January/February 2018, Issue 180


Alumni News

Annual RWTH Alumni Meet-Up USA and Canada in Lexington, Kentucky

This year's RWTH Alumni meeting for members in the US and Canada takes place in Lexington, Kentucky, from April 19 to 22, 2018. There, the Alumni will tour, among others, the Kentucky Horse Park and the "Bourbon Trail." Of course, other RWTH Alumni, as well as friends and supporters, are also welcome to attend. On the following webpage you will find the entire program including information on hotels as well as the registration form.

A Second RWTH Campuslauf to Take Place

After the success of the first installment of the RWTH Campuslauf with approximately 900 runners, the exciting run will again take place on April 20, 2018. The area around Campus Melaten will once again be getting into the spirit of the competition. Alongside the well-known Lousberglauf, the University Sports Center hopes to establish the Campuslauf as the second important running event in its line-up.

Both amateur and casual runners as well as ambitious, experienced runners can look forward to this event. While the FunRun with its 4,6 kilometre loop will appeal to everyone, the runners taking part in the 9 kilometre FitnessRun will need to show more athleticism and endurance. In the relay event, the route of 9,2 kilometres will be split into four equal parts among the members of a given team. Alumni who are interested in competing may register now. Late registrations are still possible on April 19, 2018, during the disbursal of bib numbers, or also on the day of the event at Campus Melaten.


Alumni Spotlight

Early Career Researcher Dr. Tobias Beck Honored Once Again

Junior researcher Dr. Tobias Beck of RWTH Aachen was just inducted into the "Junges Kolleg" of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. Nanotechnology is considered to be a key technology of the 21st century. Nanomaterials can be utilized in a variety of applications, such as in information technology, for medical procedures, in environmental technology and with chemical processes. Beck succeeded in developing a method to engineer new types of nanomaterials out of protein containers and nanoparticles. 

Tobias Beck was born in 1981 and is currently head of an independent junior researchers group at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at RWTH Aachen Unversity. After studying chemistry at RWTH Aachen he completed his doctoral studies in Göttingen. His subsequent post-doc stay at ETH Zürich was funded through a Marie Curie Fellowship. In 2014, he returned to RWTH to complete his postdoctoral qualification.

The Quest for Dark Matter

Dr. Alexander Schmidt is convinced that there is a fundamental principle at work in nature which has not – as yet – been understood. The physicist, who joined RWTH Aachen a couple of weeks ago, finds it fascinating to work in an area of physics that is concerned with this unsolved question.

On one hand he is looking for axions – hypothetical elementary particles that have not been detected as yet. These elementary particles have the potential to explain the phenomenon of dark matter. On the other hand, he wants to better understand the properties of the Higgs boson discovered in 2012. This investigation might lead to the intriguing insight that the Higgs boson, which has been named after Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs, is not the Higgs boson as predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. “It is research at the frontiers of knowledge,” Schmidt states. The Heisenberg professor will contribute to the activities of RWTH's Physics Institute III A, which is concerned with particle physics.

RWTH Aachen Awards Prizes

RWTH Aachen awarded both the St. Angela School in Düren and the RWTH Teaching and Research Area for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants with the 2017 Brigitte Gilles Prize. The prize is named after the first women’s affairs officer at RWTH and is given to initiatives that foster student interest in the so-called STEM subjects, namely Science – including computer science and the life sciences –, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Specifically, the project "Back to the roots: Epigenetics macht Schule!" – funded by RWTH and the St. Angela school - was honored. Professor Doris Klee, Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development, recently presented the award.

RWTH Aachen honored outstanding performance in two categories in the area of teaching and learning with a prize. RWTH has been awarding this distinction since 2001, and in both categories it comes with prize money that is invested again in teaching and learning projects. Vice-Rector Professor Aloys Krieg recently presented the 2017 Teaching Award to Professor Christoph Jungemann on one hand and the "Leonardo" project on the other.

The RWTH Aachen Innovation Award has now been awarded for the fourth time. This prize recognizes three university projects every year that contribute to the standing of the Aachen region as hub of innovation:

Jan-Dirk Reimers, Tobias Berthold, Tobias Lange, and Claude Weiss from the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives were the happy recipients of the first place for the Innovation Award. In their project "TorqueWerk" they develop and produce modular, segemented, and easily scalable torque motors that are both particularly suited for system integration as direct moment drives and easily servicable.

Second place for the RWTH Aachen Innovation Award was presented to Robert Brüll and the project "Organoglas: Completely Transparent Fiber-Reinforced Plastics."

Tim Schröder, Dennis Bosse, and Professor Georg Jacobs from the Chair for Wind Power Drives were awarded third place for their project "FlexPad - Plain Bearing Design for the Main Bearing of a Wind Power Drive."


Continued Education & Career

RWTH Alumni Job Portal Online

Companies have the opportunity to post job openings for management positions or employees with experience on our “Stellenportal RWTH Alumni.” This platform is also specifically oriented towards alumni, as RWTH graduates, particularly those with experience, are greatly sought after in science, business, and industry. You can find interesting offers here. If you would like to publish a job posting, please send an email to .

