Stuttgart/Weissach. 240 Ferry Porsche Award winners were honored yesterday evening by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports at the Weissach Development Center. Since 2001, the year's best-scoring high-school graduates in the fields of mathematics and physics/technology from the general and vocational high schools in Baden-Württemberg have been distinguished with this award. The goal of the Ferry Porsche Award is to increase the appeal of mathematics and the natural sciences and to inspire graduating students to study engineering.
Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Porsche AG, emphasized in his address to the young men and women graduates of 2008 that the demand for a new generation of highly qualified engi-
neers in research and development is very high - even in these economi-
cally trying times. “Scientists and engineers have always been in high demand in the labor market - regardless of whether the economy is in a boom or bust cycle.” The Porsche CEO advised the young people to invest in their future by obtaining a solid education. “Education, know-
ledge, and professional qualifications are the most effective means of surviving a crisis, ensuring a secure future and yielding the best returns on your investment,” said Wiedeking.
The Baden-Württemberg Minister of Culture Helmut Rau underscored the importance of natural sciences and technology for the competitiveness of German companies. “The current economic situation requires us to focus on past strengths and to do everything to achieve an excellent position precisely in these fields in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and Europe.” The support of the so-called MINT disciplines, which stands for Mathematics, Information Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Technology, is an essential requirement for increasing student numbers in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines. The Ferry Porsche Award is also a signal to educators for its efforts in this area.
The Ferry Porsche Award is named after the creator of the Porsche sports car, who died in 1998. Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, the youngest son of Ferry Porsche and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, again con-
gratulated this year's award winners personally. In his speech, he recalled the founding of the Stuttgart design office in 1931 by his grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche, who had there designed the “VW Beetle”, perhaps the most famous car in the world.
In 1948, his father Ferry Porsche built the first sports car in the form of the Type 356 - which bore the brand name Porsche - a milestone in the history of the company whose name has since become synonymous with quality sports car manufacturing. “Right up to his death in 1998, my father always had a say in the activities of the company, first as owner, president and CEO, as head developer, then as chairman of the Supervisory Board, and even later as an experienced adviser,” said Dr. Porsche in recognition of the life's work of his father.
The high point of the celebration in Weissach was the lottery for eight scholarships for internships overseas. The lucky winners are: Johannes Bette (Georg-Büchner-Gymnasium, Rheinfelden); Fabian Hellgardt (Hölderlin-Gymnasium, Lauffen am Neckar); Sebastian Illner (Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium, Waldkirch); Nicolas Lachenmaier (Störck-Gymnasium, Bad Saulgau); Andreas Messner (Gymnasium Trossingen, Trossingen); Andreas Mühlbacher (Max-Planck-Gymnasium, Heidenheim); Benjamin Thaut (Gewerbliche Schule, Schwäbisch Gmünd); Pavel Woltschek (Max-Eyth-Schule, Stuttgart).
They each have the opportunity to do a four-week internship at a Porsche subsidiary overseas in the summer of 2009.