|International Teaching Week 2021: Global digital classrooms|
The next International Teaching Week is starting on April 12, 2021, and due to the pandemic, will feature as "Global digital classrooms". For two weeks (or even longer), more than 20 international guest lecturers from as many different countries will join Hof university teaching staff in delivering excellent digital teaching.
Our guest lecturers come from the USA, Kazakhstan, Russia, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Ukraine, Mexico, Belgium, Argentina and Japan.
|On the rise despite pandemic: Hof University welcomes almost 500 first-semester students|
A warm welcome! Hof University welcomes a total of almost 500 new students at the start of the summer semester 2021. With a total of around 3,500 students, the educational institution has achieved an increase of around 5.5 percent compared to the same time last year and the highest student numbers ever for a summer semester. Despite the pandemic, Hof University is benefiting from its consistent focus on global issues of the future and its increasing internationalization.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann, President of Hof University, is correspondingly pleased with the development: "The fact that we have such a stable situation despite the difficult times and that the numbers are even increasing is undoubtedly gratifying. We also particularly welcome many international students who will initially attend lectures virtually. Overall, of course, we also hope for a normalization of the teaching situation in the course of the year."
The largest increase in student numbers was recorded by the Master's program in Operational Excellence (plus 51 percent). Business Psychology (up 34%), Sustainable Textiles (up 500%) as well as Digital Economy (up 150%) and Global Management (up 38%) also made above-average contributions to Hof University's very good overall results.
"It is clear that our growth is taking place precisely in those areas where, on the one hand, we map global future trends and that, on the other, provide answers to present-day challenges: Digitization, sustainability, internationalization and continuing education are the major topics that move young people. Through interdisciplinarity, i.e. by linking different disciplines, we repeatedly create offerings here that are obviously particularly well received," says Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann.
The long-term development of the Software Engineering and Operational Excellence courses is also particularly remarkable: the number of students has increased almost tenfold in just four years. A similar trend can also be observed in many continuing education courses. Most recently, Hof University has been able to expand its spectrum even further with, among other things, the new engineering courses Innovative Healthcare and Design and Mobility at the new locations in Kronach and Selb.
|Summer semester 2021: hygiene regulations at Hof University|
Dear teaching and administrative staff, dear students,
we will start the summer semester 2021 largely in online mode, however, practical work in the laboratories will be made possible in presence. For the protection of all participants, we will provide rapid tests for this purpose. Find more information on the current hygiene regulations here. Please check your mails regularly to stay informed about new developments during the semester.
Please note that masks are mandatory on campus in all hallways and foyers - including individual workstations there - as well as in restrooms and outdoor areas marked with a sign and colored line. A map showing the designated outdoor areas can be found here.
|New logo online: New corporate design being implemented step by step|
Many may have already caught sight of it: Hof University recently got a new logo, which can already be seen on our website. It is part of a new corporate design that is now being implemented step by step. In addition to the university, Hof University's research institutes and competence centers have also received new logos.
The strategic further development of Hof University made an update of the old logo and corporate design necessary. Thus, the three colors (red, yellow, blue), which were already used in the old university logo and represented three departments, were refreshed and supplemented by another color. As Hof University is a Greentech university, it was obvious that the fourth color could only be a fresh shade of green.
Unlike the old design, the colors now no longer represent one department. "Our departments focus on increasing interdisciplinarity in teaching. If strategically all disciplines are intertwined, they should not be visually separated from each other," says President Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann. The new corporate design of Hof University takes up this idea: In the animated university logo, the proportions of the colors change dynamically. In addition, the color areas are superimposed in the design and thus form interfaces - similar to the various disciplines of teaching. All logos of Hof University fit together to form a harmonious overall image, as they are based on the same grid. Another visually striking feature is that each logo is given a black square. This unifying element highlights the affiliation of the institutes, competence centers and projects to Hof University of Applied Sciences.
There is still a lot of work to be done before the new design will be adapted in all areas. Another goal in the context of the strategic orientation is to also modernize our website visually and functionally. In any case, you may be curious and look forward to a modern appearance of Hof University!
|Nothing for the garbage can: Hof scientists research on environmentally friendly plastic products from biowaste|
Will there soon be packaging in the supermarket made with biowaste from local cideries or agricultural film with coffee grounds? Quite possible! At the Institute for Biopolymers and Sustainability at Hof University (ibp), headed by Prof. Dr. Michael Nase, a junior research group wants to explore the influence of natural radiation and biogenic residues on the properties and structure of biopolymers. This could make these bioplastics interesting for a sustainable product economy in the future, in line with the national bioeconomy strategy. Among other things, biowaste from the food industry and forestry is to be used in bioplastic blends and thus fed into a natural reuse. The project will initially be funded for 3 years by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and will be extended for another two years if the evaluation is successful. The possible total funding amounts to approx. 2 million EUR.
At the beginning, there is a sobering figure: only 0.4% of the world's plastic products consist of bioplastics, i.e. plastics made from renewable raw materials. The reason for this lies in the still partly complex production, the low quantities available and thus comparatively higher prices. In addition, the technical properties of biopolymers currently prevent their widespread use in industry. A group of five young researchers led by research group leader Dr. Mirko Rennert has now set itself the task of changing this situation in the long term.
