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TUM-Präsident Wolfgang A. Herrmann
„2016 war ein gutes Jahr für die TUM“, sagte Präsident Wolfgang A. Herrmann beim Dies academicus. (Bild: U. Benz / TUM)
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Dies Academicus: 2016 annual academic celebration

A year full of growth

A new TUM school, the opening of the Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach, record numbers of students, numerous awards for scientific performance, major foundation donations and plenty of new construction: TUM President Professor Wolfgang A. Herrmann's retrospective at the annual academic celebration painted a good picture of 2016 for the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

The TUM School of Governance will open as the 14th TUM school on January 1, 2017. "The pace of technical progress has been accelerated by digital technologies, giving this progress a more direct and more distinctive impact on the economy and on society as a whole," said President Wolfgang A. Herrmann in his speech. "It is also the responsibility of a technical university to investigate the political and social significance of rapid technological change." Prof. Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, director of the Bavarian School of Public Policy (HfP), Dean of the newly created School of Governance, and the featured speaker presented her lecture "Political Science at TUM – Why?"

Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach

The TUM Science and Study Center Raitenhaslach opened at the beginning of June after ten years of planning and renovation work. At the opening ceremony attended by Minister President Horst Seehofer and including a Pontifical Mass with Bishop Dr. Stefan Oster, the City of Burghausen put the historical monastery on the banks of the Salzach river in the hands of the TUM to begin its new function. Architects, civil engineers and historical landmark researchers from the TUM have turned the late-baroque structure into a hospitable meeting place. Scientists and students meet regularly at conferences, workshops and retreats in the festive main hall and numerous seminar rooms. "The conference center is a gesture by the TU Munich recognizing its Bavarian homeland," said TUM President Herrmann, summarizing the project.

Numerous Construction Projects

The year 2016 was characterized by growth in many respects for the Technical University of Munich. For example, the number of students enrolled at the TUM reached 40,000 for the first time, making it the second largest university in Bavaria. This growth is visibly manifested in many new construction projects in various stages of completion, or for example the Catalysis Research Center which opened at the Garching Campus in May 2016. The Center researches new methods of producing chemical starter materials, fine chemicals and pharmaceutical products that save energy and conserve resources. Two more representatives of interdisciplinary research are the "TUM Center for Functional Protein Assemblies (CPA)" (under construction) and the translational cancer research center "TranslaTUM" (construction soon to be completed).

The TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Physics will both move into new buildings at the Garching campus. And new construction isn't limited to research and teaching: As part of the project "StudiTUM" the TUM is using its own resources to erect three buildings for students, dedicated to cross-faculty projects and cultural activities, in addition to a lecture hall complex in Garching to cover the considerable amount of teaching activities.

Scientific Achievements

Renowned international rankings listed the TUM among the top three universities in Germany in 2016. The Shanghai Ranking and the QS World University Ranking rated the TUM as the number 1 university in Germany. The Global University Employability Ranking, based on a survey of approximately 6,000 managers in 20 countries, even ranked the TUM as one of the top 10 worldwide in terms of the quality of its graduates.

The high level of the TUM's scientific performance is also demonstrated by several research grants received from the European Research Council ("ERC Grants"), as well as the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) awarded to the young Informatics professor Daniel Cremers. 2016 also witnessed the birth of a number of major research partnerships, such as the new Collaborative Research Center "Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Astrophysics and Particle Physics", recently approved by the DFG and under the leadership of Elisa Resconi, professor for Experimental Physics.

The president also cited the pan-European network project "EIT Food" as another example of outstanding success: A consortium of 50 partners from 13 countries headed by the TUM will perform research on the question of how people in Europe can be provided with safe and sustainably produced food in the future. The combination project, the largest ever conducted at the Freising site, has an initial duration of seven years and has been funded with approximately 400 million Euros.


A large number of awards for special achievements were presented on the occasion of the annual academic celebration.

Designations as Honorary Senator

Uta and Roland Lacher were the first married couple in the history of the TUM to be named Honorary Senators. The entrepreneurs are among the most prominent members of the TUM University Foundation. After earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the TUM and completing various professional engagements, in 1995 graduate engineer Roland Lacher founded the company SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES, which produced DVDs and Blue-ray disks using a method that was unique throughout the world at the time. Soon after the company's IPO made SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES one of the most successful German companies of recent economic history.

Ingeborg Pohl was named Honorary Senator in recognition of her exemplary activities on behalf of the University Foundation. Together with her husband she turned the Munich chemical company BAYROL into an internationally competitive corporation. Today, Ingeborg Pohl is among the personalities who provide constant support to the arts and cultural activities and subsidize medical and social programs in and around Munich. Ingeborg Pohl plays a particularly active role in the TUM University Foundation and in a variety of projects, recently for example in the "Buddies for Refugees" program.


Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Medal

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kögel-Knabner, TUM Chair of Soil Science, has been honored with the Medal as a pioneer in the field of modern soil sciences.

Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Sieber, Chair of Organic Chemistry II, has received the Medal for his work on the complex modes of action of bioactive natural substances in bacterial cells.

Prof. Dr. Peter Rutschmann und Dipl.-Ing. Albert Sepphttps://www.wb.bgu.tum.de/en/staff/obernach/sepp-albert/ of the TUM Chair of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering received the Medal for the invention and development of the shaft power plant.


Karl Max von Bauernfeind-Medal

Wolfgang Hopfgartner, volunteer local historian in Raitenhaslach, has supported the TUM and the city of Burghausen for many years with his dedication and knowledge of the history of Raitenhaslach.

Franz M. Wagner, leader of the Garching campus choir, has successfully recruited many members for the ensemble. The successful medical physicist works at the neutron source research reactor FRM-II.

School Principal Sylke Wischnevsky is an important proponent of the TUM College program Otto von Taube, which lets especially interested students at the secondary school Otto von Taube Gymnasium Gauting prepare for a university curriculum in natural sciences with the assistance of the TUM. The College model has brought an entirely new dimension to the symbiosis between secondary schools and universities.

The editorial team of "Fatum", a magazine by students in the "Philosophy of Science and Technology" Master's degree program, which examines current developments in technology and society from a philosophical point of view.


Young Talent Awards of the Johannes B. Ortner Foundation

Dr. Fabian Härtl (School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan) for his doctoral thesis "Der Einfluss des Holzpreises auf die Konkurrenz zwischen stofflicher und thermischer Holzverwertung: Ein forstbetrieblicher Planungsansatz unter Berücksichtigung von Risikoaspekten".

Dr. Stefan Haslinger (Department of Chemistry) for his doctoral thesis "Bioinspired Iron N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes in C–H Bond Oxidation: Reactivity, Electronic Properties, and Catalytic Activity"

Dr.-Ing. Marco Limberger (Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering) for his doctoral thesis "Ionosphärenmodellierung aus GPS Radio-Okkultationen und komplementären Daten basierend auf B-Splines"

Felix Matschke, M.A. (Department of Architecture) for his Master's thesis  "Kulturhäuser der 1950er in der DDR – Studie und Konzeption einer realistischen Neubelebung des Kulturhauses in Mestlin"

Dr. med. Lina Meißner
(School of Medicine) for her doctoral thesis  "Assessment of kallikrein-related peptidases 4 and 6 (KLK4 and KLK6) as candidate biomarkers in prostate and ovarian cancer."

Dr. Daniel Urban (School of Management) for his doctoral thesis  "Three Essays on Corporate Boards around the World."

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