Press Release 19/2008

Horst Hippler Stays President of the Universität Karlsruhe

His Goal in the Next Years: To Further Promote the KIT
The old and new president of the Universität Karlsruhe: Prof. Horst Hippler

Hippler’s goal for the coming term of office is “the KIT’s competitiveness on the international level. In the medium term, we plan to be on the same level with the ETH Zurich. In the long term, we wish to be on equal terms with our namesake, the MIT in the USA. To be among the top in the world, we have to offer ourselves properly – our competitors e.g. at Singapore, Hong Kong, in Korea and Taiwan do not sleep.” Looking back on his eventful first term of office, Hippler mainly remembers the efforts taken to turn the initially very careful proposal for the Excellence Initiative into a courageous and novel concept of KIT within a rather short period of time. The fact that the merger of the Forschungszentrum and the Universität Karlsruhe will take place presumably until mid-2009 means “that we have convinced politics”, underlines president Hippler.

Prof. Dr. sc. tech. Horst Hippler, 62, has been working at the Universität Karlsruhe as a full professor of molecular physical chemistry since 1993. He is president of the TU9, the nine leading technical universities in Germany, deputy spokesman of the plenary meeting of the universities with the Association of Universities and other Higher Education Institutions in Germany, and member of the Council of the German-French University.

Following his physics diploma examination at Göttingen, he was awarded his Ph. D. at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (EPFL), Lausanne/Switzerland. Hippler worked at the IBM Research Laboratory in the USA and as a scientific assistant and partial project head of a collaborative research center at the University of Göttingen, where he qualified as a professor in 1988. In October 1993, he moved to the Faculty of Chemistry of the Universität Karlsruhe. From 1995 to 1999, Hippler was dean of the Faculty of Chemistry, from 2000 to 2002 vice president for research. He was co-initiator of the first DFG Center for Functional Nanostructures in Germany. Hippler is married and has a daughter.

Election procedure: According to the amended State University Act (LHG), the president of the Universität Karlsruhe was elected in a new procedure. The last election in 2002 was made by the senate. In accordance with the new legal provisions, the university council now elects the president. This election has to be confirmed by the senate. In autumn last year, the chairman of the university council established a selection committee. Following the public announcement of the position, the committee drew up a proposal for election. On March 17, Professor Hippler was elected by the university council in a ballot. On April 21, his election was confirmed by the senate. For election by the university council, the majority of the members having voting power is required. For confirmation by the senate, simple majority of the voting senate members is needed.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

lg, April 21, 2008


Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
Press Officer
Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721/608-2089
Fax: +49 721/608-3658

lg, April 21, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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