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Press Release No. 52 | 1. December 2016
DFG Congratulates Manfred Curbach on Winning the Deutscher Zukunftspreis

Dresden-based construction engineer and team receive Federal President’s award / “Recognition of the tremendous importance of basic research”

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) congratulates Dresden-based construction engineer Professor Dr.-Ing. Manfred Curbach on winning the 2016 Deutscher Zukunftspreis. On 30 November 2016, Curbach and his team were selected from among three candidates for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis – the Federal President’s Award for Innovation and Technology. Federal President Dr. h.c. Joachim Gauck presented the award, worth 250,000 euros, to the researcher from the Technical University of Dresden and his colleagues, Professor Dr.-Ing. Chokri Cherif and Professor Dr.-Ing. Peter Offermann.

Together, the three researchers have developed an alternative to conventional reinforced concrete. Their new concrete composite contains carbon instead of corrosion-prone steel. This material, a structure of fine carbon fibres, is lighter and more durable than steel. Components made from carbon-reinforced concrete can therefore be made much thinner while extending the lifetime of a structure.

DFG President Strohschneider commented: “From the DFG’s viewpoint, this award is a recognition of the tremendous importance of basic research, even at a time when science and the humanities are increasingly under pressure to produce economically usable results. Manfred Curbach and his team have taken their concrete composite material from basic research to large-scale application within the construction industry, demonstrating the potential to be found in fundamental research as well.”

The award-winning researchers and their project “Carbon Concrete, A Fascinating Material – Economical, Efficient, Attractive” were nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Manfred Curbach has received DFG funding in several projects for a number of years. Between 1999 and 2011 he was the spokesperson for the Collaborative Research Centre “Textile Reinforcements for Structural Strengthening and Retrofitting”, which laid essential scientific foundations for the new carbon concrete, and he is currently the spokesperson for the Priority Programme “Concrete Light –Future Concrete Structures”. Curbach was also a member of the DFG Senate between 2002 and 2008. He is currently the spokesperson for the DFG review board for Construction Engineering and Architecture.

Most recently, in 2012 a DFG-nominated research team led by Professor Birger Kollmeier from the University of Oldenburg received the award for the advanced development of hearing aids. The Deutscher Zukunftspreis has been presented by the Federal President every year since 1997 in recognition of innovative research achievements and their development as marketable technologies.

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