HFT Technik Stuttgart: Digitalization, transfer and climate strategy - new prorectorates point the way to the future

Term of office of the new Vice Rector for "Transfer and Climate Strategy" and the new Vice Rector for "Research and Digitization" begins March 1, 2023

Prof. Dr. Elke Sohn takes over the newly established prorectorate "Transfer and Climate Strategy" as prorector, Prof. Dr. Volker Coors the prorectorate "Research and Digitization" at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HFT Stuttgart).

Both prorectorates are closely interlinked in their objectives with the structural and development plan, which defines the path of HFT Stuttgart until 2027. The goal is to train HFT students to design climate-competent, resilient, networked living and working spaces. In this way, the HFT Stuttgart would like to live up to the claim of developing contributions to solving societal challenges and preparing students for these challenges. The three profile-giving additions in the name of the university - "climate-competent - resilient - networked" - sharpen the profile of the university and shape the areas of responsibility of the new prorectors.

Prorectorate "Transfer and Climate Strategy" With its location in the city center, Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences serves as a role model in the area of climate protection and sustainability. One goal is to make the university's status in this area more visible to the outside world, for example to Stuttgart's citizens. Effective climate protection creates and secures resilient living and working spaces. To ensure this, comprehensive knowledge of the changes, but also of the dangers of climate change, is required. Here we can draw on the experience of many HFT professors who conduct application-oriented research. On this basis, it is necessary to develop strategies and to increasingly integrate them into teaching. In this way, future HFT graduates who strive to enter the profession should be enabled to make climate-competent decisions and act accordingly. The development of climate strategies and their transfer will be among the future tasks of the new prorector Elke Sohn.

Prorectorate "Research and Digitization" HFT Stuttgart is one of the universities in Baden-Württemberg with the third highest level of funding. The focus of applied research lies in the areas of "Future-oriented planning, building and management" and "Smart technologies, processes and methods". This is where the expertise of the HFT researchers is concentrated, organized in nine competence centers, which revolve, for example, around "Digitization in Research, Teaching & Business", "Sustainable Urban Development" as well as "Mobility and Transport" and much more. Furthermore, the HFT researchers are concerned about the metropolitan regions of tomorrow, which must be designed to meet the needs of current and future generations. This makes the HFT Stuttgart a reliable partner for companies and business associations in solving future issues. The prorectorate "Science and Research" has existed at HFT Stuttgart for many years. With the change in the prorectorate, it was renamed and expanded to include the focus on digitalization. Digitization and artificial intelligence will be of great importance in the coming years, not only in the area of research, but also in internal processes at the university. One of the tasks of this prorectorate and Volker Coors will be to find interdisciplinary approaches for holistic solutions and to further expand the area of research and digitization. Another important task in this prorectorate will be to shape the right to award doctorates, which has only recently been granted to universities of applied sciences, in such a way that the number of doctorates at HFT Stuttgart will increase and thus scientific quality will be given a new appreciation.

For organizational reasons, the election of the new prorector already took place on July 20, 2022. Both persons were elected by a majority of the senate of the HFT Stuttgart.

In addition to Rector Prof. Dr. Katja Rade, the Rectorate of HFT Stuttgart includes the Chancellor of the university, Dr. Doreen Kirmse, and Prof. Dr. Lutz Gaspers, who holds the Prorectorate "Studies and Teaching".

About the person: Prof. Dr. Elke Sohn

Elke Sohn studied architecture and urban planning at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts. In 2005, she completed her doctorate on the concept of nature in organic urban planning concepts. She has taught and conducted research on modernist architecture and urban planning at HafenCity University in Hamburg, HTW des Saarlandes, and TU Kaiserslautern. Since 2012, she has been a professor of architectural history and theory at HFT Stuttgart. In 2015, she became a member of the university council. Since 2017, Elke Sohn has been Vice Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design.

Sohn is involved in the International Building Exhibition 2027 StadtRegion Stuttgart, has been leading the IBA-AG Wohnen im Umbruch und Wandel (Housing in Transition and Change) for three years with a focus on common good orientation and sustainability in current housing construction.

In the process for the current strategy and development plan of the HFT Stuttgart, Ekle Sohn was a member of the structuring team and the strategy steering committee. She led the WG University Culture and Campus Design, among other things with the strategic goal of the "radiant campus" anchored in the StEP and the communication of the HFT content into the urban space. She supports and accompanies student projects with a sustainability claim, such as the participation of HFT students in the "Sustainability Weeks@Universities BAWÜ" or the student "Café cre8".


Personal details: Prof. Dr. Volker Coors

Volker Coors studied computer science at the TU Darmstadt and received his doctorate in computer graphics. Since 2002, he has been a professor of computer science and geo-informatics at HFT Stuttgart. From 2006 to 2017, he was dean of the Information Logistics program (now: Digitization and Information Management). Coors has been working successfully for several years in the research areas of 3D spatial data infrastructure and visualization of spatial data. Since 2019, Volker Coors has been Scientific Director of the Institute for Applied Research at HFT Stuttgart. He is a member of the Baden-Württemberg Center of Applied Research (BW-CAR) and a founding member of the PhD Center of the PhD Association of Universities of Applied Sciences Baden-Württemberg.

Volker Coors is very well connected regionally and internationally: he chairs the joint commission 3D city models of the German Society for Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation e.V. (DGPF) and the German Society for Cartography e.V., he is speaker of the advisory board of the Round Table GIS e.V. and vice president of the Urban Data Management Society. In the above-mentioned functions, he is also involved in the organization of annual conferences, such as the 3D Forum Lindau, Workshop "3D City Models" and the international conference "Smart Data and Smart Cities", which ideally supports a continuous transfer of research results.




Picture above: The new rectorate of HFT Stuttgart: Prof. Dr. Elke Sohn | Prorectorate "Transfer and Climate Strategy", Prof. Dr. Lutz Gasers | Prorectorate "Studies and Teaching", Dr. Doreen Kirmse | Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Volker Coors | Prorectorate "Research and Digitization" and Prof. Dr. Katja Rade | Rector (from left to right).

Publish date: 02. March 2023 By Michaela Leipersberger-Linder ()