July to December 2021, Issue 194


Dear Alumni,

Just like with teaching and research, the pandemic has also posed great challenges for our alumni work. The personal interactions that particularly strengthen togetherness have largely ceased to take place. Nevertheless, we are not giving up hope that we will be able to offer activities in person again next year. We look forward to seeing you then!

We, the Alumni Team, would like to thank all readers of the Alumni Newsletter for their attention and loyalty. We wish all our alumni, sponsors, and supporters a happy holiday season and a peaceful and, above all, healthy year in 2022!

Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein Frohes Neues Jahr! - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! - Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année! - Vrolijk Kerstfest en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! - Feliz Navidad y Próspero Ano Nuevo ...

The RWTH Alumni Team


Alumni News

Digital Alumni Day: Another Appointment in January

The Zoom presentations of the digital Alumni Day should have been completed by mid-December. However, Hans Schlegel, alumnus and former ESA Lead Astronaut in Houston, had to cancel his appointment at short notice for health reasons. In the meantime, the new appointment has been set: January 12, 2022, at 7pm. Interested parties can register now.

Another tip: Over the vacation, it is a good idea to check out the other digital contributions on the Alumni Day website. In particular, we recommend the Energy & Mobility, Digitalization of Production, and Medical Technology thematic routes, which address important challenges of our time.

Reimagining the University. The New Fiction of Good Science – Talking About…

Universities must constantly reinvent themselves – in teaching, research, and interaction with the “outside world” – to meet the changing demands of industry and society and respond to global crises. The recently launched online series “The New Fiction of Good Science - Talking About...” ties in directly with the content of the Science Evening held May 6, 2021. While the Science Evening provided the big picture and future vision, the “Talking About...” series now tackles the big questions in a practical, topic-specific, and results-oriented manner. The first three editions focus on the following topics: 3rd Mission, Innovation and Sustainability, and Hybrid Teaching. For more information click on the links below:

  • Marcella Hansch, founder and CEO of everwave (formerly Pacific Garbage Screening) and ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDG's, gave an interview for the issue "Talking About... How Sustainability Is Driving Innovation." The issue focuses on sustainability in the context of innovation and the related role of higher education. The full video is available online (interview with Marcella Hansch starting at 38:52).
  • Dr. Paul Jokiel, VP Human Resource Hilti Headquarters, Hilti AG, Schaan, was interviewed in "Talking About... How We Envision the Future Of University Teaching" on what future skills universities should be teaching their students and how these can best be taught. Interviews and panel discussions throughout the issue are devoted to hybrid teaching – which is widely believed to be the model of teaching for the future, but for which there is as yet no proven solution. The issue is available online (interview with Paul Jokiel starting at 44:45).

Alumni Spotlight

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Thrun Presented With Aachen Engineering Award

Professor Sebastian Thrun was presented with the Aachen Engineering Award in the Coronation Hall of Aachen City Hall. With the joint award, RWTH Aachen University and the City of Aachen honored the researcher’s outstanding achievements. Thrun has been working in California since 2003, for example as head of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University. “Sebastian Thrun's work in AI and robotics has provided the cornerstones on which AI engineering is based,” said Professor Armin B. Cremers, co-founder of the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology and the laureate's doctoral supervisor at the University of Bonn. According to Cremers, Thrun’s activities in Bonn already had an incredible impact “on Bonn, on Aachen, and also beyond NRW, leaving a mark both nationally and internationally.”

RWTH Professors Featured Among the World's Most-Cited Researchers

Three RWTH professors made it onto the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2021 in the field of pharmacology and toxicology. According to the list, published by Clarivate Analytics, the most frequently cited researchers worldwide include Professor Fabian Kiessling and Professor Twan Lammers. Both have been listed as Highly Cited Researchers since 2019. In addition, Professor Joost van Dongen, last listed in 2018, also features on this year's list.

RWTH Professor Holger Schüttrumpf Leads Joint Project on Flooding Event

The German Ministry of Education and Research is funding the joint project HoWas2021 – Governance and Communication in the Event of a Flooding Crisis in July 2021 – with around 1.5 million euros over the next 18 months. At present, researchers from different universities are working together with stakeholders from organizations to improve risk prediction, crisis communication, and disaster management in extreme weather situations. Professor Holger Schüttrumpf from the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at RWTH has taken over the project management.


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 RWTH Alumni Job Portal. If you would like to publish a job posting, please send an email to .

At the same time, this platform is aimed specifically at our alumni who want to develop and change their careers. Currently, two job offers from REWE Systems GmbH (IT Business Analyst, Full Stack Developer) as well as from DSA Daten- und Systemtechnik GmbH (Java Developer), itestra GmbH (Software Engineer), and Platinion GmbH/BCG Platinion (IT Architect) are published there.

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 certificate course, seminar, or full-time degree program, you receive a 5 percent discount, while for part-time programs, you receive a 10 percent discount. You can book your course or degree program on the website of the International Academy.

Continuing education at the WZLforum


Science & Business

Lernen. Forschen. Machen. – The Exhibition

The joint anniversary exhibition of RWTH and the City of Aachen at Centre Charlemagne provides fascinating insights into the history and development of the University. It offers visitors the chance to discover different research highlights and the primary focus of all relevant areas from the past 150 years.

