The IFOY Trophy
Designed by the Fraunhofer IML



The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dortmund is without doubt the premier name in logistics research. The logistics campus, the Fraunhofer labs or the endowment chairs further underpin this reputation, and it's no secret that this is the place where "efficiency leaders" regularly come and go.

The IFOY Trophy - an interdisciplinary creation

  • Anita Würmser (IFOY Jury) and Georgios Katsimitsoulias (Fraunhofer IML)
  • Design kick-off
  • The IFOY Award logo
  • Object designer Clemens Müller and Head of the Fraunhofer IML, Professor Michael ten Hompel
  • The IFOY Award protoype
  • A glass plate in the IFOY colour reflects the networked structures of the IFOY symbol
  • IFOY trophy version for national award ceremonies

When it comes to design, however, the IML isn't necessarily the first place that springs to mind. And yet it was the Fraunhofer logistics researchers who thought up the IFOY Trophy. An interdisciplinary team of creative thinkers, technicians, logistics researchers and media experts took up the challenge and designed and made the IFOY trophy for the award winners in-house in IML's own workshop. This is where four employees and three apprentices normally produce components for research or for clients in industry; things like grabbers for robots or parts for warehouse trucks, and the researchers naturally keep on fine-tuning their designs until they create an innovation. What better place to create a trophy that recognises innovations.

In developing the idea for the trophy, Prof. Dr. Michael ten Hompel, Executive Director of the Institute, Georgios Katsimitsoulias, Engineer for Visual Communication at the IML, Clemens Müller, the technician and object designer in the creative team, and IFOY Jury Chairperson Anita Würmser attached equal importance to artistic and technological aspects. The winners' trophy was to be solid yet lightweight, both transparent and compact, dignified and technically sophisticated. The best of the best should be able to enjoy an award that does justice to their achievements in every respect while underlining the values associated with the IFOY Award: strength, innovation, networking


The symbolism of the IFOY Trophy

The parameters of this challenge took shape in an impressive trophy that visibly mirrors the "IFOY AWARD" logo. A three-centimetre thick aluminium plate in the background cut exactly in the IFOY network structure symbolises coordinated strength. An identical aluminium plate just three millimetres thick in the foreground stands for innovation. A glass plate in the IFOY colour that reflects the networked structures of the IFOY symbol in countless shades depending on the play of light simultaneously separates and combines the filigree and solid elements of the award trophy. It stands for creativity and networking, symbolising the endless opportunities for options for the creation of innovations. 

The highlight and the feature that symbolises the innovative technological quality of the IFOY Award is the production technique chosen for the trophy, which is made using a water-cutting machine that cuts the shape and network structure from solid aluminium blocks under high pressure with millimetre precision. The water jet of the machine fills an entire room, reaches a pressure of 2,500 to 3,000 bar and cuts through metal parts several meters thick like butter. The cutting action itself is performed by the abrasive sand which is added to the high-pressure water jet.

The IFOY Trophy

Dimensions: 31.5 x 18.5 x 5.6 cm (incl. base) 
Weight: 2,530 g
Materials: aluminium, anodised
Production technique: water-cutting machine (3,000 bar)
Lettering: laser engraving