Short & sweet

RWTH’s Impressive Performance in Global University Ranking

The globally highly regarded QS Ranking by Subjects from British information provider Quacquarelli Symonds was issued in its latest edition in March. RWTH features in the Top 3 German universities in many subjects and even tops all universities in Germany in mechanical engineering and materials science. In architecture, civil engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and mining engineering, RWTH is among the top three German universities.

Milestone Reached in Protecting Soybean Crops

RWTH researchers have decoded the genome of an aggressive, harmful fungus. Since 2004, research teams from the Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology at RWTH Aachen University have been looking for strategies to protect global soybean crops from the Phakopsora pachyrhizi pathogen. The aggressive pathogen causes a disease that – due to its origin and appearance – is called Asian soybean rust. The damaging effect of the fungus, which is already very aggressive in itself, is further intensified by climate change. This can lead to devastating yield losses in soybean production, an essential staple crop ensuring global food security. The goal of the two Aachen-based groups headed by Professors Ulrich Schaffrath and Uwe Conrath is to combat the pathogen based on comprehensive knowledge of the mechanisms that promote – or halt – the course of the disease.

Hector Geffner Appointed Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Artificial Intelligence at RWTH

His research in the field of artificial intelligence is recognized worldwide: Hector Geffner is considered a thought leader in automated planning and has been devoting himself to machine learning techniques in this area for several years. At the end of 2022, the computer scientist was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, and he joined the Department of Computer Science at RWTH at the beginning of this year. Professor Geffner has conducted research at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, is the founder and director of the AI Lab at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and has been a Wallenberg Visiting Professor at Linköping University in Sweden since 2019. Previously, he was a scholar at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center and Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela.

RWTH Awarded Adjunct Professorship to Alumnus Christoph Brücker

Christoph Brücker, Professor of Aeronautical Engineering and Head of the Center for Aeronautics and Aerospace Research at City University London (CUL), was awarded the title of “Adjunct Professor” by RWTH. The award will deepen international relations with CUL. RWTH's existing collaborations with Brücker's London-based research group will now strengthen academic ties, enabling mutual access to research infrastructures. In addition, student exchanges between the two universities are to be further promoted.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Boos New Managing Director of the FIR e. V.

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Boos, MBA, took over as managing director of FIR at RWTH and became head of the Smart Logistics Cluster on RWTH Aachen Campus, the University’s large research hub involving industry partners. Boos succeeded Professor Dr. Volker Stich, who led the institute for 26 years.
Previously, Boos led the business operations of RWTH's Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) for 10 years, and he is currently CEO of other entities on RWTH Aachen Campus, including WBA Tooling Academy and Digital Experience Factory (DFA), which is based at FIR.

Order of Merit for Professor Frank Schneider

Professor Frank Schneider was awarded the Order of Merit for his long-standing commitment to coming to terms with medical crimes and the role of psychiatry during the Nazi era. The psychiatrist and former Vice-Dean of the RWTH Medical Faculty expressly acknowledged the historical responsibility of his profession and explicitly apologized to victims and relatives. Schneider is also a member of the board of trustees of the Robert Enke Foundation, which works to promote acceptance of the topic of depression in society.

RWTH Honored Outstanding Members

Every year, in a festive setting, RWTH honors employees, research groups, and scholars from the field of education for their innovative achievements and particular commitment to teaching:

  • The 2022 Teaching Award went to Professor Marco Lübbecke. The mathematician has been Head of the Chair of Operations Research since 2010 and was nominated for the award by the students of the Business and Economics Student Council. With the web-based system “tutOR” developed at Lübbecke’s chair, students voluntarily learn mathematical modeling of optimization problems and can prepare for the written exam in this way.
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  • The Brigitte Gilles Award, named after RWTH's first Women's Affairs Officer, recognizes initiatives that improve the conditions for women to study, teach, and research at the University. 2022 saw the Women’s Career Lunch project and the online learning module Climate-Neutral Hospitals of the Future – Saving Lives the Circular Way honored. With the Women’s Career Lunch, Professor Erika Ábrahám from the Theory of Hybrid Systems Group aims to increase the proportion of women pursuing a doctorate in STEM subjects. Professor Christina Büsing and Helen Bolke-Hermanns from the Computer Science Department and Kaja Köhnle from the Equal Opportunities Office support her in this endeavor.  Dr. Linda Gruesser and Dr. Julia Wallqvist from the RWTH Clinic of Anaesthesiology designed the module “Climate-Neutral Hospitals of the Future – Saving Lives the Circular Way” to help schoolgirls in Europe learn about the link between climate change and health.
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  • The RWTH IntSpire Prize was awarded for the first time in 2021 and is now presented annually to employees, students, chairs, departments, institutes, or institutions of the University that are particularly committed to internationalization. In 2022, the student initiative “3 E's 4 Africa” was recognized with the award. The association has been supporting African students and doctoral candidates at universities in Africa since 2020. 13 RWTH students or alumni are currently involved in the association in Germany.
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  • RWTH seeks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among its students and academic staff and to support the process of turning new ideas into impactful solutions. With its annually presented Innovation Award, it recognizes university projects that contribute to enhancing the Aachen region’s innovative capacity. A software development kit for neuromorphic AI chips in edge applications won first place in the 2022 round. Second place went to an electromagnetically heatable nano-modified stent for the treatment of hollow organ tumors. The SaaS platform JuLES and a digital battery twin for more efficient and safe use shared third place. RWTH Innovation GmbH provides administrative support for the award with the call for proposals.
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RWTH Dean's List Now Also on LinkedIn

In mid-March, the Dean's List team at RWTH's Career Center launched a LinkedIn group – meanwhile, over 2,000 current and former Dean's List students have already joined. The group was started to provide a platform where Dean's List students can easily network, talk about their careers, and get to know each other. Were you on the Dean's List during your time at RWTH and want to network with others? Then join the RWTH Dean’s List Group.