Felix Wengenroth, of specialty chemicals company LANXESS, will receive the 'Förderpreis' from Verein für Gerberei-Chemie und -Technik (Association for Tannery Chemistry and Technology), in recognition of young scientists and engineers.

Wengenroth will be awarded in the field of tannery technology at a conference of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS) in Dresden, Germany, from 25-28 June 2019. He was Germany’s best graduate, scoring 95 out of 100 points in his final exam with the German Chambers of Commerce & Industry. 

At the end of 2017, Wengenroth completed three years of apprenticeship training in the Leather business unit at LANXESS to become a qualified leather manufacturer and tanning technologist. At the same time, he continued his studies in economics and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in February 2017. As a trainee at LANXESS, he is currently not only gaining technical experience but also applying his knowledge from his economics studies to the conditions of the leather markets in the various regions around the world.

Tanning is a highly specialised profession that requires knowledge of chemistry, machinery and also biology. In Germany, approximately 20 young people start an apprenticeship in this trade each year, which covers all stages of leather processing. This also includes handling measurement and analysis devices for the use of chemicals on various types of leather.

Dr. Thomas Brackemeyer, who is responsible for the global organic leather chemicals business in the Leather business unit at LANXESS, explained that, “the training is a modern technical profession, in which one deals with chemistry as well as with the machines and the characteristics of the animal skin. Leather is a particularly attractive, technically sophisticated and sustainable material. Today, the manufacturing is harmless in terms of toxicology and the environment. Extensive research provides support here, with our tanners playing a central role in this.”