On 1 April 2013 Prof, Kurosch Rezwan took up office as the University of Bremen’s new Vice Rector for Research and Young Academics. The Professor of Production Engineering succeeds Prof. Rolf Drechsler.
Since 2009 Kurosch Rezwan, born 1975, has been working as a professor in the field of “Ceramic Materials and Components” in the Faculty of Production Engineering at the University of Bremen. He first came to Bremen in 2006 as a Junior Professor, following research stays in the USA and England.
A Swiss national with Iranian roots, he studied Materials Science and was awarded his doctorate from the ETH in Zürich. Over the past few years, he and his research group have received multiple national and international awards for their work, among others from the European Research Council. As a previous chairman of the German Society of Junior Professors and elected member of several other bodies, he brings appreciable experience of university governance to the office of Vice Rector.
The Creative Unit “Homo Debilis. Dis/ability in the Pre-modern” was started in April 2013. The small collaborative research unit will be supported with funds from the Excellence Initiative until 2016. “The aim of our research is to apply the methods of different disciplines in order to establish how physical, emotional and mental ‘disabilities’ or ‘impairments’ constituted a category of social order and differentiation between the 6th and 18th century”, explains Prof. Cordula Nolte. She leads the new Creative Unit together with Prof. Uta Halle and Privatdozentin Sonja Kerth.
Creative Units provide an opportunity to further develop and explore new lines of investigation in research programs that have already run successfully for some time. The Excellence Initiative will fund five new positions for the Creative Unit “Homo Debilis” – two for postdocs and three for PhD students.
Supported by a research stipend for senior researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Prof. Frank Wilderson will reside at the University of Bremen for a period of several months. The US researcher is investigating
the degree to which black people in western societies were excluded from social life by targeted structural racial violence since the times of slavery. Prof. Frank Wilderson is one of the leading representatives of a relatively new line of research in the field of international Black Studies. During his research stay he will be supported by Sabine Broeck, Professor for American Studies in the Faculty
of Linguistics and Literature Studies and an expert on the “Black Diaspora”.
During a press conference the new Rector, Prof. Bernd Scholz-Reiter, gave an account of his first semester in office. Conclusion: There is a constantly widening gap between the University’s reputation for excellence and the public funding it receives. “Our reputation could hardly be any better. Our scholars and scientists are renowned for their excellent research and teaching abilities.
This is not merely in relation to larger and better funded universities: In many fields, our University is actually the leader.” All this despite a miserable level of public funding which is going from bad to worse: “The nominal amount of public funding has been stagnating ever since the University Development Plan was adopted in 2007 – despite the fact that our costs are permanently increasing.” Especially upsetting is that in the near future the University will have to cut the jobs of 80 scholars and scientists, in addition to 50 positions on the technical and administration level.