Oliver Zipse appointed honorary professor

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Oliver Zipse (2nd f.r.) with TUM President Thomas Hofmann (2nd f.l.) and the dea

Oliver Zipse (2nd f.r.) with TUM President Thomas Hofmann (2nd f.l.) and the deans Gunther Friedl and Christoph Gehlen.

BMW CEO to lecture on the transformation of the automotive industry

Oliver Zipse, the CEO of BMW AG, has been appointed to an honorary professorship at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He has been lecturing on the transformation of the automotive industry at the TUM School of Management since 2019.

Every semester management students at TUM face a jury chaired by Oliver Zipse. They have five minutes to present their ideas on the future of the automotive industry. How can vehicles be linked to the metaverse? What opportunities do wearables offer production employees? How can the industry improve energy management?

This CEO pitch, as it is called, is the highlight of the seminar "Innovative automobile production and current transformation areas", which Oliver Zipse has been giving at the TUM School of Management since 2019. The CEO’s seminar is not limited to the theoretical foundations of global markets, production systems and digital innovations. The students also work with various BMW departments to conduct analysis and create strategies for the current challenges of the industry. The seminar always receives top ratings in the student evaluations.

"Strength of the Munich innovation ecosystem"

"Oliver Zipse’s long-term teaching commitment is a huge win for our university," says TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann. "Once again we see the strength of the Munich innovation ecosystem, where global players like BMW, start-ups, the world of research and civil society work together for a better future. I’m especially pleased to see how this is benefiting young talents in our degree programs."

"Europe’s biggest strengths are in the minds of the people: in the spirit of scientific enquiry and exploration, their creativity and the freedom of thought. A comprehensive and broad-based education is the foundation for carrying this strength forward into the future," said Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW AG. "That’s why it means so much to me to promote and get involved in the academic education of young people. Because there’s nothing that makes our economy more adaptable, agile and future-proof than young, smart minds who want to make things happen."

"Few sectors can rival the impact of the car industry on Germany’s economic competitiveness. That is why the importance of its transformation extends far beyond the industry itself," says Prof. Gunther Friedl, the Dean of the TUM School of Management. "That makes it even more important for us to educate students who are familiar with the corporate world and not just the theoretical side. No lecture, no matter how good, can replace working on real issues in a team."

Key pillar of teaching

Oliver Zipse studied informatics and mathematics at the University of Utah (USA) and mechanical engineering at TU Darmstadt. He joined BMW AG as a trainee in 1991. After starting out in technology development, his career led to various management positions before he joined the Board of Management. He was appointed CEO in 2019.

Honorary professors are members of the TUM faculty. They can supervise doctoral theses and represent an important pillar in academic programs by offering specialized fields, contributing their professional experience and addressing economic and societal issues. They are appointed under a defined process in which, among other steps, a selection committee obtains two independent external opinions.

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