A “Hygo” for Stephan Kiermeier


Preis für einen Vorreiter der Wasserstoff-Welt: (von links) Anne Schüssler, Wasserstoff-Beauftragte des Kreises Düren, Landrat Wolfgang Spelthahn, Dr. Stephan Kiermaier und das Jülicher Vorstandsmitglied Dr. Peter Jansens. Foto: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Jansen

Dr. Stephan Kiermaier from Forschungszentrum Jülich’s Institute for a Sustainable Hydrogen Economy (INW) received the Düren district’s “Hygo” hydrogen award on Thursday evening. Prior to the hydrogen trade fair taking place at the Kulturmuschel in Jülich on 18 and 19 August 2023, the district of Düren handed out awards to people who play a pioneering role in establishing the hydrogen world of the future. Stephan Kiermaier, who in his role as project developer at INW directly supervises structural change projects with a focus on hydrogen, received the Hygo award in the category “Young Researchers”.

“This is quite a lot of an honour for me,” said the chemical engineer after receiving the award. “The success of our huge project – to enable structural change using hydrogen as a key technology – is down to teamwork.” This is partly because several colleagues are involved in each demonstration project overseen by INW. The projects are also developed as part of an important collaboration with external partners, Kiermaier added.

“Quite a lot” – with these words, Kiermaier could also be referring to his personal career. A few weeks ago, he successfully defended his doctoral thesis at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. The chemical engineer has since received his certificate and officially earned the title of Dr.-Ing.

Dr. Peter Jansens, Member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, gave a congratulatory speech for the award-winner. “Together with his colleagues, Stephan Kiermaier finds solutions that aid progress and thus enable innovations that help to take us all forward. He is therefore a worthy winner of the Hygo 2023 award.”

Düren district administrator Wolfgang Spelthahn handed out two further awards prior to the hydrogen trade fair. The Hygo for Start-Up Innovation went to Cologne-based Sara Schiffer, who was one of the founders of the start-up Hylane, a new enterprise that rents out hydrogen trucks. The third category was the Hygo Champion award. This was presented to Stefanie Peters, managing director of the Heinsberg-based company Neuman & Esser, which began to develop hydrogen as an important field of business at an early stage. Peters is also a member of the German National Hydrogen Council.

The hydrogen trade fair takes place on 18 August (11:00–17:00) and 19 August (10:00–16:00) in the Kulturmuschel at Jülich’s Brückenkopf-Park. Admission is free of charge. Alongside INW, Forschungszentrum Jülich will also be represented at the event by exhibits from the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK).