On Nov. 24, 2004, the Diesel Medal awards
ceremony was held in the Hall of Honor at the Deutsche Museum in Munich. The
medal is awarded by the Diesel Board of Trustees to honor inventors and
their enterprising work. Among this year’s recipients of the coveted award
is Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, a pioneer in the field of radio
frequency technology and electroacoustics, and the founder of Sennheiser (www.sennheiserusa.com).
The Diesel Medal is presented not only to recognize the technical brilliance
of the recipients but also to mark their economic relevance. For Prof. Dr.
Fritz Sennheiser, the Diesel Medal is therefore a double award. “When I
founded the company in 1945, I was an engineer through and through. I
concentrated on development and gave lectures at the university,” he says. “As far as
commercial issues and company management were concerned, I had to teach
myself everything I know. Sometimes, I also had to learn from my own
The inventions produced by Sennheiser and his team revolutionized the field
of sound transmission. Their pioneering developments included the first
interference shotgun microphone for the film industry, the first
professional wireless microphones for television, reporters’ transmitters,
RF condenser microphones for outside broadcasts, the automatic answering
machine, the first baby monitor, infrared audio transmission technology and
the first open headphones.
In addition to Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, the Diesel Medal was also awarded
to Sybille Storz, Prof. Dr. h.c. Reinhold Würth, Prof. Dr. Anton Kathrein,
Jörgen S. Rasmussen, and Günther Kampichler. The ceremonial speech was made
by Dr. Thomas Goppel, Bavarian state minister for science, research, and art.
The Diesel Medal Trust and the Diesel Board of Trustees were established in
1952 by the son of the inventor of the diesel engine, Dr. Eugen Diesel. The
foundation led to the establishment in 1969 of the German Institute for
Inventions (Deutsche Institut für Erfindungswesen e.V.), within which the
Diesel Board of Trustees independently decides on awarding the Diesel Medal
for outstanding inventions.
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones, headphones, and
wireless transmission systems, the Sennheiser Group with its headquarters in
Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, had total sales of over €237 million in
2003. The export share is about 80 percent. Sennheiser has a total workforce of
approximately 1,600 employees, of whom 60 percent are employed in Germany.
Sennheiser is active worldwide and, in addition to other partnerships, has
its own sales subsidiaries in France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands,
China, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and the USA.
Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is the acknowledged
world leader in microphone technology, RF-wireless and infrared sound
transmission, headphone transducer technology, and most recently, in the
development of active noise-cancellation. Sennheiser Electronic Corporation
is the U.S. wholly-owned subsidiary, with headquarters in Old Lyme,