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Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz elected as new President of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Acting president Prof. Dr. Ralph Stengler congratulates newly elected h_da president Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz in presence of election board chair Prof. Sabine Breitsameter.

Election board chair Prof. Sabine Breitsameter, newly elected president Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz, acting president Prof. Dr. Ralph Stengler (Photo: Jens Steingässer)

Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz (55) is the new president of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da). At today's election meeting of the h_da Senate, 18 of 34 eligible voters already voted for the current Vice President for Digitization and Internationalization in the first ballot. He prevailed against the external candidate Prof. Dr. Carola Jungwirth from the University of Passau, who received 15 votes. One vote was invalidly cast. The term of office of Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz begins on 01.04.2022 and is six years. He succeeds Prof. Dr. Ralph Stengler (65), who has led the university since 2010 and is retiring after twelve years in office.

At the election meeting, Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz expressed his thanks for the trust placed in him. "As the new president, I would like to continue the tradition of the h_da as an innovative 'trend-setter' - from the student ticket to the right to award doctorates. We will continue to sharpen our profile as an application-oriented, practice-based university and develop solutions for the future together with students, business and society. At the same time, the higher education system is undergoing change throughout Europe. Our EUt+ membership offers us enormous opportunities for our further development here."

Prof. Dr. Ralph Stengler congratulated Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz on his election and emphasized the dynamic development of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in the past decade: "It was characterized by an immense increase in the number of students to now 16,000, so that today the h_da is one of the largest German universities for applied sciences. Thanks to milestones such as the right to award doctorates, we can now offer our students a particularly wide range of academic perspectives. Arnd Steinmetz was closely involved in this development as Vice President for many years. I am delighted that he will now steer the h_da as president and lead it well into the future."

Personal details
Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz (born 1966) has been vice president at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences since 2013, now in his third term. From 2013 to 2021, he was Vice President for Research and Scientific Infrastructure, and since 2021 he has been Vice President in the new department for Digitization and Internationalization. He is also an adjunct professor at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland. From 2010-2013, Steinmetz served as dean of the h_da's Department of Media, where he has taught and conducted research as a professor of computer science since 2002. Previously, he worked in industry, including at the IBM Watson Research Center in New York and in leadership positions at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Publication and Information Systems. In 1999, he completed his doctorate at the TU Darmstadt.

His time as Vice President for Research and Scientific Infrastructure saw the dynamic development of the Hessian universities of applied sciences in the area of research through the right to award doctorates, which was introduced in 2016. Under Steinmetz's leadership, the h_da's research and transfer strategy was created, among other things, and several interdisciplinary research centers were formed. He was also involved in the creation of the "University Digital Strategy 2021-25" of the Hessian universities and universities of applied sciences. He is also involved as a board member of the nationwide "Initiative D21" and is a member of its ethics working group. Since 2020, the h_da has been part of the "European University of Technology" (EUt+) higher education alliance. Prof. Dr. Arnd Steinmetz is responsible for the project at h_da.