June 2016, Issue 162


Alumni News

Issue No. 61 of "keep in touch" Published

"My math and physics teacher at Gymnasium really paved the way. At a time when computer science wasn't a part of schools' curriculums he offered an extra computer course in the afternoon." Christoph Schmallenbach, chairman of the board at AachenMünchener Versicherungen, AM, since May 2015, recalls his school years. At that time the "bacillus was planted," which led him to study computer science at RWTH in Aachen during the 80s. In his interview with the alumni magazine "keep in touch" Christoph Schmallenbach discusses current personal and business challenges that are occupying his time as chairman. The RWTH magazine also reports on news in research and sciences as well as from around RWTH. The current issue includes a piece on the fire at the WZL testing hall at the beginning of February.

Alumni Get Together in Munich

RWTH alumni in and around Munich will be meeting once again, this time without a tour, on July 13, 2016, at Parkcafé, Sophienstr. 7, 80333 Munich. Its purpose is to serve as the kickoff for additional get togethers, where participants can talk about RWTH and life in Munich. If you've recently moved to Munich you may meet new people. Or maybe you'll happen to be in Munich at the time and would like to participate.

Register by July 8, 2016, via the online registration, so that a table can be reserved. Many thanks to Sylvia Waldhausen and other dedicated alumni in Munich for organizing the event.


Alumni Spotlight

Astronaut Thomas Reiter Received Aachen Engineering Award

350 – that’s the number of days he spent in space. More than any other European astronaut. He was the first German who accomplished an extravehicular activity in space in 1995, as part of Mission Euromir 95. Later he was also on board the International Space Station ISS. On Friday, September 9, 2016, Thomas Reiter will be honored with the Aachen Engineering Award by RWTH and the City of Aachen during a ceremony in Aachen's city hall. Then, on Saturday, September 10, 2016, he will give the keynote address at the University’s graduation celebration – in front of approximately 5,000 participants. "More than almost any other German engineer, Thomas Reiter symbolizes the departure to new, distant worlds … the adventure of research!” said Ernst Schmachtenberg, rector of RWTH Aachen.

Electric Mobility of Tomorrow

RWTH student Daniel Szepanski has received the DRIVE-E Student Award from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. The 25-year-old electrical engineering graduate won the first prize, worth 6,000 Euros, for his master’s thesis on the integration of power electronics into the electric motor.


Continued Education & Career

RWTH International Academy: Discounted Participation Fees for Registered Members of the RWTH Alumni Network

Starting July 1, 2016, you will receive a discount when booking a continuing education course with RWTH International Academy if you are a registered member of the RWTH Alumni Network. If you are booking a course of study, you will receive a ten percent discount, and if you are booking certificate courses and seminars, a 15 percent discount. You can book using your RWTH email address either on the RWTH Continuing Education Platform and . This discount cannot be combined with other special offers from RWTH International Academy. We looking forward to welcoming you to the network.

RWTH Certificate Course: Chief Technology Manager

September 12 to 16, 2016, Munich

Product and technology life cycles are becoming increasingly shorter, while the global competition is becoming larger, and customer wishes more indvidual: these changes require the implementation of successful technology management. The program "Chief Technology Manager" contains a detailed illustration and exploration of successful approaches from science and industrial practice – from the creation of a consistent technology strategy, the identification of new technologies to the development of business model innovations. You can find further information on the website or contact Jeannine Keßel at +49 241 80 27 691 or .

Social Media – Continuing Education to Professionally Use Social Media LIke Facebook Snapchat, Twitter & Co.

The use of social media plays an important role in both private and, increasingly, in professional sphere. Whether it's Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, or YouTube – more than a billion people use online platforms every day. Do you also want to use social media for your marketing package and simultaneously not only professionally plan your social media presence but also efficiently implement it? The two certificate courses "Social Media Management for Decision-Makers" and "Social Media Marketing for Users" enable you to recognize and evaluate potential for the successful use of social media in external and internal business communication. Using practical exercises you will learn to implement different tools and instruments to create a social media strategy. You can find additional information on the website or you can can contact Anne Lambertz at +49 241 80 97741 or .

New Continuing Education Program: "RWTH Research Manager" Begins September 1, 2016

The extraoccupational continuing education program "RWTH Research Manager" provides you with a broad spectrum of qualifying skills for both research and management. In six modules you will learn to successfully apply strategic management in research institutions, companies, and universities. The program provides you with an overview of instruments and actors in research financing, human resource management strategies, controlling external funding projects, quality management and technology transfer methods, and factors of success for research marketing and strategic partner acquisition. The program is open to junior researchers increasingly interested in management and leadership skills. You can find additional information on the website or contact Larissa Schmitt at +49 241 80 96653 or .


Science & Business

RWTH Institutes to Present Their Research in Bellevue Palace

Research institutions from RWTH Aachen present their innovative projects at the "Environment Week“ hosted by Federal President Joachim Gauck and the German Federal Environmental Foundation. On the occasion of the fifth Week of the Environment, on June 6 and 7, 2016, about 200 institutions presented innovative sustainability projects to the broader public at Bellevue Palace, Berlin. The projects participating in the exhibition were selected out of 600 projects by a jury. R WTH’s Institute of Textile Technology, ITA for short, participated in the event with two projects: The topic of “Cost-Efficient, Stable Data Connections Using Polymer Optical Fibers” and “Novel Thermal Insulation Composite Systems Made of Three-Dimensionally Expanded Polystyrene Foam.”

