Strategic Partnership RWTH Aachen and University of Alberta

  Three persons sign the cooperation agreement Andreas Schmitter

Britta Baron, Associate Vice-President of the University of Alberta, RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg and Henriette Finsterbusch, Head of the RWTH International Office, signed a memorandum of understanding.



René Seyfarth

Coordinator for Strategic Partnerships


+49 241 80 92227



On the Strategic Partnership

It was a first step towards a fully-fledged strategic partnership: researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, and RWTH Aachen agreed on joint research activities in the fields of medical engineering, biofuels, and energy supply. Furthermore, the Asssociate Vice-President of the University of Alberta, Britta Baron, and RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg signed a memorandum of understanding between the universities. “We have great ambitions. By joining forces, we can achieve higher international visibility,” said Ernst Schmachtenberg.

2017 and 2018 were significantly shaped by concerted efforts to get to know each other better and identify the potential of future collaboration, regarding both the expansion of the existing contact and for attracting and continuing contact with new collaborative parners.

Scientific exchange is promoted through the Junior/Senior Research Fellowship program, which is open to Master's students, doctoral candidates, post-docs, and scientists in all faculties at RWTH. The University of Alberta supports stays made by RWTH students with the UARE program, even outside of the otherwise set application period. Furthermore, funds are available from other programs for mobility between Germany/EU and Canada/Norther America, which can also be used within the framework of the strategic partnership.



What is a strategic partnership?

RWTH adopts strategic partnerships with renowned partners with similar profiles, such as the Chinese Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Canadian University of Alberta in Edmonton, and the Indian IIT Madras in Chennai. These special partnerships distinguish themselves through the sustainable expansion of collaboration at all institutional levels. This concerns teaching, research, and administration. Part of this collaboration includes developing joint structures and innovative teaching offers, establishing research associations, and solidifying synergetic collaborative formats. The objective is to sharpen the teaching and research profile and to promote the internationalization of RWTH and its partner universities.

What are the core objectives of the strategic partnership between RWTH – University of Alberta?

The core objective of the strategic partnership is to develop innovative solutions and key technologies together and thus face global challenges. To achieve this scientific collaborations will be built and expanded; a high level of applicability, entrepreneurship, and industrial collaborations will be promoted, and the training of highly qualified and interculturally trained personnel will be intensified. These efforts will increase the international visibility and mobility at all levels, strengthen research-oriented (and digital) teaching, and create joint governance and administrative structures. Optimal research opportunitites and career promotion will add to the attraction for talented individuals and top researchers.

What are the core topics of the strategic partnership between RWTH – University of Alberta?

The University of Alberta and RWTH Aachen are characterized by many joint research focuses. Current core topics includes energy/smart grids, biofuels, medical technology, and data science. The Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative also offers close collaboration in the fields energy/environment and health/life sciences (JARA). Furthermore, other partnerships in welding engineering and at the intersection of cultural studies and computer science are underway.


University of Alberta Profile

The University of Alberta was founded in 1908. It is located in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, and is one of the top 5 universities in Canada. The university's campus is at the center of Edmonton, on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Augustana College in Camrose, 90km southeast of Edmonton, has been part of the of the university since 2004.

The University employs highly-qualified personnel; 40 lecturers have already received the 3M Teaching Fellowship, Canada's highest award for excellent teaching. This is evident in the class sizes, which are among the smallest when compared to other universities. Roughly 39,500 from Canada and 152 other countries study in approximately 400 courses of study at 18 faculties.

The University of Alberta is one of the best research universities and was recently a recipient in Canada's own excellence iniative.