September 2017, Issue 177


Alumni News

The Graduates Experienced a Joyous Departure from the Alma Mater at the Aachen Dressage Stadium

The graduates of the nine faculties entered the full stadium in Aachen Soers to the grandiose sound of the Koninklijke Philharmonie Bocholtz and shining sun. Of the 1,200 men and women, 300, who were being honored for particular achievements, could be clearly recognized by the orange tassels on their caps. The applause of parents, family, friends, and RWTH faculty and staff resonated from the stands. "A degree at RWTH is difficult and challenging," emphasized Ernst Schmachtenberg, RWTH rector. "Thus, the celebration is not just a 'Day of Liberation' for the graduates but also for parents." This year's Engineering Award recipient, Manfred Weck, shared experiences from his long professional career in his keynote speech to the graduates. Due to health reasons, he was unable to give the speech himself. His successor at the RWTH Laboratory for Machine Tools WZL, Christian Brecher, gave the speech in his place.

Other participants of the graduation festivities could also be called on to share with the young graduates their experiences from long professional careers. This year's gold and silver doctoral jubilees were honored at a special reception before the big farewell at the stadium came to a conclusion. They received a renewal diploma a little more than 25 or 50 years after having completed their doctorate degrees.

First Alumni Get Together in Erlangen

On October 18, at 6pm, RWTH alumni residing in the Nürnberg-Erlangen are invited to participate in the first get together for RWTH alumni at the Kitzmann Bräuschänke in Erlangen. Since the number of participants is limited to 25, anyone interested should register as soon as possible.

General Electric Oil & Gas in Hürth opens Its Doors to RWTH Alumni

GE is one of the leading digital industrial companies with special focus on digitalization, green technologies, medical technology, and research and development. On Friday, October 13, starting at 4pm, RWTH alumni have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive tour of the company's Hürth facility. You may still register to participate before the October 6 deadline by using the online registration form.

“Öcher” Weather During RWTH Alumni Meeting at the S21 Construction Site in Stuttgart

One of the greatest infrastructure projects in the heart of Europe is currently being implemented in the Swabian metropolis. Many RWTH alumni are also involved in this exceptional project. Several meetings of stakeholders with Aachen background gave rise to the idea to also present the project to other alumni who had made their way to the Stuttgart area due to their careers with Daimler, Porsche,Bosch and others. It goes without saying that another positive side-effect – keeping in touch with other Aachen exiles – was readily embraced. And so it happened that on August 11, 2017, a group of approximately 40 individuals met up at the Stuttgart main train station to exchange their office shoes for heavy construction boots and tour the construction site of the new Stuttgart underground station in the pouring rain.


Alumni Spotlight

Aachen Engineering Award Manfred Weck

For the fourth time RWTH and the City of Aachen have awarded a scientist for outstanding achievements. The Aachen Engineering Award was presented to Manfred Weck for his lifework on September 8, 2017. The Solingen native, who will turn 80 in November, was head of the Chair of Machine Tools from 1973 to 2004 and director of the Laboratory of Machine Tools WZL at RWTH. The ceremony in the Coronation Hall at Aachen City Hall honored a man considered to be a pioneer in the field of machine tools and production facilities. This was emphasized by professor Joachim Milberg, former chair of BMW AG and professor at the Chair of Machine Tools at TU Munich. Actually, Manfred Weck was supposed to have taken up these positions at the time. However, he remained at the WZL in Aachen and dedicated himself to the behavior of machine tools.

Professor Michael Vorländer Elected Member of the Executive Council of the Acoustical Society of America

Professor Michael Vorländer, Director of the Institute of Technical Acoustics at RWTH Aachen, was elected a member of the Acoustical Society of America Executive Council. Founded in 1929, the Acoustical Society is devoted to the study of physical, technical and medical acoustics while also dealing with applications in psychology and geophysics. Vorländer's research focuses on auralization and acoustic virtual reality in various applications of architectural acoustics, psychoacoustics, automotive acoustics and noise control. Vorländer has been a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America since 2006.

New Interface for Catalysis Research

Professor Walter Leitner, chair of technical chemistry and petrochemistry at RWTH, has been named the new director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion. Professor Leitner's research primarily concentrates on the use of carbon dioxide as a raw material at the interface of energy and chemistry. His team is investigating catalytic processes from molecular fundamentals to concepts in reaction engineering for the effective transformation of the CO2 molecule. As of October 1, 2017, Leitner will become the director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, MPI CEC for short, assuming responsiblity for the scientific direction of the "Molecular Catalysis" department.


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 .

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 at 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.

RWTH Seminar on PVD and CVD Thin-Film Technology

This three day seminar from November 15 to 17, 2017, offers a systematic overview of the potential of modern PVD and CVD thin-film technology.

Backgrounds and principles of different process variants such as the sputter or arc of light process and their possiblities to be implemented, above all in the fields tribology and corrosion protection, will be presented. Target group are engineers and professional staff who would like to gain insight into methods, current trends and possible applications for PVD and CVD technology. Please register with , RWTH International Academy, Campus-Boulevard 30, 52074 Aachen, Tel. 0241 / 80-97742 or on the events page (de).

RWTH "Fine Blanking" Certificate Course

Profitability and precision are traditional characteristics of fine blanking. As a certified fine blanking expert of RWTH Aachen you will learn about current and future trends such as the use of high-strength sheet metal materials, environmentally friendly lubricants, and the need to master agile process changes in the course from February 26 to March 2, 2018. This certificate course teaches transferable skills to experts and managers as well as those from the metal-processing industry, preferably from fine blanking technology, stamping and bending technology, and general tool construction.

You can learn more and register by contacting the RWTH International Academy, Ms. , phone: 0241 80-97742 and on the continuing education platform.

Extraoccupational Continuing Education: Six Sigma Green Belt, November 14 to 17, 2017, and February 27 to March 2, 2018

As one of the most widespread concepts in quality management Six Sigma offers experts and managers a framework of actions to systematically plan and effectively implement sustainable improvement projects using the DMAIC cycle.

Become a Six Sigma Green Belt at RWTH Aachen International Academy and learn methods that enable you to identify the core sources of difficult problems in process and develop sustainable solutions for these problems based on statistical analyses.

You can find further information on the International Academy website or you can contact Ms. Anne Sawade-Eichler via or phone: 0241 80-23682.

Perfect Your Quality Management Skills as a Six Sigma Black Belt from October 17 to 20, 2017

Are you already a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and want to further develop your quality management skills? As a Six Sigma Black Belt trained at RWTH Aachen, you understand how to trace complex process problems back to the core sources and how to use founded statistical analysis methods to develop sustainable solutions. Using the methods and skills you have been taught, you can prepare and report project results in a manner appropriate for your target group. Independently identify and manage complex improvement projects and achieve a measurable value for your company. You can find further information on the International Academy website or by contacting Ms. .

WZLforum Continuing Education Events


Science & Business

RWTH Aachen Among 100 Best Universities in the World

RWTH Aachen University remains one of the top 100 universities in the world. This was confirmed by the current Times Higher Education World University Ranking, THE Ranking for short. 79th place remains an excellent achievement for RWTH and is only one place behind its best ranking from last year. In Germany the university even improved by one place, moving up to fifth place – its best ranking thus far.

10 Years of Aachen Body Engineering Days

The international conference held by the Institute for Automotive Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, ika for short, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, has established itself as important meeting point for body engineering experts over the years. This year more than 250 participants shared with each other via 19 presentations and numerous exhibits. Representatives from manufacturers, suppliers, and research institutions discussed how the automotive future will develop and what influence electromobility will have on body engineering in the future.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

A joint glacier test was conducted by the Enceladus Explorer Initiative, EnEx, at Langenferner near Santa Caterina Valfurva in Italy between August 9 and 29, 2017. The goal of the initiative, funded by the DLR, is to prepare a space mission for the search for extraterrestrial life on the Saturnian moon Enceladus, which possesses extensive water bodies underneath a thick sheet ice. A melting probe, capable of navigating autonomously, is used to detect the water-filled crevices under the icy surface, drill through them, take liquid samples, and analyze them. New key technologies are being developed within the EnEx Initiative, particularly to assist with navigation in the ice. These technologies will assist with a future space mission to Enceladus.