RWTH Achieves Top Results in THE Ranking – 100 out of 100 Points

In the latest Times Higher Education (THE) ranking, a well-trusted source assessing university performance on the global stage, RWTH achieved excellent results with its subjects of Engineering and Computer Science. As in previous years, the University has again scored high marks in both scientific disciplines. In engineering, RWTH is ranked 30th among the best universities globally, meaning it was able to maintain its ranking from the previous year. Aachen's engineers particularly stand out in the “research funding from industry” indicator. Here, they scored 100 out of a possible 100 points. These rankings are among the world’s most influential university rankings and are published annually.

H2Giga: Industrializing Hydrogen Production

Green hydrogen, generated by energy from regenerative sources, is one of the most important elements of Germany’s transition to renewable energy. In order to support Germany’s entry into the hydrogen economy, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched three flagship zero-emission technology projects, H2Giga, H2Mare, and TransHyDE, with a total funding budget of about 740 million euros.

With the help of these lead projects, Germany strives to become a global leader in green hydrogen technologies by 2025. Teams from RWTH Aachen University, which has pooled its expertise in the field of hydrogen in the Center for Sustainable Hydrogen Systems, are also involved in several research projects. The aim is to develop the technology required for large-scale hydrogen production.

RWTH Researchers Publish Study With Reform Proposals for EEG Levy

Germany wants to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with the energy transition. The expansion of renewable energies is financed by the EEG levy on the electricity price paid by final energy consumers in particular. This levy, named after the Renewable Energy Sources Act, is the same for all households. A study by the Chair for Energy System Economics at RWTH has come to the conclusion that the EEG levy poses a major challenge for low-income households. In the meantime, the new “traffic light” coalition is planning to abolish the EEG levy from 2023. However, the RWTH researchers are proposing an alternative reform of the EEG levy, which would see the levy initially increase for all households. In return, households would receive a certain credit amount depending on their income.

Endowed Professorship for Quantum Computing Research

Quantum computing is one of the most promising future-oriented technologies and it has the potential to massively increase the computing power of computers through quantum mechanical effects. This being so, it is able to push the boundaries of what has thus far been possible and to revolutionize the areas in which this technology is applied, from materials science right up to automated driving. For example, one of the areas in which RWTH Aachen University is already engaged in this area of research is in the “Matter and Light for Quantum Computing (ML4Q)” Cluster of Excellence. Funded by the BMW Group, the endowed chair called “Quantum Information Systems” will further promote the research that is taking place on this highly relevant and future-oriented technology at RWTH.

RWTH's Decision Navigator Available Free of Charge

The Entscheidungsnavi, or Decision Navigator, is an online tool initially developed for teaching and learning purposes by RWTH's Decision Theory and Financial Services Group under the direction of Professor Rüdiger von Nitzsch (also see issue 71 of keep in touch). The tool, which supports individuals in reflecting on and making professional and private decisions, is increasingly being used by companies. Based on his positive experience with the decision-making tool, Dr. Mark Seidler from the Strategic Decisions Group (SDG) consultancy has decided to promote the concept and application of the Decision Navigator. RWTH and SDG have now jointly decided to promote the tool through a non-profit organization and founded the Reflektiert Entscheiden e.V. support association. SDG donated 20,000 euros to establish the association.

Unmanned Aerial Systems to Support Rescue Personnel in Mass Casualty Incidents

In Germany, at the scene of an accident involving many casualties, injured people are grouped into different categories to determine their priority of treatment. Important indicators in this process are the patients’ vital signs. In a demonstration flight, staff from the Aachen Fire Department in Floriansdorf have now shown that an unmanned areal vehicle (UAV) developed at RWTH is capable of recording the vital parameters of accident victims with the help of cameras and radar technology. The devices are able to measure the heart and respiratory rates of the victims from a height of five to ten meters, for example, providing rescue workers with important information before they arrive at the scene of the accident.

RWTH Supports International Master's Program in West Africa

With its new International Master’s Program in Energy and Green Hydrogen, the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, WASCAL for short, wants to educate and train future experts in the area of “Green Hydrogen.” RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, as partners of the program, will provide support teaching and learning and contribute to supervising students on site and online. The two-year master's program has been designed along the lines of existing WASCAL graduate school programs. Students in the program will be trained in accordance with international standards and best practices.

47.269 Students Currently Enrolled at RWTH

As of December 1 of this year, 47,269 students are enrolled at RWTH for the 2021/22 winter semester – 15,516 of them women. Compared to the previous year, the total number of students has increased by 96, and the proportion of women remains at 33 percent. 9,650 first-semester students are currently pursuing a degree at RWTH. International interest in studying at RWTH has also grown. 13,354 of our students are citizens of other countries, compared to 12,477 last year.



January 10, 2022

Medicine & Ethics Lecture Series: Reflections on Organ Donation

January 17, 2022

Medicine & Ethics Lecture Series: Animal Testing in Biomedicine. Ethical Perspectives

January 18, 2022

Urban Design Colloquium: Resilience and the City

January 24, 2022

Medicine & Ethics Lecture Series: Ethical Aspects of Health Apps

February 3, 2022

Lecture: Uniting Human & Artificial Intelligence – Chances for the Production of Tomorrow

February 10, 2022

Lecture: Perspectives on the Schneider/Schwerte Case


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


Publisher on behalf of the Rector: Staff Unit: Relationship Management

Editor: Dietrich Hunold
Responsibility assumed by: Angela Poth Welter Ribeiro

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