Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

September 9, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is
one of the largest and most prestigious research and education institutions in
Germany known for its high quality of research work around the world.
KIT was created in 2009 when the University of Karlsruhe, founded in 1825
as public research university and also known as “Fridericiana”, merged with the
Karlsruhe Research Center Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, which was
originally established as a national nuclear research center in 1956.
KIT is one of the leading universities in the Engineering and Natural Sciences
in Europe, ranking sixth overall in citation impact. KIT is a member of the
TU9 German Institutes of Technology e.V. As part of the German Universities
Excellence Initiative KIT was accredited with the excellence status in 2006. In
the 2011 performance ranking of scientific papers, Karlsruhe ranked
first in Germany and among the top ten universities in Europe in engineering
and natural sciences. In the 2015 QS World University Rankings
the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved 93rd place in the global
ranking across all disciplines and 62nd and 34th place in engineering and
natural sciences, respectively. In the 2013 Taiwan ranking, KIT remained the
best German University in the engineering and natural sciences, ranked
in the engineering sciences ahead of the RWTH Aachen, the Technical University of
Munich and the Technical University of Dresden. For the natural sciences KIT
led the domestic comparison against the LMU Munich, the University of Heidelberg
and the Technical University of Munich. Historical background
The University of Karlsruhe was founded as Polytechnische Schule, a
polytechnical school, on 7 October 1825. It was modelled upon the École
polytechnique in Paris. In 1865, Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden raised the
school to the status of a Hochschule, an institution of higher education. Since
1902 the university has also been known as the Fridericiana in his honour. In
1885, it was declared a Technische Hochschule, or institute of technology,
and in 1967 it became an Universität, a full university, which gave it the right
to award regular doctorate degrees. It had hitherto only been allowed to award
doctorates in engineering, identified as Dr. Ing, a right bestowed on all
technical institutes in 1899. The University of Karlsruhe has been one
of the leading German institutions in computer science. A central computer
laboratory was founded in 1966. The department of informatics was
established three years later, along with the first regular course in
informatics. On 2 August 1984, the university received Germany’s first
email. The Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung was founded at the
university in 1985. The university also cooperated
extensively with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, and this relationship was
formalised on 6 April 2006 when Professor Horst Hippler and Dr. Dieter
Ertmann from the University of Karlsruhe, and Professor Manfred Popp
and Assistant Jur. Sigurd Lettow from Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe signed a
contract for the foundation of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The
name was chosen in emulation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
the leading technical university in the United States. In February 2008, the
merger of the university and the research centre to form KIT was agreed
by the state of Baden-Württemberg and Germany’s federal government. The
necessary state law was passed on 8 July 2009. KIT was formally established on 1
October 2009. The main reason for establishing KIT was
to strengthen Karlsruhe’s position in the German Universities Excellence
Initiative, which offered elite universities grants of up to 50 million
euros per annum. This aim was not achieved: while the University of
Karlsruhe was chosen for the initiative in 2006/2007, KIT failed to secure a
place in 2012. It did, however, attract funds from other sources. In 2008,
Hans-Werner Hector, co-founder of SAP, raised 200 million euros to support
researchers at the institute. Admission and education
Since the winter semester of 2008/2009, KIT has completed the change from the
Diplom system to a bachelor and master system. Students already enrolled for a
diplom degree when the transition began were allowed to finish their studies,
but new students are only allowed to apply for a bachelor or master’s degree.
Admission policies differ between departments. While students are chosen
by the quality of their school degree and their extracurricular activities for
courses such as industrial engineering and management, other departments do not
preselect for their courses, including physics, informatics, and meteorology.
All courses require a minimum number of passed exams, called
Orientierungsprüfung or orientation assessment, in the first three semesters
before students are allowed to complete their course. There is a substantial
drop-out rate for some engineering courses due to the immense study
requirement in order to pass the pre-requisites.
In the first semesters of a course, education tends to be theoretically
oriented at KIT, with a high concentration of mathematics for
engineering and natural science courses. It is possible to choose between
practical and theoretical topics in later semesters.
Interdisciplinary education and research The university allows a broad range of
education with the possibility of cross studies and work. The studium generale
was established in 1949, allowing students to attend lectures not directly
pertaining their study field. The Zentrum für Angewandte
Kulturwissenschaft und Studium Generale was founded in 1989 to support the
students as a central institution for their interdisciplinary study. Nowadays
it offers specialised qualifications in the fields of “Leadership and
Entrepreneurship”, “Media – Culture – Communication”, “Internationalisation
and intercultural decision-making and responsibility”, “Diversity Management”,
“European Integration and Identity Studies”, as well as the classical
studium generale. A possibility for a concomitant study in applied culture
science is given as well. In 1979, the Interfakultatives Institut
für Anwendungen der Informatik was founded. It brings together research in
physics, mathematics, and engineering based on computer science. Its
mathematical pendant is the Institut für Wissenschaftliches Rechnen und
Mathematische Modellbildung. Its aim is to enhance the exchange between
mathematics and engineering in the fields of scientific calculations.
