Materials Science in Kiel - A History




The Beginnings

When establishing the master's program as a study course in 1996 the Institute for Materials Science could draw upon long term international experiences of their professors and chair holders. They worked at several famous institutes like Stanford University, Cornell University, IBM Research Center Yorktown Heights, Argonne National Laboratory and others Anglo Saxon education centers. The system of master and bachelor studies was established there long ago while in Germany still Vordiplom and Diplom were the usual grades.
Additionally there were impulses from Prof. Huggins, founder of the Materials Research Society and the Center for Materials Research at Stanford University while he was honorary professor at Institute for Materials Science in Kiel.

With one of the first master courses in the country of Schleswig-Holstein the institute would catch the attention of talented students from all over the world as well as raise the interest of German pupils for natural science and techniques. Till today the Faculty of Engineering in Kiel is characterized by the mix of different cultures and an international atmosphere. Thereby the Institute for Materials Science was a pioneer to give new impulses to the country and the economy of Schleswig-Holstein implementing a new study system with international compatibility.

Within a few years the institute could attract many additional students from foreign countries and renowned universities, which was also recognized by other research institutes and companies.
The highly skilled alumni entered positions as Germany’s global players as well as in famous research institutes like Max-Planck-Gesellschaft or Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. But also local economy profited from the course of the institute like small companies with special products for e.g. semiconductor industry. Today nearly 97% of the alumni find a job instantly.

The Bachelor

Based on these achievements the institute established a bachelor study course for materials science in 2005, pioneering in creating the first bachelor study course at Kiel University. It was set up as a consecutive study course to the international master course, starting out in German language and switching to English, so the students could follow up directly in the master study course. The mix up of the German and international students in the master course is increased by this which leads to a higher exchange and motivation inside the classes.

The number of students is still increasing and the part of female students is at a stable level around 30% which is a high number for a technical study course.
For supporting education the service center was established in 2009. It is a single point of contact for the students as well as for the lectures for all topics belonging to learning and teaching.


The institute and the university profit therefrom. The number of the chair holders was increased in the last years from former 6  to 10 professors. By this the institute intensifies their third party projects with economic and science partners all over the world. The budget of these corporations is actual the largest for a single institute at the University of Kiel.

The Kieler Nanolabor, the second largest clean room in Schleswig-Holstein, and the center for high resolution TEM were build up at the campus in Kiel for research on the highest level.
Many large research projects could be raised. As education in Kiel is always directly linked to research programs the level of lectures also increases. By this the students can attain knowledge of the state of the art in technology.

In 2019, the new groundbreaking Master "Materials Science and Business Administration" will be offered for the first time.