Hans Jürgen Prömel was born on 16 September 1953 in Bienen (North-Rhine Westphalia). After completing his secondary education in Emmerich, he studied Mathematics and Economics at Bielefeld University from 1974 to 1979 and obtained a doctorate in Mathematics with a dissertation on Combinatorics in 1982. From 1984 until 1985, he was Assistant Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles and, from 1985 until 1988, Research Fellow at the University of Bonn, where he completed his Habilitation with a dissertation in the field of Operations Research in 1987. From 1988 until 1994, he taught Discrete Mathematics as a C4-Professor at the University of Bonn and was then appointed to the Chair for Algorithms and Complexity at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Prömel was Vice President for Research at Humboldt-Universität from 2000 until 2007; in 2005, he served as its Acting President. On 1 October 2007, he succeeded Johann-Dietrich Wörner as President of TU Darmstadt.
Other memberships and offices
From 2001 until 2007, Professor Prömel was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. From 1999 to 2008, he served as a Federal Jury Member for the youth research competition, “Jugend forscht”, ending this office as speaker of the Federal Jury. He was a member of the Presidium of the German Mathematical Society from 2002 to 2008. During this period, he was also Chairman of the Administrative Council of the Zuse Institute Berlin and served as council member for “Life Science” at the DFG Research Centre MATHEON. Since 2007, he has been on the Advisory Board of the Erich Becker Foundation.
From November 2008, President Prömel held for four years the office of Vice President for Governance, Human Resources Policies and Organisation at the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK).
Furthermore, President Prömel’s other offices also include membership of the Executive Board at the Centre for Science and Research Management since 2007, membership of the University Council of the Vietnamese-German University in Ho Chi Minh City since 2009, and membership of the Board of Trustees of the Society for the Promotion of Research Transfer (GFFT) since 2010. In 2011, he was appointed a member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). From October 2008 to 2010, President Prömel was speaker of the Conference of Hessian University Presidents.
From 2014 until 2017 Professor Prömel was President of TU9 – the alliance of leading Institutes of Technology in Germany.
Since 2015 he is member of the President's Advisory Council of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and since 2016 member of the Board of Trustees of Tongji University.
Professor Prömel has published more than 100 original works and is co-author and co-editor of seven books. His research fields are Graph Theory and Combinatorics, Probabilistic Methods in Informatics, Randomised and Approximation Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimisation.