January to March 2021, Issue 192


Dear Alumni,

Only a few hours before our international Science Evening on the occasion of our University’s 150th anniversary was about to begin at the NRW State Representation Building in Berlin, RWTH had to cancel it due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This special event has now been rescheduled to take place on May 6, at 5pm. You, too, are now welcome to join in via live stream.

Initially, RWTH had planned to invite you - also last year - to celebrate the special anniversary by giving you an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Campus Melaten. It was supposed to be a fun open day where you would have had plenty of time to rediscover RWTH and learn about the research currently conducted here, but also to mingle, socialize and exchange ideas with former fellow students. Due to the global pandemic, we had to scrap all of these plans for our anniversary year 2020. We rescheduled the alumni event to take place this year, on June 12, 2021. But, given the current circumstances, hosting such a major event just a few months from now is still not feasible.

To celebrate our University’s 150th anniversary with you nevertheless, we have decided to invite you to virtually experience RWTH with us this fall. On October 9, RWTH Rector Professor Dr. Ulrich Rüdiger will open the now virtual Alumni Day and welcome you via live stream. Then you can virtually experience Campus Melaten research activities and innovation from the comfort of your home, choosing from three exciting themes: Energy & Mobility, Medical Technology, and Production Technology. This offer will be available until February 13, 2022. In addition to offering you a glimpse of what's happening at Campus Melaten, we will also give you the opportunity to take a closer look at your former RWTH department and take advantage of networking opportunities with the various Faculty alumni associations. Central university institutions will also have exciting offers for you during these weeks. We will provide detailed information, including the program and registration options, via our usual alumni channels and our website as we get closer to Virtual Alumni Day.

Sadly, the pandemic will once again prevent us from celebrating the doctoral anniversaries in a dignified setting this year. All doctoral graduates whose doctoral certificates were issued in 1969 and 1970 (Gold Doctoral Jubilarians) or 1994 and 1995 (Silver Doctoral Jubilarians) are now honored with a special day at RWTH in the spring of next year.

We are, therefore, still asking for your patience in this regard.

Best wishes from Aachen,
Your Alumni team



Premiere: Online Lecture for Alumni

“The Future of Innovation: Elements of a New Research & Innovation System After the Pandemic” was the title of the first RWTH Alumni Online Lecture, which was attended by 119 participants from around the globe on February 16. Is the coronavirus pandemic really as much of a catalyst for digitalization as it seems to us all?

In his research, Frank T. Piller, professor of management and co-director of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, or TIM, found that this is apparently not the case for numerous companies. A McKinsey survey from April 2020, for example, shows that most companies do not want to invest in innovation until the world has stabilized. How does working from home affect creativity and innovation? What new business models will succeed in the post-covid era? Research into these and other questions about the pandemic's impact on technological innovation has only just begun in the scientific community.

The presentation aimed to provide new food for thought on this topic and raise awareness of current developments in this area. The participating alumni asked many questions and contributed to a lively discussion via webcam and chat messages. Following this successful first talk, the series of online alumni events will soon be continued. The dates and topics will be announced via the usual alumni channels well ahead of time.

Alumni Meeting on Kish Island

RWTH alumnus Dipl. Geol. Ahmad Hadjisalimi would like to host an alumni reunion on Tehran University’s campus on Kish Island, Iran, in the fall of 2021. The meeting’s focus will be a cultural dialogue guided by the motto “Getting to know Rumi in his home country plus yoga and much more.”

The coral island of Kish is a popular vacation destination, where the people are hospitable, the accommodation comfortable, and the food, of course, typically Persian, also including vegan options.

For further information, please contact Ahmad Hadjisalimi via or WhatsApp at 00989121502686.

To preregister, please follow the link to the event website.


Alumni Spotlight

Professors Joost-Pieter Katoen and Wil van der Aalst Named Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery

The prestigious Association for Computing Machinery, ACM for short, has named two scientists from Aachen as Fellows. Professor Wil van der Aalst, Chair of Computer Science 9 – Process Mining and Data Science, was honored for his outstanding contributions to process mining, process management and data science. Professor Joost-Pieter Katoen, Chair of Computer Science 2 – Software Modelling and Verification. was selected as a Fellow for his significant achievements in model checking of software and probabilistic systems.

Dr. Jakob Kather Awarded the 2021 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

Jakob Nikolas Kather, MD, physician and scientist from the Department of Gastroenterology, Metabolic Diseases, and Internal Intensive Medicine at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, is one of ten young researchers to be awarded this year’s prestigious Heinz Maier-Leibnitz prize. Dr. Kather will receive the award, which includes 20,000 euros in prize money, for his outstanding work and innovative research achievements in digitalization and artificial intelligence in medicine. Due to the current situation, the award ceremony will be held as a virtual event on May 4, 2021.

