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Honorary senatorship for Klaus Endress

In recognition of decades of service to co-operation between the university and business

Freiburg, Nov 10, 2017

Honorary senatorship for Klaus Endress

Klaus Endress. Photo: wvib

The University of Freiburg has conferred the title of honorary senator upon Klaus Endress, President of the Supervisory Board of Endress+Hauser AG in Reinach, Switzerland, and retiring president of the regional trade association, the Wirtschaftsverband Industrieller Unternehmen Baden (wvib), at the association’s annual general meeting. “Klaus Endress is an entrepreneurial figure who has worked hard and consistently for co-operation between the university and business over decades and in various positions. In doing so, he has made a highly significant contribution to the outstanding development of the Faculty of Engineering and to the profile development of the University of Freiburg,” says the Rector, Professor Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer.

Klaus Endress headed the automation technology concern Endress+Hauser from 1995 to 2013. “His curiosity, hunger for knowledge, and enthusiasm for science characterized the research-intensive family-owned enterprise over many years. At a time when the relationship between the university and mid-sized enterprises was beset with reservations and concerns about collaboration, he worked to establish a partnership of equals,” Schiewer says. It was partly due to this openness that the university obtained the necessary political support to establish the Faculty of Engineering. Endress+Hauser was one of the group of regional companies which in the mid-1990s raised two million deutschmarks to endow the professorship for technical applications development. “This endowment decisively underscored southern Baden’s economic need for engineering training at our university and is considered a breakthrough in the political negotiations,” Schiewer says. Endress+Hauser was a founding member of the Applied Microsystems Engineering forum, the Faculty of Engineering’s chief sponsorship organization, and since then has repeatedly provided students with excursions to its factories. In 2007 the company was one of the key sponsors of the university’s 550th anniversary celebrations. It is currently an industrial partner in the expansion of the Sustainability Center, which the university has founded in cooperation with Freiburg’s five Fraunhofer Institutes.  In addition Endress+Hauser sponsors Deutschlandstipendium scholarships at the University of Freiburg as well as the network MicRO Alliance, a scientific microsystems engineering collaboration between Freiburg’s Institute of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), the University of Wisconsin in the USA, and Kyoto University in Japan.

Alongside the company’s involvement, we would like to stress the contribution made by the Georg H. Endress Foundation, whose council presidency has rotated through the members of the Endress family, including Klaus Endress. It has financed the endowed professorship for Smart Systems Integration at IMTEK with a sum of 2.5 million euros over ten years; as well as an anchor project, Sensor Technology for Sustainable Food Production, at the Sustainability Center. The latest sponsorship by the Georg H. Endress Foundation represents another milestone. On May 9 this year, the Foundation council decided to support the center of excellence, QUSTEC – Quantum Science and Technology at the European Campus, jointly with the University of Basel and under the auspices of Eucor – The European Campus, pledging up to ten million Swiss francs over ten years.