August to September 2019, Issue 187


Special Announcement

RWTH Is Turning 150

RWTH Aachen is looking forward to celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2020. Teaching began at the "Königliche Rheinisch-Westphälische Polytechnische Schule" in Aachen in 1870, not far from what was then Templerbend station. Today the internationally renowned University of Excellence is the largest technical university in Germany in terms of student numbers with its 45,000-strong student body. An overview of the key events and highlights of the anniversary.

Science Evening. In spring, a Science Evening will be held to develop impulses for the university of the future at the Vertretung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen in Berlin. Under the title "The New Fiction of Good Science - In Need of a Paradigm Shift?", international experts will question the university system in unusual discussion formats and then propose viable solutions, with RWTH showing its fine conceptual skills.

The Festival. You can experience what RWTH is capable of, conducts research on, and is involved in to the full on Saturday, June 20, 2020. RWTH showcases itself around the central areas and buildings, for example on Templergraben and in C.A.R.L. lecture hall complex. Admission to the event is free. There will be a nice finish to the evening with music on a large stage on Templergraben. Students, employees, and the general public are warmly invited to join us in celebrating this special occasion. As a kick-off to the event, an Alumni Day at Campus Melaten featuring visits and the like is currently being planned for June 19, 2020.

The Show. RWTH will celebrate the University's actual start – the first lecture at what was then Rheinisch-Westphälische Polytechnische Schule – exactly 150 years later, on October 10, 2020, with a big show for all invited guests. The celebration will take place in several rooms at C.A.R.L. lecture hall complex. This exciting evening of music and live science in the style of an evening entertainment show will finish off with a party in the foyer.

The Exhibition: RWTH and the city of Aachen invite you to visit a special exhibition at Centre Charlemagne from May 16 to August 9, 2020. It will provide insights into the University’s development since its founding and will showcase notable research highlights over the last 150 years. On the other hand, it will also take a critical look at its own history. The exhibition will also feature a varied events program.

Further events and projects are currently being planned.


Alumni News

Graduates Fling Their Caps in the Air to Celebrate Their Achievement

A total of 1,300 RWTH students recently celebrated finishing their degree at the University’s annual Graduation Celebration. Hans Peter Stihl, winner of the Aachen Engineering Award 2019, gave them reassurance and encouragement for their future careers. Around 300 of the guests were sporting the Borchers plaque, distinguishable by the orange tassels hanging from their caps in contrast to the predominant RWTH blue. They also received the RWTH Springorum commemorative coin. They were already honored in the morning together with the doctoral jubilarians who had received their doctorate 25 or 50 years before at RWTH. These guests were adorned with silver and gold caps and sashes.

11th Joint Korean -German Alumni Conference – ADeKo

The Alumni Network Germany-Korea e. V., ADeKo for short, and the city of Changwon, Korea, are jointly organizing this year's ADeKo international conference titled Engineering (for) our Future. The event will run from October 9 to 11 and will be held at the House of Changwon and the Changwon Exhibition Convention Center. This conference is one of the most important events of the German-Korean cooperation and will look at the following key topics:

  • Mobility: How do recent developments in the mobility market affect the ecosystem of related sectors, such as automotive, logistics, public transportation, etc.?
  • Energy: Will the H2 energy ecosystem bring a new paradigm for energy supply?
  • Industry 4.0: Recent activities for Industry 4.0 in Germany and Korea

It is free to attend the conference. You will find further information and the link to register here.

The conference has been held alternately in Korea and Germany since 2015. Last year the annual conference was held in Aachen to great success.

Gala Ball 2019

Dancing is back in fashion and certainly nothing for boring posh people or dance school freaks. Every year, it is clear to see this at RWTH’s Gala Ball, which will be held on November 2, 2019. Members of the University will be twirling around the dance floor in elegant long dresses and smart suits on this evening. RWTH will celebrate the most beautiful end to the year in the decorated ballroom of Eurogress. Advance tickets can only be purchased online until October 18. Alumni can order tickets on the following page.


Alumni Spotlight

Entrepreneur Hans Peter Stihl Receives Aachen Engineering Award 2019

Hans Peter Stihl turned the family company STIHL into the global market leader for chain saws. He also stood out outside the company due to his commitment to many social causes. Hans Peter Stihl, son of the company's founder Andreas Stihl, is a man who has given extraordinary impetus to technology, economy, and society. Hans Peter Stihl received the Aachen Engineering Award 2019 in a special ceremony at Coronation Hall of Aachen City Hall in recognition of his entrepreneurial life's work, which combines engineering innovation with economic success and long-term social commitment, as RWTH Rector Professor Ulrich Rüdiger emphasized during the ceremony.

RWTH Professor Sandra Korte-Kerzel Awarded With Starting Grant

The European Research Council funds researchers with Starting Grants. These are considered one of the most prestigious funding instruments in Europe, since they allow research projects to be financed with up to 1.5 million euros. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding preparatory work. Now the application "Fundamental Building Blocks - Understanding plasticity in complex crystals based on their simplest, intergrown units" by RWTH professor Sandra Korte-Kerzel has been approved. She has held the Chair of Materials Physics since 2013 and is head of the Institute for Physical Metallurgy and Materials Physics. Korte-Kerzel studied physics and mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University and received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge. From 2011 to 2013 she was Junior Professor of Micromechanics of Materials at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

RWTH Alumnus Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie Has Passed Away

Habibie, who was born on June 25, 1936, in Pare-Pare on Sulawesi, Indonesia, began his studies at the RWTH Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in 1955 and received his doctorate with distinction in 1965. On July 15, 1988, RWTH awarded Habibie with the title of "honorary citizen.” This honor is bestowed on individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to improving the university and its wider community. "Habibie has rendered a great service to German-Indonesian cooperation in science and technology," says RWTH Rector Ulrich Rüdiger. "In particular he made research stays and guest lectureships in Indonesia possible for university faculty from Aachen and promoted business and technology-related contacts between RWTH and the industry of both countries.

Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie was the head of state of Indonesia in 1998 and 1999.

RWTH Researchers Among the Finalists for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis

There are differing views on the chemical compound CO2. While most people consider it primarily a climate-damaging greenhouse gas, Professor Walter Leitner, Dr. Christoph Gürtler and Dr. Berit Stange see it as a source of carbon, a component of most plastics and fuels. Leitner is Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry at RWTH and director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion. Dr. Gürtler is responsible for new processes and products at Covestro AG, and Dr. Stange is concerned with the transition to a circular economy for polyurethane plastics. The chemist and her colleagues have developed a method to utilize CO2 for the manufacture of plastics. They have been nominated for the 2019 Deutscher Zukunftspreis for developing this novel catalytic process and its successful application in the manufacture of products. Now, together with two other research teams, they have reached the final round of the research competition. On September 5, they presented their innovation at the Deutsche Museum in Munich. On November 27, the Deutscher Zukunftspreis will be presented by German federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.

New Scientific Director at the DWI

On August 1, 2019, Professor Stefan Hecht, Ph.D., took over as scientific director of the DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in Aachen. The chemist follows Professor Martin Möller, who headed the institute for the past 16 years. In addition to his leading position at the DWI, Stefan Hecht also holds the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University. The change of the native Berliner to Aachen is the result of a joint appointment of the Leibniz Institute and RWTH Aachen University.

Gold Medal for Carologistics Team

The Carologistics Team, consisting of students and research assistants from the Knowledge-Based Systems Group of RWTH and the Institute of Mobile Autonomous Systems and Cognitive Robotics of FH Aachen, recently received the gold medal in the RoboCup Logistics League in Sydney, Australia.


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 .

You can currently find a job offer for software developers/application supervisors with Kontrast Consulting GmbH.

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

MERCATOR: Making Electric Mobility More Sustainable

A consortium of seven partners from industry and research seeks to establish whether it is possible to optimize the recycling of lithium-ion batteries in terms of ecological, economic, and supply aspects. As one of the research partners, RWTH's Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling IME headed by Professor Bernd Friedrich will contribute to the project, which is titled Material-Efficient Recycling for the Circular Economy of Automotive Storage Systems without Residual Waste – MERCATOR. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety is providing funding in the amount of 2.9 million euros to support the research project. The aim is to minimize the high disposal costs of batteries from electrically powered vehicles. The focus is on the cost-effective recovery of all valuable secondary raw materials, some of which have been classified as critical, and on improving the eco-balance of these batteries.

Research on Fully Automated Rhine Ferry

Autonomous systems are one of the key topics of future mobility. Researchers from the Institute of Automatic Control at RWTH Aachen University are now working together with the industrial companies J.M. Voith and in-innovative navigation GmbH and the operator Rheinfähre Maul on a fully automated Rhine ferry. In their research activities, the project partners do not only focus on automating ferry crossing, but also on maneuvers such as mooring and departing from the dock. The project, which is titled “Automated and coordinated navigation of inland ferries” or AKOON for short, receives funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the “Next Generation Maritime Technologies” program. The aim is to fully automate the entire crossing process, taking into account regular shipping traffic and current weather conditions.

RWTH Institute Named Historical Site

RWTH’s Institute for High Voltage Technology, formerly Rogowski Institute, on Schinkelstraße in Aachen has now received the Historical Site distinction by the European Physical Society, EPS for short. The EPS program honors different places in Europe where milestones in research on physics have been reached. A plaque indicating this distinction will soon be attached to the building’s facade.

Spin-off Award 2019

For the fourth time, RWTH Aachen University has presented spin-off companies with the Spin-off Award, the only official award of its kind. With this award, the university's spin-offs can advertise their connection to RWTH and thus gain a leg up in achieving a successful launch. The winners were selected by a jury made up of members from RWTH Innovation, the University’s Entrepreneurship Center. The award ceremony will take place at the Aachen Technology and Entrepreneurship Conference, atec for short, on Monday, October 28, 2019. The awards will be presented by Professor Malte Brettel, RW'TH vice-rector for Industry and Business Relations. The winners are Clinomic, CellEQ, Senseering, DroidDrive, Safion, EnergyCortex and Mindmotiv.

RWTH Students Present Ideas for Aachen's Premium Paths

Architecture students from RWTH Aachen University examined the ten "premium paths" that the city of Aachen is planning for pedestrians. The idea of the premium paths goes back to the 2022 inner-city concept. The aim is to lead walkers along an attractive network of trails through the city and out to the suburban green spaces, also offering them places to linger. Supported by the city of Aachen, the students, in cooperation with the RWTH Institute of Landscape Architecture, found ways to draw attention to the topic of pedestrian traffic. They offered creative activities along the routes and asked passers-by for their opinions regarding the quality of their time spent in the pedestrian areas, also considering usability and safety.

RWTH Geographers Register Record All-Time High Temperature in Aachen

On July 25, 2019, an all-time high temperature of 40.0 degrees Celsius was registered in Aachen. This is the highest measurement since records began in 1901 and the first time the temperature reached 40.0 degrees Celsius in the city. The previous records of 37.0 degrees Celsius, registered in 1911, and 37.7 degrees Celsius in 2015, were broken on July 24, 2019, when the temperature hit 38.1 degrees Celsius.

Apply for Seed-Funding to Mobilize Small Teams of Potential Entrepreneurs in Customized Low-Energy Computing

Being the coordinator of the HORIZON2020 project TETRAMAX, Professor Rainer Leupers, Institute for Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems at RWTH Aachen University, is pleased to announce the second open call for Entrepreneurial technology transfer experiments.
The overall goal of this activity is to mobilize, challenge and train small teams of potential entrepreneurs in the customized low-energy computing space, thereby having a long-term perspective.

  • Focus of the activity:
    • Devoted solely to the exploration and evaluation of market and business opportunities (start-up formation scenarios, acquisition of investments)
    • critical and systematic evaluation and generation of sustainable business opportunities for new, possibly disruptive, actors in Europe’s digital technology markets;
  • Team: intends to bring itself towards a convincing business idea and to get “investor ready”;
  • Expected Technology Readiness Level: may range of 2-4.

Read out the call details and submit your innovative proposal!

TETRAMAX is a HORIZON2020 project that provides access to latest technology and services in the area of customized low-energy computing for cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. Investing in this domain will have impact on production efficiency, performance and energy savings. Therefore, TETRAMAX offers funding to SMEs, other companies and academics to experiment with new digitization technologies while minimizing the financial risk of a new investment.

Apply for Seed-Funding for Value Chain Oriented and Interdisciplinary Technology Transfer Experiments

Being the coordinator of the Horizon2020 project TETRAMAX, Professor Rainer Leupers, Institute for Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems at RWTH Aachen University, is pleased to announce the 3rd open call for this type of technology transfer experiment, TTX.

This mid-term (12-18 months) application experiments have to be implemented between at least three partners from at least two different EU countries:

  • One partner providing a particular novel customized low-energy computing HW/SW technology;
  • One partner testing and deploying the technology in its dedicated - possibly even non-tech - products with its end customers; and
  • One partner productizing this technology as a “platform” for a long-term wider market.

Read out the call details and submit your innovative TTX proposal by November 30, 2019!



October 7 to 8, 2019

28th Aachen Colloquium on Automobile and Engine Technology

October 10, 2019

How to Make the Energy Transition a Success – Research and Innovation as a Driving Force for Social Change

October 12, 2019

WDR Bigband – Back to the Sunset

October 14 to 17, 2019 Electromobility Week
November 2, 2019 RWTH Gala Ball

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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