16. November 2022

RFT Award Puts Science and Research in the Spotlight

The “RFT OÖ Award” is presented every two years by the Upper Austrian Council for Research and Technology. This year the prestigious award went to two personalities who have had a profound influence on research and technology in Upper Austria: Professor Gustav Pomberger played a leading role as a bridge-builder between the University of Applied Sciences and other universities. Dr Irmela Kofler is a young scientist who is revolutionizing environmental protection in steel processing with her research work.

Markus Achleitner, who holds the portfolio for industry and research in the Upper Austrian provincial government, says: “With the RFT Award we recognize people whose outstanding achievements have made a significant contribution to strengthening Upper Austria as a centre of research and technology.”


The computer science “sir”

Prof. Gustav Pomberger was presented with the RFT OÖ Award for his life’s work. With his activities he has had a profound influence on Upper Austria as a centre of research. The scientist can call on an international network. His expertise in computer science, an important discipline for Upper Austria and its industry, is undisputed. “Professor Gustav Pomberger has influenced an entire generation of computer scientists and is one of the few, if not the only person, to have forged links between the University of Applied Sciences and the Johannes Kepler University, especially in the field of computer science. Whatever he does, he puts his whole heart into it,” says Margarethe Überwimmer, chair of the panel of judges, in praise of the laureate.

Environmental protection amid a storm of steel

Since 2018, the RFT OÖ has also presented an award specifically for young scientists. This year it went to Dr Irmela Kofler, head of the Low Carbon Energy Systems unit at K1-MET. Dr Kofler takes a leading role at the voestalpine concern, particularly in the realms of science and research. She serves as a role model for Upper Austria: a woman who works at the company on chemical process engineering with an iron will, total commitment and a strong focus on industry practice. Her aim: steel processing that is as environment-friendly as possible and uses resources only sparingly. “This is a topic that will take up a great deal of our time and energy in the coming years,” says Stephan Kubinger, chair of the RFT OÖ. “The aim is technologies that help solve serious problems of the future.”

Photos: © Province of Upper Austria / Margot Haag, UAR