DBU Environmental Prize awarded to "Tree Patron” Mattheck and "Exhaust Hunter” Schulte

Foundation honours international commitment as well as development of innovative technology designed to protect the environment - Germany’s President to present the prize

17.09.2003 - Osnabrück. The latest winners of the Deutscher Umweltpreis, Germany’s environmental achievement award, have now been decided: The recipients of the prize which, at EUR 500,000, is Europe’s highest paid award for environmental achievement, and which is to be presented by German President, Johannes Rau, on 26th October in Osnabrück, are the Head of the Biomechanics department at the Karlsruhe Research Institute, Prof. Dr. Claus Mattheck (55), and the founder and managing director of HJS Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH & Co KG, Hermann Josef Schulte (56, Menden). The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) is awarding the prize in recognition of Mattheck’s pioneering achievements at national and international level as an interpreter of the language of Nature to engineering products as well as for his conservation of trees. Schulte is being honoured for the research and development of environmentally-friendly exhaust gas technology in vehicle construction, and especially for the development of a particle filter designed for diesel engines. As a result of this filter, HJS has helped to lower the risk of cancer being caused by particulates without jeopardising the benefits that this motor brings for climate protection, said DBU’S Secretary-General, Dr. Fritz Brickwedde, in a press release issued today.

A forerunner in bionics whose master teacher has been Nature itself

The press release went on to say that, during over 15 years of research and through the dissemination of his easily understood methods and results throughout the world, Mattheck has become a forerunner in bionics whose master teacher has been Nature itself. As a physicist, he has succeeded in deciphering the mechanical load of trees by taking their ultimate strength and stableness as an example, and has formed developments and computer programs from this which today are found not only in automobile construction but also washing machines, artificial hip prostheses and tooth implants. He embodies modern conservation that is committed to sustainability in the original sense of the word and he has discovered new paths.

Mattheck’s methods have resulted in numerous concrete transfers within the industry

All in all, over 100 software licences and patents have been granted to carmakers, mechanical engineering companies and chemical plants by Mattheck and his team. His methods have resulted in numerous concrete transfers within the industry. Nowadays, some of Mattheck’s former students work for major car manufacturers as development engineers, optimising vehicle parts on new automobile prototypes and forming designs in line with Nature that always have the ideal solution ready.

Great emphasis on finding a happy medium between science and society

At the same time, however, Mattheck has discovered a specific form of "body language” in trees. He has interpreted certain conspicuous traits in terms of shape and form such as the outer appearance of the bark or unusual growths in thickness as signals that permit positive and negative conclusions to be drawn on the roadworthiness of trees. The consistent application of this method, which has meanwhile become widespread throughout the world, could, above all, help to preserve trees from being felled too early in urban greenery, avoid the wrong care of trees, make a contribution towards achieving sustainable forestry and, consequently, be of direct benefit to the environment. In closing, the press release states that Mattheck has always placed great emphasis on finding a happy medium between science and society. One of his main target groups has been children and teenagers who have been drawn closer to what, at first, would appear to be an uninteresting topic through the worldwide publication of children’s books and cartoons.



Taken with kind permission from www.dbu.de