May to July 2019, Issue 186


Special Announcement

RWTH Still Classified As One of the Universities of Excellence

RWTH Aachen University is among the winners chosen to receive funding from the federal and state governments for the next seven years in the framework of the Universities of Excellence funding line. “This is a wonderful day for RWTH Aachen University. We have looked at our university with a critical eye and have drawn the right conclusions. We have all worked hard and invested a lot of energy into our proposal. These results give another important boost to RWTH’s profile both at home and abroad,” explains RWTH’s Rector, Professor Ulrich Rüdiger. RWTH Aachen University is therefore one out of the eleven German universities in the competition now recognized as a ‘University of Excellence.’ This was announced in Bonn by Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Science and Research, Professor Dr. Eva Quante-Brandt, the Science Senator from Bremen and deputy chair of the Joint Science Conference GWK, along with Professor Dr. Martina Brockmeier, the Chair of the German Council of Science and Humanities, and Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider, the President of the German Research Foundation DFG.


Alumni News

Lousberglauf 2019

40 alumni had registered for the Lousberglauf again this year. They took part in the respective women's and men's categories and enjoyed ideal weather conditions. Helge Heers was the winning male alumni competitor with a finishing time of 20:08 min. Bastian Lampe subsequently won second place and Frederik Loraing third. Hildegard Langanke won the women’s category for alumni, coming in at 29:12 min. Maren Lunkenheimer and Kirsten Hofmann secured 2nd and 3rd place respectively. A running team composed of former RWTH students took part in Aachen’s cult run for the 18th time this year. You can find the complete race results on the University Sports web page.


Alumni Spotlight

Symposium Honors RWTH Laser Expert

On June 23, 2019, Professor Reinhart Poprawe looked back on his eventful career as a researcher at a special event in Munich. On the occasion of his retirement in the fall of 2019, he was honored at the symposium "Digital Photonic Production and Industry 4.0 - What Does This Mean for Education and Research? ahead of the world's leading trade fair LASER World of PHOTONICS. More than 300 guests from academia and industry honored Poprawe’s great dedication to laser technology and the research location of Aachen.

Entrepreneur Hans Peter Stihl to Receive the Aachen Engineering Award

Hans Peter Stihl turned the family company STIHL, which currently has more than 17,000 employees, into the global market leader for chain saws. The prizewinner worked in different functions in the family business for more than 40 years. In 2012, his son Dr. Nikolas Stihl took over as chair of the advisory board and supervisory board. On Friday, September 13, 2019, RWTH and the City of Aachen will award Hans Peter Stihl the Aachen Engineering Award in honor of his lifework in a special ceremony at Aachen City Hall. On Saturday, September 14, 2019, Stihl will then give the keynote speech in front of around 5,000 participants at RWTH’s Graduate Celebration at the dressage stadium of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein in the Soers district of Aachen.

World-Leading Expert in Deep Learning

Austrian mathematician Philipp Grohs, one of the world's leading theorists of machine learning with deep neural networks, has been offered a Humboldt Professorship in Mathematics of Neural Networks at RWTH Aachen University. The researcher is to undertake interdisciplinary research into neuromorphic computing as a key technology of the future.

RWTH Professor Rainer Telle Named Honorary Member of the German Ceramic Society

Professor Rainer Telle, Chair of Ceramics and Refractory Materials at the Institute of Mineral Engineering at RWTH, has been named honorary member of the German Ceramic Society, DKG for short. Telle received the honor "for his diverse services to ceramics and his commitment to society.” He has been a member of the Society's presidium and the management board since 1994 and was head of scientific work until 2007.

Professor Hermann Ney Honored for His Life's Work

Professor Hermann Ney, Chair of Human Language Technology and Pattern Recognition at RWTH Aachen University, is the recipient of the distinguished 2019 James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award. Presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional society, this award recognizes Professor Ney for his pioneering contributions to statistical and computational modeling in automated speech recognition and machine translation. Since 2002, the award has been presented annually to an individual or team who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of speech and/or audio signal processing. So far, only two Europeans have been honored with this award. In being selected, Herman Ney joins an elite group of scientists from some of the world’s leading research institutions.

