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Innovation award for EV and hydrogen pioneer Professor Wan Gang

  • Accolade for a developer, defender, and champion of alternative drive technologies
  • Wan Gang: “I learned how to innovate at Clausthal University of Technology”
  • Nicolaus August Otto Award recognizes foresight and spirit of invention

Cologne, June 27, 2023 – Today, DEUTZ presented Professor Wan Gang with the Nicolaus August Otto Award. The professor, who has a PhD in engineering, formerly headed up the New Energy Automobile Engineering Center and later became Minister for Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China. He was given the award in recognition of his research and other pioneering work, including at Clausthal University of Technology and at Audi. The Nicolaus August Otto Award recognizes visionaries and promotes innovative ideas in the fields of classic and alternative drive technology. The innovation prize is named for the inventor of the four-stroke engine and founder of the company that would later become DEUTZ AG.

This year was the third time that DEUTZ held its award ceremony at the #neuland congress in Aachen. The event provides a forum for discussion and highlights paths toward an economically and environmentally sustainable future. The commendation speech for the award winner was given by Professor Günther Schuh, scientist, and entrepreneur, who has been working on issues of innovation and technology management for more than 30 years.

Professor Wan Gang is held in high regard in academic, business, and political circles around the world for his pioneering work on electric vehicles and hydrogen technology. He studied experimental mechanics at Tongji University in Shanghai and vehicle drive systems at Clausthal University of Technology in Germany, where he obtained his PhD. After a decade at Audi, during which he held senior roles in research and development, the professor returned to China. Back in his homeland, he was pivotal in establishing the New Energy Automobile Engineering Center at Tongji University, and in doing so laid the foundations for his career in politics.

“It all began with a vision: to make China a leader in electromobility,” said Dr. Sebastian C. Schulte, CEO of DEUTZ AG. “Professor Wan Gang brought this vision to reality thanks to his foresight and engineering prowess. Back in 2010, at the Expo in Shanghai, he showed that electric cars could be reliable and so made the world really start to believe in alternative drives. Like our company founder Nicolaus August Otto, Professor Wan Gang was far ahead of his time.”

Professor Wan Gang: “It was at Clausthal University of Technology that I learned the methods and skills that I now use to produce innovations. I am both honored and delighted to be presented with the Nicolaus August Otto Award. The inventor of the four-stroke engine remains an inspiration around the world for research in the field of new and classic drive technologies.”

DEUTZ embodies sustainable engines, intelligent maintenance, and innovative solutions. The Company is developing drive technologies for the post-fossil age and is continually expanding its range of low- and zero-emission drives with its customers in mind. DEUTZ is looking to go into volume production with its TCG 7.8 H2 hydrogen engine as early as 2024 and to be fully climate-neutral by no later than 2050.

DEUTZ presents the Nicolaus August Otto Award, which is endowed with prize money of €30,000, on an annual basis. Further information on the Nicolaus August Otto Award can be found at

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Caption: EV and hydrogen drive pioneer Professor Wan Gang, winner of DEUTZ’s Nicolaus August Otto Award

Credit: China Association for Science and Technology


Caption: Dr. Sebastian C. Schulte presented the Nicolaus August Otto Award to Envoy-Counselor Chen Linhao of the People’s Republic of China, who accepted the award on behalf of Professor Wan Gang.

Credit: DEUTZ AG