Wilo SE recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. The celebration with around 1600 guests was designed as a family and friends party. Hof University of Applied Sciences was also on hand to offer its congratulations.
Prof. Müller-Czygan, you represented the university at the anniversary celebration. What did you take away from the celebration?
“Wilo presented itself as a very family-oriented company and is one of the most sustainable organizations in Germany and Europe. That applies not only to the products, but also to the manufacturing. I liked the apparent cohesion of the employees, who were present in large numbers with their families. Also the fact that the Bavarian Minister of the Environment Thorsten Glauber, District Administrator Dr. Oliver Bär and the Mayor of Hof Eva Döhla expressed their greetings shows the position of Wilo in Hof and the region. It was gratifying that Environment Minister Glauber explicitly emphasized the importance of water for our society in his address and the increase in the significance of the water industry as an active shaper in dealing with the consequences of climate change.”
What exactly do you see as the bond between Hof University and Wilo SE?
“Wilo is a long-standing supporter and sponsor of the university. Group Vice President Thomas Lang once again highlighted the importance of the university for Wilo in his welcoming speech. As one of the market leaders in water and wastewater pumping machines, close cooperation with the university is of great importance to Wilo as an innovation company, whether through access to well-trained young talent or through cooperation with the iwe Institute for Water and Energy Management to drive new developments.”
Where specifically in what projects are the two organizations working together? What exactly is the goal of this collaboration?
“Currently, there are two specific projects in which the iwe and Wilo are working together. In the university’s own KanaBEnt project, Wilo is supplying three particularly powerful pumps. In this project, the iwe researchers are investigating an innovative control system that is intended to improve the retention of pollutants with special cleaning machines so that, among other things, microplastics do not escape from the canal when it rains heavily. The test machines are located in a container that will be located at the Hof sewage treatment plant in the intake area and will be supplied with wastewater by the Wilo pumps.
Another project is co-financed by the Wilo Foundation. This is the SPORE Smart Sponge Region Upper Franconia project. Here, the iwe researchers want to develop solutions for dealing with climate change for the region of Upper Franconia and test them for feasibility. This project addresses probably the most important topic of the future, the protection of cities from heavy rain and drought, so Wilo will also follow the project very closely in terms of content.“
Are there any other ideas for the future?
“Based on a strongly increasing interest of municipal representatives in Upper Franconia for the SPORE project, the university and Wilo agree to further strengthen Hof as a Bavarian water location. Through the increasing networking of the project participants with municipalities, state authorities and the State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection, it is becoming clear that there are many activities in Bavaria on the subject of sponge cities, but that hardly anyone is aware of them in their entirety. Joint efforts are being made to expand the “sponge city” competence in Hof and to bundle it more strongly here for the whole of Bavaria. Both sides assume a corresponding political support.”