University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

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University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Wikipedia 13. Fotoworkshop Erlangen 2013 by-RaBoe 13.jpg
Orangery home of Chair of History of Art
Established 1742 (first)
November 4, 1743 (1743-11-04) (moved)
Type Public
Endowment 160 million (External funding 2012)[1]
Chancellor Dr. Sybille Reichert
President Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Karl-Dieter Grüske

1. Prof. Dr. Christoph Korbmacher
(Vice President for International Relations)
2. Prof. Dr. Antje Kley
(Vice President for Teaching)
3. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Hornegger
(Vice President for Research)

Academic staff 576 (professors)[3]
Admin. staff 13000 employees
Students 37891 (WS 2013/14)[4]
Undergraduates 18912
Postgraduates 5988
Doctoral students 687 (2013)
Other students 12991
Location Erlangen and Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany
49°35′52.5″N 11°0′17.17″E / 49.597917°N 11.0047694°E / 49.597917; 11.0047694Coordinates: 49°35′52.5″N 11°0′17.17″E / 49.597917°N 11.0047694°E / 49.597917; 11.0047694
Campus Urban
Former names Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen
Colors Blue     
Nickname FAU
Affiliations Domestic:
1. Bavarian State Ministry for Science, Research and Art
2. DFG
3. Excellence Universities
1.Top Industrial Managers for Europe
Logo of the Universität of Erlangen-Nürnberg

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (German: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) better known as FAU is a public research university in the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany. The name Friedrich-Alexander comes from the university's first founder Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, and its benefactor Christian Frederick Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.

In Germany traditional liberal arts universities do not usually have an engineering school or department. However FAU does have a distinct engineering faculty.

FAU is the second largest state university in the state Bavaria. It has five schools, 23 departments, 30 clinical departments, and 20 autonomous departments.[5] There are roughly 12,000 employees at the university.

In winter semester 2012/13 around 35,363 students (including 2850 foreign students) enrolled in the university in 153 fields of study, with about 2/3 are studying at the Erlangen campus and the remaining 1/3 at the Nuremberg campus. FAU is among the 12 largest universities in Germany.

In 2006 and 2007, as part of the national excellence initiative, FAU was chosen by the German Research Foundation as one of the winners in the German Universities Excellence Initiative.[6] FAU is also a member of DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)[7] and the Top Industrial Managers for Europe[8] network.


Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, founder of FAU

The university was founded in 1742 in Bayreuth by Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, and moved to Erlangen in 1743. Christian Frederick Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (one of the two namesakes of the institution) provided significant support to the early university. From the beginning, the university was a Protestant institution, but over time it slowly secularized. During the Nazi era, the university was one of the first that had a majority of Nazi supporters in the student council. In 1961 the business college in Nuremberg was merged with the university in Erlangen, so that now the combined institution has a physical presence in the two cities. An engineering school was inaugurated in 1966. In 1972 the school of education (normal school) in Nuremberg became part of the university.

Schloss Erlangen
The castle in the center of Erlangen, known to many simply as the Schloss, is home to a large part of the university's administration
2011, detached logo with the seal of the university, which is now used as watermark in letterhead of the university


Below is a short timeline of the FAU from its inception to its present form:

  • 1700-1704: The Schloss of the Margraves at Erlangen is built.
  • 1743: Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, issues an edict whereby the university recently founded in Bayreuth is transferred to Erlangen. It has the four faculties of Protestant Theology, Jurisprudence, Medicine and Philosophy.
  • 1769: The University at Erlangen is given the new name of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in honour of Alexander, Margrave of Ansbach and Bayreuth.
  • 1818: The library of the University of Altdorf, dissolved in 1809, is moved to Erlangen.
  • 1824: The first hospital is built.
  • 1825: The University moves into the Schloss.
  • 1927: Science is taken out of the Faculty of Arts thus creating the new Faculty of Science.
  • 1961: The FAU acquires a further faculty through merger with the Nuremberg College of Economics and Social Sciences (founded in 1919). The University's name is now Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 1966: Faculty of Engineering Sciences is established. (FAU is thus the first of the traditional universities of the old federal republic to incorporate engineering as an independent faculty.)
  • 1972: The Teacher Training College in Nuremberg is incorporated into the Faculty of Education.
  • 1993: The FAU celebrates its 250th anniversary.
  • 1994: The Free State of Bavaria purchases for the university 4.4 hectares of land in Erlangen previously owned by the US military. The area is now called Röthelheim Campus.
  • 1995: The WiSo Faculty (Business Administration, Economics & Social Sciences) celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • 2000: The Bavaria-California Technology Centre opens its headquarters at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 2000: Inauguration of the Research Centre in Clinical Molecular Biology in Erlangen.
  • 2001: Opening of the Röthelheim Campus on the site of the old artillery barracks.
  • 2004: Inauguration of the new building at the WiSo Faculty of Business Administration, Economics & Social Sciences in Nuremberg.


