The Löhn Award panel has decided to honor the outstanding achievements of Professor Dr.-Ing. Eberhard Birkel of the Technical Consultancy Service, the body he headed for 37 years with great authority, dedication and success.
Eberhard Birkel was born in Stuttgart and studied mechanical engi nee ring at the city’s university. He began his career with Daimler-Benz AG as a development engineer for process develop- ment and joining technology. In 1963, he took up the position of head of the planning department and building control offi ce at the State College of Engineering (now Esslingen University of Applied Sciences).
In 1969, the first five Technical Consultancy Services were established at higher education institutions in Esslingen, Aalen, Karls- ruhe, Mannheim and Offenburg. They were headed by Eberhard Birkel, a position he held until stepping down in 2006. The Steinbeis Foundation was subsequently founded in 1971 to in tegrate the Steinbeis Consultancy Services. They were the forerunners of the modern-day Steinbeis Transfer Center, which emerged as spin-offs of the Steinbeis Consultancy Services.
Steinbeis is unique in developing solutions to a multitude of small problems using all manner of technologies; a wide range of highly specialized technologies are utilized, and large-scale projects are also undertaken. The image of the versatile professor – like Eberhard Birkel – was made possible by the specialist Steinbeis Transfer Centers, and remains extremely important today. Eberhard Birkel was a leading light in the Steinbeis Consultancy Services management structure, coordinating over 10,000 projects during his tenure. One major contribution of the Steinbeis Consultancy Services management was to divert turnover to the devolved Steinbeis Transfer Centers simply because their success enabled them to do so. Having sustained such a level of success over a long period, Eberhard Birkel has earned this special recognition of his achievements.