Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Members of the University Council

Three women and four men largely determine the fate of Ruhr University Bochum at this time. Birgit Fischer, Dr. Ricarda Brandts, Prof. Dr. Ed Brinksma, Dr. Klaus Engel, Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas, Prof. Dr. Gerard Meijer and Prof. Dr. Reto Weiler make up the University Council.

Birgit Fischer

former State Minister, Chief Executive of the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Chairman)


Birgit Fischer, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Degree in Educational Sciences at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

  • 1972-1977 Graduated with the academic title Dipl.-Pädagogin

Professional career

  • 1977 – 1980 Head of the Educational Division at Ev. Bildungswerk
  • 1980 – 1986 Unit manager Volkshochschule (community college)
  • 1986 – 1990 Equal opportunities officer for the city of Bochum
  • 1990 – 2007 Member of Parliament in the Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia
  • 1991 – 1998 Leader of the SPD parliamentary group in NRW
  • 1998 – 2002 Minister for Women, Youth, Family, Health Affairs
  • 2002 – 2005 Minister for Health, Social, Women, and Family Affairs
  • 2005 – 2006 Deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group in NRW
  • 2007 – 2010 Deputy Chairwoman at BARMER
  • 2010 – 2011 Chairwoman at BARMER GEK
  • 2011 – 2019 Chief Executive of the German Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa)

Political career

  • 1982 – 1988 Deputy Chairwoman for the SPD MK branch
  • 1986 – 1990 Member of the SPD National Party Council
  • 1989 – 1999 Member of the SPD Branch Managing Board Bochum branch
  • 1990 – 1998 Chairwoman at the SPD party for the district Bochum-Mitte
  • 2001 – 201 1Member of the SPD executive board
  • 2001 – 2007 Deputy leader NRW-SPD
  • 2005 – 2007 President of the SPD executive board

Since 2008 Member of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum University Council

Dr. Ricarda Brandts

former President of the Constitutional Court and the Higher Administrative Court for the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster (Deputy Chairman)


Dr. Ricarda Brandts, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Law degree at the University of Bielefeld and Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • 1984 Second state exam in law

Professional career

  • 1984 – 1988 Research assistant at the Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Trial Law and General Legal Theory at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1988 Social jurisdiction judge at the Social Court Dortmund
  • 1990 Doctorate at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1994 Judge at Superior State Social Court North Rhine-Westphalia
  • 1995 – 1997 Secondment to the Ministry of Labour, Integration and Social Affairs in North-Rhine Westphalia
  • 1997 President at the Social Court Dortmund
  • 2000 Vice President at the Superior State Social Court North Rhine-Westphalia in Essen
  • 2008 Judge at Federal Social Security Court in Kassel
  • 2010 President at the Superior State Social Court North Rhine-Westphalia in Essen
  • 2013 – 2019 President of the Constitutional Court and the Higher Administrative Court for the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster

Prof. Dr. Ed Brinksma

President of Erasmus University Rotterdam


Prof. Dr. Ed Brinksma, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Hendrik "Ed" Brinksma, born in 1957 in The Hague in the Netherlands, has been President of Erasmus University Rotterdam since September 2020 and has held a professorship in Computer Science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands since July 2005. He was president of the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg from 2018 to 2020 and rector of the University of Twente from 2009 to 2016. Brinksma studied mathematics at the University of Groningen and received his doctorate from the University of Twente in 1988. The internationally renowned scientist is, among other things, a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, founded in 1752.

Dr. Klaus Engel

former Chairman of the Board of Evonik Industries, Essen


Dr. Klaus Engel, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1984 doctorate at the Faculty of Chemistry at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1984 – 2001 executive positions in Research & Development, Produc-tion, Sales and Strategic Planning at Chemische Werke Hüls in Marl, VEBA AG, Düsseldorf and Stinnes AG, Mül-heim an der Ruhr
  • 2001 - 2006 chairman of the board at Brenntag AG, the worldwide larg-est chemical distribution company in Mülheim an der Ruhr
  • 2006 position at RAG AG, Essen, and appointment as chairman of the board at Degussa AG, a predecessor company of Evonik Industries AG
  • 2009 to 2017 chairman of the board at Evonik Industries AG, Essen, one of the leading players in specialty chemicals worldwide, with 35000 members of staff and turnovers amounting to 15 billion euros.

