Profiles and fields of competence
In order to overcome the challenges our future holdsfor us, it is crucial to understand and utilize the principles of nature and the environment. The University of Kassel contributes to this endeavour in its Field of Competence: Nature by educating young minds in the natural, environmental and agricultural sciences in a multitude of courses that range from astrophysics to zoology. In addition to that, the university is known for its widely respected research contributions in the areas of sustainability and environmental protection, renewableenergies and coping with climate change. In Kassel, the three classic fields of the natural sciences– physics, chemistry and biology – work in very close cooperation with other fields of study, especially engineering, agricultural sciences as well as urban and landscape planning. With over 30 fields of study that boastan environmental focus, the University of Kassel has established a clear profile in the area of environmental research and education. More than 200 environment related courses each year are the result of Kassel’s Europewide leading role in the field. In addition, the field of nanostructure and molecularsciences has developed into a highly promising research focus in Kassel. Physicists, biologists and chemists cooperatively research a long side electrical and mechanical engineers into the basics of nanotechnology, which is regarded as a key technology of the 21st century, and develop applications in the material sciences, information technology, bio sensor technology, molecular biology and medical diagnostics.
This is where we are inventing the world of tomorrow: the fields of civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and IT are all characterized by innovation and proximity to application. Kassel engineers and scientists are focusing on tasks of the future: innovative material development, exploitation of thermomechanical processes, simulation of technical systems, vehicle systems technology, designing interfaces between human and machine, the problems surrounding mobile internet and the development of multimedia learning environments. This expertise in technology has also proved hugely beneficial in addressing environmental issues. In cooperation with colleagues from other areas, Kassel scientists have earned an excellent reputation with regard to sustainable material flow systems, regenerative energy systems and energy efficiency, in the use of biomatteras a source of energy and material, in environment friendly planning, producing and building as well as in integrated aquatic ecosystems management. The University of Kassel is situated and well connected in a strong technology cluster in the region of northern Hessen where it cooperates closely with innovative companies and institutions which help shape Germany’s technological renewal. Prominent among them is the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy Systems Technology (IWES), which originated at the University of Kassel, as well as the idE Institute for Decentralized Energy Technologies.
In art and culture, Kassel forges a strong link between its historic roots and uncompromising modernity. Kassel is one of the few German universities that encompassa school of arts, the tradition of which reaches back to its foundation in 1777. After the war, the School of Art and Design brought forth the “documenta” – a modern art event of global recognition, which still maintains close links to the University of Kassel. The School of Art and Design is a place of constant activity with and around visual worlds and critical discourse about the visualization of content – these focalpoints span from the fine arts to visual communication and product design. Countless awards and accolades including two Oscars for animated shorts are a testament to the creative force of our lecturers and students.The connection to our art school also opens up opportunities for exchange and cooperation between artistic and scientific fields. Our strong faculties of the arts, teaching subjects such as linguistics, literature, mediasciences, philosophy, psychology and history, architecture and music go further than just their own range of to pics but also enable interdisciplinary connections and the travel between disciplines where they interface. In addition, the University and the School of Art and Design play a key role in the cultural life of the region.
Complex developmental processes, including the paradigmshift from an industrial society to an intellectual one and from national to international structures, continueto present enormous challenges. Our scholars are highly involved in exactly this development: whether in education, economy, science or technology, whether in the professional context, in the structural shift of cities and regions, in the planning of human communities and international communication. The spectrum of subjects in the educational sciences and the humanities, in linguistics and literature, in cultural studies and economics, architecture and urban and landscape planning as well as many other fields, offers an unusually vast base for answering exactly these questions. Education facilitates the management of major changes. But in Kassel, education itself also is the subject of research: Kassel boasts a unique cluster in the field of empirical school and university research, teaching and learning research, and comparative international university and occupational research. Kassel scholars place particular emphasis on questions of e-learning, information technology, the digitized society and media development. The structural change of European cities and regions, the shift in the world of employment, gender studies and teacher education held in close proximity to schools, are other topics the University of Kassel contributes to. In this way, social studies can help turn a change into an improvement.