Wolfgang Schollnberger Master Thesis Prize

Wolfgang Schollnberger Master Thesis Prize has been awarded to the best master theses from the challenging year 2020 at the Department of Geology.

The newly introduced Wolfgang Schollnberger Master Thesis Prize was donated for the best Master theses that were successfully defended during the year 2020, which was characterized by distance learning and online exams.
The department is honoured to receive a generous financial gift from Wolfgang Schollnberger*, Alumnus of the University of Vienna.
The external jury of the Prize, Sylke Hilberg, Hans-Georg Krenmayr and Gabor Tari, reviewed the nominated Master theses according to scientific content, quality and originality and came to the following conclusion:


The first place, a scholarship of 500 Euro, was awarded to Luzia Clara Thaler for her thesis on pulverized fault rocks „Pulverisierte Gesteine an der Mur-Mürz Störung“, supervised by Kurt Decker.

Statements of the jury were as follows:

„...most detailed and solid thesis..., ...novel elements..., ...smart presentation...“

„...eindrucksvolle Arbeit..., ...extrem umfangreiche Literaturstudie..., ...erste Arbeit, die in derartigem geologischem Umfeld die Genese von pulverisierten Gesteinen untersucht..., ...weitreichende und dabei gut nachvollziehbare Interpretation..., ...akribisch dokumentiert..., ...zeugt von einer besonderen Beobachtungsgabe und analytisch-interpretativem Scharfsinn...“

Pulverisierte Gesteine_Semmeringtunnel

© L. Thaler


The second place and a book prize, was awarded to Eva-Florina Kaminsky for her Master thesis on „Characterisation of the water flow regime in the upper vadose zone, Furtowischacht (Hochschwab, Austria)“, supervised by Bernhard Grasemann.

Significant statements of the jury:

„...strong case-study on (epi-)karst and water supply issues...“

„...sehr ambitioniert..., ...eindrucksvolle Feldarbeit in exponierter Lage..., ...Interpretation der Daten beeindruckend...,  ...beeindruckende Monographie..., ...beachtliche Methodenvielfalt..., ...wissenschaftlich fundierte Beurteilung der extremen Vulnerabilität dieses Karstwassersystems...“

© E. Kaminsky


The third place and a book prize, was awarded to Clemens Schmalfuß for his Master thesis on a synthesis of karst springs of Lower Austria „Die Karstquellen Niederösterreichs – Eine Synthese“, supervised by Lukas Plan.

Statements of the jury:

„...very useful overview...“

„...sehr umfangreiche Darstellung der wichtigsten untersuchten Quellen..., ...sehr schöne und solide Arbeit...,  ...Nachschlagewerk..., ...wichtige Grundlage und Übersicht für eine wissenschaftlich fundierte Beantwortung gesellschaftsrelevanter Fragestellungen...“

© C. Schmalfuß


The prize was given out to the awardees in the summer semester according to Covid19-rules.

Award Ceremony Luzia Thaler

Award Ceremony - Michael Wagreich and Luzia Thaler (© K. Decker)

Award Ceremony Eva-Florina Kaminsky

Award Ceremony - Michael Wagreich and Eva-Florina Kaminsky (© K. Decker)

Award Ceremony Clemens Schmalfuß

Award Ceremony - Clemens Schmalfuß and Michael Wagreich (© L. Plan)


*Dr. Wolfgang Schollnberger is an international energy advisor and Alumnus of the "Institut für Geologie der Universität Wien".
He has had an illustrious, 37-year long career in the global petroleum industry, having been in leading positions at Shell, Amoco and BP.
He has published daring forecasts of the energy mix of the future, recognizing that the transition to renewable energy forms presents a great challenge to societies around the world, but is inevitable.
He has constantly supported Geological Sciences in Austria in various ways, lectured at several Austrian University including an Honorary Professorship at Leoben University, and he is a Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Austria.

Dr. Wolfgang Schollnberger

Wolfgang Schollnberger (left) at the award ceremony for Honorary Membership of the Geological Society of Austria and the President of the Society, Peter Krois

© Geological Society of Austria