Kühne Foundation

Greener, bigger, more international, more digital - ceremonial inauguration of KLU's new university president

Inauguration of Prof. Kaplan at Kühne Logistics University (KLU)

On the occasion of Prof. Andreas Kaplan's inauguration as President of Kühne Logistics University (KLU), Hamburg's Second Mayor and Science Senator Katharina Fegebank paid tribute to the university's successful development from a university start-up in 2010 to a university with an international reputation in science and education. Programmatically, the inauguration on 21.9.2023 was dedicated to the question of how the logistics sector can become more sustainable through research and teaching. Prof. Kaplan professed his commitment to this task. Leaders needed a deep understanding of supply chains for this - an "operations mindset".

"I am very pleased that KLU has succeeded in winning Professor Dr Andreas Kaplan as President," said Hamburg's Second Mayor Katharina Fegebank in her address to around 270 invited guests as well as researchers and employees of the university on the KLU campus in Hamburg's HafenCity. "As a distinguished expert on the diverse European science landscape, he is a great asset for Hamburg as a science location. With his experience in international university management and digital transformation research, he strengthens key competencies here at KLU that are crucial for innovative capacity and international competitiveness. A European mastermind meets a Hamburg university with an international orientation and charisma. A warm welcome and a good start here in Hamburg."

And what's next? "Our KLU is to become bigger, more international, greener and more digital," said Dr. Jörg Dräger, Executive Director of the Kühne Foundation and Chairman of the KLU Supervisory Board. He added that the foundation is providing the funds to double the number of students at the Hamburg location, open international satellite campuses, establish a start-up centre for green logistics and strengthen KLU's digital competence. "KLU is about to enter its next stage of development. With Prof. Andreas Kaplan, we have found the right president for the further development of KLU."

Changemakers with an "Operations Mindset 

Prof. Andreas Kaplan emphasised the relevance of logistics for more sustainable and responsible business. More than 10 percent of global greenhouse gases worldwide were attributable to the transport industry and beyond that to supply chains. "Those who have an equally scientific and practical understanding of supply chains and supply chain management can become changemakers in any industry or sector. KLU stands for such an "operations mindset". We train the decision-makers of tomorrow, who have the tools to meet the great challenges of our time - first and foremost more sustainability. What is new is that we are even more internationally oriented than before. Digitalisation and entrepreneurship will also play an even greater role than before at KLU."

Research on the topic of carbon footprint that does not stop at the university gates. 

Logistics experts from academia and practice, all part of the KLU community, discussed how a sustainable transformation of logistics and supply chains can succeed. In the process, the university perspective grew out of its perhaps all too comfortable observer perspective. "The path towards an ever smaller CO2 footprint is one that we universities must also take ourselves, said Prof. Kaplan.

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