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Appointments: New professors at the faculties of business administration and engineering

For the summer semester of 2023, Hof University of Applied Sciences welcomes three new professors at the faculties of economics and engineering. The campuls editorial team asked them which teaching areas they will be taking on at the university in the future, what impressions they have gained in their first weeks at the university, and what particularly appeals to them about their new job as professor.

Prof. Dr. Michael Kozak, Faculty of Business and Economics

Prof. Dr. Michael Kozak; Image: private

In the Faculty of Business and Economics, Dr. Michael Kozak started in the summer semester of 2023 as Professor of International Human Resource Management and Personnel Psychology. The 39-year-old was born in Landshut and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in International Management and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Strategic and International Management.

He successfully completed his Ph.D. at the University of the West of Scotland. Prior to his appointment at the university, Prof. Kozak worked for a Bavarian machine and plant manufacturer in China and Southeast Asia since 2012, most recently as Head of HR Asia Pacific in Thailand. So far, he has come to know the university as an all-round family with a broad and comprehensive range of courses and a high degree of internationality.

I am particularly looking forward to contributing with my teaching to optimally prepare students for the job market.”

Prof. Dr. Michael Kozak

Prof. Dr. Oliver Mauroner, Faculty of Business and Economics

Dr. Oliver Mauroner has also been appointed to the Faculty of Business and Economics as Professor of Technology-Oriented Innovation and Start-up Management. He is responsible for teaching in the area of business models and entrepreneurship, innovation and change management. In doing so, he lectures in study programs of all faculties of the university.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Mauroner; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Mauroner comes from South Tyrol and moved from Bolzano to the Technical University of Ilmenau after graduating from high school in order to study business informatics there from 1995. During his studies he worked at Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk in Erfurt and at Daimler AG in Mannheim.

He completed his doctorate in 2009 at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena in the field of innovation marketing. He investigated success factors of innovative spin-offs from research institutes and, among other things, the question of how cooperative relationships of spin-offs to the respective parent organization can be successfully designed. During and after his doctorate, more precisely from 2002 to 2013, he worked in marketing at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena. For several years there, he headed the Strategy, Marketing, Coordination department and was responsible for the institute’s communication and transfer processes.

From 2013 to 2016, Oliver Mauroner held a junior professorship at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, and focused primarily on creativity and innovation. From 2016 to March 2023, he was professor of management at Mainz University of Applied Sciences.

When asked by the campuls editorial team about his first impressions of the campus, Prof. Mauroner was impressed by the diverse study program and the many international students. He said he spends a lot of time at the Einstein 1 incubator, which he describes as a particularly inspiring place. “I hope to settle in well at Hof and become part of the university – this applies to teaching as well as research, projects and committee work.”

At Hof University of Applied Sciences, I want to address current topics in the field of innovation in teaching and research and always encourage students to critically question classic and modern management concepts. I consider the current developments in management research and practice, such as design thinking, storytelling, lean start-up, co-creation or open innovation, to be extremely exciting. As a university, we can help ensure that these very topics are further researched and tested by creative minds and ultimately come to fruition in practice.”

Prof. Dr. Oliver Mauroner

The 45-year-old lives with his family in Weimar.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Rausch, Faculty of Engineering Sciences

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Rausch; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Engineering welcomes Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Rausch to its ranks. His main responsibilities at the university are teaching product development, design and additive manufacturing as well as research in the mentioned areas. In addition, Prof. Rausch is in charge of the design teaching room and the additive manufacturing laboratory.

The 33-year-old is from Münchberg and decided to pursue a dual course of study after leaving school. This included vocational training as a mechatronics engineer and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Hof University of Applied Sciences. He then completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on simulation and, a few years later, also earned a doctorate in the field of simulation while working.

For several years, Prof. Rausch worked as a calculation engineer for components and processes (FEM and component strength) as well as in development projects in industry. During this time, he also completed his doctorate at the University of Kassel in the area of the calculation of process-related residual stresses in ultra-high-strength steels using finite element methods. He was able to apply this knowledge while working on research projects on component strength.

Most recently, Prof. Rausch supported the start-up Aerofoils GmbH – a spin-off of Audi AG – as COO and developer, initially in his spare time and later as a full-time employee for two years. In the process, he established a site in the district of Hof, where one of the most efficient electric vehicles on water is now being developed and produced.

First impressions on site

“I already had fond memories of Hof University from my training days as a student. Since then, the university has grown and the research opportunities have also increased greatly. I see myself as a trainer for the students with the aim of giving them important foundations for their future working lives. What particularly appeals to me is the interplay between practical experience and underlying theory – both of which I enjoy imparting. Based on my activities and experience from research to start-up, I am looking forward to being able to add value to ideas with dynamism and with the help of the modern possibilities at Hof University of Applied Sciences. Even though I am focusing on teaching for the time being, I already have some ideas in mind,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Rausch.

Kirsten Hölzel

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