Biography of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel

Download als PDF:English version oder Deutsche Version

Professor Dr. Christoph Meinel (Univ. Prof., Dr. sc. nat., Dr. rer. nat., 1954) is Director and CEO of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI) and Dean of the Digital Engineering Faculty of the Potsdam University.

HPI is a scientific institute and university excellence center for digital engineering. HPI has the academic status of the Faculty for Digital Engineering of the University of Potsdam. It is financed by the foundation of Hasso Plattner, one of the founders of SAP. HPI provides outstanding Bachelor, Master and PhD degree programs in the field of Digital Engineering as well as a study program in Design Thinking. The HPI teaching offers are freely accessible via the tele-TASK portal and the openHPI online learning platform. In 2006, together with Hasso Plattner, Christoph Meinel hosted the 1st National IT Summit of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. Meinel is a member of acatech, the German “National Academy of Science and Engineering,” and numerous scientific committees and supervisory boards.

Christoph Meinel is a full professor (C4) for computer science, dean of the Digital Engineering Faculty of the University Potsdam, and serves as head of the department Internet Technologies and Systems at HPI. He is chairman of the German IPv6 Council, head of various project groups of the national Digital Summit Process, and member of various scientific advisory boards, e.g. of the SAP security advisory board. Together with Larry Leifer he is the program director of the HPI Stanford Design Thinking Research Program.

His research focuses are Internet and Information Security and the domains of digital education and telemedicine. In the field of innovation research he works on various aspects of the Stanford innovation method “Design Thinking.” His earlier research work concentrated on the theoretical foundation of computer science in the areas of complexity theory and efficient OBDD-based algorithms and data structures.

Christoph Meinel teaches courses in HPI's Bachelor and Master’s programs on Digital Engineering and at the HPI School of Design Thinking. On the platform openHPI he offers various MOOCs about Internet (e.g. 50 Jahre Internet) and  Cybersecurity (e.g. Tatort Internet). He has successfully supervised and supervises numerous doctoral candidates. At the Departments of Computer Sciences at the Beijing and Dalian Universities of Technology he has the position of honorary professor. He is a guest professor at Shanghai University, and a concurrent professor at Nanjing University. Christoph Meinel was a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg.

Christoph Meinel is author/co-author of 25 books and anthologies, as well as editor of various conference proceedings. More than 600 of his papers have been published in high-profile scientific journals and at international conferences. With his team he developed the MOOC platform openHPI, which is also used by SAP (openSAP) and WHO (openWHO). Meanwhile there are more than 10 million learner enrollments on these platforms. Under his leadership, the national platform HPI Schul-Cloud wasdeveloped for German schools, supported by the federal ministry for research and education. He was the founder and editor-in-chief (1994-2017) of “ECCC – Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity”, and is the editor-in-chief of “ECDTR – Electronic Colloquium on Design Thinking Research,” the “Digitalblog” and the tele-TASK lecture archive.

Some of his lectures about

can be accessed live and on demand as tele-lectures via the Internet.

Christoph Meinel studied mathematics and computer science at the Humboldt University of Berlin from 1974 to 1979. In 1981 he received his PhD degree with the title Dr. rer. nat. From 1981 to 1991 he served as research assistant at Humboldt University and at the Institute for Mathematics at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He completed his habilitation in 1988, earning the title Dr. Sc. nat. His thesis on the complexity theory was published in the series of Springer Lecture Notes on Computer Science (Vol. 370). After a research stay at the University of Saarbrücken and a visiting professorship at the University of Paderborn, he became full professor (C4) for computer science at the University of Trier, where he held the chair “Theoretical Concepts and New Applications in the Computer Sciences.” In 1996 he co-founded and served as director of the Trier branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM). In 1998 he founded the non-profit “Institut für Telematik e.V.” in Trier and served as institute director from 1998 to 2002. In 2004 he was appointed president and scientific director of HPI at the University of Potsdam and chair (C4) of the Internet Technologies and Systems Department.

Between 1996 and 2007 Christoph Meinel served as a member of the scientific board of directors of the IBFI Schloss Dagstuhl. From 1996 to 2007 he was speaker of the “Gesellschaft für Informatik” (GI) (German Society for Computer Sciences) specialist group on Complexity, since 2017 he is GI-Fellow. He participates in numerous international program committees and has organized a variety of international symposia and conferences.

Christoph Meinel was a member of AG5 “High-Tech Strategies for the Information Society,” under the auspices of the National German IT Summit, from 2006 to 2008. Since 2009 he has been a member of AG2 “Digital Infrastructures as Enablers.” He is on the board of directors of MINT-EC e.V. (a German network of excellence among German schools and colleges in the fields of math and science). He is a member of the Security Advisory board at SAP SE, and works closely with a number of other supervisory boards. Since 2007 Christoph Meinel has been chairman of the German IPv6 Council.

His internationally patented high-security solution "Lock Keeper" is licensed by the Siemens AG. His tele-TASK system, an innovative mobile system to record lectures or presentations and disseminate them via the Internet, is licensed by Dell. Under his direction, the Tele-Board system was developed which supports creative work of locally distributed teams, which is offered as "neXboard" to the market by the HPI Spin-off "neXenio".

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.