DAAD Day 5 – Braunschweig

DAAD Day 5 – June 21, 2013

Our last day was in Braunschweig where we visited the Technical Universitat of Braunschweig. Our day started with a greeting by Professor Dieter Jahn, the Vice President for Research. He explained the history of the university and provided an overview of the various research foci. The town has its roots as long ago as 800 AD. Most of the city was destroyed during WW@ because it was the home a of a good deal of industry. The region is now Europe’s #1 research area and home to 3 universities and at least 12 major research centers. The university dates to 1754 and includes 6 faculties, 65 study programs and 120 institutes. It is home to 16,300 students. It’s main strengths are in the STEM fields particularly Mobility (auto, air, and rail), metrology, and the life sciences. It is home to a very unique facility which we were able to visit in the afternoon, the Campus Research Airport where a great variety of research is conducted dealing with aerospace. We were treated to an overview of the research conducted at the airport and then were taken on a tour of flight simulators, wind tunnels, and flumes. A special room enables the scientists to study the impact of icing and flight dynamics.

We also learned about various international programs including the SENSE program, a summer experience for american students to learn about German language and culture, and pursue other courses for credit. The goal is to interest the students in returning to Germany for further study. Dr. Christina Neidert, described the language and culture programs offered by the Language Center. Also described was a very unique (4 +1) program offered in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, in which students pursue dual majors in engineering and german language. The program includes a year in Germany and an internship.

Next, Dr. Stephan Scholl, a professor of Chemical Engineering described the dual master’s degree program which is offered jointly with the University of Rhode Island. Students spend 1 year at the home institution and 1 year at the host. Dr. Uta Kopka also discussed various models for sandwich, dual, joint, and double doctoral degrees.

After a wonderful lunch where I continued to network with our hosts from Braunschweig and the other DAAD participants we headed off for the Research Airport described above.

Another long day ended with a trip to the train station to secure our departure tickets, a stroll through the town, and a wonderful dinner with new colleagues from the US and Canada. Our DAAD hosts, Ute and Miriam are to be thanked for a fantastic experience.

This was an excellent trip and I highly recommend the Germany Today tour to all of my colleagues. It was a rich and rewarding experience to learn about the German education system, and the many research programs.