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29.10.2018

Press Release

Health Researcher Prof. Bert Arnrich Joins the Digital Engineering Faculty of the University of Potsdam and Hasso Plattner Institute

On Oct. 1, 2018, health researcher Prof. Bert Arnrich is joining the Faculty of Digital Engineering, a faculty jointly founded by the University of Potsdam (UP) and the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). Arnrich has accepted the appointment to the largest and most research-oriented university in the state of Brandenburg. As a specialist for connected healthcare in the field of digital health, his work aims to pave the way for transforming healthcare systems from purely managing illness to maintaining wellness. Ubiquitous sensing and computing technologies are foreseen as the key enabler for pushing the paradigm shift from the established provider-centric healthcare model to a user-centered and preventive overall lifestyle health management that is available everywhere, anytime and to anyone.

“Prof. Arnrich’s contribution will strengthen the University of Potsdam at the crucial interface between informatics and medicine” said the President of the University of Potsdam, Oliver Günther, PhD. “The establishment of our two new faculties― the Faculty of Digital Engineering, operated by the Hasso Plattner Institute and the Faculty of Health Sciences, supported by BTU (Brandenburg University of Technology) and MHB (the Brandenburg Medical School)―signifies the crucial importance of this research field in the coming years for Potsdam as a scientific base. Mr. Arnrich’s appointment is an important milestone in this regard.”

“New technologies in the field of connected healthcare are making it easier for individuals to prevent health risks and offer exciting perspectives for the medicine of the future. With Prof. Arnrich we are gaining a further expert, who will advance the research and teaching in this important area of research at HPI,” said Prof. Christoph Meinel, dean of the UP’s and HPI’s joint faculty.

“Digital technologies, such as portable sensors and mobile devices, are increasingly enabling a comprehensive and constant collection of heath-relevant data and their use in daily life. These valuable data will be instrumental in improving the early detection and prevention of disease risks. We are delighted to have the renowned international expert Bert Arnrich involved in the establishment of the forward-looking field of connected healthcare at HPI’s Digital Health Center,” said Prof. Erwin Böttinger, professor for digital health and head of the HPI Digital Health Center.

Arnrich completed his studies of Informatics in the Natural Sciences at the University of Bielefeld in 2001. He subsequently earned his doctorate with his work “Data mart based research in heart surgery” . In 2006 he began with the establishment of the research group “Pervasive Healthcare” at the Wearable Computer Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), which he headed until 2013. Through the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions he was awarded an Individual Fellowship, and in 2013 he received a tenure track professorship at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul. Most recently, he has worked as a science manager at the Accenture consulting firm in Munich.

Profile of the Digital Engineering Faculty

The Digital Engineering Faculty (DEF, www.uni-potsdam.de/digital-engineering), was jointly established by the University of Potsdam and Hasso Plattner Institute gGmbh on April 1, 2017. It offers Germany-wide unique and practical bachelor's and master's programs in IT Systems Engineering, in which about 500 students are currently enrolled. The focus in teaching and research is on the foundations and applications of large, highly complex and networked IT systems. In winter semester 2018/19, these programs will be supplemented by two new master's degrees: Data Engineering and Digital Health. Two additional degree programs in the areas of smart energy and cybersecurity are currently being planned.

Profile of the University of Potsdam

With 20,000 students and seven faculties, the University of Potsdam is the largest and most research-intensive university in the federal state of Brandenburg. Currently, at the UP there are more than 30 professorships in fields related to computer science. 

Profile of the Hasso Plattner Institute

Hasso Plattner Institute gGmbH (HPI) in Potsdam is Germany’s university excellence center for digital engineering (hpi.de). HPI conducts research noted for its high standard of excellence in its IT topic areas, as well as at the HPI Research School for PhD candidates, with research branches in Cape Town, Haifa, and Nanjing. The HPI School of Design Thinking offers 240 places annually in its supplemental study program.