July 2013, Issue 127



Hamburg Alumni at IBA

We are happy to announce our next event for RWTH Alumni in Hamburg! This time we invite you to a tour of the International Building Exhibition IBA Hamburg on September 27.

Tentative Program:

4pm: Introductory presentation at the IBA at WORK exhibition – about 45 to 60 minutes, afterwards a walking tour starting from the center of Wilhelmsberg with a tour of the energetic, interesting projects there. The tour continues to the Reihersteig district and then to the energy bunker. The tour ends around 6:30pm. Afterwards there is a joint dinner to finish off the day. Exact location and time still to be determined. The cost for the IBA Guide Technical Tour will ten to 15 euros per person depending on the size of the group.

Please register by August 16 to by sending an . All registrations are binding. Please include whether you are registering for the tour and/or the evening and whether you need to reserve a parking spot. If you would like to participate with your partner, please indicate this as well.

Rain I: Rector’s Cup 2013

Even rain and cold couldn’t keep true golfers from the right swings. Alumni, professors, friends, and donors of RWTH Aachen proved this at this year’s Rector’s Cup. The adverse storm conditions accompanied the activities during the eleventh RWTH Aachen golf tournament at the Mergelhof Gold Club near Gemmenich. However, the 60 participants did not give up their good mood and joy of playing. During the evening award ceremony, the successful participants were in a particularly good mood.

Rain II: Tradition on the Aachen Teufelsberg

It’s practically a Lousberglauf tradition: strong rainstorms dampened the anticipation for this year’s run but the sky brightened up in the evening as did the athletes and organizers’ moods. Spectators along the challenging route were also happy about the comfortable conditions and cheered on the runners. Once again there was a special atmosphere that casts a spell over the 2000 runners on the Aachen Teufelsberg. The Alumni pro RWTH team participated again this year with 60 participants, who also ran against each other.


Alumni Spotlight

ERC Advanced Grant: RWTH Researchers Receive Prestigious European Award

RWTH Professors Leif Kobbelt and Matthias Wuttig will receive the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, ERC for short. Each researcher will obtain funding in the amount of over 2 million euros over a five-year period. The award is presented to established research leaders to pursue ground-breaking projects that open new directions in their research fields.

RWTH Honorary Doctorate for Nobel Prize Winner

RWTH Aachen has awarded honorary doctorates to the US-American researchers Prof. Robert H. Grubbs from the California Institute of Technology and Prof. Richard R. Schrock from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The award was made in recognition of the chemists’ excellent and distinctive work on catalysis in a metal-organic framework, particularly the development of viable metathesis catalysts. In 2005, the researchers were presented with the Nobel Prize "for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis." Catalysis is one of the RWTH Aachen Department of Chemistry’s research focuses.

Carmen Leicht-Scholten to Represent Germany in the genderSTE Research Network

Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Carmen Leicht-Scholten from the RWTH Aachen Teaching and Research Area Gender and Diversity in Engineering was chosen by the German European Cooperation in Science and Technology office to represent Germany in the EU research network genderSTE.


Science & Business

New Groundbreaking Discovery in Physics

RWTH Aachen provides monitoring chambers for T2K experiment: At the European Physical Society meeting in Stockholm, the international T2K, Tokai to Kamioka, collaboration in Japan announced definitive observation of muon neutrino to electron neutrino transformation. The monitor chamber system was prepared in Aachen and integrated into the gas system. RWTH Aachen also contributed the chassis for the approximately 1000 ton experimental magnets.

DWI to Become First Aachen Leibniz Institute

Upon recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities, the RWTH-Affiliated Institute will become a member of the Leibniz Community in 2014. On January 1, 2014, DWI Interactive Materials Research at RWTH Aachen – formerly the German Woll Research Institute – will become a member of the Leibniz Community and thus the first Leibniz Institute in Aachen. On July 12, 2013, the German Council of Science and Humanities recommended the Aachen institute for membership in the research assoication. Thus, from 2014, besides the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with its three Institutes, another renowned German research organization will be present at RWTH Aachen.

