The Story of CODE

Thomas Bachem CODE University of Applied Sciences

When our chancellor Thomas Bachem – self-taught software engineer and designer – was looking for study programs to promote his endeavors as an internet entrepreneur, he was disappointed to see that the academic landscape mostly focused on the never-changing basic principles of Computer Science, instead of the exciting new possibilities of the internet and its opportunities.

He decided to study Economics at a private business school in Cologne, which is where he experienced firsthand the radical drive to apply academic theories to the real world and a personal, supportive learning environment. Out of both his fruitless search for a truly applied software-engineering program and his revolutionary experience at the private university, the idea for CODE was born: CODE would be to Computer Science what business schools are to classic Economics programs.

One decade later, Thomas had already founded several successful internet startups. As an entrepreneur and employer, he discovered time and time again that good software engineers, designers and product managers – the key drivers for ambitious digital companies – are a rare resource in Europe and Germany in particular because classical university programs rarely qualify young men and women for the challenges of the new economy.

Meet our academic team

Our professors focus on enabling our students to have meaningful firsthand experiences, guiding them to reflect on these experiences critically, and empowering them to master challenging interdisciplinary projects.

The university council

Our university council advises and supervises the leadership team. They are a crucial interface between CODE and its environment and strengthen our strategic planning from an external perspective. We are pleased that, from left to right, Verena Pausder (vice-chairperson), Dr. Diana Knodel (chairperson) and Prof. Dr. Achim Bachem serve in this capacity.

These outstanding leaders guide our strategy and help us with their expert knowledge.Jonathan Rüth
Academic Counsel of CODE University of Applied Sciences

The Student Council

The student council represents all students studying at CODE University of Applied Sciences to the university and external organisations.
The student council meets up every week in order to represent the student body comprehensively, process their wishes and comments, and strengthen the CODE community.
Furthermore, the student council organises events and initiatives. It supports the different sports groups and answer questions coming from people that are interested in studying at CODE. You can contact us via email:

Selma Illig

Selma Illig


Noemia McCarthy

Noemia McCarthy

Council Member

Hanno Grimm

Council Member

Product Management Representative Heiko Damaske

Heiko Damaske

Product Management Representative

Abdullah Qadry

Interaction Design Representative

Elias Wolf

Elias Wolf

Software Engineering Representative

Matthias Bothe

Product Management Deputy

Marie Spreitzer

Interaction Design Deputy

Software Engineering Deputy Timo Angerer

Timo Angerer

Software Engineering Deputy

Board of Examiners Representative Jakob Sautner

Jakob Sautner

Board of Examiners

Quality Commission Tomas Gan

Tomas Gan

Commission for Quality Assurance in Project-based Learning

Admission Committee Lotta Melcher

Lotta Melcher

Admission Committee

Paulina Steffen

Paulina Steffen

Admission Committee

Research Commission Tobias Soppa

Tobias Soppa

Research Commission

Backed by the academic community

Our academic council provides us with the latest insights into our field‘s research, a strong tie to the scientific community, and decades of experience in creating meaningful learning environments. They help us identify those professors, researchers and lecturers who share our drive for excellence, our common mission, and support our educational approach.

Dr. Shermin Voshmgir

Blockchain Expert, Founder of BlockchainHub, Public Speaker and Guest Lecturer at Vienna University of Economics

Prof. Dr. Birger Priddat

Economist and Philosopher, Senior Professor and former president of Witten/Herdecke University

Prof. Dr. Sven Ripsas

Entrepreneur and Educator, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Berlin School of Economics and Law

Prof. Dr. Michael Erlhoff

Prof. Dr. Michael Erlhoff

Design Theorist and Art Historian, Founding Dean of Köln International School of Design and honorary Professor at HBK

Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner

Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner

Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

I learned that you can constantly improve, and that you should not be shy about your views, and about the direction that you believe is right.Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director

Supported by internet and startup entrepreneurs

This core belief is widely shared among industry leaders and is the reason why more than two dozen of the most renowned, tech-enthusiastic internet and startup entrepreneurs back CODE.

Recently, there were several articles in the press releasing the names of our supporters and investors.

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Meet the team

Our team consists of internet entrepreneurs and higher-education professionals. We combine the advantages of an agile startup mindset with a decade of experience in managing progressive private universities.

Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.Mae Jemison, physicist and astronaut

News, events and more

Want read our latest news and find out about the next event in your area or where to meet us? Read on!