Relative newcomer to the city Professor Dr. Hendrik Brinksma, who was appointed President of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in 2018, takes the club! questionnaire and reveals what impression Hamburg has made so far.

Do you expect growth for your organization and is this expected business development accompanied by a higher or lower demand for employees? What does this mean for the Hamburg site?
One of the things that attracted me to the presidency of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) was the perspective for growth. Our budget will grow by 25% over the next five years, and will allow us to fund at least 15 new full professorships and associated research groups, and attract almost 1000 extra students. Upon positive evaluation this scenario can be extended for another 5 years, bringing further growth.

Are there any technological developments that will have a particular influence on your business development?
Higher education, like many other enterprises, is busy developing its answers to the opportunities and threats of the digital revolution. On the one hand, universities have lost their monopoly as access points to scientific knowledge and providers of advanced educational resources. On the other hand, exciting new methods for teaching and learning, and for doing research are being developed. It is essential for universities to develop the right institutional profile for future success.

What do you appreciate about Hamburg What would make this appreciation even greater?
Hamburg has an excellent reputation as a major port and trading hub, and an industrial centre, as well as for its quality of life. The plans of the city to also turn it into a world brand for science and innovation are both exciting and essential for its future prosperity.

Are there any differences for you between working life between Germany and in your home country? Is there something that struck you immediately after arrival in Germany … were there other things you noticed only after a longer time in Germany?
German bureaucracy is more legalistic than its Dutch counterpart. Also, I have grown more aware of the intricacies of a federal system of government.

Which characteristic do you value most in your employees?
Creativity and proactivity.

Apart from Hamburg, which are your three favourite cities worldwide?
New York, Sydney, Vancouver.

What do you particularly like about Hamburg? Is there something you look forward to when you return to Hamburg after a longer stay abroad?
The port and its connection to the world, with a long historical tradition of openness and tolerance. With its eyes to the sea, Hamburg has an Atlantic outlook, unlike most German cities.

What drives you? What gives you the motivation to keep on going?
To bring the benefits of science to society.

If you have friends visiting you in Hamburg: Where do you like to take them?
Elbphilharmonie, Rathaus, Hafen, Alster, Miniatur Wunderland.

Where do you like to spend your vacation? What do you like to do while on vacation? Is there a favourite place?
Mediterranean countries for sun and food; Iceland, New Zealand and Norway for the impressive landscapes.


Hendrik Brinksma
The Dutch-born academic (61) studied mathematics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and then held a number of academic positions – including Professor of Computer Science and Rector Magnificus at Twente University, Scientific Director of the Institute Embedded Systems in Eindhoven and Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology – b efore coming to Hamburg.