University Alliance for SMEs elects new board of directors
President of Mainz University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Susanne Weissman, confirmed as board member for additional term in office
“We are looking forward to the future collaboration to further pursue the goals of the University Alliance for SMEs and to contribute the potentials of our universities of applied sciences on the political level and to help shape processes,” says the new Chairwoman of the Board of the University Alliance for SMEs (HAfM) Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kira Kastell. The President of Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences will take over the board activities of HAfM together with the President of Brandenburg University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Andreas Wilms, and the President of Mainz University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Susanne Weissman, starting January 1, 2023. In addition, the General Assembly appointed the previous HAfM Chairman Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Ritzenhoff (Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences) as the new Executive Director to support the Board.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kira Kastell has been President of Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences since May 2021. She earned her doctorate after studying electrical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt and, during her professorship for transmission technology in the field of computer science and engineering at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, was actively involved, among other things, as chairwoman of the VDI network of women in the engineering profession. “It is a particular priority for me to represent HAfM in my new role as chairwoman, as we, as Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, are able to further develop and advance the central topics together with the members across Germany in a region dominated by SMEs,” says the 47-year-old.
As President of Brandenburg University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Andreas Wilms has combined modern management and traditional academic organization for three years. The university graduate with a doctorate in business administration brings this strength to his work on the board. “I am actively involved in the HAfM board to highlight the importance of SMEs for the regions and the transfer to the regions at the federal and state political level,” says the 44-year-old. One of his special focuses is the area of social responsibility and innovation of universities of applied sciences and SMEs.
In addition, the General Assembly of HAfM confirmed the President of Mainz University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Susanne Weissman, as a member of the Board of Directors for a further term of office until December 31, 2024. “In the past, we have strongly supported the various goals of HAfM and successfully campaigned, among other things, for the establishment of the German Agency for Transfer and Innovation. Now, in the future, it will be important to participate, for example, in the shaping of the German Agency for Transfer and Innovation on the federal level and to position new strategic topics in terms of application-oriented research, teaching, and transfer,” stated Weissman, who holds a doctorate in psychology. Prof. Weissman was professor of psychology at Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences Nuremberg since 2004 and took office as President of Mainz University of Applied Sciences and on the board of HAfM in 2020.
Managing director to support board work in the future
The newly elected board will be supported in the future by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Ritzenhoff (Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences) in the role of Managing Director. In his new role, the previous Chairman of the Board will take on the key tasks of implementing national networking and the ongoing strategic development of HAfM. “I am very pleased that I can continue to be committed to the goals of HAfM as its managing director and that I am responsible for shaping its objectives,” said Prof. Ritzenhoff.
“We are very pleased that Peter Ritzenhoff will be able to continue to contribute his expertise in his new role as managing director,” the general assembly agreed. In addition, the members thank Dr. Muriel Helbig for her considerable commitment and many years of board work. The President of the Technical University of Applied Sciences Lübeck will devote more time to her office as Vice President of the DAAD in the coming year, but as a member of the HAfM she will of course continue to support the objectives and work of the organization.