Dr. Alexander Birich Awarded the IntSpire Prize


Senior engineer at the Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling has been honored for his contribution to the international community at and beyond RWTH.

  A woman presenting a man with a certificate Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter Professor Ute Habel, Vice-Rector for International Affairs, presents Dr. Alexander Birich with the IntSpire Prize, honoring his contribution to the international community at and beyond the University.

Many individuals and institutions go above and beyond in promoting and advancing internationalization at the University. With the IntSpire Prize, RWTH recognizes individuals and institutions at the University that have made exceptional contributions to internationalization at RWTH. Dr. Alexander Birich is one such individual. He supports the international students and staff at his institute – and not just during his working hours. The senior engineer at the Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling has now been awarded the IntSpire Prize in recognition of his commitment.

“In addition to helping them with everyday challenges such as finding accommodation, he also promotes integration by participating and sharing ideas at institutes and private events. At the same time, he promotes scientific exchange with various international universities, supervises joint student research projects, and supports stays abroad and research exchanges,” explains Professor Bernd Friedrich, Head of the Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling. “His commitment goes far beyond the interests of the institute, with him dedicating many hours of his free time.” In this way, students are also continuously supported and integrated at the University.

“I really enjoy working in the area of internationalization and integrating new staff into our institute. I am very happy about this award and the positive feedback I received. I have an international background myself, so I know that it's not always so easy at first. When I go home in the evening and see my international colleagues sitting in their offices, perhaps because they don’t really know what they can do after work, I talk to them and we go out for dinner or arrange to meet up and spend time together,” says Dr. Birich.

The IntSpire Prize was awarded for the first time in 2021. Every year, it now goes to employees, students, chairs, departments, institutes, or University institutions that are particularly committed to internationalization. The first prize winner was Professor Bernd Markert, head of the Chair of General Mechanics and Rector’s Delegate for Alumni.

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Dr. Alexander Birich has been awarded the IntSpire Prize