Former Carl von Linde Senior Fellow Professor Ingrid Kögel-Knabner receives prestigious German Environmental Award

With a remuneration of 500,000 € it is the most lucrative environmental prize in Europe. Professor Kögel-Knabner was a Carl von Linde Senior Fellow at the TUM Institute for Advanced Study in 2011.


Joint joy about the German Environmental Award (from left): Moderator Judith Rakers, DBU Secretary General Alexander Bonde, award winner Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, award winner Reinhard Schneider, DBU Board of Trustees Chairman Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter and Baden-Württemberg Environment Minister Franz Untersteller.

Congratulations to Professor Ingrid Kögel-Knabner, who holds the Chair of Soil Science at TUM, for winning the prestigious German Environmental Award! The annual Prize of the German Environmental Foundation (DBU) was awarded by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In his laudatio, he honored Professor Ingrid Kögel-Knabner as role model for future generations of researchers. As one of the most renowned and influential soil scientists and researchers in the world she has succeeded in shining a light on the central role played by the environmental medium of soil for the dynamic of climate change. A major milestone in her research has been the discovery of how carbon is locked into the soil as an organic substance. After all, given the fact that plants absorb climate-damaging carbon dioxide from the air, which then ends up in the soil, it is the largest reservoir of carbon in the world, but plants also emit greenhouse gases as they decompose. For this reason, soil is incredibly important for the climate itself as well as for preventing climate change. DBU General Secretary Alexander Bonde: “Her research has provided us with a completely new understanding of the capacity of the soil to absorb and store carbon. More than anything, Dr. Kögel-Knabner has provided us with answers to the question of how soil can be used for long-term carbon storage in order to prevent climate change.”

She shares the prize with entrepreneur Reinhard Schneider, whose company produces sustainable laundry detergents and cleaning products.

The award ceremony with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was held on October 27th in Mannheim.