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.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.