Plastics industry award Dr. Richard Escales Prize 2022 goes to two movers and shakers
On the first evening of the K trade show in Düsseldorf, October 19, the Dr. Richard Escales Prize was awarded for the ninth time. For the first time it was awarded in two fields: “Industry” and “Research and Development”.
During K 2022, the Dr. Richard Escales Award was presented for the ninth time. Prof. Dr. Thomas Seul was honored in the “Research and Development” category for his commitment and special achievements in communicating plastics technology expertise between different disciplines. Entrepreneur Kurt Gebert received the award in the “Industry” category for his commitment to promoting innovation in plastics technology and collaboration across company and organizational boundaries.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Seul has rendered outstanding services to the plastics industry as a professional and communicative mediator between the worlds of injection molding, mould making and medical technology. His extraordinary expertise, starting with product development and the qualification of injection moulds and processes, culminated in bioanalytics in investigations of the biocompatibility of plastics. In 2007, he established the Department of Applied Plastics Technology at Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences, which he permanently expanded in terms of expertise and increased in terms of personnel. Together with colleagues, he initiated practical, in-service continuing education programs and distance learning courses. Numerous publications in professional journals and submitted patents are signs of his commitment to being a link between the various scientific disciplines. Together with his colleague Prof. Dr. Stefan Roth, the award winner has also compiled his accumulated experience and practical knowledge in the book “Plastics in medical technology” (Hanser). As a speaker or participant in panel discussions, Seul adds his experience to specialist meetings and conferences. The award winner also plays an important role as chairman within the framework of VDI guideline work and, last but not least, as president of the VDWF and the Forschungsgemeinschaft Deutscher Werkzeug- und Formenbauer (FDWF — Research Association of German Mouldmakers and Toolmakers), which will be newly founded in 2021. There are many more roles he fills, the jury said. As a thought leader, a motivator, a creative mind and a toolmaker savant.
Kurt Gebert originally comes from a bakery and actually wanted to study mechanical engineering. But his brother — fortunately — was able to get him interested in plastics technology. Kurt Gebert “burns” for the design possibilities of the material and its seemingly never-ending property folds — one of the reasons why the engineer was awarded the prize, according to the jury. He wrote the final thesis of his plastics engineering studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg on the subject of “rubber analysis” for Audi and then lived out his enthusiasm for soft materials at Mercedes. It is important to the award winner that success is also always a team effort, and that is why he is personally very happy to know all the people he knows today. And this network is certainly structured: For example, he is active on the board of the VDI Plastics Technology Division, on the research advisory board of the German Rubber Society (DKG) and in Forum Werkstoffe e.V. In addition, he can be found in many plastics associations in his Franconian homeland, but also nationally. And he also moves in circles that you can't just join, but have to be appointed to, for example as a “plastics knight” in the VDI strategy circle for plastics technology.