Tiny Particles from Remote Galaxies

Ever since the existence of cosmic rays with individual energies of several Joules was established in the 1960s, speculation has raged as to whether cosmic particles of mean energy of 2 Joules are created in our Milky Way or in distant extragalactic objects. This 50-year-old riddle has now been solved with the Pierree Auger Observatory in Argentina. Germany is represented in the collaboration by RWTH Aachen together with KIT, Universität Hamburg, and the Universities of Siegen and Wuppertal. The Pierre Auger Collaboration has reported evidence about the cosmic rays in a paper published in Science.

Research Success for Medical Imaging

Medical imaging plays an important role in the diagnosis of illnesses and the implementation of therapeutic measures. In order to be able to get detailed information from the human body and generate high-quality images of deeper tissue layers, researchers from the DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering, and RWTH Aachen University Hospital are conducting research on new types of fluorescent particles. With the help of these particles, it should become possible to make pathological tissue visible, among other applications. By finding a way how to decompose the fluorescent particles with the help of immune system cells, the researchers have now made an important step towards achieving their goal.

Diocese of Aachen and RWTH Continue to Endow Hemmerle Professorship

The Diocese of Aachen and RWTH have agreed to continue the Hemmerle Professorship, which is concerned with “Interdisciplinary Questions of Theology, Natural Sciences and Technology.” From April 1, 2018, this endowed professorship is slated to enrich the teaching and research offerings of the RWTH faculty of Arts and Humanities year-round for a time period of five years initially. “This close collaboration between RWTH and the Diocese of Aachen, between University and Church, is an ideal starting point to look at questions concerning the natural sciences and technology also from a theological-ethical perspective and to interconnect the different disciplines,” Helmut Dieser, the bishop of Aachen, emphasized on the occasion of his first visit with RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg after taking office.

Digital Innovations

envelio – one of six start-up companies who entered the competition nationwide – won first prize in the second round of this year's “Digital Innovations” Entrepreneurship Competition by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi for short. Since 2016, the BMWi has been supporting innovative business ideas that are based on modern information and communication technologies with this competition. BMWi State Secretary Dirk Wiese presented the award including 32,000 euros in prize money during the 2017 IFA consumer electronics fair. Approximately 300 innovative entrepreneurship teams from all around Germany had applied to win this prize.

Important Step for One of Europe's Largest Research Campuses

The cabinet of the NRW state government gave the green light to sell the large property to RWTH Aachen. The second stage of RWTH Aachen Campus, Campus West, can now take shape on the grounds surrounding Aachen West Train Station. This offers RWTh the possibility to develop and settle further research topics in research clusters.

Modern Simulation Techniques Change Products and Processes

The current issue of the RWTH THEMEN research magazine reports on research projects at the Aachen university focusing on modern simulation processes. In 13 pieces we spotlight mathematics in radiotherapy planning, algorithms for creating 3D illustrations, calculations for noise reduction in aircraft engines, simulation programs for supercomputers, and models for developing artificial heart valves.



October 5, 2017 IGaD Topic Series Chance und Herausforderung von Bildungsaufstiegen aus individueller und institutioneller Perspektive
October 9 to 11, 2017

26th Aachen Automobile and Engine Technology Colloquium

October 11 to 13, 2017 5th Electric Vehicle Production Day (EPT)
October 13, 2017 General Electric Oil & Gas in Hürth opens its doors to RWTH alumni
October 18, 2017 RWTH Alumni Get Together in Erlangen

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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