Achievement demands respect


2 The ERNST BLICKLE AWARD winner 2023 Prof. Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld
3 The Student Award winners 2023

Purpose of the Foundation

The SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation implements the purpose of the Foundation by awarding the ERNST BLICKLE AWARD, Student Awards, grants to students, and visiting professorships. In this way, the Foundation recognizes the initiative, innovative power, and true scientific spirit that the world of technological progress and so society itself thrive on.

The Board of Directors of the SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation is responsible for implementing the purpose of the Foundation. In a careful process, a jury evaluates research projects that are in line with the spirit of the SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation. Independent applications for the awards are not considered.


The SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation was founded on November 30, 1989 by Edeltraut Blickle. After the death of her husband Ernst Blickle in July 1986, she founded the Foundation in memory of his entrepreneurial success and his achievements with regard to the companies in the SEW-EURODRIVE Group.


SEW-EURODRIVE GmbH & Co KG is one of the leading manufacturers of drive engineering in the world today. The company produces gear units, gearmotors, industrial gear units, inverter technology, control technology, software, and systems for contactless energy transfer.

After the death of the founder Edeltraut Blickle in September 1992, her son Rainer Blickle took over the chair of the SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation. He shared her particular desire to develop innovative power and scientific spirit, as well as to recognize outstanding achievements and develop their content in the spirit of the Foundation. After Rainer Blickle’s death in March 2021, his brother Jürgen Blickle took over the chair of the Foundation.


From left to right
Edeltraut Blickle, Ernst Blickle und Rainer Blickle


For over 90 years, SEW-EURODRIVE GmbH & Co KG has repeatedly given decisive impetus to the field of drive technology. This extraordinary innovative power goes hand in hand with a culture of openness, responsibility, and cooperation. Ernst Blickle created this culture and his legacy is continuing to shape SEW-EURODRIVE to this day.

The Foundation sees itself as a broker between the aspects of free research, economic effectiveness, and social and ecological responsibility. The interaction of these three sets of values helps to reduce the fear of contact, to initiate critical discourses, and to develop courage to boldly look beyond your own horizon.



The SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation honors outstanding results in science and industry with the ERNST BLICKLE AWARD. This international award recognizes figures in research and companies who contribute to the progress and the well-being of society through their scientific achievements and entrepreneurial commitment.

The ERNST BLICKLE AWARD is worth EUR 100 000. It is awarded every two years and is one of the world’s most renowned prizes of its kind.

Designers of progress: ERNST BLICKLE AWARD winners

  • 2023 – Prof. Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld
  • 2021 – Prof. Dr. Roland Siegwart
  • 2018 – Dr. Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser
  • 2016 – Dipl.-Ing. (TU) Martin A. Kapp
  • 2014 – Prof. Dr. Leo Lorenz
  • 2012 – Dipl.-Kfm. Martin Kannegiesser
  • Other previous award winners

Student Award

The young academic generation is the science elite of tomorrow. The SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation is particularly committed to supporting and motivating these young people with all the means available.

The SEW-EURODRIVE Foundation presents a Student Award worth EUR 2,500 for outstanding scientific work and projects in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and economics – perfectly in accordance with the motto, “Performance is worthy of respect”.

Selection criteria for the Student Award*:

  • Master’s or diploma theses
  • The degree course was completed in the previous semester.
  • The final examination/examination was passed with at least the grade “Very good”.
  • The degree course was completed in a reasonable period of time.


*Independent applications for the awards are not considered.

Board of Directors of the Foundation

Jürgen Blickle

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, Managing Partner of the SEW-EURODRIVE Group

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Dr. h.c. mult.
Fritz Klocke

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at the RWTH Aachen

Daniela Bechtold-Schwabe

Managing Partner of big. bechtold-gruppe

Prof. Dr. Johann W. Kolar

Director of the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory at ETH Zurich

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anette Weisbecker

Deputy Director of the Institute at the Fraunhofer IAO and the IAT at the University of Stuttgart

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Dr. h.c. mult.
Sigmar Wittig

Chairman of the Board of Management of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (retired), Cologne
Institute of Thermal Turbomachinery (ITS) at KIT, Karlsruhe


Ernst-Blickle-Straße 42
76646 Bruchsal

Tel.: +49 (0) 7251 75-1051
Fax +49 (0) 7251 75-501051