25. November 2010

Honorary doctorate for Dietmar Harting

from left to right: Prof. Dr. Eng. Bernardo Wagner (Dean of Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology), Prof. Dr. Eng. Erich Barke (President of the Leibniz University of Hanover), Dipl.Kfm. Hon. Dr.Eng. Dietmar Harting (Personally Liab

Dipl. Kfm. Dietmar Harting has been honored with the highest academic award for his outstanding services to national and international engineering standards, business achievements and multi-faceted commitment to both state and society.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the Leibniz University of Hanover has awarded an honorary doctorate to the managing partner of HARTING KGaA (Espelkamp). University President Prof. Dr. Eng. Erich Barke handed the 71-year-old the certificate awarding him an honorary doctorate in engineering at a celebratory academic gathering in the regional capital of Lower Saxony.

In his honorific speech, Prof. Dr. Eng. Ernst Gockenbach of the Institute for Energy Supply and High-voltage Engineering said that Harting had single-mindedly employed his considerable abilities in expanding the company and making a strong commitment to engineering standards. “He is a peerless and visionary role model of huge importance to both society and the economy.” In his roles as President of the German Standards Institute (DIN), Chairman of the German Commission for Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Information Technology and many other offices, Dietmar Harting has made a definitive mark on German standards and, as a significant and reliable partner, advanced these standards throughout the world. His work at the helm of the CENELEC European standards organization (2007 – 2009) was dedicated to this goal. As Gockenbach stated: “Innovation through standards is a major concern for him.” The effect of standards in opening up markets also proved to be an important precursor to the success of his family owned and managed business. Gockenbach also honored Harting’s commitment to a modern policy for industry and medium-sized businesses, including on the Council for Research and Technology founded by the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his work with Gerhard Schröder’s “Partners for Innovation” Initiative. Harting has worn the German Standards Institute’s DIN ring of honor since 2009, and has been Honorary President of the Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry since 2004.

President of Leibniz University Prof. Dr. Eng. Erich Barke underlined the special value of the honorary doctorate. It is only seldom awarded for achievement in business and industry. Over the decades, Dietmar Harting has employed innovation and dynamism to build the business founded by his father in 1945 into a globally successful player. Some 800 patents alone attest to this.

Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Prof. Dr. Eng. Bernardo Wagner spoke of the new honorary doctor as an “extraordinary personality”. He pointed out that this highest of academic awards was only bestowed following careful assessment and consultation by university committees and external experts. It has only been awarded three times in the last 15 years.

Honorary Dr. Eng. Dietmar Harting was deeply moved as he offered his thanks for the honor. He made “The standards as a value of our societal and economic order” the central focus of his lecture. Harting went on to say that the 95 theses of Martin Luther and the discovery of electricity had already demonstrated the importance of standards as a starting point for human activity and concourse, evaluation criteria, the way towards innovation and the basis of global trade and competition. Today, standards above all make a vital contribution to the country’s future sustainability. As Dietmar Harting stated: “I find that standards are also a valuable benchmark, providing me with meaningful orientation.”

Guests at the academic gathering in Hanover included University representatives, members of the HARTING management board, former Chairmen of Deutsche Messe AG, Hanover, Prof. Dr. Klaus Goehrmann and Sepp Heckmann and the former Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport for Lower Saxony, Walter Hirche.