E.ON and RWTH Aachen Continue Cooperation

E.ON plans to continue a successful cooperation with RWTH Aachen University and has thus extended the cooperation agreement by another five years. E.ON executive board member Karsten Wildberger and RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg signed a corresponding agreement. "Since its founding, the E.ON Energy Research Center has become a nationally and internationally renowned research center examining future sources of energy. The E.ON ERC competencies are a perfect fit for E.ON's strategic goals in the areas of power grids, customer solutions and renewable energy," emphasized Wildberger.

Packing-Rate – the Art of Outplaying

RWTH graduate Matthias Sienz is a software developer at Impect GmbH. Part of his responsibilities include analyzing the German national team's games during the Eurocup. Football players are under constant observation. Every performance variation can affect the assignment in the next match. They are not only observed by coaches and team members, but also by special service providers, who put them under the microscope. "When evaluating their players, trainers partially use data from external companies," explains Matthias Sienz. "These data consist of various statistics on passing, paths, tackles, and much more. Players are confronted with these and often the analyses show another opinion." Sienz is head of software development at Impect GmbH, the company, which is causing furore with its new "packing rate" method of evaluating players. Sienz completed his Master's in electrical engineering at RWTH. He's currently pursuing a computer science degree as well.

Pushing and Rotating to Supplement Swiping

People who can manipulate a physical object by taking it into their hands are able to work faster and more precisely than those who perform the same operations abstractly, e.g. by swiping their fingers on a screen. Players are able to think more abstractly when they are able to move real-world playing figures on a board than when they move playing figures virtually. These findings further encourage Professor Jan Borchers and his team from the Human-Computer Interaction Center at RWTH Aachen, HCIC, in their efforts “to make more extensive use of what evolution has given us: our entire body, and not only the tips of our fingers.” This idea provides the basis for the TABULA project, which literally seeks to turn abstract learning into tangible learning.

From Production Waste to Raw Material

“This is the result of our work,” says Janik Brenk from the Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, IME for short, which is headed by Professor Bernd Friedrich. The doctoral candidate points to a bar-shaped object, about 150 cm in height, which is positioned next to a steel beam in IME's large manufacturing hall. It consists of titanium, the base material for the turbine blades of jet engines. It is a material that is high in demand: it is light-weight, robust, and it can withstand high temperatures. RWTH has been developing efficient and cost-efficient methods for the production and recycling of titan aluminide for several years now. In the manufacturing of turbine blades, 90 percent of the material used becomes waste. And the turbines have a service life of between 10,000 and 20,000 hours of flight before being replaced.

e.GO Mobile Moving the Market With Its Electric Car

e.GO Mobile is developing a particularly cost-efficient electric car on RWTH Aachen Campus. Production researchers and CEO Günther Schuh show that Industry 4.0 makes highly iterative development processes and particularly cost-efficient production of prototypes as well as smart series possible. Their work has shown outstanding results. The new EC directive L7e, defining small vehicles of a top speed of 90km/h and a maximum width of 1.50 meters, has been beneficial to development. The standard e.GO Life is expected to cost 12,500 Euros. If supplied with two additional batteries and 2 + 2 seating, the car will achieve a maximum range of 120 kilometers and will cost 13,900 Euros. In 2017, a first batch of 100 rapid prototypes will be manufactured, and 75 will be sold to beta testers.

International TEDxRWTHAachen Conference

The third international TEDxRWTHAachen Conference was held at the RWTH Aachen Main Building at the end of May. TEDx is the independently organized event format of the international TED brand from the USA, which aims to offer a forum for new ideas and inspiring personalities. A special characteristic of TEDxRWTHAachen is that it is organized and conducted exlusively by 30 students. The conference was a huge success with over 300 participants, 400 livestream viewers, 400 #TEDxRWTH tweets, and eight speakers. One of the speakers was Andera Gadeib, an IT entrepreneur in Aachen and RWTH alumna. She emphasized the high relevant of digital life – Digital life rocks – in current times. TED is a non-profit organization, which has organized an annual innovative conference for over 20 years.



Blooddrive Dates at Couvenhalle

80 percent of all Germans will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure the supply of blood for those in need. Students and interested Aachen residents have the possibility to donate blood on the RWTH campus. The University Hospital Aachen is organizing multiple blood drives in the next months at Couvenhalle, Kármánstraße 17 bis 19. The next is on Friday, July 15, 2016, 11:30am to 7pm.



July 2 and 3, 2016

Concert: Collegium Musicum RWTh University Orchestra and University Choir

July 7, 2016

Uprooted? – Lecture Series on Flight, Displacement, and Migration in History and the Present
July 9, 2016

2nd RWTH Motor Day

July 11, 2016

Public Symposium: Responsible Research and Innovation

July 13, 2016

Lousberglauf 2016

July 13, 2016

Alumni Get Together in Munich

July 13, 2016

Excellence Initiative Lecture Series: From Bit to Span – Digitally Networked Production

July 14 and 16, 2016

Concert: Aachen Student Orchestra

July 15, 2016

Siemens Day at RWTH

July 15, 2016

Blood Drive Dates at the Couvenhalle

July 21, 2016

Philosophy Colloquium: Wittgenstein and Cantor


Additional Alumni Service

Alumn Magazine "keep in touch" also available as e-magazine for tablets

The "keep in touch“ is now also available as an interactive e-magazine for iPads and Android tablets. Download it for free in the Apple Store and Google PlayStore.


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

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