New impetus for refractories industry through
academic promotion of young talent

For the twelfth time, Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich together with ECREF European Centre for Refractories gem. GmbH will present the Gustav Eirich Award (GEA) at the International Refractories Colloquium ICR in Aachen. Three dissertations or scientific papers on refractories-related topics from the last two years will be awarded. With the GEA, the engineering works and ECREF aim to promote young academic talents from all over the world. This year‘s winners have completed their doctorates at universities from Germany, Poland and France.

Since the invention of the Eirich mixer in 1924, the global refractory industry has been one of the core industries of Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich. With the Gustav Eirich Award, Maschinenfabrik as sponsor together with the ECREF European Centre for Refractories gem. GmbH honors dissertations and scientific work that have a potential benefit and above all transfer potential for the global refractories industry: “Innovation is an important success factor to survive in today‘s global world. Together with ECREF, Eirich would like to promote the involvement of young professionals in the refractories industry in order to shape and develop the industry in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way,” says Stephan Eirich, Managing Director of Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich. In terms of content, the papers deal with refractory-based topics and investigations of materials around the term “high-temperature materials”. The jury from science and industry evaluates aspects such as savings of raw materials or emissions in the refractory industry. An important point is that the applicants deal with the criteria of the Gustav Eirich Award and submit more than a generic summary of their work.

The international jury from Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Spain and the USA awarded prizes to the following entries:

1st place: Dr. Johannes Kasper – University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. “Setting models for PCE-dispersed and CA-cement-bonded refractory castables”: The work addresses important fundamental investigations to better understand the behavior of refractory concretes during setting. The new knowledge has been transferred to the refractory industry, leading to the development of more durable refractory linings.

2nd place: Dr. Diana Vitiello – Université de Limoges, France. “Thermo-physical properties of insulating refractory materials”: The paper deals with the reduction of heat losses in steelmaking through better refractory insulating materials, while increasing the service life of refractory linings. Dr. Vitiello wrote her dissertation in the Athor doctoral network, funded by the European Union.

3rd place: Dr. Jakub Stec – AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland. “3D pore structure and infiltration resistance of micropore carbon materials”: This practice-oriented paper deals with the behavior of carbon bricks in the blast furnace. The refractory materials installed in the frame of the blast furnace are subjected to the highest stresses and ultimately determine the length of a blast furnace journey.

The winners will receive prize money of € 3000, 2000 and 1000.

The ECREF European Centre for Refractories gem. GmbH as a science-supporting institution of the German Refractories Industry e. V. (DFFI) has set itself the goal of promoting young academics with this excellence competition.

“An important impulse is to transfer new knowledge into application and into the refractories industry. The refractories industry worldwide faces the challenge of accompanying the green transformation of the process industry. This can only succeed on the basis of research, innovation, knowledge and transfer, i.e. application of the new knowledge,” said Dr. Christian Dannert, Managing Director of ECREF.

For the Gustav Eirich Award 2022, applicants can submit dissertations as well as independent scientific work, such as post-doctoral theses or post-doc activities, until June 30, 2022. The completion of the work must not be more than two years ago.


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