Professor emeritus awarded honor from the University of Freiburg, Germany

Erin Cassidy Hendrick and Nathan Rufo
November 05, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Martin Trethewey, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and acoustics at Penn State, has been awarded the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg - University Medal for his efforts in forging a global collaboration between the two universities.

Trethewey played an integral part in the foundation of the bond between Penn State and the University of Freiburg in Germany. Last year, the institutions formed a strategic partnership centered around the development of materials that can autonomously adapt to changes in the environment, are robust and resilient so that they can survive even adverse conditions, harvest their energy from the environment and consist of sustainable components.

The Convergence Center for Living Multifunctional Material Systems (LiMC2), led by Zoubeida Ounaies, professor of mechanical engineering, was established to spearhead these research efforts. The center fosters collaborative projects and sponsors seed grants and research exchange programs. According to Karen Thole, mechanical engineering department head and distinguished professor, the establishment of this center — as well as the Freiburg counterpart, Living Materials (livMatS), led by Professor Jürgen Rühe — owes much to Trethewey.

“The naming of Dr. Trethewey as the recipient of the Freiburg University Medal for his outstanding efforts in developing our collaborations is a true testament of his successful ambassadorship,” Thole said.

At the end of his career at Penn State, Trethewey served as the director for Penn State’s Global Engagement Network, a collection of global strategic partners who are dedicated to making lasting impact on important global issues. Trethewey was also instrumental in forging the University’s partnerships with Monash University in Australia, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI) in Peru, according to Thole.

“Marty has been a wonderful ambassador for Penn State. In working with partners, he didn’t just convey our vision, he also established practical mechanisms for moving forward,” said Rob Crane, associate vice provost for global programs at Penn State. “His work built trust and laid the groundwork for the success of the Freiburg partnership and many more partnerships around the world.”

The Freiburg University Medal was bestowed upon Trethewey by outgoing Rector Hans-Jochen Schiewer, who said, “In [Marty] we have found a truly committed friend and colleague and we appreciate all [he has] done for the University of Freiburg.”

“I am humbled to receive the University Medal from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg for my contributions,” Trethewey said. “I am honored to share this recognition with many colleagues at Penn State and the University of Freiburg who have contributed their talents to advancing this partnership. The partnership has flourished due to the effort of committed teams from both universities, and they have created a rich international collaborative environment with a bright future.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 06, 2020