The Kollegienhaus, the historical central building and lecture hall of the University at the borders of the Schlossgarten

In February 2007 the senate of the university decided upon a restructuring into five faculties.[9] Since October 2007 the FAU consists of:[10]

The following faculties were part of the university (sorted in the order in which they were founded):

Logo of the University Hospital
Old University Library (Erlangen)

Faculty of Engineering[edit]


In 1962, after lengthy debate, the Bavarian parliament finally decided to establish a Faculty of Engineering in Erlangen.[11] Then, the University of Erlangen thus won out against the city of Nuremberg, which, for decades, had been demanding the establishment of a College of Engineering in Nuremberg. Since the expansive areas of building land required for this project were not available in the center of Erlangen, the foundations for a new University campus were laid in the south east of the town in 1964. The formal establishment of the Faculty of Engineering, the seventh faculty at the Friedrich-Alexander University, took place in 1966. What was unique at the time was that the various Engineering departments were subsumed, as a faculty, into the main university rather than constituting an independent university.

Present status[edit]

The Faculty of Engineering at FAU is a young educational and research institution. Since its foundation in 1966, the Faculty has gained an outstanding national and international reputation. The Faculty boasts expertise in a range of future-oriented areas of study and research across the five departments:

  • Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering.
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering.
  • Materials Science and Engineering. This Department was ranked at 10th best in the world according to the Quantitative Ranking of Engineering Disciplines (QRED).[12][13]
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Computer Science.

The Faculty has close connections both with other natural sciences as well as with traditional subjects at the university. The Faculty of Engineering currently concentrates on the following research fields:

  • New Materials and Processes.
  • Life Science Engineering and Medicine Technology.
  • Energy Technology and Mobility.
  • Modeling and Simulation.
  • Optics and Optical Technologies.
  • Information- and Communication Technologies.
  • Micro-/Nanoelectronics.

The Faculty of Engineering has a firm commitment to the unity and freedom of teaching and research as an essential precondition for scientific progress. The prioritizing of teaching and research is realized through the principle of teaching based on research, and the faculty plays a significant role in social and technological developments. The faculty promotes knowledge transfer, mobility and exchange within research and teaching in cooperation with numerous universities worldwide. Partnerships with businesses, research institutions, as well as international educational and cultural institutes are well established.


University research centres[edit]

Below is a list of research centres which are directly or indirectly affiliated to the university:

Other research centres associated with FAU[edit]

International Audio Laboratories Erlangen[14][edit]

International Audio Laboratories Erlangen (or AudioLabs) is a joint institution of Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits and University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. The University provides six professorship positions to the research center and guarantees the scientific integration into the academic environment. Fraunhofer IIS will provide a budget to fund AudioLabs for an initial period of ten years. AudioLabs will benefit from Fraunhofer IIS’ extensive history and expertise in the field of audio and multimedia technologies. This close cooperation of both partners allows for a unique organization with competencies ranging from basic research and teaching to technology implementation in innovative multimedia systems.

AudioLabs is unique worldwide in both its mission and international approach. It is having a team of globally renowned scientists, those are working to shape the future of audio and multimedia technologies in the research areas such as audio coding, audio signal analysis and perceptual spatial audio signal processing.

AudioLabs is located on the premises of Fraunhofer IIS in Tennenlohe. Being in the vicinity of the Erlangen University and the Audio & Multimedia division of Fraunhofer IIS, this location enables close scientific collaboration in an ideal way. In addition, it allows for use of the modern infrastructure of Fraunhofer IIS including acoustics labs, recording studios or digital cinema labs.

Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials[15][16][edit]

Clusters of Excellence concentrate and focus the research potential at university locations in Germany and, hence, strengthen their international visibility and competitiveness. Their policy is to engage in scientific networking and collaboration in research fields of particular promise for the future. Besides various university institutions, non-university research institutions and industrial partners also play an important role throughout the Clusters. Clusters of Excellence have been conceived to contribute importantly to the respective university’s strategic planning and to accelerate the process of setting thematic priorities at universities. Under the Excellence Initiative, a total of 37 Clusters of Excellence receive funding over a period of five years, with each Cluster of Excellence receiving an average of 6.5 million euros per year.
At university of Erlangen-Nürnberg there are two specialist cluster of excellence in the field of material science, lasers and lights.

From Molecules to Materials Innovative[17][edit]

Main research areas are in the field of material science.

Optics and Photonics[18][edit]

The university's Institute of Optics, Information and Photonics bundles a major focus in optical technologies within the faculty of natural sciences and has been the source for the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. Together with chairs of the engineering faculty, the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies and the Cluster of Excellence in Advanced Materials, optics and photonics technologies play an important role as a highly interdisciplinary field, attracting several Max Planck Junior Research Groups and Alexander von Humboldt fellows to the institution.

University facilities[19][edit]

Academic ranking[edit]

Institutional ranking[edit]

Overall world academic ranking of the university published by Academic Ranking of World Universities:[20]

Ranking 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Academic Ranking of World Universities 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-300 201-302 201-302 203-304 201-300 203-300 202-301 201-300

Broad subject fields ranking[edit]

Performance in academic ranking of world universities by broad subject fields published by Academic Ranking of World Universities:[21]

Broad Subject Fields 2013 2012
Engineering/Technology and Computer Science (ENG) 101-150 101-150
Life and Agriculture Sciences (LIFE) 151-200 151-200
Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (MED) 151-200 151-200


FAU Busan campus[edit]

FAU is the first German university to establish a branch campus in Busan in the Republic of Korea. In November 2009, its campus project received approval from the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The FAU Busan Branch Campus offers a Graduate School with a master degree program in Chemical and Bioengineering and a research center.[22]

In 2014, the university announced its intention of working toward making the Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone an educational hub. To this end, FAU Busan works internationally with various companies and universities. [23]


Alexander von Humboldt Professorships[edit]

In 2010 the newly announced professor of physics and co-director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship,[24] Germany’s highest-endowed international research award, endowed with € 3.5 million. In the year 2011, the second in a row, FAU communications engineer and researcher Prof. Dr.-Ing Robert Schober (born 1971) was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, entailed with € 3.5 million,[25][26][27] for an algorithm developed by him which is found in many modern phones today. In 2013, Prof. Oskar Painter received an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship as well. Prof. Painter is another new co-director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light.

German Excellence Initiative[edit]

The University of Erlangen Nuremberg was successful within the German Universities Excellence Initiative in competing for a "cluster of excellence" and a graduate school.[28] The cluster of excellence, "Engineering of Advanced Materials" focusses on interdisciplinarily developing new materials, joining engineering and natural sciences. The graduate school "Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies" emphasizes a strong focus in optical and photonics technology in the natural sciences, in engineering and the medical sciences and aims for a concise Ph.D. education. It is supplemented with a masters program in the same topics.

Both programs after an in-depth evaluation were extended for the third phase of the German Excellence Initiative in 2012 until 2017. They contribute significantly to the research funding of the university, including five new research buildings, permanent new technical facilities and research and teaching staff. They also aim to increase the international perception of the contributing fields of research in Erlangen.

Notable alumni and professors[edit]


Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Uni Erlangen Funding". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Uni Erlangen Management". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Uni Erlangen professorship positions". Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  4. ^ "Uni Erlangen Students". Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  5. ^ uni-erlangen facts
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Die Universität stellt sich neu auf". Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Uni Erlangen Faculties". FAU. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Uni Erlangen Faculty of Engineering". Erlangen University. Retrieved 3 Oct 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "International Audio Laboratories Erlangen". Retrieved May 2012. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Materials
  18. ^ Paths
  19. ^ "Associated facilities with FAU". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  20. ^ World academic ranking of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  21. ^ Broad subject fields ranking of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  22. ^ FAU Busan campus
  23. ^ Park, Han-na (Published : 2014-06-20). "German University Epitomizes Educational Hub Vision". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ [1] Retrieved 2012-10-19
  30. ^ [2] Retrieved 2012-10-19