Valentine Gesché Wins NRW Innovation Award

NRW Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy Andreas Pinkwart awarded three outstanding researchers with the Innovation Award, including RWTH scientist Dr.-Ing. Valentine Gesché. The Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is the second highest award bestowed to scientists in Germany in terms of prize money, only surpassed by the German Future Prize conferred by the Federal President. It is awarded in the categories “Honorary Award”, “Innovation”, and “Young Talent.” With this award, the federal state recognizes excellent research with particular importance for society, scientific potential, and relevance in application.


Continued Education & Career

RWTH Alumni Job Portal Online

On our alumni jobs portal, companies can post job offers for management positions or qualified and experienced professionals. This platform is specially designed for RWTH alumni, as our graduates – in particular those who already have work experience – are highly sought-after in the fields of business, economics, and industry. If your company is interested in posting a job offer, please send our alumni team an .

International Academy Offer – Reduced Fees for RWTH Alumni Network Members

As a member of RWTH’s alumni network, you can benefit from reductions in course fees when you book a further education course at RWTH International Academy. You pay 10 percent less when you book a course of study and 15 percent less when you book a certificate course or seminar. To take advantage of this offer, make sure you use your RWTH email address when you book on RWTH’s Weiterbildungsplattform. This offer cannot be cumulated with other reductions or promotions at RWTH International Academy.

Continuing Education Offers From WZLforum

Take a look at the trainings currently being offered by WZLforum.


Science & Business

Plant Stem Cells Hold Their Breath

Joint efforts of RWTH and international researchers reveal that oxygen deficiency is required for proper development of plants. Their discovery has now been published in the scientific journal "Nature.” A single tree can release more than 120 kg of oxygen into the Earth’s atmosphere in a year thanks to photosynthesis. However, just like animals, plants also require oxygen in order to produce energy. Non-green plant organs such as roots and the interior of stems, unable to carry out photosynthesis and produce oxygen, are especially affected by limited oxygen provision (hypoxia), which could easily lead to reduced productivity or loss of plant crops. Researchers from RWTH Aachen University, the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Heidelberg have now discovered that low oxygen concentration is not necessarily detrimental to plants, but that it also provides essential conditions for plant growth.

Is CO2 the New Fossil Fuel? A Closed Carbon Cycle for the Chemical Industry

The heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short, is responsible for global warming. By capturing waste CO2 from emissions or from the atmosphere we can replace fossil carbon sources. By capturing waste CO2 from emissions or from the atmosphere we can replace fossil carbon sources. A team of researchers led by Professor André Bardow from the RWTH Aachen Chair of Technical Thermodynamics has now demonstrated for the first time that carbon capture and utilization has the potential to completely uncouple the global chemical industry from fossil resources. Furthermore, in 2030, the year studied, the release of up to 3.5 giga tons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions could be prevented. These savings amount to about 6.5 percent of the greenhouse gas emitted in 2017 worldwide [IPCC].

Maturing Eels Break Down Their Skeletons

European eels migrate several thousand kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean to reach their spawning grounds. As an international research team has now discovered, the eels undergo drastic changes on their way – breaking down their skeletons and potentially redistributing toxic metals in their systems, which could be problematic for the endangered species. European eels Anguilla anguilla are a fish species with a unique reproductive strategy. They initially spend many years in European rivers, lakes, and coastal areas, however once they mature, they migrate several thousand kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean to reach their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea, where they spawn and then die.



RWTH Is Turning 150

RWTH Aachen University is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2020. Teaching began at the University, initially founded as Königliche Rheinisch-Westphälische Polytechnische Hochschule, located near what was then Templerbend Station, in 1870. Today, the internationally renowned RWTH Aachen University is one of the Universities of Excellence and the largest technical university in Germany with more than 45,000 students. In the past century and a half, it has produced countless innovations and provided society with important scientific impetus. The anniversary celebrations will commemorate these achievements and also look towards the future, as the University management explained in its presentation of the anniversary program in the presence of Lord Mayor of Aachen Marcel Philipp.



August 18, 2019

2019 CampusRUN for Human Rights

August 13, 2019

Part of "One University – One Book": Asterix – What Catches Your Eye?

August 9 to 19, 2019

Öcher Sommerbend – Aachen Summer Fair


This is just a small selection of the events happening in the city. You can find all the planned upcoming events organized by RWTH, the city of Aachen, and the aachen convention.


Publisher on behalf of the Rector: Staff Unit: Fundraising and Alumni
Editor: Dietrich Hunold
Responsibility assumed by: Angela Poth
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