December 2013, Issue 132


Alumni News

RWTH Aachen Once Again Top Scholarship Provider

RWTH Aachen is the top scholarship provider in Germany for the fifth time. In winter semester 2013/2014, 630 scholarship recipients will be funded by the Education Fund, the university’s central scholarship program. RWTH Aachen was able to acquire more tnan one million euros from private donors. The amount is then doubled by public funds. Scholarships are awarded in collaboration with the National Scholarship or Deutschlandstipendium and the NRW Scholarship program.

Awarding of the 2013 Friedrich Wilhelm Prizes

RWTH Aachen honored 27 students, doctoral candidates, and post-docs with the 2013 Friedrich Wilhelm Prize. The honor is annually awarded to RWTH Aachen students and researchers who are chosen for their outstanding achievements. The award ceremony took place during a celebration at the university. This year, 10 Diplom or Master's theses, 13 dissertations, and four postdoctoral theses received the award.

Chemistry Day

The RWTH Aachen Department of Chemistry held a Chemistry Day. The event's program included student reports about research internships and reports from alumni about their every day professional life. The new graduates also received their diploma certificates among their families and friends. Four of the graduates were honored with the award: Marko Hermsen and Patrick Tomkins received the Schöneborn Prize, endowed with1300 euros. Raphaele Kannengießer and Pierre Türschmann were the happy recipients of the Procter & Gamble Prize, endowed with 1000 euros.

The RWTH Aachen chemistry students profited from another award. The Aachen university received funding from the NRW branch of the German Chemical Industry Association, VCI for short.

Farewell and Honors at Mathematics Day

"Balls also have corners and zeroes can be attractive." This might be an odd statement for some people but it is nothing unusual for mathematicians. Jan Knappman, a Master's graduate this year in mathematics reflected on his studies at RWTH Aachen during the Department of Mathematics Graduate Celebration. 160 Bachelor, Master, doctoral, and teacher training graduates completed mathematics studies this year and are looking to the future with great expectations. Their career prospects are excellent according to RWTH Vice-Rector Aloys Krieg. With a celebratory presentation on the topic "Optimal Curves – Beyond the Beginnings of Variational Calculus" Professor Bemelman said good bye. He had been a professor at RWTH since 1991. In the name of the RWTH funding assocation proRWTH Professor Dr. Marold Wosnitza awarded the six best Bachelor graduates with the Schöneborn Prize. The Student Representative Council for Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science also awarded the annual teaching prize to Professor Heiko von der Mosel and Dr. Wolfgang Herff to honor their work and motivation.

Graduate Ceremony at Computer Science Day

After it was made public that Professor Leif Kobbelt, Chair of Computer Science, Computer Graphics, and Multimedia, was one of the 2014 Leibniz Award winners, there was another reason to celebrate a few days later in the Department of Computer Science. Dring the Computer Science Day the successful graduates in the department were honored and bid farewell with much applause. Over 360 students successfully completed their Bachelor, Master, or Diplom in the Department of Computer Science in the past academic year. More than one hundred graduates participated in the celebratory event with family and friends. There were awards for the best final theses in each class. The Schöneborn Prize for the best Bachelor theses was awarded to Jens Katemann, Philip Kaldenich, Norman Müller, and Daniel Neuen. The Industry Prize for the best Master's thesis, endowed by Ericsson, was given to Anne Kathrein. However there was also much applause for the instructors: The Department of Mathematics Teaching Prize for the best supportive teaching went to Igor Kalkov, and to Dr. Dirk Thißen for the best independent teaching.


Alumni Spotlight

Leibniz Prizes for Two RWTH Professors

The Joint Committee of the German Research Foundation, DFG for short, has announced the prize winners in the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz program. Two RWTH professors are among the awardees: Dr. Leif Kobbelt, Professor of Computer Graphics and Multimedia, and Dr. Rainer Waser, Professor of Materials in Electrical Engineering, will receive 2.5 million euros each for their research activities. RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg is delighted with the award: We are immensely happy about this recognition by the German Research Foundation for these outstanding researchers.

