With great sadness BIGSSS has to announce the passing of our former doctoral fellow Philipp Knodel › view all


Philipp made his way from Baden-Württemberg to Bremen in 2008 due to an internship in the former Collaborative Research Center 597 “Transformations of the State”. What started as a temporary stay led to his first steps in research. In the following years, he became a research assistant at the CRC 597, published several articles and even a book and finally gained his doctoral degree at the University of Bremen with a thesis on higher education policies in the UK.

Philipp’s high ability to think outside the box enabled him to quickly pursue new paths outside of academia. Together with his wife Diana, he co-founded the Hamburg-based start-ups ‘App Camps’ and ‘fobizz’, which aims to motivating teachers and school pupils for digital competences and coding skills. This endeavour as well as several others, were not only granted with a lot of funding, but proved to be immensely successful, especially during the Covid pandemic. Not only did the Knodel couple share the same innovative spirit and pursued a remarkable output in entrepreneurial terms; they also, and primarily, where dedicated to the life task of being loving parents to two children.

Unfortunately Philipp was diagnosed with cancer. Despite all efforts in medical terms and his everlasting fight to enclose its course, the disease proved to be incurable. As part of Philipp’s nature, he however maintained hope and stayed positive until his end, always with his loved ones in mind. Together with them, he spent his last weeks at home. On November, 5th, Philipp passed away.

For those who know him, the impact of his loss goes without saying. As an institution, BIGSSS, its faculty and its alumni network grieves for someone who left far too early.