Kühne Foundation to fund logistics chair at the ETH Zurich

The Kühne Foundation has agreed to finance the establishment of a Professorship of International Logistics Management at the ETH Zurich. At the same time, it will provide financial support for various Executive MBA programs at the Forum for Supply Chain Management (Forum-SCM), which has close ties with the ETH. The scope of funding will be approximately six million Swiss francs over the coming four to five years.

Prof. Gerhard Schmitt, Vice-President of Planning and Logistics at the ETH Zurich and Klaus-Michael Kühne, President of the Kühne Foundation, recently finalized the agreement. The goals and basic focus of the professorship concern teaching and research in the area of logistics management, with special emphasis on global value creation in supply chains. Of significance here is the tie-in between the technical orientation of the ETH Zurich, and business science subject matter (logistics management). The professorship ideally complements the activities of D-MTEC (Department for Management, Technology and Economics) along with related professorships at the ETH Zurichand ZurichUniversity.

MBA for Supply Chain Management

The chair will organize public events and seminars on logistics topics and become involved with a variety of Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs at the ETH Zurich. In the foreground is active participation in the Executive MBA for Supply Chain Management that has been run by the Forum-SCM for the past three years; the Kühne Foundation will fund program modules covering Eastern Europe and Asia. There are plans for close cooperation with other chairs and research bodies funded by the Kühne Foundation.

Advertising of the professorship and appointment of an incumbent will proceed according to standard practice at the ETH Zurich. The chair will comprise 6 PhD students and a post-doctoral assistant professor.
“It has been four years since the Kühne Foundation began close cooperation with leading German-speaking universities in teaching, training and research in the broad field of logistics, and now the Foundation has chosen ETH Zurichas its lead partner for furthering the cause of logistics sciences in Switzerland,” said the Foundation’s president, Klaus-Michael Kühne. “We are very pleased that the establishment of a major logistics chair at the ETH has created the basis for close cooperation that also incorporates Forum-SCM activities.”

Increasing significance of global logistics

This chair enriches the ETH Zurich, given the major changes undergone by logistics and supply chain management in recent years and the powerful industrial and commercial significance they have attained. Goods traffic is growing steadily in complexity, which calls for special focus in order to face the next wave of global logistics challenges.

Gerhard Schmitt, Vice-President of Planning and Logistics at ETH Zurich said “In the area of research, ETH Zurich’s dense, worldwide network of contacts overlaps with the international presence the Kühne + Nagel group has established in more than 100 countries. We are looking forward to dynamic synergies in research and teaching.” A number of recent logistics award holders have come from Switzerland, which serves to underscore the topic’s significance in this country.

The non-profit Kühne Foundation, founded by the Kühne family in 1976, is headed by Klaus-Michael Kühne, exclusive sponsor of the Foundation and main shareholder of the Kühne + Nagel Group. The Foundation has for several years supported education and advanced training, as well as research in logistics and transport economics, and as such is the largest foundation of its kind in Europe.
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) is professional home to 18,000 people from 80 nations. Nearly 360 professors teach mainly in the engineering sciences and architecture, system-oriented sciences, mathematics and natural sciences areas and carry out research that is highly valued worldwide. Distinguished by the successes of 21 Nobel laureates, ETH Zurichis committed to providing its students with unparalleled education and outstanding leadership skills.