The University of Stuttgart elects a new Rector

May 27, 2024, Nr. 19

Professor Peter Middendorf succeeds Professor Wolfram Ressel
[Picture: ARENA2036 / Corinna Spitzbarth]

The Senate and University Council of the University of Stuttgart have elected Professor Peter Middendorf, previously the Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer, as the new Rector. On October 1, he will succeed Professor Wolfram Ressel, who did not stand for re-election after three terms in office.

The Chairman of the University Council, Professor Bernhard Keimer, congratulated the newly elected Rector: "With its robust research capabilities, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the synergy between engineering, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences, the University of Stuttgart is exceptionally well-positioned to make indispensable contributions to the advancement of science and society. I am delighted that we have entrusted this responsibility to Professor Middendorf, an experienced and innovative science manager who will adeptly and successfully navigate the challenges and transformations ahead."

Election of the new Rector at the University of Stuttgart. Photo: From left Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector, Prof. Peter Middendorf, Prof. Bernhard Keimer, Chairman of the University Council

Achieving success through interdisciplinary collaboration

The incumbent Rector, Professor Wolfram Ressel, congratulated his designated successor: "At the University of Stuttgart, we can proudly reflect on the past years during which we have followed the Stuttgart Way of networked disciplines. This approach has been reinforced by numerous successful projects in research, teaching, and knowledge transfer. I am deeply grateful to my team and everyone at our university for everything we have achieved together. At the same time, I know that many challenges still lie ahead. I am confident that the University of Stuttgart is in the best hands with Peter Middendorf, who brings a wealth of experience from his six years as Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer. I congratulate him on his election and wish him the necessary luck, the support of the entire university and great success."

Prof. Wolfram Ressel congratulates his successor, Prof. Peter Middendorf

The vision of a sustainable society

Peter Middendorf expressed gratitude for the trust placed in him, emphasizing that in turbulent times, universities are of particular importance on many levels. He underscored the importance of advancing knowledge through research, providing forward-thinking education, and tackling global societal challenges as key to fostering innovation and promoting regional development.

The newly elected Rector emphasized that the University of Stuttgart, renowned for its strong technical foundation complemented by humanities, social sciences, and economics, is poised to make significant contributions in the future. I am deeply honored to take on this position and the responsibility that comes with it and to be able to shape the future of our university together with the new Rectorate team and all other members of the University of Stuttgart. I am eager to tackle the challenges ahead and am committed to playing a key role in shaping a sustainable society that aligns with our vision.

Prof. Peter Middendorf will become the new Rector at the University of Stuttgart on October 1

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Middendorf has been Head of the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart since February 2012. His research focuses on lightweight construction, fiber composite technology and the mechanical behavior of aircraft structures. He is a founding member and spokesperson for the ARENA2036 research campus, coordinator of Baden-Württemberg's aerospace strategy, and has been Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer at the University of Stuttgart since 2018.

Peter Middendorf studied aerospace engineering at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich before going on to work on the Eurofighter program at the German Air Force Ordinance and Supplies Department. He later earned his doctorate in the field of structural mechanics of fiber composites. He then worked for EADS Group Research in various positions in the Composite Technologies and Lightweight Design division, most recently as Head of Department and Senior Expert. From 2010, Prof. Middendorf held various positions at the EADS Helicopter Division, where he most recently headed the Research and Innovation Directorate for Eurocopter Germany.

The Rector of the University of Stuttgart is elected jointly by the Senate and the University Council, in accordance with the provisions of the Baden-Württemberg State Higher Education Act. The appointment is made by the Minister President of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The term of office is to begin on October 1, 2024 and lasts six years.


Press contact:
Dr. Florian Krüger, University Communications
Tel.: +49 711 685-82555, email

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