02/06/17

Technical University of Munich declares Carmen Würth honorary citizen

Künzelsau/Munich. The Technical University of Munich (TUM) declared Carmen Würth an honorary citizen yesterday. By awarding her with this rare honor, TUM commends Ms. Würth’s dedication as a patroness of people with mental and physical disabilities. Thanks to the entrepreneur’s support, the Markus Würth Endowed Professorship for Pediatric Neuro-Orthopedics and Cerebral Palsy was founded at TUM in 2012: Together with her team, Prof. Renée Lampe researches the impacts of brain injuries acquired in early childhood and new possibilities for treatment.

As he awarded her the honorary citizenship, TUM president Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann highlighted the numerous projects initiated by Carmen Würth to promote the integration of individuals with disabilities into society. The patroness and the Würth Foundation, founded by her and her entrepreneurial husband Prof. Reinhold Würth, support a wide array of initiatives, including: care facilities, inclusion projects and a music festival. “Ms. Würth’s attitude towards life and her commitment to others are exemplary,” said Herrmann during the award ceremony. “We feel honored that she established the Markus Würth Endowed Professorship for Pediatric Neuro-Orthopedics and Cerebral Palsy at TU Munich five years ago.”

The endowed professorship allows orthopedist Prof. Renée Lampe and her team to research the health development of children with cerebral palsy. Occasionally, these children suffer severe impairments when the brain is damaged during early childhood, possibly as a consequence of hypoxia during birth. This can result in movement disorders, speech impediments, behavioral disorders, learning disorders, and epilepsy.

New forms of therapy

Prof. Lampe not only researches the origin of these disorders but she and her team also develop innovative therapy concepts based on their findings. One such example is the world’s first standing wheelchair with biometric joints. The vertical position also has a positive impact on the muscle tone of patients who cannot stand by themselves and helps to prevent bedsores and hip injuries.

A second therapeutic project takes an entirely different approach: one possible form of therapy for those affected is piano. Playing the piano helps to develop the connections in the brain and improves the sensory-motor functions of the fingers. In order to make it easier for children with cerebral palsy to play the piano, Lampe – who is a pianist herself – and her colleagues have developed a special sensorimotor system. In 2015, Prof. Lampe and her team were presented with the TUM IdeAward for this innovative concept.

With more than 500 professors, roughly 10,000 employees and around 40,000 students, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of the foremost research universities in Europe. Its focus areas include engineering, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine combined with economics and social sciences. TUM functions as an entrepreneurial university, promoting talent and creating added value for society. As such, it benefits from strong partners in the fields of science and economics. The university is represented worldwide with a campus in Singapore and liaison offices in Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Nobel prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von Linde and Rudolf Mößbauer have conducted their research at TUM. It was distinguished as a University of Excellence in the years 2006 and 2012. In international rankings, it is frequently considered one of the best universities in Germany.