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Honorary Doctorate for Outstanding Entrepreneur

On 21 March 2016 the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Technische Universität Chemnitz will award an honorary doctorate to Friedhelm Loh, Owner and Chairman of the Friedhelm Loh Group

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Technische Universität Chemnitz is to confer an honorary doctorate on Friedhelm Loh during an academic ceremony on 21 March 2016. Loh is Owner and Chairman of the Friedhelm Loh Group in Haiger in the German federal state of Hesse, as well as Partner and CEO of the solution provider for enclosures Rittal in Herborn. Loh’s commitment extends from the economy through science to public life, which is also reflected in his many volunteer activities. He was Vice President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) up to 2014 and is now Honorary President of the ZVEI – Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie, which represents the German electrical industry, and which he also led as president until 2014. In 2010 The German Institute for Inventions awarded Friedhelm Loh the Diesel Medal, the “Oscar” for inventors, to honor his innovative business achievements.

In 1974 Loh took over the management of the companies Rittal and Ritto, which his father had founded in 1961, and thus the responsibility for 200 employees. He has been owner and CEO of the Friedhelm Loh Group since 1989. Today, the family business employs more than 11,500 employees in 78 international subsidiaries an 18 production sites worldwide and achieved sales of about 2.2 billion euros in the trading year 2014. With approximately 2,500 patented developments it is an international market and technology leader in many sectors.

“The bestowal of the honorary doctorate on Friedhelm Loh recognizes his outstanding achievements and merits in science and technology – especially in the field of mechanical and plant engineering," says Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the TU Chemnitz. He adds: “Friedhelm Loh considers the use of techniques and technologies in a strategically excellent way. Therefore, he always connects holistically the achievable reliability, quality and costs with environment, living standards and responsibility for sustainability. Due to his outstanding expertise, he has succeeded in sustainably strengthening innovative power and competitiveness of businesses, thereby contributing to growth, and has combined this with the creation and securing of jobs.” According to Kroll, Friedhelm Loh is a highly respected figure and promotes interdisciplinary and practice-oriented knowledge and technology transfer between research and industry with great efficiency.

Loh has also earnt merits in Saxon science and business. For example, the company Rittal, led by Friedhelm Loh, is member of the MTC Lightweight Structures e.V., an association founded parallel to the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE at the TU Chemnitz, which ensures transfer of knowledge between science and industry. Moreover, it is primarily thanks to Loh that the Chair System Technology and Shift Modules was set up in June 2014 at the Institute for Lightweight Structures of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and endowed for the duration of six years. This endowed chair deals with product developments such as plastic housings, surface technologies and functional integration on the one hand, and with process development and system technology such as new processing machines, robotics in assembly and wiring as well as integrated engineering concepts on the other hand. In this way, the chair supports the strategic direction in the TU Chemnitz field of competence “resource-efficient production and lightweight structures”.

The academic ceremony will start at 3 p.m. in the central lecture hall building of the TU Chemnitz at Reichenhainer Strasse 90, room N115. After the welcome address of TU Chemnitz’ Acting Rector Prof. Dr. Andreas Schubert, there will follow greetings by Frank Heinrich, member of the German Bundestag, by Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, by Dr. Klaus Mittelbach, Chief Executive Officer of the Zentralverband der Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie, and by Dr. Markus Kerber, Director General of the Federation of German Industries. The keynote speech will be held by Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the TU Chemnitz. Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Stephan Holthaus, Rector of the Giessen School of Theology, will give a ceremonial address on “ora et labora, or why it is worthwhile to lead with values”. He will highlight the two poles of the work ethic which particularly distinguishes Friedhelm Loh. The laudation will be held by Prof. Dr. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. After the academic honor has been bestowed, the laureate himself will speak. The event will be accompanied musically by the chamber orchestra of the Robert Schumann Philharmonie Chemnitz.

Important Note: students and staff of the TU Chemntz are invited to attend the ceremony on 21 March 2016 at 3 p.m. in the central lecture hall building at Reichenhainer Strasse 90, room N115. Please contact event@tu-chemnitz.de.

Katharina Thehos
15.03.2016

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