Portrait of Former Rector Harald Kainz Unveiled at TU Graz

The painting was created by the Graz artist Oskar Stocker and expands the collection of portraits of former TU Graz Rectors at Campus Alte Technik to now include 44 pieces.

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It is a tradition at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) to immortalise former Rectors with a portrait on Campus Alte Technik. The people portrayed decide for themselves who produces these pictures. Harald Kainz, who stepped down as Rector in autumn 2023 after twelve years, chose the Graz-based artist Oskar Stocker. "I have known Oskar Stocker since he helped design the Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation at TU Graz a few years ago," said Harald Kainz at the unveiling of his portrait in the Rectorate meeting room on Campus Alte Technik. "Three things were particularly important to me for the portrait. The picture should have its own character, I should be recognisable and also have a friendly expression. Even if it’s not a typical Oskar Stocker, I think the portrait is very convincing."

"I was delighted when Harald Kainz asked me to paint his portrait," said Oskar Stocker. "It was also a challenge because how do you portray a civil engineer and outstanding Rector? I solved it with materials and craftwork." The portrait was applied to a yellow form-work panel that Oskar Stocker had previously cut with a circular saw. Such panels are usually used for form-work in concrete construction.

"Harald Kainz has achieved great things at TU Graz as a scientist and as Rector. Thanks to his work and vision, our university is excellently positioned, has a strong international network and has become even more important as a cooperation partner for research institutions and companies," said TU Graz Rector Horst Bischof. "With this portrait, Harald Kainz now has a fitting place in our Rector’s Gallery."

About Harald Kainz
Harald Kainz was born in Graz in 1958. After studying civil engineering and construction management at TU Graz, he completed his doctorate at the Institute of Urban Water Management and Landscape Water Engineering in 1990. After obtaining his doctorate in 1990, he worked in leading positions in engineering offices in Austria and abroad, including eight years as managing director and board member of Umwelttechnik Wien. In 2000, Harald Kainz returned to TU Graz and was appointed to the Chair of Urban Water Management and Landscape Water Engineering, where he became Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in 2004. From 2007, he was Vice Rector for Infrastructure and Information and Communication Technologies at TU Graz, and was appointed Rector in 2011. During his three terms as Rector, he pushed ahead with the internationalisation of TU Graz, for example by introducing English-language studies and expanding strategic collaborations with numerous research institutions in Europe and beyond. The master plan for the expansion of Campus Inffeldgasse is just as much a milestone in his 12 years as Rector as is the development of the roadmap by which TU Graz is steadily approaching its goal of climate neutrality by 2030.

About Oskar Stocker
The Austrian artist, born in 1956, lives and works in Graz. He became internationally known through the exhibition Facing Nations, which showed portraits of over 120 people from Graz of different origins and was on display in Graz, Vienna and at the UN headquarters in New York in 2009. Oskar Stocker regularly portrays guests on the ORF programme erLesen.