It is my declared goal to lead TU Darmstadt into the future as an autonomous and yet connected university with a strong profile.
Internally, this means continuing to expand interdisciplinary research and teaching. Externally, I want to strengthen the joint alliance of the Rhine-Main universities (RMU) in the region with the Universities of Mainz and Frankfurt and promote further cooperation with business, including through strategic partnerships. We can only systematically deepen relationships, however, if we as TU Darmstadt retain our strong roots as the first German autonomous university. Roots which enable – but also require – us to make decisions about our structure and way of working both independently and responsibly at all times.
This connected autonomy fits with the academic and digital city of Darmstadt, as well as with collaborations involving science policy on a regional, federal German, European and international level. With strong roots and excellent connections, we are able to work on important themes affecting the future of society. With strong disciplines in the engineering and natural sciences that are closely engaged with the prominent humanities, we have a very strong foundation from which to advance innovative research. Both individually and together. Because an interdisciplinary approach also requires individual disciplines to be strong.
At the same time we want to make an impact beyond the borders of Germany, too. A central element of this is already in place: TU Darmstadt leads UNITE!, one of the few networks that form a European university. In conjunction with six other technical universities we are encouraging real-life exchange as well as building a virtual European campus to facilitate shared, future-oriented learning. This is not just for us but also for the citizens who increasingly expect universities to come up with ideas on how to responsibly shape our common future.
Approaching these tasks requires in-depth and honest communication, good cooperation and meaningful forms of collaboration. Together with the Executive Board I look forward to intensive times of networking, to working together to develop and implement new ideas – and to expanding our shared identity on a local to global level.