SPE Central Europe: Jury meeting for the further development of the SPE Automotive Award

On 30 and 31 January 2020, members of the jury of the SPE Automotive Award met at the premises of Akro-Plastic in Niederzissen near Cologne, Germany, and discussed the further development of the prestigious SPE Automotive Award. The Central Europe division of the Society of Plastics Engineers announced that it intends to implement many of these ideas as early as in the 2021competition. The jury meeting was chaired by division chairman Bernard Rzepka and division coordinator Thilo Stier. Numerous suggestions for the further development of the award were collected. Among other things, the jury looked at new evaluation criteria such as sustainability and cost-effectiveness, greater transparency and how to increase awareness of the award. The future design of the University Award, which honours master’s theses related to plastics in automotive, was also discussed.

Jury meeting for the SPE Automotive Award in Niederzissen (from left to right: Prof. Christian Bonten, Hans Schwager, Karl-Heinz Stelzl, Dr. Rudolf Fernengel and Thilo Stier) (Source: SPE Central Europe)

Many of the ideas are already to be implemented in the coming months, in preparation for the SPE Automotive Award 2021. It was decided to present a Sustainability Award in addition to the Innovation Award. This is not only about aspects such as lower raw material consumption or reduction of CO2 emissions, but also about the overall life cycle assessment of the submitted part. It was also decided to change the categories in which the awards are presented. The previous categories Chassis Unit and Structural Component will be merged into one. New Mobility for plastic components in alternative drive systems will be added as a new category. Since series parts and prototypes are difficult to compare, prototypes will in future be classified in the Enabler Technology category.

The Automotive Division Award of the SPE Central Europe, Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers Inc. is presented every one and a half years since 1992.