SCHOTT researcher receives Turner Award

Prof. Volker Rupertus honored for his many years of active involvement in the International Commission on Glass    The International Commission on Glass (ICG) has presented its prestigious Turner Award to SCHOTT researcher Prof.

Volker Rupertus. With this prize, the organization recognizes his many years of active support to the ICG’s Technical Committees and his expertise on the surface characteristics of glass. Building on this, Rupertus has done pioneering work on developing a quick test for monitoring the propensity of glass delamination occurring in pharmaceutical vials. His scientific work is one key element of SCHOTT’s recent innovation “SCHOTT Vials Delamination Controlled,” a pharmaceutical vial that significantly reduces the risk of delamination and helps to keep the drug stable over its shelf life.

Concern over the problem of delamination, the peeling off of flakes from the inner glass surface as a result of interaction with the drug, has risen in recent years following costly recalls. In turn, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is explicitly requiring that pharmaceutical companies manage their risks more closely.

Volker Rupertus was part of a team of SCHOTT scientists who examined the basic mechanisms of delamination behavior and consequently developed a production process for manufacturing glass vials with appropriate surface conditions. Based on this team research, Rupertus finalized a testing procedure for controlling the delamination propensity of glass vials during production. This so-called SCHOTT Delamination Quicktest allows for a threshold value to be defined for a vial’s tendency to delaminate for the first time ever.

The Quicktest and the threshold values were verified by the company’s analytics department, SCHOTT pharma services, by using a set of data and acceleration studies. A scientific paper about the Delamination Quicktest was published in the PDA Journal Pharm Sci and Tech 2014, 68 373-380.

About the Turner Prize and the Awardee

The award, which is named after ICG’s first President, Professor W.E.S. Turner, was officially presented to the SCHOTT Scientist at the Commission’s annual meeting held in Bangkok. Introduced in 2002, the prize rewards those who have made a noteworthy contribution to the ICG Technical Committees.

Volker Rupertus studied technical physics at the University of Kaiserslautern and earned his PhD in the field of glass surface science. In 1995, he started his career at SCHOTT’s central R&D department. As head of the analytical department, he worked with his group for more than a decade for several SCHOTT divisions in the field of process development & characterization. In 2010 he joined the BU Pharmaceutical Systems as Head of Global Quality. Today, Rupertus performs an advisory function as Senior Principle Expert for SCHOTTs Pharmaceutical Systems business unit. Since 2002, Rupertus has also been giving lectures in the field of materials analysis and was appointed Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Clausthal.

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