One more time!
In my last blog entry, I focussed on a farewell to the shuttle fleet and some observations on the paradigm shift occurring in the space sector. Space Shuttle Endeavour has now landed safely and Atlantis is being prepared for launch. Images of the International Space Station (ISS) with Space Shuttle Endeavour and docked with the European space transporter ATV 'Johannes Kepler', taken from a Soyuz capsule as it was departing, already have historical value. This time, I would like to focus on my reappointment as Chairman of the DLR Executive Board and on the aspects that will be of central importance in my ongoing work.
On 15 June 2011, the Appointments Committee of the DLR Senate recommended that I be invited to serve in my post for a further five-year term, starting on 1 March 2012. The activities and discussions leading to this reappointment were not easy for me. At my age, it is not trivial to commit oneself to a five-year period and, to some extent, it limits other employment possibilities. Once this new term of office is over, I will be 62 years of age – certainly not an age at which one can embark on new ventures as a younger person might. All that having been said, I greatly look forward to continuing in this post, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me in so many different ways in the past few months. I would also like to thank those who were willing to, intensively and on repeated occasions, discuss the matter that has been concerning me greatly, that of my personal future.
Now that the decision has been made, it is time to begin planning my second term in office. My main views on organisation, management and working structures, as well as on decision-making and assigning responsibilities, remain essentially unchanged. Needless to say, a number of specific points must be addressed, such as securing the future of the European Transonic Windtunnel (ETW), the development of German national expertise in the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) project, DLR contributions on the subject of electrically powered mobility and the planned change to the appointment of project management organisations by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung; BMBF).
At this point, I would however like to itemise a few general (and additional) points that will play a role in my work over the coming years:
- the development of DLR under the theme 'Continuity and Evolution'
- research, transfer, and administration as central points
- further scientific development of DLR
- anticipation and cooperative shaping of (societal) changes
- intensification of internal and external collaborative ventures with research institutes, fields of research, academia and industry
- operation of DLR within the Helmholtz Association
- positioning of DLR
I look forward to continuing to work for DLR and within DLR - and hope for broad support both internally and externally.