Students who study at Aschaffenburg UAS now have a new and better opportunity to obtain a doctorate. In a letter dated 29 September 2023, the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts (StMWK) approved the establishment of the "Doctoral Centre for Sustainable and Intelligent Systems (NISys)". The academic degree of Doctor of Engineering Sciences can be obtained at this doctoral centre. The Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences (AB UAS) cooperates with Coburg University (HSCO) and the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences (THWS), which is in charge and exercises the right to award doctorates for the association of the three universities. The application for this was submitted jointly by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hartmann, former Vice President for Research at THWS, Prof. Dr. Martin Synold, Vice President for Research at Coburg University and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Zindler, Vice President for Research and Transfer at AB UAS at the end of March 2023.
Until now, a doctorate for graduates of the Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences was only possible in cooperation with a university. With the Bavarian Higher Education Innovation Act(BayHIG) , which came into force on 1 January, the Ministry of Science can now also grant universities of applied sciences or technical colleges a temporary, subject-limited right to award doctorates for scientific institutions. The condition is that the participating higher education institutions "demonstrate their research performance appropriately as well as embed the scientific qualification in undergraduate academic teaching" (Bavarian Higher Education Innovation Act (BayHIG), Art. 96, Para. 7)
"The fact that the three partner universities in Aschaffenburg, Coburg and Würzburg-Schweinfurt have joined forces in founding a joint doctoral centre results from the excellent fit of subjects and how well the teaching areas cooperate and promote young researchers," explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Zindler, Vice President for Research and Transfer at Aschaffenburg UAS.
The new inter-university doctoral centre "Sustainable and Intelligent Systems" aims to make an important contribution to solving one of the most pressing future tasks of our society by providing relevant qualifications for academic specialists and managers: To establish sustainable processes and value chains in all areas of the economy, social life and industry. These include the all-important energy, building and transport sectors as well as industrial production.
The three participating northern Bavarian universities HSCO, AB UAS and THWS are characterised by their outstanding research performance in the field of intelligent methods and technologies, including artificial intelligence, as evidenced by extensive third-party funding income and numerous scientific publications.
This methodological apparatus is the foundation for sustainable innovations in the application fields of "energy and infrastructure systems", "mobility" and "production and materials" in the doctoral centre. The centre will further expand the cooperation between the universities that has been successfully established for many years within the framework of the joint WIKE³ doctoral college. One focus here is on applied research in cooperation with industrial companies.
A total of 37 qualified professors - including 11 researchers from Aschaffenburg UAS - will work closely together within the framework of the doctoral centre. They possess the professional expertise for the above-mentioned priority topics and can demonstrate the outstanding achievements in application-oriented research required by the Bavarian University Innovation Act. In the past five years, these researchers have raised almost 56 million euros in third-party funding for research purposes.
To date, 40 doctorates have been successfully completed at Aschaffenburg UAS in cooperation with a university. The researchers at Aschaffenburg UAS are currently supervising 49 ongoing cooperative doctoral programmes. In future, the new doctoral centre will now offer researchers the opportunity to supervise doctorates at Aschaffenburg UAS within the university network.