On 19.12.2023, the Senate of h_da re-elected Professor Nicole Saenger as Vice President for Research, Transfer, and Sustainable Development at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da). She was unanimously re-elected in the first ballot with 26 votes in favour. Her second term of office begins in April 2024 and will again run for three years.
Characteristic of Vice President Nicole Saenger’s first term of office was the dynamic progress and consolidation achieved in research and knowledge transfer activities and structures at h_da. Among other things, the university is currently in the process of building up a cohort of mid-level academic staff. Following successful evaluation by the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts, the doctoral centres for research-intensive fields will continue. h_da may now award its own doctoral degrees: in July, Germany’s first Doctor of Sustainability Sciences defended his dissertation in the still young Doctoral Centre Sustainability Sciences.
Also established at h_da in the last three years were Sustainability Management and the university’s Green Office. As a central contact point especially for students, the Green Office bundles and coordinates a wide range of sustainable development projects. Sustainability Management is currently in the process of formulating h_da’s Sustainability Strategy, with broad participation from across the whole university.
“In the coming years, I would like to further strengthen our research and knowledge transfer activities, at a European level, too. As part of the European University of Technology EUT+, we are part of a strong alliance with eight other partners,” says Professor Nicole Saenger. “I would also like to encourage further start-up activities at h_da. Our new start-up platform YUBIZZ and our growing partnership with the Hub 31 incubator will contribute to this.”
Professor Arnd Steinmetz, President of Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences: “I congratulate Nicole Saenger on her re-election and look forward to continuing to work with her. Nicole Saenger has made a significant contribution to making our university even more sustainable, research-intensive and knowledge transfer-oriented. In this way, we as a university of applied sciences are contributing to solutions for important questions of the future, especially in the areas of sustainable development, digitalisation and society as well as mobility – both here in our region and within the European alliance.”
Professor Nicole Saenger has been Vice President for Research, Transfer, and Sustainable Development at h_da since 1 April 2021. She has held the Chair for Hydraulic Engineering at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2010. Saenger completed her doctoral degree in river ecology and hydraulic engineering at TU Darmstadt and was then a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, among others. In addition to her office as Vice President, she holds numerous other positions at h_da: she is spokesperson for the EUT+ European Sustainability Science Lab and the “Sustainable Processes and Procedures” research centre, for example. She is also a reviewer for numerous scientific journals and third-party funding organisations.