcher Ludwig Pohl (83) was inducted into the Hall of Fame of German Research. In the laudatio given by Kley last year, Pohl was praised as a researcher who always pursued his calling. Kley referred to Pohl as “a researcher worthy of merit, a passionate scientist, and a visionary who fought for his ideas with persistence and tenacity.”