The Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold is one of the highest honours awarded by the Republic of Austria and the State of Styria to highly meritorious individuals. The former Rector of Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), Harald Kainz, has now received both awards in one day in recognition of his achievements. TU Graz Rector Horst Bischof was among the first to offer his congratulations after the honours were presented by Federal Minister Martin Polaschek and State Governor Christopher Drexler. "Under the leadership of Harald Kainz, TU Graz has undergone an extraordinary development, from which not only the members of TU Graz, but also the entire science and innovation location of Graz have benefited," said Horst Bischof, recognising the achievements of the former Rector. "I am delighted for Harald Kainz that his tireless work has been recognised by the Republic of Austria and the State of Styria with these prestigious awards."
Harald Kainz combined growth with sustainability
Harald Kainz was Rector of TU Graz from October 2011 until the end of September 2023. During this time, the oldest university of technology in the country has become not only one of the most international universities in Austria, but also a major force in research collaboration with industry. Today, TU Graz is one of the universities in Austria with the highest level of third-party funding and a leader in the COMET programme. During Kainz's term of office, researchers at TU Graz were awarded twelve highly endowed ERC grants. The expansion of study programmes taught in English, the positioning of TU Graz as an entrepreneurial university and its success as a pioneer of digital university transformation are further milestones in Kainz's work. Significant infrastructure investments and the expansion of Campus Inffeldgasse into a lively innovation ecosystem at the intersection of science and business also fall within the Kainz era. Despite all the growth, Harald Kainz always had sustainable development in mind. In line with an ambitious roadmap, TU Graz will be the first university in Austria to become climate-neutral by 2030.
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