IKV scientist receives the Reifenhäuser Sponsorship Award

Reifenhäuser Sponsorship Award goes to IKV scientist Melanie Kostka, M.Sc. for her master’s thesis in the field of sustainable plastics.

Professor Christian Hopmann, head of IKV, prize winner Melanie Kostka and Bernd Reifenhäuser, CEO of Reifenhäuser Group, at the presentation of the award in Troisdorf. | Photo: IKV

With the presentation of the Reifenhäuser Sponsorship Award, on 25 August, the Reifenhäuser company honoured the outstanding research work done by Melanie Kostka, M.Sc., who is employed as a scientific assistant at the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and Craft at RWTH Aachen University.

In her master's thesis, which she wrote when a student at IKV, the prize winner tackled the subject of foamed cellulose-based plastics obtained from renewable plant-based raw materials. The focus of the thesis was on research into the still largely unknown properties of these plastics. One of the key points was the analysis of the flame-retardant properties, knowledge of which is essential for their use in building insulation. In the opinion of the jury, Melanie Kostka's thesis stood out because of its outstanding scientific quality and the practical benefits of the findings.

Reifenhäuser launched its sponsorship award for students, which is worth 3,000 euros, for the first time this year to reward outstanding work in the field of plastics technology. It aims to induce talented students to tackle present-day challenges of the world of plastics at a high level. Bernd Reifenhäuser, CEO of the Reifenhäuser Group, explains: "With this award, we want to motivate young people with a passion for plastics technology to continue striving for exceptional achievements. Particularly for the sustainable use of plastic in practice, there is a need for creative research approaches in which the students have the courage to think out of the box. With her work, Melanie Kostka has done precisely this in an outstanding fashion."

Bernd Reifenhäuser and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Hopmann, head of IKV, jointly awarded the prize on 25 August at the headquarters of the Reifenhäuser Group in Troisdorf. The presentation was shown as a video clip at the International Colloquium Plastics Technology. This year, the event is being staged from 8-11 September as a purely digital conference because of the Covid-19 pandemic.