Alumni News 02-2017

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50 years Ulm University - special editions of the press

This year, Ulm University is commemorating the 50th anniversary of its founding. This event is not only in the spotlight at the University itself, but it is also receiving attention in regional and national press as well. Special publications have been released dedicated to the Ulm University jubilee year, providing fascinating articles on Ulm University’s history and founding. One interesting example is an insider’s report from the perspective of an Ulm University alumnus. In a special edition of the local newspaper Südwest Presse, Dr Christoph Kupferschmid relates his experiences as one of the first students in the medical programme (report only in German).

The Ulm University press office compiled an impressive anniversary edition of the university magazine uniulm intern as well (PDF in German only).


Ulm University’s comeback as best young university in Germany!! 

What a success! In its 50th anniversary year, Ulm University won back its title as the best young university in Germany. With its impressive 8th place in the Times Higher Education (THE) “Young University Rankings”, the Swabian university beat out the competition in Baden. In the recently published ranking list of the best young universities worldwide, Ulm University moved up five spots, landing among the ten best young universities in the world.

more information

Programme highlights for the “Science Night“ with alumni reunion at 6:00pm in the lobby of N27

As part of its 50-year anniversary, Ulm University will be hosting a “Science Night” on 21 July 2017 from 4:00pm until 12:00am.
An exciting and entertaining programme awaits you and your family at three locations - University East, Botanic Garden and Helmholtzstraße, including:

- speeches, demonstration lectures and tours
- exhibits and info stands
- Science Slam
- programme for children
- alumni reunion

more information (in German only)

Alumni News


Alumnus Dr Erwin Mayr new chairman of the board at the Wieland Group 


A change is taking place in the management at the Wieland Group, one of the most important metal companies and employers in the Ulm/Neu-Ulm region. Harald Kroener (65), longstanding chairman of the board, has retired.

His successor is Dr Erwin Mayr (47), who joined Wieland at the beginning of the year. He studied physics at Ulm University, earning his PhD here as well. He started his career at an international consulting firm and switched to the alumni industry in 2002. There he held various management positions, most recently as president of Novelis Europe in Zurich.

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Focus Research


First successful blood test for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Rapidly progressing dementia, psychiatric abnormalities and movement disorders: these symptoms could indicate Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This deadly, neurodegenerative disease made the news in the 1990s when a new form spread from cattle to humans in the course of the BSE epidemic in Great Britain. However, it is much more common that instances of this disease are genetic or of unknown cause.

Researchers in PD Dr Petra Steinacker and Professor Markus Otto’s team at the Ulm University Clinic’s Department of Neurology (RKU) have now developed a new blood test that allows scientists to diagnose the disease and, to a certain extent, even predict its onset. The results of this study have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Composite material for water treatment
Removing contaminants from water using supported ionic liquid phases


To have fresh, clean water flowing directly from the tap is a real luxury. In developing countries, people often have no choice but to drink contaminated water. Water filters can help to alleviate this problem by quickly transforming contaminated surface or ground water into safe drinking water. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers have now presented a new, multifunctional composite material that is capable of removing inorganic, organic, radioactive and microbial contaminants from water.

Water treatment systems typically involve a series of filters, each of which is designed to target a specific group of contaminants. The new filter material, however, is an all-round talent. Researchers from the Universities of Ulm and Zaragoza (Spain) have taken up a new approach to material design, in which molecular components are joined to form multifunctional composites called SILP materials (supported ionic liquid phases).

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Studies and Teaching


More transparency in Ulm’s studying jungle – first orientation semester to begin in summer 2017


What on earth should I study? For many high school graduates, this is not an easy question to answer. In order to ease this dilemma, Ulm University will be offering an orientation semester for the first time this summer. The focus will be on the so-called “MINT” subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and engineering). While these programmes do offer particularly good career perspectives, many new students approach them with inaccurate perceptions.  

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