Martin Herrenknecht becomes the first European to receive the "Moles Award" in the USA

Feb 18, 2009

The renowned association of the US heavy construction industry, "The Moles", has presented the Schwanau entrepreneur Dr. Martin Herrenknecht with the "Moles Award 2009". This makes Martin Herrenknecht the first European and non-US citizen to be honored with this prize. "The Moles" award is highly regarded in the heavy construction industry in the US.

Dr. Martin Herrenknecht was presented with the “Moles Award 2009” in New York on January 28, 2009, in the presence of some 2,000 decision-makers and representatives of the US heavy construction industry, as well as the Governor of New Jersey, Jon S. Corzine. Martin Herrenknecht is the first person living in Europe to receive this award in the more than 70-year history of the Moles Association. In addition, the Schwanau entrepreneur was awarded honorary Moles membership. The Moles Association ( is the most important association of decision-makers and representatives of the US heavy construction industry on the country’s east coast. The former US President Herbert C. Hoover is also among those who have been honored with the Moles Award in the past.

During the ceremony at the New York Hilton hotel, the presenter of the Moles Award Committee, James M. Marquardt said in his speech that the entrepreneur Martin Herrenknecht embodies precisely what Americans highly respect. "Martin Herrenknecht appreciates fair competition, approaches extremely difficult projects with courage and stays on them with perseverance and patience until they reach a successful end. The laudator went on to say Martin Herrenknecht was receiving this award for his extraordinary service to the heavy construction industry, and in particular for his efforts in the development and innovation of mechanized tunnelling technology and for the establishment and development of a world-renowned mechanical engineering enterprise.

Before the large audience of 2,000 in the ballroom of the New York Hilton hotel, Martin Herrenknecht thanked the President of the Moles Association, Albert M. Brand, and the Chairman of the Award Committee, Stephen J. Barlow, for this important distinction. He expressed his gratitude, in particular, for the great confidence he was entrusted with as a pioneer from Europe. "Tunnels are key buildings for modern civilization. Investment in these infrastructures increases the 'real' value of cities and economies," said Martin Herrenknecht to Jon S. Corzine, Governor of New Jersey, who had explicitly pointed out in his opening speech that investment projects in infrastructure in the USA are now more urgent than ever, and that the new government is determined to initiate them as soon as possible.

In his speech of thanks, Martin Herrenknecht told the audience that the real honor as he saw it was the fact that companies specializing in the construction of traffic, disposal and supply tunnels choose to rely on Herrenknecht technology and its engineers. He mentioned the large number of very demanding projects which have been successfully completed and turned over to the customer, including the Californian Arrowhead Tunnel water supply project, the extension of the Los Angeles subway and major sewage projects in Portland, Atlanta and Seattle. The first of two Double Shield machines (Ø 6.81m) for the extension of Subway Line 7 in Manhattan is currently being assembled at the construction site. Working parallel to its sister machine, the tunnel boring machine (TBM) will extend Subway Line 7 by almost three kilometers along the Hudson River banks. Another TBM delivered by Herrenknecht will extend the subway beneath Second Avenue in New York.

In his speech of thanks, Martin Herrenknecht pointed out that, in addition to the fruitful cooperation with American construction companies, his companions over many years in his own company, i.e. his colleagues in the Board of Management Gebhard Lehmann, Werner Suhm and Kurt Stiefel, are very important to him. "Without them and our committed employees – now numbering more than 3,000 worldwide – Herrenknecht's success would not be possible.” He thanked the American branch manager, Jack Brockway, who has contributed significantly to Herrenknecht’s success in the US market, as well as for establishing the staff team in Seattle, Washington, during the last ten years. Dr. Herrenknecht went on to say the North and South American markets are among the most important future markets for the company, which is why Herrenknecht will strengthen its investment in new plant capacities and employees in the coming years.

Herrenknecht AG
Schlehenweg 2
77963 Schwanau
PH.: +49 (0)7824 302-540
FAX: +49 (0)7824 302-473

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