Effective April 1, 2022, industrial engineer Prof. Katharina Hölzle joins the management of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and becomes the director of its partner institute, the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart. She succeeds Prof. Dieter Spath, who retired in October 2021.
Digital technologies are the basis for a profound transformation of industry and society. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and its partner institute, the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart, are helping to shape this transformation in a positive way. As a renowned professor for IT entrepreneurship at the Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam, deputy chair of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI) and former member of the German government's High-Tech Forum (HTF), Katharina Hölzle brings both scientific expertise and the practical orientation to strategic technology and innovation management. These characteristics will help her to actively shape and drive this transformation in her new role as institute director.
The best of both worlds: university teaching and practical research
As an industrial engineer, Prof. Katharina Hölzle first worked industry-side at Infineon Technologies, Cap Gemini and an American start-up company. In 2008, she obtained her doctorate at TU Berlin, where she became a junior professor and earned her habilitation in 2011. From 2011 to 2019, she held the Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Potsdam. Afterwards, she moved to the Hasso Plattner Institute/Digital Engineering Faculty of the University of Potsdam in November 2019, where she took over the IT Entrepreneurship research group. Her function as a member of the German government's High-Tech Forum then provided her with contact to the Fraunhofer world.
“The digital transformation of our working environment has a significant impact on industry and society. For this reason, we urgently need strategies, business models and solutions for digital transformation that have a scientific basis. With its research in this key area, Fraunhofer IAO empowers customers to deploy new technologies quickly and efficiently for long-term, sustainable success,” says Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.” I am very pleased that we could win Prof. Hölzle, an accomplished expert in the field of innovation research and entrepreneurship, as a member of the institute management at Fraunhofer IAO. With her technical and international expertise, she will make a significant contribution to the further development and expansion of Fraunhofer IAO.”
“The future of ergonomic sciences and technology management will be shaped by a new understanding of technology and work. We need to determine what role technologies will play in the social and economic context, what work between humans and machines will look like in the future and what skills will be needed for this. As the new director of Fraunhofer IAO and the IAT, I am looking forward to finding answers to these questions in theory and practice, together with students and researchers,” says Prof. Hölzle.
About Fraunhofer IAO
The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO works together with companies, public-sector bodies and institutions to develop strategies, business models and solutions for digital transformation. Its interdisciplinary teams bring together around 650 colleagues from a range of specialist fields, including management science and economics, computer science, engineering and social sciences as well as the natural sciences. They take a wide-ranging, holistic approach to analyzing key issues in order to pinpoint the most practical and feasible solutions.
This article was first published on 1 April by Fraunhofer.