Two RWTH Doctoral Candidates Receive Schöck Award

The RWTH researchers Henrik Becks and Matthias Kalus have received the Schöck Award for Innovation in Civil Engineering for their outstanding master's theses in civil engineering. They both completed the bachelor's and master's degree programs in civil engineering at RWTH Aachen University. Since mid-2020, the doctoral candidates have been working at the RWTH Institute of Structural Concrete headed by Professor Josef Hegger. Henrick Becks's thesis was concerned with the "Influence of normal forces on the shear force carrying capacity of carbon concrete beams.” Matthias Kalus's thesis is titled "Implementation of a two-degree-of-freedom kinematic punching shear model for point-supported steel-reinforced concrete slabs." The Schöck Award for Innovation in Civil Engineering has been awarded since 2000.

RWTH Awards the IntSpire Prize for the First Time

Recently, RWTH Aachen University awarded the IntSpire Prize for the first time. In the future, this award will be presented on an annual basis to employees, students, chairs, institutes, or university institutions that have especially fostered an international culture at RWTH. This year, the Institute of General Mechanics, headed by Professor Bernd Markert, won the prize out of a total of 31 nominations. The welcoming culture, the international working environment, and intercultural exchanges in projects were all factors that convinced the jury to award the Institute with the Intspire Prize. Professor Markert is also the Rector's Delegate for RWTH Alumni. The alumni team is delighted about this recognition and warmly congratulates the winners.


Continued Education & Career

“RWTH Alumni Job Portal” Online

On our alumni jobs portal, companies can post job offers for management positions or 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 .

RWTH International Academy Offers: 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 at the International Academy Website.

Full-Time MBA at RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Business School is offering a Full-Time MBA Program in Digitalization & Industrial Change starting winter semester 2021/22. The program primarily teaches you how to apply and integrate technical (digital) solutions to contribute to successful change in companies. Develop new business models and strategies in an entrepreneurial atmosphere and in interdisciplinary teams to continuously expand your leadership skills! Applications for the upcoming winter semester will continue to be accepted until July 15, 2021.

New Executive MBA Concept

With the new Executive MBA, you will be optimally prepared for the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation and the associated tasks for companies. The program has been supplemented with state-of-the-art blended learning methods, which, above all, offer you more flexibility and space for personal development. Look forward to a varied and modern learning journey consisting of digital self-learning phases, interactive days at RWTH Business School, international modules, and expand your potential! The next starting date is April 2021.

AI ENABLER: Understanding, Developing, Implementing Artificial Intelligence

Have you already been talking about the topic of artificial intelligence, or AI for short, and the opportunities it presents for your organization for some time? Do you now want to move from talking to doing and exploit the potential? Then our AI Enabler program is the right choice for you: Focused knowledge of AI technologies and the skills to manage AI are merged with concrete project work. You will learn – deeply immersed and application-oriented – to advance the topic of AI with a view to technological fundamentals, concrete prototypical projects, and organizational requirements in your own organization. The program starts on September 1, 2021, the application deadline is July 31.

WZLforum Continuing Education Offers


Science & Business

RWTH Science Evening on May 6, 2021 (5 to 9pm)

As announced at the beginning of this issue, the international Science Evening "The New Fiction of Good Science - In Need of a Paradigm Shift?!" will now take place on May 6, 2021. Organized by RWTH Aachen University as a (belated) anniversary event, it is being held with the support of its partners – the ZEIT Publishing Group, the Mercator Foundation, and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany – with NRW Minister President Armin Laschet as its patron.

The evening’s program will guide participants in analyzing the future of the “university” institution from various angles. More than 20 discussants will point out problem areas, showcase best practices, and, above all, formulate visions for the three topics critical for success: teaching, innovation, and third mission.

The Science Evening will be offered as a live stream. We'd love for you to stop by on May 6, 2021, from 5pm onward! You can find the link to the live stream and further information on the Science Evening website.
Hashtag #newscience for questions or comments

RWTH Fares Well With International Ranking

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 confirms the University’s stellar reputation. Rankings for five subject areas and disciplines are published based on citations, which demonstrate academic performance and the universities’reputation, thus documenting the best universities worldwide. RWTH performed exceptionally well in the Engineering and Technology category, achieving the world ranking of 43 – second among German universities. RWTH also performed well in individual disciplines. In 21 subjects – spanning from architecture to economics – the University of Excellence is among the world’s strongest educational institutions. The University’s best result in an individual discipline was in mechanical engineering, positioned at 18, and was closely followed by mining engineering, at 21. RWTH also ranks among the top 50 worldwide in electrical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science, and, for the first time, statistics.

Efficient Removal of Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere Already Possible Today

Reaching our climate targets requires so-called negative emissions technologies, meaning we need to remove carbon dioxide, or CO2, from the atmosphere. One promising technology for this is the direct capture of carbon dioxide from the air, Direct Air Capture or DAC for short. However, using this technology requires energy and materials, the generation and production of which leads to indirect CO2 emissions and also impacts the environment negatively in other ways. The overall environmental benefit of DAC is therefore unclear. As part of their research activities in the Kopernikus project Power-to-X, Sarah Deutz from the RWTH Chair of Technical Thermodynamics and Professor André Bardow, formerly RWTH Aachen University and now at ETH Zurich, have shown that the commercial direct air capture plants in Hinwil, Switzerland, and Hellisheiði, Iceland, are already achieving negative emissions today.

High-Energy Cosmic Neutrino Confirms 60-Year-Old Theory

On December 6, 2016, an extremely high-energy neutrino was recorded at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, allowing surprising conclusions to be drawn about fundamental questions in particle physics. The energy of 6.3 peta-electronvolts alone is record-breaking and points to an origin outside our solar system. This event also confirms for the first time a particle reaction predicted by Nobel Prize winner Sheldon Glashow as early as 1960. The research results of the international team were recently published in the journal Nature, in an article titled “Detection of a particle shower at the Glashow resonance with IceCube.” RWTH scientists were significantly involved in the research activities.

RWTH Students Use “Decision Navigator” During Coronavirus Pandemic

The “Entscheidungsnavi” online tool developed by RWTH's Decision Theory and Financial Services Group under the direction of Professor Rüdiger von Nitzsch, supports individuals in making important professional and private decisions. The RWTH researchers have now investigated how the coronavirus crisis affects students’ personal choices. “Young people, in particular, are affected by uncertainty about studies, jobs, and life planning during the crisis. We see that some of our students are unsure about the future when asked about their plans after graduation. Many are hesitant when it comes to defining a specific career path,” said doctoral student Mendy Toensfeuerborn.

RWTH Presents Innovation Award for Research and Inventions

The aim is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among its students and academic staff and support the process of turning new ideas into impactful, marketable solutions. This has been RWTH’s focus at its annual presentation of the Innovation Award ever since 2014. Each year, three projects are selected which are excellently suited to strengthen the innovative power of the Aachen region. From the selections for 2020, the “HBOX” project developed by the Department of Cardiovascular Engineering won first place. The “Storm” and “BioThrust” projects developed by the RWTH Software Modeling and Verification Group and the Chair of Chemical Process Engineering, respectively, shared second place.

Number of RWTH Spin-Offs at Record High

With 75 spin-offs for the year 2020, RWTH Aachen University has reached a record number of spin-offs. There were 65 spin-offs in 2019. “We are excited about our start-ups and their innovative ideas and approaches, keeping up the entrepreneurial spirit and offering creative solutions to today’s problems and challenges. But more important than the number of start-ups is that the enthusiasm of our entrepreneurs continues unabated despite coronavirus pandemic,” says Professor Malte Brettel, RWTH’s Vice-Rector for Industry and Business Relations. “We aim to establish one of the most important technology incubators in Europe and thus to contribute to building a strong start-up ecosystem here in Aachen.” With its success in the “Excellence Start-up Center.NRW” initiative of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2019, RWTH has been able to create new opportunities for start-up businesses.



April 20, 2021

Aachen Eventing Talks on Inclusion in Schools: All means all – ’severe multiple disabilities' and inclusion in schools (de)

April 27 to 29, 2021

International Advanced Battery Conference

May 6, 2021

„Lernen. Forschen. Machen.“ The Science Evening: “The New Fiction of Good Science – in Need of a Paradigm Shift?!”

May 20, 2021

Lecture Series: The Logic of Graph Neural Networks

June 9, 2021

Lecture: “Computer Science – the difficult birth of a new school subject” (de)

June 11 and 12, 2021

30. Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium

June 24, 2021 Lecture Series: “Uncertainty in Robotics”

This represents just a handful of events happening in the city. Take a look at more upcoming events organized by RWTH, the city of Aachen, and the aachen convention.


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

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