Biography of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel

Download als PDF:English version oder Deutsche Version

Christoph Meinel (Univ.-Prof., Dr.rer.nat.,, 1954) is Managing and Scientific Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI) and was Founding Dean of the Digital Engineering Faculty at the University of Potsdam.

HPI is a university center of excellence for digital engineering, academically constituted as an independent faculty for digital engineering at the University of Potsdam. HPI is supported by the foundation of Hasso Plattner, founder of SAP, and offers excellent university Bachelor's, Master's and PhD programs in Digital Engineering as well as in Design Thinking. HPI's courses are also freely accessible via the online platforms tele-TASK and openHPI. Together with Hasso Plattner, Christoph Meinel hosted the 1st National IT Summit of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel at HPI in 2006. Meinel is a member of acatech, the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, program director of the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program and visiting professor in Beijing and Nanjing, as well as a member of numerous scientific committees and supervisory boards.

Christoph Meinel is a full professor (C4) of computer science. He was founding dean of the Digital Engineering Faculty at the University of Potsdam and holds a chair in Internet Technologies and Systems. He is chair of the German IPv6 Council, head of various project groups of the national Digital Summit process, and member of numerous scientific committees and supervisory bodies, e.g. SAP Security Advisory Board, Board of Goveners of the Technion, open Humboldt Expert Group, Board of Directors MINT EC. Together with Larry Leifer, he leads the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program as program director.

His research interests are broad and lie in the area of innovative Internet applications and systems, especially in digital education, e-learning & tele-teaching and telemedicine, as well as Internet and information security. He is also active in innovation research, studying and teaching the innovation method of design thinking. Previous research interests were in theoretical foundations of computer science in the areas of complexity theory and efficient OBDD-based algorithms and data structures.

Christoph Meinel teaches at HPI in the bachelor's and master's programs on digital engineering and in the HPI School of Design Thinking. He offers numerous open interactive online courses on the openHPI platform on digital education, Internet topics (e.g. 50 Years of the Internet) and cybersecurity (e.g. Crime Scene Internet) and supervises numerous PhD students. He is also an honorary professor at the Technical University of Beijing and at Dalian University of Technology, a visiting professor at Shanghai University, a concurrent professor at Nanjing University, and was a senior research fellow at the interdisciplinary center SnT at the University of Luxembourg.

Christoph Meinel is the author or co-author of 28 books and several conference proceedings. He has published more than 750 scientific papers in prestigious scientific journals and international conferences. Together with his team, he overdeveloped the first European MOOC platform, which now has over one million enrolled learners and is also used by SAP ( and WHO (, among others. Under his leadership, funded by the BMBF, a school cloud was developed in 2017 - 2021, which is currently used in over 4,000 schools across Germany. In addition, he was the founder and long-time editor of the Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity ECCC, is the editor of the HPI digital blog, the tele-TASK archive and founder and operator of the openHPI platform.

A selection of his lectures in the areas of

> Internet and WWW Technologies
> Informationssicherheit
> Internet Security: Weaknesses and Targets
> Komplexitätstheorie
> Mathe 1 - Discrete Structures and Logic

can be accessed as Tele-Lectures via the Internet.

Christoph Meinel studied mathematics and computer science at the Humboldt University in Berlin from 1974 to 1979 and received his doctorate there in 1981. From 1981 to 1991 he worked as a research assistant at the Humboldt University and at the Institute for Mathematics at the Academy of Sciences in Berlin. In 1988 he habilitated as Dr. sc. nat. with a paper on complexity theory, which was published as a monograph in the Lecture Notes on Computer Science series (volume 370) of Springer-Verlag. After research stays at the University of Saarbrücken and a visiting professorship at the University of Paderborn, he was appointed full professor (C4) of computer science at the University of Trier in 1992 to the chair of "Theoretical Concepts and New Applications of Computer Science". In 1996, he was co-founder and director of the Trier branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM), which operated as an independent institute for telematics from 1998 under his leadership and management until 2002. In 2004, he was appointed scientific director and managing director of the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam, where he holds the chair (C4) for Internet Technologies and Systems.

From 1996 to 2007, Christoph Meinel was a member of the scientific directorate of IBFI Schloss Dagstuhl. From 1992 to 2007, he was spokesperson for the GI "Complexity" specialist group of the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI), and he has been a GI Fellow since 2017. He participates in a variety of international program committees and has organized various international symposia and conferences. In the national IT summit process, he was a member of WG5 "High-Tech Strategies for the Information Society" from 2006 to 2008 and has been a member of the WG "Digital Education Platforms" since 2014. He is on the board of MINT-EC e.V., the national excellence network of German schools with special offerings in the STEM field. He is also a member of the Security Advisory Board of SAP SE and serves on a number of supervisory boards. Since 2007, Prof. Christoph Meinel has been chairman of the German IPv6 Council. His internationally patented high-security solution "Lock Keeper" is licensed by Siemens AG. Also worth mentioning is the MOOC platform openHPI, developed under his leadership, which is also used by SAP (openSAP) and the WHO (openWHO) with currently over 13 million enrolled users, as well as the Tele-Board system for creative support of spatially distributed developer and designer teams, which is further developed by the HPI spin-off "neXenio" and marketed as "neXboard". In 1994 he founded ECCC - the Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity and edited it until 2016. With the support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, he is developing the HPI School Cloud in 2017 - 2021, an interegrative cross-national educational platform for German schools that offers teachers and students everything they need to use digital media in the classroom in a privacy-compliant form. The School Cloud is now powered by Dataport AöR and is used in more than 4,000 schools across Germany.




More information on Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel:

Interviews - Books - Chief EditorChairmanBoardsVisiting Positions


1st German National IT-Summit.
A discussion of Bundeskanzlerin Dr. Merkel and Prof. Christoph Meinel with students of HPI

Other Links

... to our Research
              Security Engineering - Learning & Knowledge Tech - Design Thinking - former
... to our Teaching
              Tele-Lectures - MOOCs - Labs - Systems 
... to our Publications
              Books - Journals - Conference-Papers - Patents
... and to our Annual Reports.