The Interfakultatives Institut für Entrepreneurship was established by SAP
funding. Its teaching professors were entrepreneurs on their own. Before being
shut down in 2010 the former professor was Götz Werner, founder of dm-drogerie
markt. In 2001, the Centre for Functional
Nanostructures was established. It merges the fields of material sciences,
biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics which are related to nano
technology. The CFN is one of the three Exzellenzzentren of the University of
Karlsruhe. Another interdisciplinary institution is the Centre for Disaster
Management and Risk Reduction Technology.
The Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics was established in 2006 as a
publicly funded project by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under the German
Universities Excellence Initiative. KSOP was the first graduate school at the
University of Karlsruhe and covers photonic materials and devices, advanced
spectroscopy, biomedical photonics, optical systems and solar energy. It is
supported by several institutes and professors of the university. It is also
a partner in the EUROPHOTONICS consortium, which provides scholarship
for master’s degrees and PhD under the European Commission’s prestigious
Erasmus Mundus cooperation and mobility program.
Reputation KIT is one of the leading universities
in the Engineering and Natural Sciences in Europe, ranking sixth overall in
citation impact. KIT is a member of the TU9 German Institutes of Technology e.V.
As part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative KIT was accredited
with the excellence status in 2006. In the 2011 performance ranking of
scientific papers, Karlsruhe ranked first in Germany and among the top ten
universities in Europe in engineering and natural sciences. In the 2013 QS
World University Rankings the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved 116th
place in the global ranking across all disciplines and 33rd place in the
engineering sciences. In the 2013 Taiwan ranking, KIT leads as best German
University in the engineering and natural sciences. As in 2012, KIT
remained ranked as the top University for engineering sciences in Germany,
before the RWTH Aachen, the Technical University of Munich and the Technical
University of Dresden. For the natural sciences KIT leads the domestic
comparison against the LMU Munich, the University of Heidelberg and the
Technical University of Munich. According to the Ranking of Scientific
Impact of Leading European Research Universities, an official document
compiled by the European Commission, Karlsruhe ranks 2nd nationally and 6th
in Europe in terms of scholarly impact. With the exception of the department of
biology, this university receives more funding from the Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft than any other university specializing in the natural
sciences in Germany. In the engineering sciences, the university is in the top
three together with University of Stuttgart and the RWTH Aachen. It also
consistently ranks top in the course industrial engineering and management,
concerning the overall study situation as well as popularity with employers.
More than 20% of its students are attracted from other nations and 0.6% of
its students receive grants from the German Studienstiftung. In 1998,
ScienceWatch ranked its chemistry faculty as belonging to “the cream of
the crop in chemistry” internationally. In 2006, the University of Karlsruhe was
chosen to be one of the first three universities with the best future
concept within the scope of the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
These universities have been called “elite universities” in general public
and media from that day on. For many years the department for
Computer Science has been the number one institution in this field in Germany.
Hence, the University of Karlsruhe has established international reputation.
In the 2013 QS World University Rankings the university was ranked 116th in the
world. Its subject rankings were 33rd in Engineering and Technology and 34th in
Natural Sciences. It was ranked 13th in the world for
Mechanical Engineering by the Taiwan Rankings.
In the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings the university was
ranked 151st in the world. Campus Nord
The Campus Nord, the former Forschungszentrum was founded in 1956 as
Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Initial activities concentrated around the
Forschungsreaktor 2, the first nuclear reactor built by Germany. With the
decline of nuclear energy activities in Germany, Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe
directed its work increasingly towards alternative areas of basic and applied
sciences. This change is reflected in the change of name from
Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe to Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe with the
subheading Technik und Umwelt in 1995. This subheading was replaced by in der
Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft in 2002. The Campus Nord is the site of the main
German national nuclear engineering research centre and the Institute for
Transuranium Elements. Also present on the site is a nanotechnology research
centre and the neutrino experiment KATRIN.
There is further a 200 metre tall guyed mast for meteorological measurements at
Campus Nord. Computer facilities
The Steinbuch Centre for Computing, named after Karl Steinbuch, is the
institution which was formed in 2008 out of the merging process between the main
computer facilities of the University of Karlsruhe and the Forschungszentrum
Karlsruhe. It is responsible for the university’s IP connectivity and
provides central services for students and employees. It supplies students with
10 fully equipped computer rooms, one professional print office and a wireless
network over the whole campus area. Some departments, like computer science,
physics, and mathematics, run their own computer rooms as well.
