Named after the former director of the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Werner Köster, the award recognizes an outstanding paper in the "Zeitschrift für Metallkunde" that deals with a fundamental original work in the field of metallurgy.
The prize is awarded annually by the DGM together with the publisher for an article published in the previous year. The prize winners are selected by the editorial board of the "Zeitschrift für Metallkunde" (now International Journal of Materials Research - IJMR). The award is announced publicly on the occasion of a central DGM event of the corresponding year (e.g. DGM Day). The announcement of the awarded prize is also made in the central presentation media of the DGM.