Joachim Knebel

Joachim Knebel



Head of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Co-Director, Affordable Energy for Humanity



Joachim Knebel is Head of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He is responsible for some 35 scientific institutions that work on solutions and scientific fundamentals for areas spanning energy, mobility and information.

His work on systems-level challenges includes planning the transformation of the German energy system (‘Energiewende’) “from research to prototype to industrial application.” Operating at this vantage point gives Joachim a unique perspective on the strategy required to develop  pathways for finding large-scale solutions for complex societal problems. “‘Is it fair to all concerned?” Joachim asks, “that’s the question that guides my work.”

Through a partnership with the University of Waterloo, he now co-directs Affordable Energy For Humanity,  a new initiative that aims to develop energy access solutions for the poorest of the poor by leveraging the expertise and resources within these institutions.

Joachim’s vision for accelerating research on energy access begins with finding ways to motivate and support students and future leaders in this space. He will be mining the summit for researchable and actionable ideas, and is already working on a plan “to enhance the exchange of students between KIT and other institutions involved in the Summit,” he says.