„Legends Award“ for Ernst Friedrich Ischebeck (posthumous)
8. November 2023
Every four years, the American Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) bestows its renowned “Legends Award” on three prominent figures who have demonstrated a professional approach, character and integrity and have had a permanent impact on the sector. Those figures are one engineer, one contractor and one manufacturer who are honoured for their outstanding achievements.
This year it was the turn of Ernst Friedrich Ischebeck to receive this esteemed award, albeit posthumously. His son Björn Ischebeck accepted the “Legends Award” on his father’s behalf in Seattle, USA, on 2 November 2023 within the scope of the DFI’s 48th annual conference. A very special privilege and at the same time very emotional moment. The whole family and the ISCHEBECK team are very proud of the fact that, even today, his life’s work is still acknowledged by this sector of industry.
Ernst Friedrich Ischebeck was born in Hamburg in 1940. After completing his studies in mechanical engineering, he joined FRIEDR. ISCHEBECK GmbH in 1964 as the fourth generation of the family that had founded the company in Ennepetal in 1881. Following the early death of his father, Ernst, together with his cousin Friedrich Döpp, took over the management of the company and was responsible for technical issues. The combination of unique product characteristics, the latest technology and lean production processes ensured that his innovations were successful, in some cases even disruptive.
In 1980 Ernst developed the first aluminium telescopic prop, which could carry five times the load of an equivalent steel prop. With the addition of bracing, this created a falsework system known in the construction industry as the TITAN Aluminium Megashore System, which still has countless devoted users.
The 1980s also saw Ernst invent the micropile made up of hollow bars which can transfer loads permanently to the subsoil and which can be used to stabilise structures. The product properties and advantageous installation of the TITAN hollow bar resulted in the product being widely accepted and having a lasting impact on the geotechnical systems market.
An American contemporary recently wrote the following lines about Ernst Friedrich Ischebeck: „Ernst was a humble giant in the Engineering world. His old-school boyish enthusiasm should serve as an example to all of us, engineers and non-engineers, that the probing, ever-inquisitive mind can achieve great things.“
Björn and Lars Ischebeck, two of his four children, joined the family business in 2004 and 2010 respectively and now head the company as reliable advisers and equal partners to our customers and business associates. The company is growing internationally and in the meantime has its own branches in 18 countries.
Ernst Friedrich Ischebeck recognised that it was important to analyse and understand the needs of customers in order to develop products that provide real solutions. His benevolence was an example to us all. It characterised him and has had a lasting impact on our corporate culture. For the current management as well, those values are a major goal for the future.