On 13 October 2022, Federal President Steinmeier awarded Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus J. Zink the Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his extraordinary commitment to labour research and the improvement of working conditions at national and international level.
For more than five decades, Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus J. Zink has dedicated his academic teaching, research and publication activities as well as his personal commitment to labour research and the improvement of working conditions at national and international level.
In 1979, he held a substitute chair for business administration and labour science at the University of Kaiserslautern and from 1979 to 1980 a professorship at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. From 1980 to 2012 he held the Chair of Industrial Management and Labour Science at the Department of Economics at the TU Kaiserslautern, then a Senior Research Professor of Industrial Management and Human Factors until March 2020. In 1995, he initiated the founding of the Institute for Technology and Work (ITA) e.V. as a non-university research institution with recognition as an affiliated institute of the TU Kaiserslautern and was its scientific director until 2020. Today he acts as an advisor to the scientific steering committee of the ITA.
Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus J. Zink was a member of the executive committee of the German-speaking Society for Labour Studies (GfA) for seven years, including two years (1998-2000) as its president. During this time, under his leadership and with representative representatives of the GfA, a new GfA mission statement and a memorandum on the future of labour research were developed. Internationally, Zink represented the GfA in the Council of the IEA for many years. The International Ergonomics Association (IEA) is the umbrella organisation of national ergonomics societies with about 50 member organisations worldwide. Its aim is to promote occupational science in theory and practice in order to contribute to improving the quality of (working) life. From 2000-2003 he was a member of the IEA Governing Board, where he advanced the issues of "Policy and Strategy". From 2009-2012, he was again a member of the Governing Board as Vice President, during which time he facilitated two lighthouse projects in developing countries: improving working conditions in coffee harvesting in Nicaragua and improving working conditions for women in Indian agriculture through the use of simple technologies. Together with the then President, Andy Imada (USA), he initiated an international working group on the "Future of Labour Science". In 2018, Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus J. Zink chaired the international jury for the IEA Liberty Mutual Award, which annually honours outstanding research work in the field of "Occupational Health and Safety".
His services to labour research have already been recognised many times nationally and internationally. In 2000, he was appointed a Fellow of the IEA. In 2006, he was named a Distinguished International Colleague by the US Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. In 2009 he received the very rarely awarded IEA Development Award and in 2018 the IEA President's Award 2018. Finally, in 2019 he was honoured with honorary membership in the Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft (Society for Occupational Science) for his "outstanding achievements in occupational science and services within the GfA".
Mit der Verleihung des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland durch den Herrn Bundespräsident Steinmeier finden das langjährige und bis heute andauernde wissenschaftliche und persönliche Engagement von Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Zink die höchste Anerkennung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In der Begründung wird hervorgehoben, dass durch ihn “unverzichtbare Impulse für die zukünftige Gestaltung humaner und nachhaltiger Arbeit” gesetzt worden sind, indem er sich über viele Jahre mit seiner Expertise für Inklusion, soziale Teilhabe und humane Arbeitsbedingungen engagiert und dabei stets einen Schwerpunkt auf Nachhaltigkeit gelegt habe.
ITA congratulates Prof. Dr. habil. Klaus J. Zink on this high and honourable distinction and is very proud of the recognition of the merits of its institute founder.
Further information www.ita-kl.de