Ulrich Reifenhäuser, CSO of the Reifenhäuser Group, was awarded the prestigious Georg Menges Prize 2022 at the 31st International Colloquium on Plastics Technology in Aachen from September 7-8, 2022. The prize recognizes individuals or groups who have rendered outstanding services to the transfer of research results into industrial practice. The sponsors of the award are the Plastics and Rubber section of Germany's Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), together with PlasticsEurope Deutschland and the Association of Sponsors of the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and Craft at RWTH University. The award is traditionally presented every two years during the colloquium organized by the IKV. Ulrich Reifenhäuser is the first businessman to receive the Georg Menges Award.
The award was presented by Professor Dr.-Ing. Christian Hopmann, Director of the IKV and Dr.-Ing. Herbert Müller, Chairman of the Board of the IKV Sponsors' Association. In his laudatory speech, Professor Hopmann highlighted Ulrich Reifenhäuser's great and successful commitment to the industry and his tireless search for optimal solutions that are sustainable in the best sense of the word, and praised him as a personality of integrity and integration. "The Georg Menges Prize is awarded for the consistent implementation of research and innovation in industry. The previously described achievements of our prizewinner would certainly have been enough to receive the award but, for the sponsors of the Prize, what was especially important and the key argument for their decision was Ulrich Reifenhäuser’s honorary dedication to the K tradefair," explained Professor Hopmann.
Ulrich Reifenhäuser has been a member of the Reifenhäuser Group management since 1992 and is responsible for international line sales. Together with his brother Bernd Reifenhäuser, he manages the company in the third generation. Ulrich Reifenhäuser has been a board member of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association for more than 25 years and has been its chairman since 2010. During this time, he has built up an international network that is second to none. In 2020, he was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame, as was the award's namesake, and in 2022 he will be co-chairing the world's leading plastics trade fair in Düsseldorf for the seventh time in a row as "President of K show."
"This award and the recognition by the organizations behind it mean a lot to me," said Ulrich Reifenhäuser. "My passion for plastics has always motivated me to promote the importance and benefits of this material worldwide. At the same time, I am aware of the importance of a holistic and effective circular economy for plastics. Supporting and accelerating this process is my primary goal. In this respect, the K trade show was and is the ideal platform for demonstrating new approaches to how we as an industry can produce and use plastics more efficiently and, above all, more sustainably. This year we will show how circular economy can succeed and what CO2 savings potential plastic - as an unbeatably light and high-performance material - has."
Presentation of the Georg Menges Award 2022: From left to right: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Hopmann, Dipl.-Kfm. Ulrich Reifenhäuser and Dr.-Ing. Herbert Müller.
Photo: IKV/ Dominik Fröls
The Georg Menges Award was established in 1999 to mark the 75th birthday of Georg Menges, the long-time director of the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV). In February 2021, the industry had to bid farewell to Georg Menges, so the prize will be awarded in memoriam for the first time in 2022. The founders of the prize continue to pursue Georg Menges' guiding principle that research and industry absolutely belong together and that constant exchange between science and industry is necessary to achieve innovations.
The Reifenhäuser Group is the leading provider of innovative technologies and components for plastics extrusion. Founded in 1911, the company supplies high-technology solutions all over the world. With its technologies and the know-how of its 1,750 employees, Reifenhäuser has the world's largest network of expertise in plastics extrusion technologies. The CEO of the Group is Bernd Reifenhäuser.