Wallenberg Academy Fellowship for RWTH Professor

Professor Janine Splettstößer from the RWTH Teaching and Research Area Theoretical Physics has been awarded a Wallenberg Academy Fellowship. The 36-year-old physicist will thus receive about 1.3 million euros for her research projects over the next five years. The Swedish Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is a funding institution to support research in Sweden. Splettstößer was nominated for the fellowship by Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, where she will continue her research activities starting January 2014.

Bernd Geiser Receives Johann Philipp Reis Award

Dr. Bernd Geiser, research associate at the Institute of Communication Systems and Data Processing at RWTH Aachen, has received the Johann Philipp Reis Award 2013. The research prize, named after one of the inventors of the telephone, Johann Philipp Reis, is awarded every two years to scientists with oustanding achievements in the field of communication technology. The prize, which is worth 10000 euros, is sponsored by VDE, the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, and the cities of Friedrichsdorf and Gelnhausen.

2013 Hans Heimann Prize for Dr. Danilo Bzdok and Professor Dr. Simon Eickhoff

This year's doctoral award from the German Association of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics or DGPPN has been given to, among others, Danilo Bzdok and his doctoral advisor, Professor Dr. med. Simon B. Eickhoff, for doctoral work on the topic "Functional Specialization for Social Processes in the Medical Brain." The work was completed at RWTH Aachen within the doctoral program of the International Graduate School "Schizophrenia and Autism".


Science & Business

RWTH Institute of Applied Microbiology Officially Opened

Rector Ernst Sch Schmachtenberg officially opened the RWTH Institute of Applied Microbiology, located in teh Chemistry and Biology building complex at Worringer Weg. The Federal State of NRW and RWTH Aachen have invested about 5 million euros in order to provide outstanding teaching and research opportunities in microbiology. After two years of planning and building activities, there are now about 1500 sqm of renovated floor space for offices, lab facilities, and student work areas where the former Institute of Biology IV (Microbiology) was located.

Water – a Fundamental Good

Water is one of the most important resources on our planet. The United Nations have named the year 2013 the "International Year of Water Collaboration". The German UNESCO council used this as an opportunity to design the exhibit 2013 Water Collaboration with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office. It will be presented by the UNESCO Chair of Hydrological Change and Water Resource Management, located in the Academic and Research Department Engineering Hydrology at RWTH. The exhibit is open to all interested individuals at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Mies-van-der-Rohe Straße 1, from December 9, 2013 to January 17, 2014, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Entrance is free of charge.


Around RWTH

Victory at the "adh-Open Mixed Water Polo" in Karlsruhe

From new water polo players to experienced league veterans, there was something from everything: eleven teams from nine universities played against each other at the first adh-Open Mixed Water Polo hosted by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Hochschulsportverband, adh for short, in Karlsruhe. RWTH advanced to the finals with five victories in five games. In the end RWTH secured the first title at the University Championship in a game against the, until then, undefeated team from the Sporthochschule Köln with a score of 6:5.



January 11, 2014: Einstein's Music Box - Aachen Symphony Orchestra at RWTH

January 14, 2014: Regenerative Energies Colloquium: "The Market Development of EE", Burkhard Steinhausen, Trianel GmbH; at 6pm in Room 140 in the Reiff-Museum, Templergraben 51

January 21, 2014: Fine Dust Pollution in Aachen and the Euroregion– Presentations and Panel Discussions

January 28 to 30, 2014: Advising Days: Do you already know what you want to study?

January 30, 2014: Collegium Musicum Concert

January 31, 2014: Design your own Career – Working at Google, presentation by RWTH alumna Wendenburg, Google Enterprise London


keep in touch Alumni Magazine Available as E-magazine for Tablet PCs for the First Time

The keep in touch is now available as an interactive e-magazine for iPads and Android tablet PCs, starting with the past issue, Issue 55. The issue can be downloaded for free in the Apple Store and in the Google PlayStore.


The Alumni Newsletter is released once a month. The International Office, Fundraising, and Alumni publish the newsletter on behalf of the Rector. The contact person in the editorial office is Dietrich Hunold. Responsibility is assumed by Renate Kinny.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The editorial staff of the Alumni Newsletter thanks all letters for their attention and loyalty. The Alumni Team wishes all RWTH Aachen alumni happy holidays and a successful and happy 2014!

Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year!

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Vrolijk Kerstfest en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Feliz Navidad y Próspero Ano Nuevo!