Prof. Holger Hanselka elected as the new president

26. Mai 2023, 8:46 Uhr | Iris Stroh
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka
© Markus Breig / KIT

Prof. Holger Hanselka will be the 11th president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft unanimously elected the current president of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) at its meeting in Dresden.

Hanselka succeeds Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, who resigned from his post by mutual agreement on 25 May 2023 after almost eleven years at the helm of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

»For Fraunhofer, Holger Hanselka is the right person at the right time in the right office. He stands out due to his excellent reputation in research, his profound knowledge of national and international scientific systems, his many years of experience with the transformation and development of research units as well as the management of institutions. In these challenging times of constant change, I am also certain that he will lead Fraunhofer into a successful future with his insight, drive and great enthusiasm,« said Hildegard Müller, chair of the senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. She referred to Hanselka's many years of management experience, including at the helm of the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF in Darmstadt. »As a leader, Holger Hanselka understands how to spur people on to top performance through collaboration. It is precisely this team spirit that will lead Fraunhofer into a successful future.«

The annual conference of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was held in Dresden on Thursday and Friday (May 25/26) on the topic of »Political sovereignty through economic competitiveness.« At this time, the senate thanked Prof. Neugebauer for his commitment at the helm of Fraunhofer: »As the president of Fraunhofer, Reimund Neugebauer spent more than a decade contributing to Germany as a high-tech location and developing the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft into the world's leading institution for applied research with more than 30,000 employees today,« said Hildegard Müller. New research fields such as energy technologies, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and smart farming have been established and expanded. Since Neugebauer took office office, the total budget of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft rose from roughly 1.9 billion euros to around 3 billion euros, and the number of institutes increased from 64 to now 76. »The senate and the entire Fraunhofer family would like to thank him for this achievement,« said Hildegard Müller, chair of the senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

Hanselka: »Expanding the leading global position of the Fraunhofer institutes«

Holger Hanselka, a mechanical engineer born in Oldenburg in 1961, has headed the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) since 2013 and led this back into the ranks of universities of excellence. Among other things, he has been the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF in Darmstadt and he was a member of the presidential council of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft from 2006 to 2012. »I am honored and delighted by the trust placed in me by the senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The office of Fraunhofer president is one of the most exciting and, at the same time, one of the most challenging in German research. Together with the 30,000 employees, I will do my best to expand Fraunhofer's top position among the world's leading research institutions and to strengthen Fraunhofer's profile,« said Holger Hanselka.

In an initial statement, Hanselka cited the continuing internationalization of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the development of a modern mission statement as key tasks at the beginning of his term: »We live in a time of massive global changes and challenges. Research must also develop a more demand-oriented, global focus. Externally, this requires innovation, creativity and a cosmopolitan approach. Internally this also requires sound knowledge, modern corporate governance structures, new forms of cooperation and a powerful, shared mission statement that is characterized by trust,« said Holger Hanselka.

Discussions are currently underway between all parties with the aim of Prof. Hanselka taking up his post as soon as possible. Until then, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be managed on an interim basis by Dr. Sandra Krey, Executive Vice President for Finance and Controlling.

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