The SCC runs some of the fastest computers in Germany:
HP XC3000 HP XC4000
a cluster bought by a corporation of institutes of different disciplines
the two vector parallel calculators NEC SX-8R and NEC SX-9
On 2 August 1984, Michael Rotert, a research fellow at University of
Karlsruhe, received the first email ever sent to Germany, at his address
rotert%[email protected] GridKa runs the Rocks Cluster
Distribution Linux distribution for supercomputers.
Libraries The KIT Library is the main library of
KIT. Its two branches on Campus South and Campus North provide literature for
research and study for about 25,000 students and 8000 scientists with a
widespread, interdisciplinary book stock of over 2 million volumes, reports and
28,000 periodicals in print and electronic form. The emphasis of the
collection lies on natural and engineering sciences.
KIT Library South The 24-hour library at Campus South was
extended in 2006. It became a 24-hour library with many working places and a
relaxing area, and is now open around the clock. The combination of a special
book security system and an automated issue desk make it possible to use the
1000 workplaces anytime, day or night. Current and contemporary literature is
freely accessible in the four specialised reading rooms. Each reading
room provides cross-linked, modern and well-equipped study and work stations as
well as printers, scanners and copy machines.
KIT Library North The research library at Campus North
provides a large specialised book stock on energy and nuclear energy. The
complete literature is freely accessible to the user. Thirty modern workplaces,
as well as printers, scanners, copy machines and cubicles for individual
work are available. Further libraries at KIT
Additional literature is located in the two specialised reading rooms for
chemistry and physics, as well as in the Library of the University of Applied
Sciences at Campus Moltkestrasse, which is administrated by the KIT Library. The
faculty of physics, the faculty of mathematics, the faculty of computer
science and the faculty of economics and management have got their own libraries
to supply students and researchers with topic related literature.
Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The CIE is an entrepreneurial driven platform for students, scientist and
alumni of the KIT and the region Karlsruhe who are interested in starting
a business. The CIE platform is developing towards an entrepreneur club
where entrepreneurs support each other to raise successful businesses.
Prospective entrepreneurs seek advise from the very first idea, how to develop
business concepts and how to find co-workers. Founded in 2008 by two
alumni of the KIT, the CIE offers a wide portfolio of services including
consulting and concept development. The CIE also provides facilities like a
StartUp-office where new entrepreneur teams can work on their ideas. All
services are for free. Entrepreneurs who benefit from the active club are asked
to support the CIE financially and with own services. As a project of the KIT,
the CIE receives financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economics and
Technology and the European Social Fund. Faculties
The university has eleven faculties: Mathematics
Physics Chemistry and Biology
Humanities and Social sciences Architecture
Civil engineering, Geology, and Ecological Sciences
Mechanical Engineering Chemical and Process Engineering
Electrical engineering and Information Technology
Computer Science Economics and Management
Many departments cooperate, some are shared with the Forschungszentrum
Karlsruhe. Famous people and discoveries
Karl Benz, the inventor of the automobile, a graduate who also received
an honorary Ph.D. in 1914 Karl Ferdinand Braun, who developed the
cathode ray tube in 1897, which is widely used in televisions, in 1909 he
received the Nobel Prize for the invention
Wolfgang Gaede, who founded vacuum technology
Fritz Haber, who developed the high-pressure synthesis of ammonia in
1909 and won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz discovered electromagnetic waves in 1887, which are
the basis of radio, Otto Lehmann, the founder of liquid
crystal research Wilhelm Nusselt, the co-founder of
technical thermodynamics Ferdinand Redtenbacher, founder of
mechanical engineering in Germany Franz Grashof, who made significant
contribution to free convection, the Grashof Number was named after him
Roland Scholl, discovered coronene and contributed significantly to the field
of organic chemistry in general Hermann Staudinger, who won in 1953 the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discoveries in the field of
macromolecular chemistry Wilhelm Steinkopf, co-developer of a
method for the mass production of mustard gas during World War I
Edward Teller, who is known as the originator of the hydrogen bomb
Karl Heun, numerical Integration and solutions to differential equations.
Discovery of the Heun method. Leopold Ružička, winner of the 1939
Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Georg von Hevesy, winner of the 1943
Nobel Prize for his key role in the development of radioactive tracers to
study chemical processes such as in the metabolism of animals.
=Famous students=Presidents
1968 – 1983 Professor Dr. Ing. h. c. Heinz Draheim
1983 – 1994 Professor Dr. h.c. Heinz Kunle
1994 – 2002 Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Dr.h.c.mult. Sigmar Wittig
2002 – 2009 Professor Dr. sc. tech. Horst Hippler
2009–2012: Professor Dr. sc. tech. Horst Hippler and Professor Dr.rer.nat.
Eberhard Umbach 2012–2013: Professor Dr.rer.nat.
Eberhard Umbach since 1 October 2013: Professor Dr.-Ing.
Holger Hanselka Points of interest
Botanischer Garten der Universität Karlsruhe, the university’s botanical
garden Notes and references
External links Official website of the Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology