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Glass Industry News


, Glaston Oy

At the Glass Performance Days (GPD) event in 2017, the Jorma Vitkala Award of Merit was introduced to recognize outstanding individual contributions to the glass industry.

This award was presented to Jorma Vitkala himself as the first-ever recipient at GPD’s 25th Anniversary event. Every two years, this award will now be granted during each GPD opening ceremony to a new recipient who has been selected through an international nomination procedure.  

One of the highlights of the GPD opening ceremony, held last Wednesday June 26th in Tampere, was the announcement of the recipient for the 2019 JORMA VITKALA AWARD OF MERIT. 

Arto Metsänen, CEO & President of Glaston, and Jean-Paul Hautekeer, Global Marketing Director at Dow and chairman of the nomination committee, maintained the suspense for some minutes on the stage of the GPD conference, to explain why this award was created and its selection process before revealing the final top 10 candidates.  

With a great deal of emotion, James O’Callaghan, co-Founder and Senior Director at EOC, was asked onto the stage to receive the award, presented by Jorma Vitkala, who is chairing his last GPD Conference.     

“James’s impressive leadership and influence in Architectural Glass is undeniable since he and Brian Eckersley founded EOC in 2004, with a shared vision of a structural design practice that truly integrates engineering and architecture. While James is now a serial collector of awards in the engineering and architectural space, this recognition of the entire Global Glass Industry has a special meaning for him” said Jorma Vitkala. 

 “Continued innovative progress and bold new solutions will keep the applications of glass at the forefront for designers, industries and research institutions, and provide us with effective competitiveness in the choices of materials and solutions for building, automotive and interior decorating. This award is our special tribute to leading contributors in the development of the glass industry and James is a real personification of the GPD spirit.” added Arto Metsänen. 

“As well as the winner, the nominees who made it into the top 10 were also revealed. These leaders are seen as some of the key influencers of our glass industry by the press and the public in 2019 through this award nomination process” concluded Jean-Paul Hautekeer “Congratulations to all of them, they all should be proud of their achievements”.

James Carpenter                Carpenter Design Associates
Tim Macfarlane                   Glass ltd
Gérard Savineau                Consultant (Former Solutia)
Valerie L. Block                   Kuraray
Graham Dodd                     ARUP
Francis Serruys                  Saint-Gobain
Julia Schimmelpennigh       Eastman
Norbert Wruk                      NSG
Larry Carbary                     DOW

Last but not least, we would like to thank the international press and the sponsors that supported the award and contributed during the process. As always, GPD is all about collaboration so it is great that this award was also realized with the same mindset.

Our sincere thanks go to: 

Jorma Vitkala                  Glaston
Horst Mertes                   Fene Tech
Katy Devlin                     Glass Magazine
Maja Weller                    Evguard
Matthias Rehberger       Glasswelt
Katarina Rehar     
Robert Miklus                  Formator Ltd
Klaus Muehlhans            A+W Software
Werner Wagner               Sika
Reinhold Kober               GFF Magazine
Nick Beaumont               IGS Magazine
Luc Moyersons               Everlam
Christoph Troska            Kuraray
Wim Stevels                    Eastman
Patrick Flannery              Glass Canada
Marco Groothoff              Glas in Beeld
Bettina Heuter                 Glassglobal Group
Debra Levy            
Jean-Paul Hautekeer       Dow

As the planning for the next GPD 2021 conference starts, the same process will be applied for this award moving forward. 

, Glaston Oy

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