Prof. Dr. rer. oec. Fabian Diefenbach

Dr. Diefenbach is a professor of Business Management. He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from ESB Reutlingen, Germany, a Master of Business Administration from EGADE, Tec de Monterrey, Mexico and a Ph.D. from the University of St.Gallen (HSG), Switzerland. Prior to joining Hochschule Esslingen as a professor, Dr. Diefenbach worked as strategy consultant at Bain & Company in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, South Africa and India. He gained experience as Head of Group Controlling and Head of Strategic Controlling & Risk Management at Festo GmbH & Co. KG and as Director Corporate Development at TeamViewer GmbH. Dr. Diefenbach serves as board member for various organizations and works as a management consultant.


Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Michael Flad

Dr. Flad is a professor of Business Management. He has a degree in Business with a major in Quantitative Methods from Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen and from the University of Texas at Austin in the USA. Dr. Flad did his PhD at the Goethe University in Frankfurt a. M. in Financial Econometrics.
Before his move to Esslingen, Dr. Flad did research at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Harvard University, USA. He worked as a Research Analyst for the European Central Bank, in the Research Department of the Deutsche Bundesbank and was a Strategist and Manager in the area of Investment Management at Allianz SE.
Dr. Flad is the Academic Director and the Internship Director of the Esslingen MBA program.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. (KNUTD) Helmut Kohlert

Dr. Kohlert is a professor of Business Management. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Hohenheim, Germany, and a doctor’s degree from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He is serving as a consultant and trainer to numerous companies in the fields of marketing and international marketing. Dr. Kohlert is the author of numerous books, such as “Marketing für Ingenieure” and of many articles.

Prof. Dr. Catharina Kriegbaum-Kling

Dr. Kriegbaum-Kling is a professor of Business Management and Accounting. She has a Diplom degree in Business from the University of Augsburg, an MBA from the University of Dayton/Ohio/USA and a PhD from  the “Technische Universität Dresden.” Before joining the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, she worked as Main Departmental Manager for Finance and Controlling for the high-technology company TRUMPF in Ditzingen and was Commercial Director of the TRUMPF Machine Tool Division.

Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Uta Mathis

Dr. Mathis began her academic career in 1990, as a Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieurin at the University of Kaiserslautern (now called TU KL). In 1998 she graduated with a PhD in political science, specialising in the “Analysis of Organizational Parameters for the Planning and Implementation of Product Innovations based on Simultaneous Engineering.”

In 1990, Dr. Mathis began her professional career as an academic assistant for Prof. Dr. habil. K.J. Zink, in the area of Industrial Business Operations and Industrial Science. After this, she worked at IDS Scheer AG in Saarbrücken as an SAP/R3 Consultant and Project Manager.

Since 2001, Dr. Mathis has been a professor in the Faculty of Management at Esslingen University.


Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Karin Melzer

Dr. Melzer is professor of Mathematics, Mathematical Finance and Statistics at the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. She holds a Diplom degree in business mathematics and a PhD in Economics, both from the University of Ulm, Germany.
Dr. Melzer earned a Master's Degree in Economics at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. She is the Equal Opportunity Commissioner at the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences.

Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Jan Schäfer-Kunz

Dr. Schäfer-Kunz is a professor of Business Management and Accounting. He has German Diplom degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics and a doctorate from the University of Stuttgart. Dr. Schäfer-Kunz is a consultant to numerous small and medium-sized companies and is the author of several books and articles.

Prof. Dr. Ralf Wörner

Prof. Dr. Ralf Wörner is the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Technologies and Mobility Systems (INEM) at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. He has been the Chair of the Department of Vehicle Technology since 2016.

From 1997 to 2016, Dr. Wörner worked at Daimler, first responsible for automatic transmissions and then for the development of powertrain systems in international cooperation programmes. Before that, he was in charge of developing high performance powertrains at Mercedes-AMG. Dr. Wörner began his professional career in the R&D department of combustion engines at Daimler in 1997.


Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zürn, Dean of the Graduate School

Dr. Zürn is a professor of Operations Management. He holds a doctoral degree in natural sciences from the University of Munich and a degree in Business Consulting from the University of Applied Sciences in Wismar.

Before joining the Graduate School, he served more than 20 years as Project Manager, International Technical Consulting Manager, Plant Manager (France) and Technical Director in the construction materials industry and later on as Head of R&D for a regional business unit of a leading multinational chemical company. During his industrial career, he was already lecturing technical and management courses at the University of Munich and the University of Applied Sciences of Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Zürn’s main academic focus and core competences are in Industrial Project Management, Operational Efficiency Methods, Technology- and R&D Management. In the last-named field he also acts as an author.

The Esslingen program is partnered withmasterstudies in Europe.

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