Dr Peter Weidinger, Director Material Laboratory at the Brose Group, presented the Brose Prize to two female researchers. The company awards the prize in collaboration with the Scientific Alliance of Polymer Technology (WAK) for excellent research on developing new methods and technologies for plastics processing. The prizewinners were Cindy Löser, a graduate in industrial engineering from Chemnitz University of Technology, for her dissertation on ‘The thermorheological situation in a microcavity and its influence on structure formation in the molded part’, and Dr Natalie Rudolph from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg for her dissertation on ‘Pressure solidification of amorphous thermoplastics’.
Formed in 1999, WAK is an alliance of 30 acclaimed plastics engineering professors from Germany and abroad that awards prizes each year to six researchers in three different subject areas. There is a prize sponsor for each subject and this is the fourth year that the Brose Group has sponsored a prize with the aim of cultivating close contacts with WAK and fostering collaboration with academic institutions. This year, for the first time in the history of the WAK prizes, two women won awards in the same category.
The two researchers received their awards, which include prize money totaling 9,000 euros, from Dr Peter Weidinger at the K2010 trade fair in Düsseldorf. “We are particularly pleased this year to be able to give awards to two female researchers in one category. Supporting the enthusiasm of young, dynamic female researchers means a lot to us,” Weidinger emphasized, and continued, “In sponsoring the prize we want to highlight the fact that engineers can be very creative, especially in plastics engineering, because it is a material that offers lots of scope for design and potential applications. We also want to show that experts like today’s prizewinners can find exciting jobs at Brose and assume responsibility quickly.”
Plastic is becoming an increasingly important material in all Brose product groups – in vehicle doors, liftgates and trunk lids, in cooling fan modules, in lightweight seat pans and in the rear seat bench. “We will continue to push ahead with new product ideas using this material and to test prototypes to optimize material composition, lower costs and speed up production processes,” said Weidinger at the award ceremony.