Simone Purbs One of Germany's Top 25 Women Engineers
Award for Director of Schaeffler's Railway Sector Management
"I'm very happy and feel highly honored - also, and primarily, because the other 24 women are very interesting colleagues who hold impressive positions," Simone Purbs commented on her accolade. Only last week, Simone Purbs had opened the 12th Engineering Discovery Days, organized in cooperation between Schaeffler and Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences. This event offers over 400 female students the opportunity to find out about the world of engineering during the fall vacation break, via a combination of theoretical and practical training. "I myself concluded vocational training as a mechanic prior to my university studies, learning skills such as welding, turning and so on. And I enjoyed this very much. I can only encourage all girls and young women to be ambitious and face the challenge of learning a technical profession. Why shouldn't they be just as proficient as their male schoolmates?" Simone Purbs asks.
For Schaeffler this award is also a reason to be proud. "For many years now, we have consistently been working towards winning over more girls and women for technical and scientific vocational training or corresponding courses of study. With Ms. Purbs we have a successful role model for young women to follow and this could encourage them to decide in favor of such a profession," said Klaus Widmaier, Executive Vice President Human Resources of Schaeffler Group Indus-trial.
As Director of Schaeffler's Railway Sector Management, Simone Purbs is responsi-ble for all activities in the field of rail vehicle technology worldwide - from applica-tions in streetcars and subways to high-speed trains reaching speeds of up to 400 kilometers per hour. Simultaneously whilst undergoing her university entrance quali-fication, she concluded vocational training as a mechanic and then took up studies of Mechanical Engineering at Magdeburg Technical University, with a focus on Tri-bology and Design. After her studies and the birth of her son, Simone Purbs started her professional career at the FAG sales office in Berlin back in 1990. Since 2004 she has been working for Schaeffler in Schweinfurt.
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 2011, the German Association of Women Engineers appealed for nominations of female engineers to be submitted for the election of the 25 most influential female engineers in Germany. Numerous compa-nies, universities, associations, networks and private persons answered this appeal. Women with a university degree or a PhD in engineering holding German citizenship or having a job based in Germany were considered for the top 25 selection. The decisive factor was the position currently held by the nominee.
Sylvia Kegel, Member of the Board of the German Association of Women Engineers, explains the underlying goals of the campaign: "With this initiative, the German Association of Women Engineers wants to improve the level of awareness of existing role models - especially among girls and young women. The list shows just how versatile the areas of work for engineers are." And jury member Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth, former Bundestag President, adds: "Such prizes single out these women and demonstrate that a lot has changed in the meantime. Only 10 years ago the image was clearly different."
The Industrial Division of the Schaeffler Group supplies rolling bearing and plain bearing solutions, and linear and direct drive technology under the INA and FAG brands for around 60 different industrial sectors via its worldwide organization with market proximity and application support service. The range comprises more than 225,000 products from miniature bearings only a few millimeters wide, e.g. for dental drills, to large size bearings with an outside diameter of many meters, e.g. for wind turbines.
With around 70,000 employees at more than 180 locations worldwide, the Schaeffler Group ranks amongst the world's leading manufacturers of rolling bearings and sup-pliers to the automotive industry. The Group generated sales of approximately 9.5 billion euros in 2010.