Endowed professorship for cycling at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is filled

Appointed for the endowed professorship for cycling as from the 2021 summer semester, Dr. Angela Francke will expand this area of specialization at HsKA

January 29, 2021

Transportation expert Dr. Angela Francke has been appointed as professor at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and will occupy the professorship for cycling in the study program Transportation System Management at the Faculty of Information Management and Media from March 1, 2021. This will significantly expand and deepen the focus on cycling at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, in Germany's most bicycle-friendly big city. Dr. Francke has spent the last few years at the Chair of Traffic and Transportation Psychology at the Technical University of Dresden, where she has conducted numerous research projects in the field of cycling. The newly established endowed professorship is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with 400,000 euros annually.

A native of Dresden, Dr. Francke studied transportation economics at the Technical University there, specializing in transportation psychology, transportation operations and logistics, and tourism economics and management. As a research assistant, she devoted herself in particular to application-oriented research on cycling and mobility behavior, for example on year-round cycling, on a German typology of cycling, or on the mobility behavior of people with migration experience. Starting in 2015, Francke established her own research group on active mobility, especially cycling, for this purpose.

Francke completed her interdisciplinary doctorate on differentiated pricing systems in urban transport to promote environmentally friendly mobility behavior at the Chair of Traffic and Transportation Psychology. For this work, she received the Top 5 Project award at the VCÖ Mobility Award in 2019. In addition to her research activities, she was a staff member of the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at TU Dresden, where she was responsible for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's international climate protection fellowship program from 2015 onwards.

Angela Francke's career includes numerous activities abroad, for instance as a visiting scholar at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as at the Kharkiv National Automobile and Highway University, Ukraine. With the endowed professorship for cycling at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Francke wants to set new priorities in teaching and research on cycling: "It is important to me to promote sustainable mobility, guided by the question of how the bicycle can become the first-choice means of transport in interaction with all other road users," says Dr. Francke. "Among other things, we will look at backgrounds in traffic psychology, empirical data analyses of mobility behavior and international cycling solutions. In this context, transfer to practice and cooperation with partners in administration, planning and politics will play an important role."

Angela Francke has been collecting historic bicycles since her youth and is interested in the technical and cultural history of the bicycle. With her, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences gains a passionate scientist who will work for the further development of the bicycle and environmentally friendly mobility on all levels.

"In the call for applications for the professorship, we were looking for an internationally experienced, outstanding personality, which we have now found in Angela Francke," says Prof. Jochen Eckart, Professor of Transport Ecology at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. "She brings with her extensive research experience and will add a psychological perspective to the existing expertise on bicycle-friendly planning. Only in this way can we succeed in meeting the interdisciplinary requirements of the topic of cycling."

"By filling the professorship, we can further expand the university's pioneering role in sustainable mobility beyond the borders of Baden-Württemberg," said Prof. Dr. Franz Quint, Vice-President for Research, Cooperations and Quality Management at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. "In this way, we are fulfilling our social responsibility as an educational and research institution to make a sustainable contribution to the mobility revolution and climate protection."

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer: "Germany is getting new cycling experts! The endowed professorship we are funding will start at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences in the summer semester of 2021: Dr. Angela Francke will approach the topic of cycling holistically – from infrastructure to road safety and cycling psychology to new innovations and trends. Those who have studied with her will then be able to apply their know-how in cities and municipalities to advance cycling in Germany and make it better. That is expertise that reaches citizens directly."

"I am very pleased that Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences has succeeded in recruiting Dr. Angela Francke, an extremely renowned and experienced transportation expert, for the endowed professorship in cycling. This will further strengthen the wide-ranging competencies of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences in the field of transport ecology and sustainable mobility. Bicycle traffic has recently gained considerably in importance - certainly intensified by the Corona pandemic. This development is far from over," said State Science Minister Theresia Bauer.

State Transport Minister Winfried Hermann: "For the ambitious expansion of cycling in the state, we urgently need well-trained specialists in the municipalities and planning offices. I am therefore very pleased about the new cycling professorship. The professorship also strengthens Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences as a center of knowledge and innovation for sustainable mobility. The professorship thus complements the new Institute for Sustainable Mobility funded by the state, which contributes to the networking of knowledge and innovation locations for sustainable mobility throughout the state."

Cycling has become significantly more important in recent years. To support this positive trend and address existing challenges, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has awarded endowed professorships focusing on cycling to a total of seven universities. This will strengthen research and teaching in various areas of the topic of cycling. In order to be able to do justice to the diversity and breadth of the challenges associated with cycling, the BMVI endowed professorships were awarded with different focal points. The resulting potential can be best exploited through a close exchange between the universities and the awareness of different perspectives on the interdisciplinary field of cycling can thus be sharpened.

About the endowed professorships in cycling

For the first time, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is funding professorships in cycling at seven universities. The aim is to ensure that the interests of cyclists are adequately taken into account in a sustainable mobility mix – from infrastructure planning and mobility management to bicycle-friendly legislation. The universities are funded with a maximum annual amount of up to 400,000 euros per professorship. In addition to Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden, the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Salzgitter, the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Wildau and the University of Kassel received funding.


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