Functions in industry and society (selection)

  • 2010-2012 president at Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) and vice president at Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI)
  • 2012 to 2017 member of the “International Business Leader Advisory Council” for the Mayor of Shanghai
  • since 2011 member of the Supervisory Board at National-Bank, Essen
  • since 2011 Boards of Trustees at Bonner Akademie für Forschung und Lehre praktischer Politik
  • private member of “Initiativkreises Ruhr”, Essen
  • honorary professor at Universität Duisburg- Essen


  • 2012 Fasel-Stiftung Award for Social Market Economy
  • 2014 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas

former head of the department "Coordinated Programmes and Infrastructure" of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Bonn


Dr. Beate Konze-Thomas, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1969 - 1974 biology studies at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1974 - 1977 doctorate at the Chair of Microbial Biology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and simultaneously research assistant
  • 1977 - 1979 research associate, Michigan State University, grant by the German Research Foundation
  • 1979 - 1980 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Max von Pettenkofer-Institute for Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, Munich, academic research
  • 1980 - 2014 German Research Foundation, Bonn
  • 1980 - 2000 head of the Division of Medicine
  • 2000 - 2004 head of the Collaborative Research Centres Group
  • 2004 - 2014 head of the Department for Programme and Infrastructure Funding

Memberships, roles and functions

  • A number of publications in peer-reviewed academic journals from 1976 to 1984, e.g. Biophysical Journal, Eur. J. of Biochemistry and Mutation Research.
  • Numerous publications and lectures regarding research funding between 1984 and 2014.
  • Roles focusing on research funding, research management, quality management in research, promotion of early career researchers. Development of measures for the promotion of equal opportunities in academia.
  • Programme development: Collaborative Research Centres, Research Training Groups, supply of literature, large equipment programmes of DFG and of the Federal Government and the Federal States of Germany, funding programmes of the Excellence Initiative.
  • In the Excellence Initiative responsible for the first three requests for proposals and selection rounds in the funding programmes Cluster of Excellence and Graduate Schools. Supervision of the Grants Committee that decides on the funding in all funding programmes of the Excellence Initiative. Responsible for the application of funds and invoicing of approved funds in the three funding programmes.
  • International functions under the umbrella of the European Science Foundation, member of various Scientific Committees and Executive Groups in Medical Research Councils. Involvement in the establishment of European funding programmes, e.g. the European Research Council and the Global Research Council, focusing on Open Access.
  • After retirement: member of the University Council in Freiburg, appointed from 2015 to 2018. Advisory roles: promotion of early career researchers and Global Young Faculty, Mercur and Mercator Foundation, Essen, under the umbrella of the Excellence Strategy: advisor to the universities in Bochum, Freiburg, Würzburg and the Faculty of Medicine in Cologne.
  • Since 2018 Member of the University Council of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Prof. Dr. Gerard Meijer


Prof. Dr. Gerard Meijer, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Gerardus Johannes Maria Meijer, born in the Netherlands in 1962, studied physics in Nijmegen from 1980 to 1985 and received his doctorate there in 1988. After research stays in the USA and Amsterdam, among other places, he became professor of experimental physics at the University of Nijmegen in 1995. From 2000 to 2003, he was director of the FOM Institute for Plasma Physics in Nieuwegein, then director at the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society in Berlin as director of the Molecular Physics Department until 2012. Since 2012, he was President of the Board of Radboud University in Nijmegen. In 2016, he returned to the FHI, which he has led as director ever since. He has been a member of the German Science Council since 2018.

Prof. Dr. Reto Weiler


Prof. Dr. Reto Weiler, Hochschulrat Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 1967-1972 Studies in Biology, Faculty of Philosophy II, University of Zurich
  • 1977 Doctorate, Faculty of Biology, University of Munich (LMU)
  • 1982 Habilitation, Faculty of Biology LMU

Professional career

  • 1979 - 1986 Scientific Assistant, Academic Councillor and Senior Councillor, Zoological Institute of the LMU
  • 1986 - 2018 Professor of Neurobiology, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg (CvO)
  • 1996 - 2005 Spokesperson DFG Collaborative Research Centre "Neurocognition
  • 2004 - 2015 Head of the Neurosensory Research Centre, CvO
  • 2004 - 2010 Member of the DFG Review Board on Neuroscience
  • 2006 - 2012 Spokesperson of the DFG Research Unit "Dynamics and Stabilisation of Retinal Processing
  • 2005 - 2008 Vice President for Research, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
  • 2008 - 2018 Rector of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Institute for Advanced Study, Delmenhorst,
  • 2009 Founder of the "European Medical School Oldenburg-Groningen
  • 2011 - 2015 Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, CvO
  • 2013 - 2018 Member of the Austrian Science Council
  • Since 2014 Chairman of the Founding Commission for a Faculty of Medicine at theJohannes Kepler University, Linz
  • Since 2014 Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, corresponding member
  • Since 2017 Member of the Founding Commission for the Faculty of Medicine, Augsburg
  • Since 2019 Member of the University Council of the Jade University of Applied Sciences

Honours (excerpt)

  • 1981 Medical Academy Award, Switzerland
  • 1987 Taniguchi Award, Japan
  • 1990 Max Planck Research Award, Germany
  • 1997 International Research Award, Australia
  • 1998 Honorary Professor of the University of Queensland, Australia

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