- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is one of the largest and most prestigious research and education institutions in Germany known for its high quality of research work around the world.
KIT was created in 2009 when the University of Karlsruhe (Universität Karlsruhe), founded in 1825 as public research university and also known as “Fridericiana”, merged with the Karlsruhe Research Center Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, which was originally established as a national nuclear research center (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe, or KfK) in 1956.
KIT is one of the leading universities in the Engineering and Natural Sciences in Europe, ranking sixth overall in citation impact. KIT is a member of the TU9 German Institutes of Technology e.V. As part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative KIT was accredited with the excellence status in 2006. In the 2011 performance ranking of scientific papers, Karlsruhe ranked first in Germany and among the top ten universities in Europe in engineering and natural sciences.
In the 2015 QS World University Rankings the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved 93rd place in the global ranking across all disciplines and 62nd and 34th place in engineering and natural sciences, respectively. In the 2013 Taiwan ranking, KIT (world rank 61) remained the best German University in the engineering and natural sciences, ranked in the engineering sciences ahead of the RWTH Aachen (world rank 89), the Technical University of Munich (world rank 94) and the Technical University of Dresden (world rank 108). For the natural sciences KIT (world rank 51) led the domestic comparison against the LMU Munich (world rank 62), the University of Heidelberg (world rank 72) and the Technical University of Munich (world rank 81).
With more than 9,000 employees and an annual budget of about EUR 785 million, KIT is one of the biggest research and education institutions worldwide and has the potential of reaching a top position in selected research areas on an international level. The objective is to turn KIT into an institution of top research, excellent scientific education, and a prominent location of academic life, life-long learning, comprehensive advanced training, unrestricted exchange of know-how, and sustainable innovation culture.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Chemistry and Biology
- Humanities and Social sciences
- Civil engineering, Geology, and Ecological Sciences
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Electrical engineering and Information Technology
- Computer Science
- Economics and Management
The University of Karlsruhe was founded as Polytechnische Schule, a polytechnical school, on 7 October 1825. It was modelled upon the École polytechnique in Paris. In 1865, Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden raised the school to the status of a Hochschule, an institution of higher education. Since 1902 the university has also been known as the Fridericiana in his honour. In 1885, it was declared a Technische Hochschule, or institute of technology, and in 1967 it became an Universität, a full university, which gave it the right to award regular doctorate degrees. It had hitherto only been allowed to award doctorates in engineering, identified as Dr. Ing, a right bestowed on all technical institutes in 1899.
The University of Karlsruhe has been one of the leading German institutions in computer science. A central computer laboratory was founded in 1966. The department of informatics was established three years later, along with the first regular course in informatics. On 2 August 1984, the university received Germany’s first email. The Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research) was founded at the university in 1985.
The university also cooperated extensively with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe Research Centre), and this relationship was formalised on 6 April 2006 when Professor Horst Hippler and Dr. Dieter Ertmann from the University of Karlsruhe, and Professor Manfred Popp and Assistant Jur. Sigurd Lettow from Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe signed a contract for the foundation of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The name was chosen in emulation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the leading technical university in the United States. In February 2008, the merger of the university and the research centre to form KIT was agreed by the state of Baden-Württemberg and Germany’s federal government. The necessary state law was passed on 8 July 2009. KIT was formally established on 1 October 2009.
The main reason for establishing KIT was to strengthen Karlsruhe’s position in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, which offered elite universities grants of up to 50 million euros per annum. This aim was not achieved: while the University of Karlsruhe was chosen for the initiative in 2006/2007, KIT failed to secure a place in 2012. It did, however, attract funds from other sources. In 2008, Hans-Werner Hector, co-founder of SAP, raised 200 million euros to support researchers at the institute. (Hector is the only founder of SAP who did not graduate from the University of Karlsruhe; he was given an honorary doctorate for his support of intellectually gifted children in 2003.)
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