My declared goal is 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.
In the process, we need to be relevant beyond the borders of Germany too. An additional central element of this is already in place: In the shape of UNITE! TU Darmstadt leads one of the few collaborations that form a European university. In conjunction with six other universities of applied sciences, as well as encouraging real-life exchange we are 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 shape all our futures responsibly.
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.