University of Vienna appoints new Academic Chairs for the Circle U. Alliance

The University of Vienna is pleased to announce the appointment of seven Academic Chairs at the University of Vienna: Kerstin Krellenberg (Climate), Fabio Wolkenstein (Democracy), Peter Gröpel and Jürgen König (Global Health), Marco Masia (Innovation & Entrepreneurship), Ute Smit (Multilingualism) and Sonja Buchberger (Teaching Innovation). The Circle U. Academic Chairs are responsible for developing the thematic priorities of the alliance within their universities and to further develop them through joint, innovative teaching and research activities.


Prof. Kerstin Krellenberg

Professor for Urban Studies at the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy, Department of Geography and Regional Research

"Circle U. provides the unique opportunity to join forces across highly innovative universities to create real impact both at international as well as local level to address the pressing issues of climate change co-creatively. My vision is to contribute to empower the next generation with the necessary knowledge, skills, and methods, to become game-changers in addressing the challenges of the complexity of human-nature-technology-ecosystems."


Assoz.-Prof. Fabio Wolkenstein

Associate Professor of Transformations of Democracy at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science

„As newly appointed Circle U. Democracy Chair, I will strive to set up and continue existing research and teaching collaborations with Circle U. partner universities. Chief amongst the themes I want to focus on are the challenges that democracies are facing today, notably democratic and rule of law backsliding, the rise of new forms of political illiberalism, and the consequences for systemic risk on democratic governance.”

Global Health

Ass.-Prof. Peter Gröpel

Associate professor at the Centre for Sport Science and University Sports, Department of Sport and Human Movement Science

“I’m delighted to join Circle U. as academic chair for the Global Health Hub as it allows to drive positive change in topics around health promotion. As someone deeply committed to challenge-based teaching, I also look forward to cooperating with academic charis across the alliance on developing and sharing “best-teaching” examples, and on fostering international and interdisciplinary collaborations at our university.”

Prof. Jürgen König

Professor at the Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Nutritional Sciences

"Recognizing the profound impact of nutrition on global health, I am looking forward to contributing and initiating activities that prioritize access to nutritious food and promote health equity on a global scale in the prestigious setting of Circle U. By collaborating with like-minded individuals at Circle U. in the Global Health Hub and beyond I aim to address the critical link between nutrition and well-being, fostering a healthier and more equitable world for all.“

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Marco Masia, MBA

Head of Entrepreneurship at the service unit Research Services and Career Development - Knowledge Exchange, Technology Transfer and National Funding

“I feel excited about joining Circle U. as academic chair for the InCU.bator as it allows to foster student-led sustainable innovation by supporting innovative projects with societal impact. It is also a unique opportunity to work with academic chairs from other Circle U. partners, learn from their experience, exchange ideas, and possibly build inter-university strong collaborations to strengthen our entrepreneurial capacity.”

Multilingualism, Interculturality and Language

Prof. Ute Smit

Professor at the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, Department of English and American Studies

“I’m an applied linguist, deeply curious to learn more about what languages do and mean to us, and how we language our educational, professional and also private life-worlds.”

Teaching Innovation

Dr. Sonja Buchberger

Head of Faculty Development at the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

“I am excited to cooperate with others engaged in innovative teaching practices and educational development across Circle U. universities and to learn from the mutual exchange! I experience the Teaching Innovation Lab (CU.til) as a thriving community that I am happy to join as chair.”

Former Academic Chairs

The University of Vienna would like to thank the former Academic Chairs for their valuable work during the pilot phase of the Circle U. project:

Prof. Dorothee Bohle, Professor of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences (Democracy)

Prof. Sabine Pahl, Professor of Urban and Enviromental Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology (Climate Change)