Press Release 079/2015

15 Years of Education Training Courses in English for Engineers at the International Department of KIT

KIT Has Been Offering Close-to-industry Internationally Oriented Programs since 2000
In July, 80 graduates from the Schools of the International Department will celebrate their internationally recognized degrees. (Photo: International Department / KIT)

Demographic change is associated with the challenge for German industry to recruit qualified experts from abroad. In addition, fast development of technologies requires close cooperation between companies and universities. The education and training programs in English offered by the International Department of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) address the needs of industry. The International Department will celebrate its 15th anniversary on July 23, 16.00 hrs at the Audimax (Straße am Forum 1, KIT Campus South). Representatives of the media are cordially invited.


“Our universities may be at home in Baden-Württemberg, but they are active on the international level. In our globalized world, this is a matter of course and the right way to prepare today’s students and future specialists for the challenges of professional life,” Dr. Nils Schmid, Minister of Finance and Economics of Baden-Württemberg, says.


Curricula of the International Department are developed in close cooperation with industry that is also represented in the Supervisory Board. “The International Department is the interface between research, education, and industry. Students from all over the world are taught knowledge needed to position themselves on the global market and to be successful in industry, science, and the society. In particular, we would like to win the young talents for German industry after their studies in Karlsruhe,“ the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka, emphasizes.


Hartmut Weule, former professor of KIT’s Institute of Production Science (wbk) established the International Department to recruit excellent international students for the then University of Karlsruhe and to train them in worldwide acknowledged “German engineering” as well as to prepare German students for the international market. The programs of the non-profit limited liability company are offered in English and link professional education and training in engineering sciences with traineeships at industrial companies and language courses and workshops to train social skills. “In view of the then looming demographic change and the associated lack of skilled experts, there was no doubt that the institution had to have an international orientation. The International Department is a showcase model of KIT in international competition: With the establishment of a bachelor’s program in mechanical engineering in English, the then University of Karlsruhe was a pioneer of the internationalization of academic education,” Weule explains.


The Schools of KIT’s International Department

In 2000, the first bachelor students took up their studies at the Carl Benz School of Engineering (CBS). The mechanical engineering program in the English language focuses on production management, energy technology, railway systems technology, and vehicle technology. During traineeships and excursions, students obtain practical experience and establish first contacts. The service concept with additional offers, such as a mentoring program, and the combination of studies, practical experience, and the opportunity to live on the campus of the International Department, make the Carl Benz School unique worldwide.


With the generous support by SAP co-founder Hans-Werner Hector and his wife Josefine, the HECTOR School of Engineering & Management was established in 2005. The Technology Business School of KIT offers master’s programs for professionals having at least three years of professional experience parallel to the job. The participants acquire state-of-the-art expertise in engineering and management at KIT and can apply it at their companies. Currently, seven master’s programs are offered. The main topics are product development, energy systems and technology, production and logistics, and information and telecommunication technologies for service markets.


In the course of the Excellence Initiative, the Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics (KSOP) was a graduate school established in 2006. Meanwhile, it has become one of the leading education and research institutions for optical technologies worldwide. The master’s and doctoral programs in English convey technical and scientific knowledge on photonic materials and assemblies, advanced spectroscopy, biomedical photonics, optical systems, and solar energy. The mentors of KSOP support the doctoral students and provide advice on research topics, industry projects, and career plans. It is also possible to complement scientific contents by a “Master of Business Administration” (MBA Fundamentals Program). This ensures holistic education of the graduates. This is also reflected by the award-winning spin-offs of KIT “Nanoscribe” and “CYNORA” that have their roots in the KSOP.


The second graduate school, the Helmholtz International Research School for Teratronics (HIRST) was founded in 2012. It links physics with electrical engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering. Fields of application of the interdisciplinary approach are ultra-rapid data transmission, medical technology, sensor and security technology as well as energy technology. The School specialized in basic technologies of electronics, nanotechnology, photonics, and materials science. In cooperation with the HECTOR School, students can acquire business management knowledge. In 2013, HIRST was involved in the world record data transmission (100 gigabit per second over 20 meters at the laboratory).


The Science Academy of KIT’s International Department

The “Hector Fellow” science award is granted to outstanding scientists of German universities by Hans-Werner Hector and his foundation. In 2013, Hector established the Hector Fellow Academy to support the networking of the Hector Fellows. Here, they can exchange ideas beyond the borders of their disciplines and initiate research associations. Every year, up to ten young scientists are given the opportunity to present their research projects to the members of the Academy and to win them as supervisors for their doctoral theses. Currently, the total number of Hector Fellows is 20, six of whom work at KIT: Professor Doris Wedlich and Professor Peter Gumbsch, Manfred Kappes, Franz Nestmann, Hilbert von Löhneysen, and Martin Wegener.


Further information on the International Department of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology can be found at


The program of the celebration (in English)


July 23, 2015, Audimax (Straße am Forum 1, Campus South of KIT)


16.00 hrs History of the International Department


16.05 hrs Welcome address
Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT


16.10 hrs Welcome address
Dr. Nils Schmid, Minister of Finance and Economics of Baden-Württemberg


16.15 hrs Welcome address
Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe


16.20 hrs Retrospect
Professor Hartmut Weule, Founder of the International Department


16.35 hrs Presentation “Quality & Qualification: What changes the game and shapes success in a global production network”
Markus Schäfer, Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG


17.05 hrs Certificate ceremony
Professor Alexander Wanner, KIT Vice President for Higher Education and Academic Affairs


17.45 hrs Concluding remarks
Dr. Judith Elsner, Managing Director of the International Department

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 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 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.

wer, 17.07.2015

Margarete Lehné
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