The following job openings are currently posted:

  • M.Sc./Dipl.-Ing. Metallurgy at Fels Vertriebs und Service GmbH&Co.KG
  • three open positions at ingenhoven architects
  • two open positions at kadawittfeldarchitektur

More offers can be found on the Alumni-Jobportal.

International Academy Offers: Reduced Participation Fees for Members of the RWTH Alumni Network

As a member of the RWTH Alumni Network you receive a discount for continuing education courses at RWTH International Academy. When booking a course of study, you receive a 10 percent discount, and for certificate courses and seminars a 15 percent discount. You can book your course with the discount by using your RWTH email address on the RWTH Weiterbildungsplattform. This discount cannot be combined with other offers from RWTH International Academy.

Course: Introduction to the Technology of Aluminum

In Collaboration with the Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie, GDA for short, and the Aluminium Engineering Center Aachen, aec, RWTH Aachen offers course participants from March 12 to 15, 2018, insight and knowledge beyond the foundations of metallurgy, focussing also on individual steps of the production chain in the manufacture and further processing of aluminum products.

By offering practical exercises and presentations in several different RWTH institutes, course content can be learned and remembered on the basis of practical examples. This continuing education course takes place at RWTH Aachen and can be taken for 2, 3, or 4 days, according to participants' requirements.

For further information and registration please contact the RWTH International Academy:

Industry 4.0 Communication – Upgrade for Your Production Network

Interconnected production allows for interoperability between formerly proprietary systems. Through continuous communication between the separate parts of a production network, intelligent, autodidactic and self-regulating systems are formed, which are also self-optimizing thanks to current sensor technology. Efficient processing and analysis of data enables companies to react to changing conditions virtually in real-time and to adaptively change production processes. From April 16 to 20, 2018, Professor Tobias Meisen, will give the participants of this certificate course an overview over the most important communication technologies available for modern production sites.

For further information and registration please contact the RWTH International Academy:

Certificate Course: Industry 4.0  – Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is also known as digital transition and it is a continuous process of change owing to the rapid development of digital technology. From March 19 to 23, 2018, this certificate course under the direction of Professor Volker Stich, offers participants an introduction into the economy and design of value chain systems, while at the same time focusing on the connection to the diverse group of themes involved in Industry 4.0. The option of a data-based organizational structure will be addressed and its advantages highlighted. Furthermore, models, strategies, and design approaches of digital transformation will be presented through case examples with practical applications.

For further information and registration please contact the RWTH International Academy:

WZLforum Continuing Education Events


Science & Business

RWTH Graduates in High Demand

The graduates of RWTH Aachen University continue to remain among the most popular applicants for German companies. This was again confirmed by the latest edition of WirtschaftsWoche, dated January 12, 2018, in their ranking, for which 500 human resources executives from small, medium-sized, and large German corporations are interviewed annually. The ranking intends to show which universities prepare their students best for the rapidly changing job market. For instance, important factors for human resources executives are that applicants are experienced in project work, are dual-language-trained, and are skilled in solution-oriented thinking.

Aachen NO2 Study: No Connection to Diesel Scandal. Limits not Exceeded for Exposed Individuals

The Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine at RWTH Aachen University Hospital in the years 2013 and 2014 conducted a study on the topic of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) with the title "Biological effects of inhaled nitrogen dioxide in healthy human subjects." It was funded by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector, EUGT for short, and published in 2016 with reference to the sponsors after analysis of the enormous amount of data had been completed. The study was based on an application for research funding from 2012, which had been examined and authorized by the RWTH Aachen University Hospital ethics committee. The university hospital expressly points out that the study was not concerned specifically with the effect of diesel fumes on humans and that there is no connection whatsoever with the "diesel fume tests on monkeys" as reported on by the New York Times. In addition, the study had been initiated and took place long before the diesel scandal became public knowledge.

Protecting the Climate with Synthetic Fuels

The transportation sector is responsible for about one fourth of greenhouse emissions worldwide and contributes to local pollution in form of nitrogen oxides and particulate (soot), especially in urban regions. In order to mitigate such adverse environmental impacts, RWTH scientists are developing alternative fuels from sustainable sources.  As part of the Copernicus Project “Power-to-X,” an interdisciplinary working group is carrying out an ecological assessment of oxymethylene-based fuel, OMEx for short.

In the combustion process of traditional fuels, carbon dioxide is generated. Alternative fuels are capable of closing the carbon loop as they can be manufactured from carbon dioxide. To this purpose, carbon dioxide is turned, in combination with hydrogen, into tailor-made fuels. As long as the hydrogen utilized in this process is manufactured using renewable energy, such fuels are nearly climate neutral. Oxymethylene ether-based fuel, OMEx for short, is one such tailor-made fuel.



March 14 to 16, 2018 51st Essen Workshop for Water and Waste Management
March 16, 2018 Blood Drive in Couven-Halle
March 17, 2018 RWTH Indoor Football Cup 2018


This is just a small selection of events. Further events in September as well as in the subsequent months can be found on the webpages of RWTH Aachen, of the city of Aachen (de) and at Aachen Congress (de).


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