KU Leuven professor Jean-Pierre Kruth has won the 2015 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, one of the most prestigious science prizes in the United States, indicated Leuven University on its website. He was rewarded for his work on “additive manufacturing” – the manufacture of a product by successive additions of material, based on a digital model. In common parlance, it is known as the 3D printing process. The prize, worth $ 250,000, is awarded annually by the Franklin Institute, a centre for the promotion of science and invention, founded in Philadelphia in 1824. Over the years, prominent scientific luminaries have been awarded various prizes by the Franklin Institute, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein among them.
The Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science is one of the most recent prizes established by the Institute. It was made possible by a 7.5 million-dollar bequest granted by Henry Bower, one of the local chemical industry patrons, in 1988.
The Franklin Institute points out that Jean-Pierre Kruth’s work “has inspired further research, enabled the creation of many patents and helped build several global companies”. Professor Kruth leads a team of engineers at KU Leuven’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “He has been at the forefront of research in additive manufacturing since it emerged in the 1990s”, said the KUL in an official statement.
His vast knowledge in this field has contributed to the creation and success of two KU Leuven spin-off companies: Materialise and LayerWise.