Staff Development Symposium


"future of work"


Digitalization. Staff. University.


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. These changes will not only affect technical processes, but also individual employees, organizations, and our society as a whole.

For its “future of work” staff development symposium, which took place online on April 28 and 29, 2021, RWTH invited renowned representatives from academia and industry to share their ideas on the future of work and discuss the risks and opportunities provided by a more flexible, digitally driven world of work with about 190 participants

The event had a particular focus on the interests of early career researchers, but those of all other groups of employees were also taken into account, as they all play an important role in shaping our future society. The aim was to develop perspectives on how to deal with and shape this transformation process. 

The program of the symposium was developed by Professor Doris Klee, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development, Professor Verena Nitsch, Director of the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, and Professor Bettina Wiese, holder of the Chair of Personnel and Organizational Psychology.



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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

Possible Futures of the World of Work – Yesterday.Today.Tomorrow.

  • 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


  • Prof. Dr. Bernad Batinic, Professor for Education and Psychology at Johannes Kepler University Linz

Digitalization.University.Lifelong Learning.

  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus, Senior Vice President Talent Management and Diversity at Technical University of Munich

Digital Change.Equal Opportunities.Career.

  • Dr. Kira Marrs, ISF München

Discussion: Potential.Challenges.

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


April 29, 2021
Young Researchers. Desires. Goals.
  • Prof. Dr. Bettina S. Wiese, Professor for Psychology and Personnel and Organizational Psychology at RWTH
Digital Transformation.Age.Labor Participation.
  • Dr. Melanie Ebener, Chair of Occupational Health Science at the University of Wuppertal

Work 4.0.Human.Technology Interactions.

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Verena Nitsch, Professor of Ergonomics at RWTH
New Work.Organization.Culture.
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sascha Stowasser, Chair of ifaa – Institut für angewandte Arbeitswissenschaft in Dusseldorf
People.Work 4.0.Organization
  • Prof. Dr. Bettina S. Wiese
  • Dr. Melanie Ebener
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Verena Nitsch
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sascha Stowasser
  • Moderator: Ralf Raspe

Staff Development.Best Practice.Economy


  • 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

Podium Discussion: Future of Work – Organizational Possibilities for Staff Development

  • Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Nyhsen
  • Dr. Lars Immisch
  • Prof. Dr. Doris Klee
  • Moderator: Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe, Professor for Controlling at RWTH
Close of Event
  • Prof. Dr. Doris Klee and Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe


Ralf Raspe, TV journalist, Aachen


Bettina Wiese

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