Core issue of the bioeconomy
Starting in March 2021, a project called "EISBiR" ("Influence of Ionizing Radiation on the Properties and Processing of Bioplastics as well as Biogenic Raw and Residual Materials as Functional Fillers and Reinforcers") will begin, which aims to conduct real basic research in its field: "The use of biogenic resources instead of fossil raw materials to produce stable bioplastics products is a key challenge of the bioeconomy. We want to change the properties of renewable raw materials in such a way that unnecessary chemicals can be dispensed with and products can be returned to a circular economy, regardless of their service life. To this end, we are looking at natural models, such as the peels of fruits and vegetables, which enable effective product protection with only a few ingredients," says Dr. Mirko Rennert.
Structural change through irradiation
Two different approaches are being pursued: On the one hand, the scientists want to investigate the already widely used influence of ionizing radiation in order to change the internal structure of the bioplastics: "Ionizing radiation can have a targeted effect on the internal crosslinking or degradation of the plastic chains. This crosslinking determines, for example, how flexible or how hard a plastic is. In an extensive series of experiments, we want to find out to what extent these properties can be modified by irradiation so that they can be used for technical applications. UV light is also part of this and is being investigated to ensure that outdoor applications do not fail prematurely due to solar radiation," adds deputy research group leader David Krieg.
The advantage of such a technique would be obvious: The properties of a bioplastic made from the same raw material could be specifically adjusted for different applications. This would prevent the use of unnecessary fillers and allow the bioplastics to be reused naturally in line with the circular economy.
Biowaste as filler
A second focus of the research project that is about to begin is the investigation of biogenic residues as natural additives: "The aim is to achieve the change in properties also through a plant-based supplement to the bioplastics. The ingredients from bark mulch not only provide good winter protection for soils, but can also extend the life of bioplastics, just as bark protects trees from the elements," says Dr. Mirko Rennert. The biological cycle would thus be closed, and this would also have positive effects on the price of the environmentally friendly bioplastics: "Biological residues accumulate as a cheap waste material or even have to be disposed of at a cost. Adding these sensibly to bioplastics could reduce the price of the currently still expensive biopolymers and make their use in industry more attractive".
The "EISBiR" project is being carried out under the auspices of the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR) and is initially scheduled to run until the end of February 2024.
|Sustainable Water Management: the solution to one of the most urgent questions of mankind|
The demand for high quality water is growing constantly and the challenges for the international water industry arising from climate change are getting ever more complex. Without a doubt: the availability of water in the most diverse places in the world is one of the most pressing future questions of humankind.
With the new Master’s program in Sustainable Water Management (starting in October 2021), Hof University offers a unique qualification linking management and technology skills while also integrating sustainability and digitalization. Graduates have numerous job opportunities in a growth sector.
The new Master’s program „Sustainable Water Management and Engineering“ is targeted at students with a Bachelor in Engineering who are looking for an additional qualification with social and environmental relevance:
Sustainable solutions to combat climate change
“We want to qualify a brand-new generation of engineers and managers. Systemic thinking with multi and interdisciplinary skills is the basis for a sustainable and future-oriented water industry – a sector that is significantly influenced by the complex challenges arising from climate change. To meet these challenges with innovative and sustainable solutions is the overall goal of our teaching”, states Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, Head of the new Master’s program completely taught in English. The core task in the water sector is, according to Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, to adapt the existing systems, concepts and technologies in the public and private water management to the ongoing changes, or even to establish new ones.
Unique link to digital solutions
The new Master’s program at Hof University has a unique focus on digitalization. Although both nationally and internationally, a few interdisciplinary study programs on water management exist (e.g. in U.S.A., Canada, Spain or Sweden), the new Master’s program at Hof University is unique: “Without the aspect of digitalization, sustainable water management can hardly be realized in the future. Therefore, we place a lot of emphasis on the question of how to tackle the upcoming challenges with digital technologies”, state both Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann, President of Hof University, and Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer.
Interdisciplinary teaching as basis
The Master’s program is based on a multi and interdisciplinary teaching concept. Topics like sustainability and risk management are interconnected with resource management, water treatment, water circulation and sewage disposal. In addition, knowledge on digitizing technology and aspects of social responsibility play a vital role. Thus, students acquire versatile analytical and method skills as well as problem solving expertise and evaluation competencies.
Cooperation with many relevant parties
The Master’s program requires a first degree in engineering or business with a focus on environmental or water issues. “Professional experience in the water sector is an asset. In any case, close cooperation with innovative companies, public authorities and research institutes is integral part of the program”, says Prof. Dr. Wimmer.
Social and ecological components
Theory and practice are closely linked e.g. through group projects in companies. “Research projects, case studies and the Master’s thesis are ideal for linking up the three dimensions of sustainability: economic efficiency, social responsibility and ecological compatibility”, points out Prof. Dr. Wimmer.
Excellent job perspectives
Graduates of this Master’s program have excellent job perspectives: “The job profile of a sustainability manager with focus on water or a water engineer with focus on sustainability and digitalization is already in great demand today – just think of all those innovative companies, research institutes or public authorities that are potential employers. Our graduates are also qualified to work as project engineers, experts and appraisers. One thing is clear: with the growing challenges in water management, the demand for multi and interdisciplinarily qualified experts will increase”, states Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer who is active expert in many networks of the water sector.
The Master’s program „Sustainable Water Management and Engineering“ starts in October 2021 at Hof University. The application portal opens from April 15, 2021. Further information can be found here:
|International Textile Online Week|
In 2021, Hof University offers an International Textile Online Week. Take the chance and be part of it!
Course dates: July 12 - 16, 2021
During this digital program, you will get to know our lecturers and their innovative lecture content.
The event will be held as a series of zoom meetings. Free of charge for students and prospective students!
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