The Gustav Eirich Award is presented for the three best dissertations (Ph.D. theses) or equivalent work in the field of refractories that have been completed no longer than two years ago.

The 2024 Gustav Eirich Award will be presented during the “Unified International Technical Conference on Refractories (UNITECR) - 18th Biennial Worldwide Congress on Refractories” in September 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany.

The aim of this award is to promote ideas and, at the same time, to support young talents in technical disciplines.

The Gustav Eirich Award is a contribution to the long-term success of companies in the refractories production and application industries.

Applications for the 2024 Gustav Eirich Award are invited until 31st May 2024. To apply, please see the "Guidelines for application" below.


The initiators

Since the invention of the Eirich mixing principle over 80 years ago, the worldwide refractories industry has been a core market for Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich, the Hardheim-based engineering companay in Germany.


The ECREF European Centre for Refractories gem. GmbH as science supporting institution of the German Refractories Association aims to encourage young academics and effectively publicize their knowledge with this contest of excellence.


What is the Gustav Eirich Award for?

You can apply with:

  • Your dissertation to obtain a Ph.D. degree
  • and/or individual research with a scientific content equal to that of a dissertation for a Ph.D. degree e.g. habilitation, post-doc work.

Your work, with which you apply for the Gustav Eirich Award, may cover any topic in the field of refractories (i.e. raw materials, innovative refractories, testing, application of the refractories in process industries...). However, the evaluation criteria of the Gustav Eirich Award focus on the transfer of knowledge from science into industrial applications. Therefore, thesis dealing with the basic science of refractories are not in the direct scope of the Gustav Eirich Award.

Please state the starting and finishing dates of the work you apply with the CV form. The work should have been completed no longer than two years ago. Participation with the same work is only allowed once.




1st Price: 3.000€

2nd Price: 2.000 €

3rd Price: 1.000 €

The winners will receive free travel and free entrance to the UNITECR conference in 2024.

The placement of the winners will be announced at the award ceremony.

Application process


You can apply from now until May 31, 2024. The application runs via the ECREF website.

Review & Preselection

Based on your information, a pre-selection of applications will be made and the best will be determined as finalists.

Jury meeting

The jury evaluates the applications and determines the winners.

Award ceremony

In the context of the " (UNITECR) - 18th Biennial Worldwide Congress on Refractories" in September 2024 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

"Innovation is a key success factor to survive in today's global world. Together with ECREF, Eirich wants to encourage the engagement of young professionals in the refractory industry to shape and develop the industry in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way"

Stephan Eirich, President, Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich

Jury members

The economy is represented on the jury by:

Manuel MIRANDA Martinez, IDONIAL, Spain

Thomas AUER, Böhler Edelstahl GmbH, Austria

William L HEADRICK Jr PhD, RHI Magnesita, USA

The science is represented on the jury by:

Dr. Patrick GEHRE, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany

Prof. Marc HUGER, ENSCI Limoges, France

Prof. Jacek SZCZERBA, AGH Dept. f. Ceramics & Refractories, Poland


Stephan EIRICH, Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich GmbH & Co KG, Germany

Dr. Christian DANNERT, ECREF Europäisches Zentrum für feuerfeste Materialien gem. GmbH, Germany

Evaluation criteria

You apply for the Gustav Eirich Award with a four-page abstract of your work. Please note, that only this abstract will be evaluated.

The evaluation criteria for the Gustav Eirich Award will be exclusively focused on the possibilities of transfer of new refractory knowledge (provided by your thesis) to real industrial applications (FROM SCIENCE TO INDUSTRY). You should thus present your work in a specific way that highlights this potential transfer into the refractory industry or process industry where refractories are being used.

The excellence of your work (new knowledge/new materials/new process/new services) will specifically be evaluated taking into account the following criteria:

  • How your work could contribute to an improvement of resource efficiency?
  • How your work could contribute to an improvement of energy efficiency or/and a reduction of greenhouse gases?
  • How your work could contribute to an enhancement of process efficiency for refractory producers or for refractory end-users?
  • How modelling in your work could be apply to improvement of industrial processes?

In addition to these, two further criteria will be also considered:

  • To what extend your work could be widely understood and integrated by the refractory or the process industry, and applied quickly in real life?
  • How well your four-page abstract clearly explains how your work specifically addresses one or more of the four aforementioned criteria?


Apply now! 

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