President Joachim Gauck today awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2016, the German President's Award for Innovation in Science and Technology, to the team from the Technische Universität Dresden and the project "The fascinating material carbon concrete. Economical Efficient. Excellent."
The three scientists played a decisive role in the development of an innovative concrete composite now ready for practical application. At TU Dresden, they launched an extensive research project in 2014 entitled "C3 - Carbon Concrete Composite", involving 140 different German institutes and companies. The aim of the project is to strengthen and expand Germany's leading edge in fundamental research and applications for the revolutionary building material.
Worldwide the construction industry uses around 160 million tonnes of steel per annum for concrete reinforcement; in Germany, the annual requirement is 4 million tonnes. The majority of this type of reinforcement could be replaced by carbon concrete in the future - to repair older structures and in new buildings. Since the corrosion-resistant carbon fibres are more robust than steel, much thinner building elements often suffice. This reduces demand for raw materials and lowers energy use and thus cuts CO2 emissions almost in half. Very intricate and unusual structural designs are also possible with this material whose useful life is far beyond that of structures made of steel reinforced concrete. Carbon concrete has been used since 2006 to repair dilapidated structures; the first new buildings using the material have already been completed.
The other nominees and the jury's choice as the "best-of-the-best" finalists for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis were: Dr.-Ing. Patrick Izquierdo, Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Michel
and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Bernd Zapf, Daimler AG, Ulm and Gebrüder Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH, Nürtingen with their developments on "The vision of frictionless drive systems - Coating technology cuts energy loss in half" as well as Dr. rer. nat. Carsten Setzer and Dipl.-Ing. Christian Amann, OSRAM GmbH, Munich, BMW Group, Munich, with their research and work on "Laser light in cars - Throwing light on a safer future".
President Joachim Gauck honored their achievements with the conferring of a certificate.