This year the Hagen symposium celebrated its 30th anniversary. Organised by Fachverband Pulvermetallurgie, the association for the PM industry in Germany and its German-speaking neighbours, the symposium attracted some 250 delegates and included an exhibition featuring around 50 companies.
The main topic of the technical sessions at this year’s symposium was “Sintering – the key process of powder metallurgy”. Further reports highlighting key presentations at the event will be published over the coming weeks on ipmd.net.
2011 Skaupy Prize
One of the many traditions associated with the Hagen Symposium is the awarding of the Skaupy Prize. This is the highest honour the German PM community has to offer and the 2011 recipient was Dr Gerhard Gille, one of the most recognised, active powder metallurgists in Germany.
Dr Gille is Senior Vice President R&D of Advanced Metallic and Ceramic Powders at HC Starck Group, the manufacturer of specialty metals and alloys. In the powder metallurgy industry, HC Starck is particularly well-known as a manufacturer of powders for cemented carbides (hard-metals).
Gerhard Gille was born in 1948 in the German province of Thuringia and grew up in communist East Germany. He started his academic career at the Technical University of Dresden where he studied physics. It was there that Gille became interested in materials science, which in Dresden traditionally had a strong focus on powder metallurgy.
Gille joined the Central Institute for Solid State Physics and Materials Research (Zentralinstitut für Festkörperphysik und Werkstoffforschung – ZFW). His first years of academic research were directed at the mechanical properties and fracture mechanics of fibre reinforced composites, but soon his priorities turned towards hardmetals.
Gille investigated the high temperature behaviour and sintering of hardmetals, cermets, carbides and carbonitrides including structure development and properties. His work area also covered the properties of CVD and PVD coatings on hardmetals, ceramics and tool steels.
In further work Gille synthesised novel carbides, carbonitrides, nitrides and borides and studied high temperature and fatigue properties of hardmetals and cermets. The development of Fe-Ni-Co binders for hardmetals and ultrafine WC-Co hardmetals was another part of his work.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Gille moved to HC Starck in West Germany in 1991 and joined the R&D department as a researcher. He began with the development and marketing of innovative sub-micron carbonitride powders for cermets, the development of a new process for carburising/carbonitriding of refractory metals and the promotion of traditional WC posders.
In 1994 Gille was assigned to the position of R&D Manager for the hardmetals division. From 1997 to 2009 Dr Gille was head of the Central R&D division of the entire HC Starck Group with responsibility for the worldwide R&D activities of the group. He coordinated and integrated the R&D activities of the various HC Starck locations. In 2009 Gille became Senior Vice President.
Continuous innovation in refractory metal, hardmetal and ceramic powders for high-tech appli-cations document Gilles successful career. He holds more than 15 patents and is a member of numerous scientific societies.
Gille is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer IKTS Institute in Dresden, Deputy Chairman of the Max Planck Institute FKF in Stuttgart and member of the scientific advisory board of the initiative for nano and material innovation in Lower Saxony.
“I am very proud of this distinction. It honours my life-long research together with co-workers and colleagues at HC Starck and in close cooperation with research institutions and universities. It is a motivation for more research work in this field,” stated Dr Gille after the presentation of his Skaupy Award.