Press Release 132/2014

Joachim Milberg Is Awarded Heinrich Hertz Guest Professorship

The Chairman of the BMW Supervisory Board Will Give Public Lectures at KIT on Oct. 21 and 22
Professor Joachim Milberg, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BMW AG, is Heinrich Hertz Guest Professor 2014. (Photo: BMW)

The 2014 Heinrich Hertz Guest Professorship is awarded to Professor Joachim Milberg by the Karlsruhe University Society (KUG) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In two public lectures, the Chairman of the BMW Supervisory Board and former full Professor for Machine Tools and Operation Sciences of TU Munich, will speak about “Sustainable growth by innovations” and “Individual mobility” on October 21 and 22, 18 hrs, at the Tulla-Hörsaal on KIT Campus South (building 11.40, Englerstraße 11). In addition, Milberg will hold a seminar for KIT students.


Before Milberg’s first lecture as Heinrich Hertz Guest Professor on October 21, 2014, KIT President Holger Hanselka will make the opening speech. In his following lecture entitled “Sustainable growth by innovations – how Germany will remain a stronghold of industry in the future”, Joachim Milberg will emphasize the importance of innovations to sustainable prosperity. According to him, a strong and competitive industrial basis of high technological performance is required for this purpose. At the same time, more investments in research and education are needed to establish good framework conditions and, at the same time, to support the acceptance of and motivation for viable innovations in German society.


After the lecture, the awards ceremony will take place.


On October 22, the Heinrich Hertz Guest Professor will speak about “Individual mobility – a challenge for industry and science as well as for the society and politics.” Among others, the following questions will be dealt with: Will paradigms change in individual mobility in the future or are they already changing at the moment? Who or what are the drivers? Which role do alternative drive concepts, such as electric mobility, play and which are the challenges we face?


The Heinrich Hertz Guest Professorship is awarded every academic year to outstanding personalities in science, industry, culture, and politics for their services and contributions to research and the society by the Karlsruhe University Society (KUG) and KIT. The KUG donated the guest professorship in 1987 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of electromagnetic waves by the physicist Heinrich Hertz at Universität Karlsruhe.


About the Person
Joachim Milberg, born 1943 in Verl (Westphalia), completed a training as a mechanic. He studied production engineering at the State Engineering School of Bielefeld and at the Technical University of Berlin. Then, he worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Machine Tools and Production Engineering of TU Berlin and was awarded his doctorate in 1971 for his thesis “Analytical and experimental studies relating to the stability limit in turning.” In 1972, Milberg started to work as an executive employee with the machine tool factory Gildemeister AG, Bielefeld. In 1978, he became Head of the “Automatic Lathe” Division. From 1981 to 1993, he was a full professor for machine tools and business administration at Technische Universität München. From 1991 to 1993, he was Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.


During his work with the university, Joachim Milberg developed the essential basis for further development of computer-integrated construction and production and, hence, contributed essentially to increasing the competitiveness of German industry. In 1993, Milberg started to work with BMW AG, Munich. From 1993 to 1999, he was Member of the Board of Management and from 1999 to 2002, Chief Executive Officer. Since 2002, he has been Member of the Supervisory Board and since 2004, its Chairman. Milberg succeeded in bringing the productivity and quality at the BMW factories to the highest level. This success as well as the successful solution of the Rover problem and the reorganization of BMW made him gain high recognition in the industry sector. From 2002 to 2009, Joachim Milberg was the Founding President of the acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering. He was awarded several prizes and honors.



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 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 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.

or, 15.10.2014


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