On November 6, 2020, the Rector of the RWTH Aachen University awarded our Chairman Dr. Erwin Flender the distinction and academic degree of "Honorary Doctor of Engineering Sciences." This honor is in recognition of his outstanding engineering and entrepreneurial achievements in the field of modeling and simulation of metal casting processes and for his high level of social commitment, especially for his dedication to support R&D activities for small and medium-sized companies and the next generation of engineers.
After earning a degree in Production and Mechanical Engineering at the Hagen University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Flender studied Foundry Science at the RWTH Aachen University. Here he also received his doctorate in 1985 on the topic of "Computer-Aided Simulation and Modeling of the Hot Cracking Behavior during Solidification of Heat-Resistant Cast Steel Grades". For this work, he was awarded the Eugen Piwowarsky Prize by the German Foundrymen Society (VDG).
This marks the foresight that Dr. Flender had 35 years ago, and that he has demonstrated over and over since then. This becomes particularly clear when you read the outlook at the end of his doctoral thesis:
"An optimized production technology for castings with high quality requirements can only be achieved economically through computational modeling. The prerequisite for computational modeling is a proper simulation of the sometimes very complex production processes. Especially the pouring process, solidification, cooling and the heat treatment, which is unavoidable for steel castings, must be described in a mathematically exact manner."
After several years in industry, Dr. Flender and other partners founded MAGMA Gießereitechnologie GmbH in Aachen in 1988. Through his expertise, perseverance and determinedness, our company has become a globally recognized leader in the metal casting industry.
In addition to his commitment to the MAGMA group of companies, Dr. Flender has supported the foundry industry through numerous voluntary activities. Throughout his career, he has been involved in various technical committees of the German Foundrymen Association, where he was a member of the executive committee for several years. Since 2012, he has been President of the Germany Foundry Industry Association (BDG), Vice-President of the VDG and its honorary General Manager.
He has been a member of the Research Advisory Board of the German Foundry Industry for 21 years and has headed this body for more than 15 years. In that role, he has put a special focus on the cooperation between university professors and the foundry sector. The regularly held “Development Dialogue” between the industry, professors and the foundry association was initiated by him. Beyond the scope of the foundry industry, Dr. Flender has also promoted research activities in small and medium-sized companies in Germany within the framework of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF), where he was chairman of the supervisory board from 2012 to 2016. This organization honored him with the Otto von Guericke Medal for his achievements in promoting cooperative industrial research.
Dr. Flender is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) in Kaiserslautern and the Fraunhofer Institute for Foundry, Composite and Processing Technology (IGCV) in Munich.
He has particularly close ties to the RWTH Aachen University, for example as a member of the Industrial Advisory Board in the "Internet of Production" Cluster of Excellence. In addition, MAGMA finances the Foundry Institute's doctoral seminar every two years as well scholarships for RWTH students in the area of material sciences and engineering.
We know that Dr. Flender sees this high distinction as an Honorary Doctor rather as a further incentive for MAGMA to realize predictable, manageable, economical and - if possible - controllable casting processes, as he described them 35 years ago:
"With the additional application of a program package, which allows the implementation of the above mentioned simulation and modelling calculations, a foundry, similar to modern mechanical engineering companies or plants in the chemical industry, would have a completely predictable process technology".