Curious Minds Forscherpreis (Curious Minds Research Award)

In cooperation with manager magazin, we honor rising stars in the German scientific community who show significant potential for technological and industrial innovation.

About the Award

The Curious Minds Forscherpreis (Curious Minds Research Award) not only emphasizes and honors scientific excellence but also an entrepreneurial spirit. It provides a platform to strengthen and improve the dialogue between academia and industry.

The award encompasses executive jury members of the most innovative and important sectors of the German industry. The selected awardees are honored at a joint ceremony with Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung with the first one held on October 30, 2018 in Darmstadt.

The award categories alternate annually: Starting in 2018, the categories were "Life Science" and "Digitization & Robotics", and in 2019 "Materials & Active Substances" and "Mobility & Energy".

2019 Awardees

In 2019 the Curious Minds Forscherpreis was awarded to Xiaoying Zhuang in the category "Materials & Active Substances" and in the category "Mobility & Energy" to Ulrike Kramm. Xiaoying Zhuang is Sofja Kovalevskaja Group Leader at the Institute for Contiuum Mechanics at the University of Hannover and was awarded for her work on novel high-performance methods in numerical mechanics for complex problems in materials science. Ulrike Kramm is Junior Professor at the TU Darmstadt leading the research group "Catalysts and Electrocatalysts". She was awarded for her work on non-precious metal catalysts for fuel cells.

Zhuang studied Civil Engineering at the Tongji-University in Shanghai. In 2015 she was awarded with a Sofja-Kovalevskaja-Award to establish her independent working group at the University of Hannover. In 2018 she received an ERC Starting Grant and the prestigious Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Award. Photo credit: Mario Wezel for manager magazin

Kramm started her academic education in Physical Engineering at the FH Zwickau. After her doctoral studies at the Helmholtz-Center Berlin (HZB) on novel catalysts for fuel cell, she started her research group at TU Darmstadt in 2015. In 2018 she was awarded with the Adolf-Messer-Award. Photo credit: Lemrich for manager magazin

List of Award Winners

Year Category Name University Distinguished project
2019 Materials & Active Substances Xiaoying Zhuang University of Hannover Novel high-performance methods in numerical mechanics for complex problems in materials science
  Mobility & Energy Ulrike Kramm TU Darmstadt Non-precious metal catalysts for fuel cells

Life Science

Barbara Grüner University Hospital Essen Screening techniques for active ingredient combinations in cancer therapy
  Digitization & Robotics Sascha Fahl Ruhr-University Bochum Impact of human factors on data privacy and IT security

Key Facts

  • 4 alternating award categories:
    • Life Science
    • Digitization & Robotics
    • Materials & Active Substances
    • Mobility & Energy
  • Cycle: Annual
  • Number of awardees: 2 per year
  • Award Ceremony: Joint ceremony with Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung

Prof. Dr. Klaus Griesar

Head of Science Relations

Almut Schoffers

Associate Director Science Relations


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