Staff Development Symposium


"future of work"


Digitization. Staff. University.



Doris Klee

Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development


+49 241 80 94002





Verena Nitsch

Professor of Ergonomics at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering


+49 241 80 99450





Bettina Wiese

Professor for Psychology and Personnel and Organizational Psychology at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities


+49 241 80 96014



Digitalization is bringing about rapid changes in our working world. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we must – and can – transform the way we work and behave. These changes will not only affect technical processes, but also individual employees, organizations, and our society as a whole.

What opportunities and risks can a more flexible and digital academic working world offer? Young researchers’ requests must be particularly favored since they play a crucial role in shaping future society. But this transformation process also requires perspectives to be developed for all other groups of employees too.

RWTH invites renowned representatives from academia and industry to share their ideas on the future of work. The challenges for staff development in science and academia are a key focus of the event.

The event will be live-streamed for all conference participants. After the presentations and during the panel discussions, participants will have the opportunity to interact and contribute to the event online.

Professor Verena Nitsch, Director of the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics at RWTH Aachen University, talks to us about digitization, working from home, and work-life balance in the pandemic in this interview.


Information and Registration

The event fee is 180 euros.

Please use the RWTH booking system to register for the event.

If you would like to use internal ordering processes, such as SAP, for billing purposes, please do so before you register. Please indicate your internal institution order number during the registration process for the "future of work" symposium.

All events are wheelchair accessible. If you require additional accommodations, please contact us ahead of time.



RWTH has reserved a number of rooms for visitors, which can be booked using the following link: Meeting Point Aachen – Future of Work 2021.


Program Highlights

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
1:30pm to 2pm

Welcome speeches

  • Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister of Culture and Science of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, Rector of RWTH Aachen University
future of work – day I
2pm to 2:30pm

Keynote speech: "History.Society.Change"

  • Prof. Dr. Paul Thomes, Professor for Economics and Social History and History of Technology at RWTH
  • Robert Peters, Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit), Berlin
2:30pm to 3pm

Keynote speech: "Media.Staff.Management"

  • Prof. Dr. Bernad Batinic, Professor for Education and Psychology at Johannes Kepler University Linz
3pm to 3:30pm

Keynote speech: "Digitalization.University.Lifelong Learning"

  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus, Senior Vice President Talent Management and Diversity at Technical University of Munich
3:30pm to 4pm

Keynote speech: "Digital Change.Equal Opportunities.Career"

  • Dr. Kira Marrs, ISF München
4pm to 4:15pm Break
4:15pm to 5:15pm

Discussion: "Potential.Challenges"

  • Prof. Dr. Paul Thomes
  • Robert Peters
  • Prof. Dr. Bernad Batinic
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus
  • Dr. Kira Marrs
  • Moderation: Manfred Nettekoven, Chancellor of RWTH

Thursday, April 29, 2021
future of work – day II
9am to 9:30am

Keynote speech: "Young Researchers. Desires. Goals"

  • Prof. Dr. Bettina S. Wiese, Professor for Psychology and Personnel and Organizational Psychology at RWTH
9:30am to 10am

Keynote speech: "Digital Transformation.Age.Labor Participation“

  • Dr. Melanie Ebener, Chair of Occupational Health Science at the University of Wuppertal
10am to 10:15am Break

10:15am to 10:45am

Keynote speech: "Work 4.0.Personal-Technological Interactions.“

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Verena Nitsch, Professor of Ergonomics at RWTH
10:45am to 11:15am

Keynote speech: "New Work.Organization.Culture“

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sascha Stowasser, Chair of ifaa – Institut für angewandte Arbeitswissenschaft in Dusseldorf
11:15am to 12 noon

Keynote speech: "People.Work 4.0.Organization"

  • Prof. Dr. Bettina S. Wiese
  • Dr. Melanie Ebener
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Verena Nitsch
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sascha Stowasser
  • Moderation: Ralf Raspe
12 noon to 1pm Break

Staff development.Best practice.Economy

1pm to 1:45pm


  • Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Nyhsen, Technical Head of Business Unit, NRW Management at STRABAG AG
  • Dr. Lars Immisch, Executive Vice President of Human Resources – Airbus Defence and Space
  • Prof. Dr. Doris Klee, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development at RWTH
1:45pm to 2:45pm

Podium discussion: "Future of Work – Organizational Possibilities for Staff Development“

  • Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Nyhsen
  • Dr. Lars Immisch
  • Prof. Dr. Doris Klee
  • Moderation: Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe, Professor for Controlling at RWTH
2:45pm to 3pm

Close of event

  • Prof. Dr. Doris Klee and Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe


Ralf Raspe, TV journalist, Aachen

Event Language

Please note that the talks and discussions will be held in German.