oktober 2005

American engineering associations honour the invention of the Rudderpropeller

Posthumous “Elmer A. Sperry Award” for SCHOTTEL founder Josef Becker from Spay


Spay/Houston. The winner of the 2004 Elmer A. Sperry Award, presented by six US engineering associations, is the founder of the Spay/Rhine-based SCHOTTEL Group, Josef Becker, who died in 1973. This posthumous award is a fitting tribute to his pioneering achievement in the field of marine propulsion systems. The Award has been presented since 1955 “in recognition of a distinguished engineering contribution which, through application, proved in actual service, has advanced the art of transportation whether by land, sea or air”.


The history of the “Elmer A. Sperry Award” spans half a century, but this is only the third time it has gone to Germany: 1958 to Ferdinand Porsche and Heinz Nordhoff for the Volkswagen, 1993 to Robert Bosch GmbH for the ABS system, 2004 to Josef Becker for the invention, construction and worldwide marketing of the SCHOTTEL Rudderpropeller. At a special ceremony of the “Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers” in Houston, Texas, on 20 October 2005, the award was handed over to the chairman of the company, Dipl.-Kfm. Dietrich W. Bork, in the presence of the founder’s daughters, Margit Fohr and Inge Ratzke.

Today, it is impossible to imagine the shipping world without the reliable and economical SCHOTTEL Rudderpropeller that Josef Becker developed around 1950. This propulsion system remains the centrepiece of the SCHOTTEL product range. Over the years, additional application-oriented systems have been developed around the SRP. Maximum manoeuvrability, optimum efficiency, reliable and economical operation, space-saving installation and easy maintenance – these are the main driving factors behind the improvement of existing SCHOTTEL propulsion systems and the development of new ones, and they will continue to be the guiding force behind the company’s research and development work in the future. These are the same goals that Josef Becker strove for and achieved over 50 years ago.