ABB creates research award in honor of outgoing chairman, Hubertus von Gruenberg

Zurich, Switzerland, April 30, 2015 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has created an international research award to honor Hubertus von Gruenberg, who is stepping down after eight years as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The award is intended to encourage world-class research in ABB’s main fields of operation: power and automation, as applied in utilities, industries, and transport and infrastructure.

Hubertus von Grünberg award

The “ABB Research Award in Honor of Hubertus von Gruenberg” recognizes outstanding PhD research that makes creative use of software, electronics and/or new materials, to pave the way towards groundbreaking industrial solutions.

It includes a $300,000 grant for post-doctoral research and is open to PhD graduates from any university specializing in research in power or automation. The award will be presented for the first time in 2016, and thereafter every third year.

Von Gruenberg, a theoretical physicist who wrote his doctoral dissertation in 1970 on Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, was instrumental in setting ABB on a path to sustainable growth and in cementing its reputation as a leader in technological innovation. During his tenure as ABB Chairman from 2007-2015, the Group’s revenues rose from $24.5 billion to $40 billion, and the company achieved notable technological breakthroughs, such as a hybrid high-voltage direct current (HVDC) circuit breaker, which solved a 100-year-old engineering puzzle, and paves the way for a DC grid.

“Through a combination of razor-sharp business acumen and a deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of technological innovation for ABB, Hubertus von Gruenberg played a key role in positioning ABB as a leader in power and automation,” said ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer. “On his retirement as Chairman of the ABB Board of Directors, it is fitting that ABB creates an award in his name to drive and inspire the work of some of the most promising technologists of the future.”

For the first research award in 2016, judges will be professors from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Imperial College London, and Hubertus von Gruenberg along with ABB Chief Technology Officer Claes Rytoft.

Technological innovation is a central pillar of ABB’s Next Level strategy, which aims to accelerate sustainable value creation through innovation-driven profitable growth, relentless execution and business-led collaboration. An example for such an innovation is the first collaborative dual-arm robot Yumi, introduced early in 2015.

In 2014, ABB was named one of Thomson Reuters’ top-100 global innovative companies for a third year. In 2014 and 2013, it registered more patent applications with the European Patent Office than any other Swiss-based company. ABB spends $1.5 billion annually on research and development and employs 8,500 technologists.

For more information about the ABB Research Award in Honor of Hubertus von Gruenberg, please visit our special award website new.abb.com/hvg-award, where you can also find the application requirements.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.


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