With the president of the Federal Germany in attendance, Professor Leibinger received the award “in honor of his contributions to the innovative development and successful entrepreneurial implementation of the technologies for flexible sheet metal processing and industrial laser technology,” said Professor Ernst O. Göbel, president of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and chairman of the Foundation Committee.
Leibinger introduced laser technology in materials processing at the end of the 1970s, creating an advance in technology that resulted in a significant leap forward the industry.
Leibinger was a student intern at Trumpf when he wrote a diploma thesis that led to three groundbreaking patents. After a 2-year stay in the United States, which at that time dominated the machine tool industry, Leibinger became manager of the engineering division at Trumpf in 1961. His inventions allowed the company to advance and Leibinger rose to a high level in the organization. He was awarded company shares for his patents and chairman of the managing board in 1978.
Today, Trumpf belongs to Leibinger's family and he serves as chairman of its supervisory board. During his years with the company, from 1961 to 2006, Trumpf’s sales boosted from approximately 5 million euros to 1.65 billion euros (from approx. U.S. $6.6 million to $2.17 billion). Employees increased from 300 to 7,000 worldwide. The company is a global leader in industrial laser technology.