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The 2016 Steinbeis Evening

The Steinbeis Foundation Transfer Prize – Löhn Award – goes to Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Karl Schekulin

Whereas this year’s Steinbeis Day revolved around the early bird ideas of the young generation at the Steinbeis House for Management and Technology, as is the tradition, the evening in Stuttgart’s Liederhalle convention center formed the closing ceremony for the day, the highlight of which was the bestowal of the Löhn Award (the Steinbeis Foundation Transfer Award). The Steinbeis Foundation invited more than 500 guests to Stuttgart for the event.

The evening started with a different award. In times of global transformation, which often has a direct impact on business, loyalty to one and the same company for a long time is something of a rarity. All the more reason to thank colleagues and fellow employees who have now been working for the Steinbeis Network for 20 and in some cases 30 years. Members of the Steinbeis board Prof. Dr. Michael Auer and Manfred Mattulat personally thanked eleven of the more than 40 people celebrating a big anniversary with Steinbeis this year.

The Transfer Prize has been awarded since 2004 in recognition of outstanding projects and service in the field of competitive knowledge sharing and technology transfer. This year, Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Karl Schekulin, director of the Reutlingen-based Steinbeis Transfer Center for Process Development, was recognized for his outstanding life-long contributions to knowledge sharing and technology transfer on behalf of the Steinbeis Network, and he was awarded a special prize under the transfer prize.

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Karl Schekulin embarked on his career as an engineer in process development at Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart. After holding a number of positions in Germany and abroad, in 1977 he was appointed a professor for design theory at what was then FH Reutlingen (a university of applied science) and is now known simply as Reutlingen University. Shortly afterwards he started working on a part-time basis for Steinbeis, initially for the former technical consulting service TBD at FH Reutlingen before founding his own Steinbeis Transfer Center for Erosive Production Pro- cesses in 1986 (now the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Process Development). Schekulin has developed a number of new production processes at his Steinbeis Transfer Center, spanning a variety of industrial applications. One example is the 5-axis CNC sink erosion method, which in the meantime has become standard practice throughout the world. Another is pulsed electrochemical reduction using timed direct current. Schekulin has worked intensively in the field of beam cutting with a particular focus on the development of innovative laser processing methods, such as dispersion, which can be used to introduce diamond and hard metal parts into unmelted surfaces. He has published numerous scientific papers, underscoring his thirst for innovation. What was often dismissed as fiddling around in the lab sometimes led to premium quality processed parts for the aerospace industry. In fact, aviation is also one of Schekulin’s passions, so much so that he fulfilled his dream of getting his pilot’s license and still flies regularly today. Even since retiring from Reutlingen University 15 years ago, Schekulin has continued to invest his energy, enthusiasm, creative inventiveness, and his instinct for innovation in a variety of Steinbeis projects. Steinbeis thanked Professor Schekulin for more than three successful decades with Steinbeis with this year’s special prize.

As in previous years, dancing progressed throughout the evening as the official program drew to a close, accompanied this time by the Silvio Dalla Brida Band, which kept the dance floor full until the early hours. For those less inclined to let loose on the dance floor, it was a good opportunity to catch up with old contacts and get to know other Steinbeis experts and customers. Another date for the planner: The next Steinbeis Evening will take place on September 29, 2017.