From July 01, 2012, KIT President Eberhard Umbach will preside CLUSTER, the consortium of twelve leading technical universities in Europe. At a meeting in Karlsruhe, the steering committee consisting of representatives of the university managements elected the physicist as their new president for the next two years. KIT Professor Jürgen Becker was appointed Secretary General of the CLUSTER consortium.
As CLUSTER president, Umbach succeeds António Cruz Serra, President of the Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal’s leading university for engineering. “In my term of office, I would like to enhance and continue successfully the cooperation between the twelve member universities and their international partners,” says Umbach. “To master today’s challenges in engineering and technology, extensive cooperation with industry is urgently required.” For this reason, promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship will be in the center of the CLUSTER activities. It is planned to establish new joint study programs for the training of qualified experts that are in great demand in Europe.
CLUSTER (Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research) celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2011 and comprises twelve universities with 3,000 professors, 11,000 scientists, 14,000 Ph.D. students, and more than 140,000 students. It is the objective of the consortium to enhance academic and scientific exchange among the members, to actively foster progress in research, education, and innovation, and to further improve the training of engineers in order to meet constantly growing technical and scientific requirements. CLUSTER also is a platform for strategic international and interdisciplinary cooperation. CLUSTER above all focuses on the mobility and exchange of students, Ph.D. students, university teachers, scientists as well as administrative and technical staff.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a public corporation pursuing the tasks of a state university of Baden-Wuerttemberg and of a national research center of the Helmholtz Association. The KIT mission combines the three strategic lines of activity of research, higher education, and innovation. With about 9,400 employees and 24,500 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe.