January to May 2020, Issue 189


Dear RWTH Alumni,

Helpfulness and a sense of community are essential values of our community, and thus we would like to take this opportunity to invite you, at the beginning of our newsletter, to make a contribution to the Germany Scholarship and/or the "#RWTH hilft" campaign with the aim of improving the financial situation of many of our students. Experiencing this form of support will certainly contribute to creating strong ties between students currently in need and the RWTH family. After all, today's students are the alumni of tomorrow and will later become supporters of future generations of students themselves.

Thank you very much in advance!
The RWTH Alumni Team


Special Announcements

Germany Scholarship for Students

For several years now, RWTH has been strengthening its scholarship culture so that talented students do not have to grapple with financial pressures, but are given the opportunity to fully concentrate on their studies. The financial situation of many students has become even more serious due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Against this backdrop, RWTH would like to be able to award many scholarships from the RWTH Education Fund for outstanding students this year.

Achieving this goal requires the support of our alumni: Donate for the Germany Scholarship and take responsibility for gifted and committed students of your former university! Contributing 150 Euro per month can make a substantial impact, in particular as the Federal Government matches your donation!

#RWTHhilft Supports Students

Let’s stick together – despite the need for distance – and be there for one another. In April, RWTH, proRWTH, and the AStA Students’ Committee have jointly initiated a relief program to support students put at a disadvantage through the coronavirus pandemic. In order to support our young talents, bridging scholarships worth 600 euros each will be provided for RWTH students from all disciplines.

With the help of donations, over one hundred applications have already been processed and scholarships paid out. All those who would like to show their solidarity have the opportunity to participate: no matter how much you donate, following a selection process, every donation is quickly passed on in full to eligible students. A big thanks to all our alumni who have already contributed!

RWTH Alumna Donates 500 Mouth and Nose Coverings

RWTH has just received a package from abroad, featuring the traditional saying "Many little brooks make a stream." RWTH alumna Jiakun Wang feels closely connected to RWTH, even years after completing her studies in Aachen. From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Wang studied architecture at RWTH. As Managing Partner of the Frey Group and President of WFP Architects in Freiburg im Breisgau, she contacted her former Alma Mater with the offer to donate 1,000 FFP2 face masks to support RWTH in alleviating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. RWTH has gratefully accepted this generous offer. The face masks were presented on May 5, 2020, by Professor Yubao Guo from the Department of Mathematics of Information Processing, who had arranged the contact.

Dr. Dieter Janssen, deputy head of the International Office, and Peter Hartges, Coordinator for Relations with China and Thailand, gratefully received the face masks. They will serve to protect RWTH staff and students when the University's operations will gradually resume.


Alumni News

RWTH Alumni Above the Roof-Tops of Cologne

Cologne Cathedral, February 27, 2020: One of the highlights of the tour comes with the ascent to the crossing tower. On the platform at the height of about 70 meters, the view and the wind are breathtaking. The group of participants consists of fifteen RWTH alumni plus alumnus Dr. Thomas Schumacher, one of the engineers on the Cathedral’s construction team, who invited the RWTH alumni to tour the unique building inside and out, with a particular focus on the Cathedral’s building history, architecture, and restoration efforts. The alumni gained first-hand insights into the different building epochs, as well as into the manifold reconstruction and maintenance activities. Dr. Schumacher, who studied mechanical engineering at RWTH and received his doctorate in architecture with a thesis on Cologne Cathedral, offered additional information about steel production, arch statics, as well as – more generally – art history and craft traditions. Later, enjoying some Kölsch beer and other Cologne specialty foods such as “halve Hahn” and “kölsche Kaviar,” the alumni agreed: It was a very special get-together. Thank you very much, Dr. Schumacher!

RWTH Cancels Anniversary Celebrations for 2020

In light of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated effects on society, RWTH Aachen University has decided to cancel the festivities for its 150th anniversary this year. All other centrally organized events at RWTH Aachen University have also been canceled for the coming months, including the University's Graduation Celebration on September 5, 2020. This year's doctoral anniversary is now scheduled to take place next year, most likely on the first weekend in September 2021. This year's doctoral jubilees of the years 1994 (silver anniversary) and 1969 (gold anniversary) still have the opportunity to register by or via our Gold and Silver Doctoral Jubilee web page.

Further Events


Alumni Spotlight

Recognition for Regina Palkovits and Wil van der Aalst

The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts has appointed 15 new members, including RWTH professors Regina Palkovits, Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry, and Wil van der Aalst, Chair of Process and Data Science. The Academy is an organization of leading researchers in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the home of 20 major scientific research projects

Anna Mechler Appointed as Professor of Electrochemical Reaction Engineering

RWTH Aachen University has appointed Dr. Anna Mechler to the newly established Chair of Electrochemical Reaction Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The new professorship was made possible by a major donation from Covestro Deutschland AG. The Chair of Electrochemical Reaction Engineering is positioned at the interface between application-oriented fundamental and process research. The scientists seek to achieve a better understanding of electrocatalysts under technically relevant reaction conditions with the aim of optimizing catalyst materials for technical applications.

Prize-Winning Physics App

The phyphox team around Professor Christoph Stampfer, Dr. Sebastian Staacks, and Professor Heidrun Heinke from RWTH’s Department of Physics has been presented with the 2020 Ars Legendi Faculty Award for excellence in teaching. The team received the prize for developing and making widely available the phyphox physics app, which allows school and university students to experiment with physics concepts. The award is presented in various categories: biosciences, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Each winning individual or team receives a prize money of 5,000 euros.


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 – 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 5 percent less when you book a certificate course, seminar, or full-time Master’s course of study and 10 percent less when you book a part-time program. You can book the courses and study programs on the International Academy website.

New Degree Program 1: M. Sc. Technology Entrepreneurship

The RWTH Business School is offering a new professional education program starting in winter semester 2020/21: M.Sc. Technology Entrepreneurship. The program is primarily aimed at international Bachelor's graduates with a background in a STEM subject who have at least one year of work experience. The application deadline for European applicants is July 15, 2020.

Students have the opportunity to dive into the world of entrepreneurship and learn how to start their own company. The course will give participants the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to be a successful entrepreneur. Through state-of-the-art teaching techniques, you will apply what you learned in the classroom to a comprehensive entrepreneurial project, where you build your own business idea from scratch. STudents will spend the second course semester at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, which will help them to further develop their intercultural skills and to build a useful international network of contacts.

New Degree Program 1: M. Sc. Medical Data Science

The RWTH Faculty of Medicine, the Institute of Medical Informatics headed by Professor Rainer Röhrig, and the RWTH International Academy are set to launch the part-time course of study "Master of Science in Medical Data Science (M.Sc.)" in September 2020. The four-semester course is aimed at graduates of medicine and life sciences degree programs as well as graduates from the fields of computer science, mathematics, and natural sciences with professional experience in the area of medical informatics. Your instructors are researchers in the fields of medicine and computer science at RWTH and from institutions of the SMITH consortium. Members of the RWTH Alumni Network are entitled to reduced tuition fees.

Further information: M.Sc. in Medical Data Science

WZLforum Professional Education Offerings


Science & Business

Fighting the Virus I: The Aachen Shield – A Makeshift Face Shield for Medical Personnel Reaches Production Readiness in Record Time

Throughout Germany, people are currently working to produce urgently needed equipment in the fight against the corona pandemic. Under the tagline “fightcorona.ac,” one such initiative was also launched in Aachen. One of its aims is the production of a makeshift visor for medical personnel with high patient contact. Up to 1,500 face shields can now be produced at RWTH Aachen University per day. “This is rapid prototyping in perfection: Using 3D printing and similar processes, a prototype can be produced from a virtual 3D model, tested, and the design directly modified within a few hours,” says RWTH professor Jan Borchers, initiator of the fightcorona.ac initiative.

Fighting the Virus II: RWTH and Luisenhospital Are Supporting Viessmann in Developing a Simple Ventilator

During the coronavirus crisis it has quickly became apparent that some countries do not have a sufficient number of ventilators. In Germany, the situation for patient care for those affected has been good so far, but critical shortages can quickly arise in countries whose health care system infrastructure is not as developed or that have higher case numbers. Viessmann has therefore decided to develop a device for the emergency ventilation of patients at very short notice and to use standard assemblies that facilitate short-term production in high volumes and quality. Dr. Markus Klausner, Chief Technology Officer Viessmann Climate Solutions, emphasizes that all the ideas for this innovative solution come from the company's own employees and the partners involved. A team from the E.ON Energy Research Center (ERC) at RWTH Aachen University supported the development of this ventilator, which is being carried out in close cooperation with physicians from Luisenhospital in Aachen and other hospitals. The Department of Anaesthesiology at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen and the Medical Information Technology Unit at the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering also provided relevant information.

Fighting the Virus III: RWTH Researchers Publish Article on Course of Disease in Covid-19 Patients

Researchers at RWTH Aachen University have published a scientific article on the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19. They analyze the course of disease in patients who were admitted to Uniklinik RWTH Aachen in February and March, and thus describe the first cohort of patients in Germany. The focus is on the clinical characteristics and laboratory results of patients with and without acute lung failure, the so-called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Fifty patients were treated, 16 of whom were transferred from other hospitals to Aachen’s University Hospital. The average age of the infected patients was 65 years, and an average of four days had passed between the first symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath and later admission to the University Hospital. The occurrence of ARDS is decisive for the course of the disease.

T2K Experiment: A Step Towards Solving the Mystery of the Missing Antimatter

A team of more than 500 physicists from 60 universities and research institutions succeeded in proving a difference between matter and antimatter in the T2K experiment in Japan. The measurement results are being published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature. The journal’s front page headline reads: "The mirror crack'd," alluding to the detected violation of the assumed mirror image symmetry between matter and antimatter. The T2K experiment also involves a team from RWTH Aachen University headed by Professor Stefan Roth from the Physics Institute III B.

Phase-Out of Coal and Nuclear Power Plants

A major concern about the phase-out of nuclear and coal-fired power generation is a possible deterioration in the supply of electricity. Professor Aaron Praktiknjo and research associate Lars Nolting from the Department for Energy Resources and Innovation Economics at RWTH Aachen University have now published a study in the academic journal Applied Energy which examines the effects of the German nuclear and coal phase-out on the electricity supply in Germany. The results show that with respect to the security of supply, there is no need to deviate from the planned phase-out of nuclear energy and coal. Although there will be a drop in the level of security of supply in the medium term, a deviation from the energy transition plans for economic reasons is not necessary.

Scalable Semiconductor Quantum Computer

Quantum computing may soon be capable of solving such incredibly complex problems. The JARA Insitute for Quantum Information, QI for short, is developing a platform for a universal quantum computer based on spin qubits that is compatible with existing semiconductor technologies. A particular technological problem, however, is the need to gain control over the coupling between qubits. Team QuTech, which consists of Professor Hendrik Bluhm, Matthias Künne, Dr. Lars Schreiber and Inga Seidler, has now developed an architectural element with which to overcome this problem. The technology is currently being patented and a spin-off company is being established.

RWTH Delegation Visits Indian Institute of Technology Madras

In February, Rector Ulrich Rüdiger and Professor Ute Habel, Vice-Rector for International Affairs, visited the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) in Chennai, India. The trip was taken on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS), with the aim to review and develop the Strategic Partnership, and to award Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the Director of the IITM, with an honorary RWTH fellowship. Members of both universities were joined by the German Ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner, and the President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), RWTH alumnus Professor Joybrato Mukherjee.

Indonesian Ambassador to Germany Visits RWTH

At the beginning of March, Arif Havas Oegroseno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of Germany, visited RWTH. Besides meeting with representatives from the University, he also met with Rudolf Henke, RWTH alumnus and member of the German Bundestag. The delegation program focused on research projects relating to alternative energy sources. RWTH traditionally maintains close relations with Indonesian universities and has even cooperated with Universitas Gadjah Mada to establish a joint research campus, GetIn-CICERO, at the university. This research venture is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.



June 23 to 25, 2020

Online: 8th Interntional Conference "Fuel Science – From Production to Propulsion"


Publisher on behalf of the Rector: Staff Unit: Relationship Management
Editor: Dietrich Hunold
Responsibility assumed by: Marlen Gorin

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