Andreas Reuter says “Goodbye” – Change in the HITS Management

18. April 2016

Prof. Andreas Reuter has retired as managing director of the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). He will focus on the managerial and directorial functions he performs in other institutions founded by Klaus Tschira. His successor is Dr. Gesa Schönberger, who took up this position in January 2016.  

Prof. Andreas Reuter (Photo: HITS)
Prof. Andreas Reuter (Photo: HITS)

On April 15, 2016, Prof. Dr-Ing. Dr h.c. Andreas Reuter stepped down as Managing Director of HITS. Together with Klaus Tschira, he established the EML European Media Laboratory GmbH in 1998 and then, in 2003, went on to found EML Research, a basic research institute from which HITS originated six years ago. Particularly in the cooperation with KIT and Heidelberg University, his extensive experience as a science manager has proved invaluable, from the various joint appointments to the decision by both universities to become shareholders of HITS in fall 2014. When Tschira died in March 2015, Andreas Reuter remained as sole managing director.

Dr. Gesa Schönberger was appointed successor to Andreas Reuter in January 2016. She has a doctorate in nutritional sciences and prior to her new post was for many years managing director and scientific director of the Dr. Rainer Wild Foundation, Heidelberg.  She now manages HITS in close consultation with scientific director Prof. Rebecca Wade. After his retirement as HITS managing director, Andreas Reuter will focus on the managerial and directorial functions he performs in other institutions founded by Klaus Tschira, like the HITS Foundation, the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation, and the EML European Media Laboratory. As a senior professor at Heidelberg University, he will also be working on developing a blueprint for a future IT infrastructure accommodating the needs of the research institutions in the Heidelberg-Mannheim-Karlsruhe region.

Andreas Reuter’s professional career reads like a number of different biographies rolled into one: programmer and text-book author, university professor and co-founder of a private university, scientist and science manager. The enthusiastic hiker revealed how this came about at the symposium in his honor at the Villa Bosch in late November 2015: “I went along with that old recommendation that says: ‘When there’s a fork in the road, take it!’” The freelance programmer subsequently became a scientist who joined Turing Award winner Jim Gray to produce a book universally revered as “the Bible of transaction processing.” In 1998 Reuter gave up his post as prorector of Stuttgart University to establish a private English-speaking university, at the same time accepting Klaus Tschira’s offer to mastermind the development of the EML as its scientific and managing director.

“Jim Gray and Klaus Tschira were the people who crucially influenced my career,” Andreas Reuter said at the farewell symposium that according to HITS scientific director Rebecca Wade was not in fact a farewell at all but simply another career junction. “We are immensely grateful to Andreas Reuter for everything he has done for HITS and look forward to our paths crossing on very many occasions in future.”

A summary of the symposium in honor of Andreas Reuter, including talks by renowned scientists like Turing award winner Mike Stonebraker, is available on the HITS YouTube channel.

Press contact
Dr. Peter Saueressig
Head of Communications
HITS Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies
phone: +49 6221 533245
fax: +49 6221 533298

About HITS

HITS, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, was established in 2010 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural, mathematical, and computer sciences. Major research directions include complex simulations across scales, making sense of data, and enabling science via computational research. Application areas range from molecular biology to astrophysics. An essential characteristic of the Institute is interdisciplinarity, implemented in numerous cross-group and cross-disciplinary projects. The base funding of HITS is provided by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

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