Fascinated with Space

85 astronauts, including RWTH Alumnus Hans Schelgel, from the international and independent “Association of Space Explorers,” ASE for short, visited RWTH Aachen. The program included a Technical Session with about 350 participating RWTH members and an open event at the Aachen Katschhof, where the astronauts reported on their experiences in space in front of an audience of more than 1000 enthusiastic pupils and students.

IGCS Summer School for Sustainability

20 students came together at the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, IGCS, summer school in Aachen. The IGCS opened in December 2010 as part of the DAAD initiative "A new passage to India" at the Indian Institute of Technology, IIT, Madras in Chennai. The Centre for Sustainability is a collaboration between the University of Madras and a group of German universities led by RWTH Aachen. The collaboration brings together German and Indian research in the fields of water, energy, waste management, and land use, with an interdisciplinary approach.

Chinese Partner University Visits

A delegation from Tsinghua University, Beijing, recently visited RWTH Aachen University. The delegation was officially welcomed by Professor Malte Brettel, Vice-Rector for Industry and Business Relations. The Rector’s Delegate for Cooperation with China, Professor Reinhart Poprawe, lauded the 30-year partnership between the universities. The program for the delegation included discussions about future opportunities for collaboration and visits to various university departments and institutes.

Thai Ambassador Visited RWTH Aachen

The Kingdom of Thailand ambassador to Germany, Nongnuth Phetcharatana, visited RWTH Aachen. The reason for her visit was the TGGS Days. TGGS stands for the Sirindhorn International Thai-German Graduate School of Engineering. This graduate school was founded in 1996 by RWTH Aachen and King Mongkut´s University of Technology North Bangkok. Since then, engineering Master's courses of study and doctoral study opportunities have been offered in Thailand using Aachen as a model.

Money for More Female Professors

RWTH Aachen's proposal to the Female Professors Program II was successful: The university will receive up to 2.25 million euros as startup financing for appointing three female professors.

Topping-Out Ceremony for the New RWTH Lecture Hall Center

The building shell of one of the largest and most modern lecture hall centers in Europe was recently completed on the campus of RWTH Aachen. Construction professionals, craftsmen, and representatives from RWTH Aachen, politics, administration, and business celebrated the topping out of the Claßenstraße Lecture Hall Center at the beginning of July.

The first lectures for over 4000 students in the lecture hall center will be held in 2015. The 14000 square meters of space include eleven lecture halls, 16 seminar rooms, a break room with a café, and spaces for the physics collection, storage, and work areas. NRW Minister of Construction Michael Groschek was impressed by the dimension of the new building: "This lighthouse project represents the building cultural responsibility of the state. It improves study conditions and strengthens the Excellence university in Aachen. It's a win for the entire region," said Groschek. The NRW Construction and Real Estate Agency explored all fathomable possibilities to keep delays and financial damages as minimal as possible.

For students from the double class cohorts, the delay meant further temporary accomodation. "There is currently a so-called system hall near the West Train Station, it is heat-insulated and provides the appropriate acoustics. There is room for 1000 students in the two lecture halls there," explained RWTH Chancellor Manfred Nettekoven.

Management Workshop "Effectuation – Entrepreneurial Behavior in Established Companies"

An increasingly growing challenge for new and established companies is making good decisions in uncertain situations and shaping the future. Current tools in company management (setting goals – planning – implementing) often fail though in situations that are difficult to judge. What do you do ? The RWTH International Academy, the VUV Vereinigten Unternehmerverbände Aachen, and Effectuation Intelligence invite you to a 1.5 day basis workshop, in which participants learn how to apply scientifically founded entreprenuerial methods of effecutation :

  • Keynote speech on September 17, 2013, 5 :30pm to 7pm, free of charge
  • Workshop on October 10 to 11, 2013, and experience exchange on November 14, 2013, 990 euros total

You can find more information about the workshop at RWTH International Academy.




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.