Honorary degree awarded to eminent engineer
City University London has conferred an honorary doctorate on Professor Jörg Steinbach in recognition of his outstanding contribution to engineering. The presentation was made during the University's first graduation ceremonies of 2014. More than 2,000 students collected their degree certificates at Guildhall in the heart of the City of London.
Professor Steinbach is the President of the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), one of Germany's most renowned universities. He is globally recognised in the field of chemical engineering and holds the title of Professor of Plant Safety of Industrial Systems and Chemical Process.
Professor Steinbach has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engineering education in Germany and at a global level, through his leadership of various international organisations. Since 2007, he has been the chairman of Germany's accreditation agency for programmes of study in engineering, computer science, natural sciences and mathematics. He commented:
"The education we provide at our universities determines the way a profession is performed by our graduates. At the same time this performance will determine the degree of benefit for the society and for societal development as a whole. In other words, the quality of the education we provide determines the quality of life for future generations. This holds especially true for engineering education".
Professor Steinbach studied chemistry at TU Berlin and took his doctoral degree there in 1985. He went on to spend ten years with the former pharmaceutical giant, Schering AG (now part of Bayer Healthcare), rising to the position of Head of Plant Safety in 1992.
In 1994, Professor Steinbach earned his habilitation, the highest academic qualification a German scholar can achieve, in engineering chemistry. The achievement marked a return to full time academic work at TU Berlin and in 2010, he was appointed President of the institution.
Addressing the graduates of City University London, Professor Steinbach said that during his own time as a student, he would never have expected to be awarded an honorary degree:
"After 28 years of professional and academic life, I now find myself among you in the spotlight of attention as a member of the very league I once only ever dreamt of, and I have to tell you, it feels wonderful! I have never been more proud, wearing this gown and having received this certificate. It makes me a vibrant ambassador of City University London".
Professor Steinbach is also strongly committed to the World Cities World Class University Network (WC2), of which City University London is a founding member. It has been developed to bring together top universities located in major world cities to address cultural, environmental and political issues of common interest.