Recognition and Funding for Research Alumni Strategies


RWTH receives funding for hosting the first research alumni conference in Tokyo in 2017. 

  Robots on a stage Copyright: © RWTH Aachen Smart robots in all areas? The research alumni conference will encourage discussions about boundaries and connect former RWTH researchers in high-tech Japan.

Again, RWTH Aachen has been able to score points with their research alumni strategies: In the Alexander von Humboldt foundation competition for the funding of international alumni work and a research alumni meeting abroad, the university was one of seven German universities out of 11 to win. In October of 2017, thanks to 40.000 Euros, which were awarded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the first research alumni conference can take place in Tokyo, Japan, on the topic of "boundaries between humans and machines."

The Title "The Fine Line between Humans and Machines" heralds an RWTH conference program filled with lectures on the topics of robotics and ethics in Japan. "Considering the development of robotic systems for use in close contact with people, the new models of automation in the Industry 4.0 environment and the massive spread of artificial intelligence in all areas of life, this topic is of vital significance," explains RWTH Professor for mechanical engineering, Sabina Jeschke, with regard to the sponsored program. "The leads for discussion, which will arise as a result of the lectures, will deliver relevant points of reference for new research collaborations as well as a mutual knowledge transfer between Germany and Japan."

The RWTH Aachen Human Technology Center will be on hand to present new interdisciplinary research areas. Other participants include the RWTH Institute for Textile Technology, the University of Tokyo, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the DAAD. Each will treat the topic from their own perspective.


For this kind of transfer of knowlege and for the discussions, former RWTH researchers – research alumni, who live and do research in Japan, will be connected in an interdisciplinary fashion. They are an important part of the equation in keeping connections to Germany as a place to do research as well as in strengthening the RWTH's connection to Japan. “The Conference is also a great occasion for a reunion with our Alumni, whose local networking capabilities we want to help strengthen,” RWTH Professor Bernd Markert, Rector's Delegate for Alumni and director of the Institute of General Mechanics, underlines the goal of this specialized research alumni meeting in Tokyo. The conference builds on 60 years of good and intensive collaboration between RWTH and universities as well as research facilities in Japan. Along those lines, the foundation of an alumni club is also planned.


Interested research alumni of RWTH, who live in Japan, can register for the event under the heading of “Forscher-Alumni-Konferenz” . Details about the program and the exact time of the conference will be published on the website of research alumni nearer the time of the event.


The event is part of the project "Internationales Forschungsmarketing,“ which is collaboratively realized by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD, the German Research Foundation, and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. The aim of the project is to nationally and internationally promote Germany as a place to do research and to sharpen its profile in the global academic marketplace. All measures taking place in the framework of the project are part of the initiative sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research titled “Werbung für den Innovations- und Forschungsstandort Deutschland” under the “Research in Germany” brand.

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