Hans Kühl Medal of the GDCh Division of the Chemistry of Construction Materials


At irregular intervals, the Division of the Chemistry of Construction Materials of the German Chemical Society awards the Hans Kühl Medal to personalities,


  • who have achieved outstanding innovations of fundamental and lasting importance, which have raised chemical or technical development to a new dimension,
  • who have gained new groundbreaking insights in their research work, which are highly recognized in the international professional world, or
  • who have shown outstanding achievements in teaching and knowledge transfer.

Prof. Hans Kühl 1879-1969

The chemist Prof. Dr. phil. Hans Kühl (1879 - 1969) was a pioneer in cement chemistry and building material technology. The Division Board chose him as the namesake for the award because of his pioneering scientific work and his exemplary personality. In the following the life, work and personality of this nestor of cement and silicate chemistry are described.

Prof. Hans Kühl was born on February 11, 1879 as the son of a farmer in Karlsruhe (Schleswig-Holstein). After graduating from secondary school in Flensburg in 1898, he devoted himself to studying chemistry at the Universities of Freiburg, Kiel and Leipzig. There he was particularly fascinated by the lectures and work of the physical chemists Wilhelm Ostwald and Max Bodenstein, whose pupils he felt himself to be all his life. In 1903 he received his doctorate as Dr. phil. with a dissertation on the kinetics of carbon monoxide with the predicate "summa cum laude".

After working as an assistant at Bodenstein, his entry into the chemical-technical research institute of Dr. Hermann Passow (a cement expert who was well known at the time alongside Michaelis and Schott) in Blankenese (1905). It was there that Kühl made his first invention by making cement from blast furnace slag. In 1907, the only 28-year-old Kühl moved to Berlin-Lichterfelde and took over the famous cement and mortar technology institute from Dr. Wilhelm Michaelis, the most important German cement technologist of the time.

Scientists and practitioners

In 1922, the Lichterfeld Institute is affiliated with the Technical University of Berlin. Kühl becomes a lecturer at the Technical University of Berlin and in 1925 honorary professor. From then on, he worked here as a teacher and researcher in cement chemistry, well-known far beyond the borders of the country. The milestones of his scientific work are the introduction of the terms "silicate" and "clay module" in 1913 and 1926, respectively. His "Kalkstandard" (1933) contrasts Michaelis' empirical "hydraulic module" with the scientifically precisely calculated amount of lime, which is the hydraulic factors can bind. In 1924, Kühl invented Bauxitland cement (also known as ?Kühl? cement) and dealt with problems of grinding fineness. Of his numerous patents, only those for the production of sulphate slag cement (1909) and for the introduction of sludge in rotary kilns (1911) are mentioned. In the course of the decades more than 400 technical and scientific publications were created in German, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish, testimony to his extensive research work and his never tiring diligence. In addition to topic-specific work, Kühl repeatedly publishes detailed overview articles that reflect the state of knowledge at the time

Characterization of the raw meal composition of cement according to Hans Kühl

Describe fundamental aspects of cement and building material technology and show connections. This not only shows the excellent specialist, but also the gifted teacher Kühl. Examples are the articles "Basics and history of the hardening theory of mortars" and "50 years of cement chemistry in theory and practice", both published in 1951 in the magazine "Silikattechnik".

Text: Prof. Dr. Johann Plank

Hans Kühl Medal 2020

The Hans Kühl Medal is awarded to Dr. Gerhard Albrecht (Kobe, Japan) awarded in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the development of highly innovative concrete admixtures, including the vinyl ether-based PCEs, which represent a global unique selling point of BASF, and a completely new type of cement accelerator (CSH-PCE) based on "nucleation seeding" . Such admixtures will play a decisive and outstanding role in the introduction and dissemination of CO2-reduced cements in the future. As the long-standing Head of central development for concrete admixtures at SKW/Degussa/BASF, Dr. Albrecht decisively influenced worldwide concrete technology with significant inventions and patents and led it into new dimensions.

Hans-Kühl-Medal 2013

Dr. Tsuyoshi Hirata
Nippon Shokubai, Japan

Invention of PCE superplasticizer

Hans-Kühl-Medal 2010

Dr. Hugo Rietveld
Energy Research Foundation ECN, The Netherlands Refinement strategies for X-ray and neutron data

Hans-Kühl-Medal 2006

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wieker
GNF eV, Berlin Basic research on the chemistry of construction materials

Hans-Kühl-Medal 2005

Prof. Dr. Otto Henning
Weimar University of Architecture and Building Fundamental research on the chemistry of construction materials

Prof. Dr. Dietbert Knöfel
University of Siegen Basic research on the chemistry of construction materials

Hans-Kühl-Medal 2004

Dr. Michael Roth
Wacker Chemie, Burghausen Invention of silicone resin paints and water repellants

Hans-Kühl-Medal 2003

Dr. Alois Aignesberger
SKW Trostberg Invention of superplasticizers

Dr. Kenichi Hattori
Kao Soap, Japan Invention of superplasticizers

Hans Kühl Medal 2003ff

year theme awardee
2020 Development of highly innovative concrete admixtures

dr Gerhard Albrecht, Kobe, Japan

2013 Invention of PCE superplasticizer dr Tsuyoshi Hirata, Nippon Shokubai, Japan
2010 Refinement strategies of X-ray and neutron data

dr Hugo Rietveld, Energy Research Foundation ECN, The Netherlands

2006 Basic research work on the chemistry of construction materials Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wieker, GNF eV, Berlin
2005 Basic research on
the chemistry of construction materials

Prof. Dr. Otto Henning, Weimar University of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Prof. Dr. Dietbert Knöfel, University of Siegen

2004 Invention of silicone resin paints and
hydrophobing agents
dr Michael Roth, Wacker Chemie, Burghausen
2003 Invention of the flow agent 

dr Alois Aignesberger, SKW Trostberg

dr Kenichi Hattori, Kao Soap, Japan

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last modified: 14.07.2021 13:59 H from M.Fries