Evelyn Ehrenberger is giving a speech at the Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft's first graduation party.

Since 2015 Evelyn Ehrenberger is the president of the officially recognized private Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft, which sent off its first class of graduates in 2018. (Image: Mascha Tuler).

Doctorate at TUM
University President Evelyn Ehrenberger
“We Should Support Entrepreneurs Even More”
14. May 2018
Reading time Min.
After her doctorate at TUM, the chemist Dr. Evelyn Ehrenberger has worked very successfully in higher education management for several years, amongst other places at her alma mater. Today she is the President of Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft.
Evelyn Ehrenberger, who grew up in the Allgäu initially just wanted to come to Munich to study at TUM. But then she stayed and totalled stayed the longest part of her professional life so far at her alma mater. Evelyn Ehrenberger straight away continued her degree in Chemistry with a doctorate in the specialist area of Technical Chemistry: “What I found exciting about it was the link between pure chemistry and process engineering. The interdisciplinary nature of the projects and working with classic engineers was very interesting for me”, she says today. But staying in research was not an option for the young mother at that time.

Lots of potential in good flashes of inspiration

After her PhD Evelyn Ehrenberger worked in webdesign and product management for a couple of years before being able to contribute her expertise from working with interdisciplinary research groups in the role of communicative science manager in various positions at TUM, as well as the Bavarian Ministry. From 2002 until 2006 she has been heading the Presidential Office, and in 2011 was appointed TUM Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property.

Most inspiring about this position was dealing with entrepreneurs and their ideas: “I have seen on the basis of many examples how much potential there is in good inspirational flashes, but of course also how much perseverance young entrepreneurs frequently have to have”, Evelyn Ehrenberger says. She thinks that entrepreneurial spirit should be supported more at a lot more institutions. Also at her new workplace, the Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft, where she holds the position of president since 2015, start-ups by students and alumni receive targeted support and cooperations with companies are being sought.

On the move with a speed boat

In her role as university president, the chemist also sees herself as some kind of entrepreneur: the Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft is a comparatively small and still developing business with 330 students at present. “I like to compare it to a speed boat”, says Evelyn Ehrenberger. The manageable institution with its small departments allows for innovations to be implemented quickly and with a lot of energy. “Of course such a boat is occasionally rocking more quickly during a storm, but it is also more flexible”, Ehrenberger notes.

Changing from one of the biggest universities in Germany to one of the smallest in Bavaria was easy for her – not least because she rarely shies away from a new challenge. “André Gide once said: ‘Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.’ For my position as vice president at TUM this attitude was very helpful”, Evelyn Ehrenberger says. “For me, being brave means engaging with new and unknown things and in doing so getting off the beaten tracks and leaving traditions behind.” Even though uncertainty prevails at first, in the end the positive aspects of a new challenge are what matters.

Dr. Evelyn Ehrenberger.

Evelyn Ehrenberger (Image: Steffen Leiprecht).

Dr. Evelyn Ehrenberger

Diploma Chemistry 1994, Doctorate 1998


Evelyn Ehrenberger has studied Chemistry at TUM and did her doctorate in Technical Chemistry. With breaks in the private industry and the Bavarian Ministry she was involved in higher education management at TUM in various roles after her PhD.

From 2002 until 2006 she has. For instance, been heading the Presidential Office and between 2010 and 2015 she was the director of TUM International GmbH, a subsidiary of TUM, which coordinates university-related projects with partners from science, politics and the industry. In 2011 Evelyn Ehrenberger has been appointed TUM Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property.

Since 2015 she is the president of Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft in Munich, an officially recognized private university. Evelyn Ehrenberger has two adult daughters and in her free time enjoys riding the bicycle to clear her head.