Press Release 058/2017

2017 Annual Celebration of KIT: Success through Networking

Fascination of Science: Research for the Society’s Areas of Demand of Energy, Mobility, Information Based on a Wide Scope of Scientific Disciplines
Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT. (Photo: Laila Tkotz)
Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT. (Photo: Laila Tkotz)

Making supply networks ready for the energy transition, testing autonomous vehicles in real road traffic, developing security technologies for the digitized world: Big challenges of society like these cannot be mastered by individual scientific disciplines alone, but require research at their interfaces. Hence, successful networking of disciplines was in the focus of the 2017 Annual Celebration of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).


“KIT makes major contributions to the challenging tasks of our society in the profile-sharpening areas of energy, mobility, and information based on a wide scope of research disciplines. The solutions for pressing challenges of the future cannot be generated from a single scientific discipline alone, they are rather found at the interfaces,” the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka, said. “Networking on all levels, of scientists, between fundamental research and application, of research, academic education, and innovation is a characteristic feature of KIT. We as ‘The Research University in the Helmholtz Association’ attach particular value to networking and are proud of it.”


Successful networking is reflected by the results achieved by KIT in 2016. KIT coordinates ENSURE, one of four “Kopernikus projects for the energy transition” funded by the Federal Government, and participates in another two of these projects. KIT’s scientists also contribute decisively to the Test Center for Autonomous Driving established to test and develop vehicle systems in real road traffic. Another big issue is IT security at the KASTEL Competence Center for Applied Security Technology, one of three competence centers for cyber security in Germany.


“Now, KIT can make full use of its unique synergy potentials, not only in research, but also in academic education and innovation activities,” Holger Hanselka continued. As an example of research-oriented and close-to-practice education, he mentioned the first learning factory worldwide for production in global networks. KIT’s active innovation culture also is reflected by the excellent second place in the category of promotion of startups in the 2016 Gründungsradar ranking issued by the Stifterverband for promoting science and education.


“At the Research University in the Helmholtz Association, scientists have special interdisciplinary competencies to answer pressing questions in the areas of energy, information, and mobility,” Deputy Chairman of the KIT Supervisory Board, Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, said. “KIT is excellently positioned for further strengthening its leading role in Europe in the coming years.”


Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe, underlined: “We are proud of ‘our’ KIT and its excellent scientists. KIT has developed to a real heavyweight in the international research community. Cooperation between industry and science is rather close and a stroke of luck for the whole region. Both citizens and the city profit from the promising ideas of the many innovative minds working at KIT.”


Panel Discussion

The panel discussion presented by Markus Brock focused on what close networking on all levels, between disciplines, between fundamental research and application, of research, academic education, and innovation, and with partners at other institutions means and how it can be successful. Opportunities and challenges of networking were discussed by Markus Brock with Professor Corinna Hoose of the Troposphere Research Division of the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Professor Martin Wegener, Institute of Applied Physics and Institute of Nanotechnology, and Professor Jörn Müller-Quade, Institute of Theoretical Informatics – Cryptography and Security Group.


Success through networking was discussed by Markus Brock with Corinna Hoose, Jörn Müller-Quade, and Martin Wegener (from left to right; Photo: Laila Tkotz).


Department Teaching Awards

Academic education at KIT is aimed at qualifying young people by intensive scientific and research-based education and imparting interdisciplinary competencies. KIT’s Department Teaching Award acknowledges outstanding achievements of teachers, whose courses are characterized by innovative teaching formats, research- and application-oriented teaching modules, interdisciplinarity, and up-to-dateness of the knowledge conveyed. At KIT’s Annual Celebration, KIT Vice President for Higher Education and Academic Affairs, Professor Alexander Wanner, honored 22 lecturers. The award endowed with a prize money of EUR 10,000 each is granted annually to teachers working at the eleven KIT Departments.


22 lecturers were granted the Department Teaching Award by Vice President Alexander Wanner. (Photo: Laila Tkotz)


For video portraits of the award winners, click: (in German only).


Science Pitch

Content, clarity, charisma: These three “C’s” were required for success in the science pitch. Young scientists of KIT presented their scientific work to the audience within a period of three minutes each. The audience was then asked to vote using their smartphones: The winner of the Science Pitch was Dr. Leonard Henrichs of the Institute of Applied Geosciences. He spoke about reducing “sweating” of computers, as he works on processes to reduce energy consumption and heat release of computers and to accelerate their processing speed. 


Winner of the Science Pitch: The audience voted by an app. (Photo: Laila Tkotz)


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.

le, 05.05.2017


Monika Landgraf
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Phone: +49 721 608-41150
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