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New at Hof University – welcome to Bavaria at the top!

As of the summer semester 2021, the following lecturers have started their new tasks at Hof University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Dr. Michael Spangenberg

The native of Amberg is 34 years old, lives in Bayreuth and takes over the professorship for Data Science at Hof University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Dr. Michael Spangenberg; Image: private;

An apprenticeship as an IT specialist for application development was followed by studies in engineering informatics with a focus on artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as a doctorate in the field of intelligent robot systems. Before coming to Hof, he worked as a software developer in the automotive sector (Cherry GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG), as a research assistant at the Chair of Robotics and Embedded Systems at the University of Bayreuth, and most recently as Head of AI & Data Analytics HUB for REHAU AG.

He is fascinated by the variety of problems in his field: “Data is generated everywhere in the company, whether in production or administration,” says Dr. Michael Spangenberg, who was able to establish close contact with Hof University of Applied Sciences and its students through his previous work at REHAU AG.

In his private life, he says he is particularly interested in moving around on two wheels, be it on a bicycle or now again from spring on a motorcycle.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Paul Molenda

The new area of responsibility of the 33-year-old from Bayreuth will be teaching in the field of factory planning and production management. He has been familiar with Hof University since his own bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, which he completed in Hof. He completed his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Bayreuth. Before joining Hof, he worked as a project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Bayreuth and as an academic advisor and working group leader at the Chair of Environmental Production Engineering at the University of Bayreuth. Subsequently, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Molenda moved to ZF Friedrichshafen AG in Auerbach/Opf. where, as a member of the plant management, he was responsible for the area of digitalization projects.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Paul Molenda; Photo: private

When asked what excites him about his department, he replies, “It’s very exciting to prepare factories and production facilities for the requirements of tomorrow. Bringing innovative technologies – such as assistance systems – to life and transferring them to the production environment has always appealed to me.” He chose Hof University of Applied Sciences because of its strong practical orientation and pronounced cooperation with regional companies: “Upper Franconia has the second-highest industrial density in the European Union – here, there are almost automatically very good points of contact for bringing together teaching and practice. In addition, the laboratory infrastructure at Hof University is also remarkable.”

In his private life, Paul Molenda does a lot of sports, likes to travel and enjoys good reading material.

Prof. Dr. Günter Hilmer

Born in Lower Bavaria, Hilmer comes from Straubing-Bogen and joins the Hof University of Applied Sciences in his field of Business Management with a focus on digital value chains. The 49-year-old first completed an apprenticeship as an office administrator and then studied computer science with a focus on business at the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences. He also completed additional training in technical sales before earning a doctorate in Computing Science at the University of Glamorgan in Wales.

Prof. Dr. Günter Hilmer; Photo: private

Before joining Hof, he held various management and project positions in the automotive industry, more specifically in the Volkswagen Group. Most recently, he was active in the One Digital Platform and Digital Services Car Integration topics at Audi.

“The interface of business and the end-to-end digitalization of value chains is shaping not only industry, but also our society and our daily lives. The resulting issues and solution approaches inspire me every day,” says Prof. Dr. Hilmer about his field.

He chose Hof in particular because of the cosmopolitan and at the same time regionally rooted set-up of Hof University of Applied Sciences. “The very good and pragmatic cooperation with colleagues and students, as well as the possibility of close contact with companies from the region as well as with globally active world corporations is the best example of this,” says Prof. Dr. Hilmer

His private hobbies normally include traveling, cycling and reading. But thanks to Corona, this has now expanded: “Since the pandemic, I’ve been playing the piano – a nice balance and welcome relaxation.”

Rainer Krauß

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