Press Release 081/2015

KIT Senate Confirms Election of Oliver Kraft as Vice President Research

Senate Follows Vote by the KIT Supervisory Board –Next Step to be the Appointment Procedure
Professor Oliver Kraft (Photo: private)

With an overwhelming majority of votes the KIT Senate today confirmed the unanimous decision by the Supervisory Board to elect Professor Oliver Kraft new Vice President Research of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Confirmation by the KIT Senate is a further procedural step. It will be followed by final negotiations of terms and conditions and by the appointment procedure; only when all this has been completed, the KIT will have a new Vice President Research. Kraft has been professor and member of the board chairing the Institute for Applied Materials of the KIT since 2002, and will succeed Vice President Professor Detlef Löhe, who will retire at the end of this year.


Oliver Kraft is an internationally renowned expert of materials science and materials technology, now a key discipline needed to solve a large number of scientific and societal problems. In 2013 Kraft, in addition to his activities at the KIT, was the first German to be appointed President of the world’s leading organization of materials research, the Materials Research Society. He has held this presidency since 2015; before he had been Vice President of the Society in 2014.


Supervisory Board Chair Professor Renate Schubert welcomed the vote of the KIT Senate: “The Supervisory Board unanimously expressed itself in favor of appointing Mr. Kraft future Vice President Research. I am happy that it has been possible to find in Mr. Kraft a Vice President from the KIT who is very familiar with the structures of both the national research and the university areas.”


“I am very happy that we have been able to win in Mr. Kraft an internationally experienced, renowned scientist. That Oliver Kraft is also very familiar with the KIT is a particularly happy coincidence – an excellent point of departure for this demanding job,” said KIT President Professor Holger Hanselka. “In the ‘KIT 2025’ strategy process we are currently engaged in establishing an even closer connectivity and strategic alignment of research at the KIT in order to secure an excellent position for future competition, such as the funding measures after expiry of the Excellence Initiative after 2017. Mr. Kraft is the right person to handle all these challenges. The new Vice President Research will succeed Detlef Löhe, our very successful Vice President Research for many years, whose work will make a lasting impression.”


“I have great respect for these duties, but above all it is my great pleasure and honor to be Vice President Research at the KIT. I am very grateful for the immense confidence shown by the KIT agencies,” says Professor Oliver Kraft. “I am also most indebted to my predecessor, who will be in office until the end of this year. He leaves a well-organized field of activity. More than ever, successful research is now living on the connectivity of specialized disciplines, which I would like to advance further at the KIT. Using my knowledge of national and international research communities, I will try with all my powers to see to it that the KIT will occupy a highly visible position in the worldwide canon of science institutions.”


The term of office of the Vice President Research is six years from the date of appointment. January 1, 2016 is envisaged as the start of activity.


Professor Dr. Oliver Kraft – Biography:

Oliver Kraft was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1964. He studied materials science and graduated in this discipline at the University of Stuttgart. He was a guest scientist at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of Stanford University, USA, and worked as a group leader in the field of “Mechanisms of Deformation in Thin Metal Layers and Small Volumes” at the Max Planck Institute of Metallurgy in Stuttgart. Since 2002 he has been Professor and Head of the current Institute of Applied Materials of the KIT. Kraft is the scientific co-author of more than 200 articles; between 2006 and 2011, he was the spokesman of a collaborative research center. Between 2006 and 2009, he was Chairman and Deputy Chairman, respectively, of the Scientific-technical Council of the former Karlsruhe Research Center. Since 2012 he has been Co-spokesperson of the “Science and Technology of Nanosystems” Helmholtz programme. In early 2012, he assumed the Robert Bosch Professorship for Nanostructured Functional Materials at the KIT. Since 2014, Kraft has also been President of the internationally renowned Materials Research Society.



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.

lg, 20.07.2015

Margarete Lehné
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