Alumni News 03-2017

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Paving the road to excellence for our scientists – new Center for Research Strategy and Support founded

Application requirements are becoming ever more complex, regardless of whether the proposal is for a Collaborative Research Centre, equipment, a research facility or even when submitting a full proposal within the federal and state Excellence Strategy. Especially for young researchers, these increasingly complicated requirements present a sizable hurdle. The new interdisciplinary “Center for Research Strategy and Support” (Res.Ul) has now been established with this in mind. The aim of Res.Ul is to boost Ulm’s chances in the fierce competition for external funding and to improve the University’s national and international standing.


Foto: Elvira Eberhardt/Uni Ulm

Ulm University’s 50th anniversary celebration a great success

Ulm University celebrated its 50-year anniversary with an elaborate programme of events. The foundation day was celebrated in February, and a second highlight was the 50th anniversary celebration on Friday, 21 July. Following the opening ceremony and awards show, the evening continued with a “Science Night” on campus, including more than 100 hands-on activities, presentations and tours.

In 1967, Ulm University was founded as a university for medicine and natural sciences. Fifty years after its founding, it has developed into an international research university as well as a motor for the Science City. The number of students has increased from the initial 50 to more than 10,700. External funding of up to 100 million euros per year attests to the University’s success, as does the current impressive standing on ranking lists, including best young university in Germany and the top 10 worldwide in the THE Young University Ranking.
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Foto: Elvira Eberhardt/Uni Ulm

Science Night – around 7000 campus visitors

Following the opening ceremony of the 50th anniversary celebration, crowds flocked to the University to participate in the Science Night and take advantage of the more than 100 events and activities on the evening programme.

One attraction centred on the topic of cardiac medicine: visitors had the opportunity to move through a larger-than-life model organ, and even through a virtual heart. Mobility was another topic that was represented. Here visitors were able to take electric vehicles, Segways and simulators for a test drive. A further attraction was the first four-seater fuel cell airplane, which makes environmentally friendly flying a possibility. The quadcoptor laboratory opened its doors as well. Various lectures were also part of the programme, covering such diverse topics as flesh-eating plants, “Trump and Brexit” and “The Chemistry of Beer”.

Foto: Heiko Grandel

Alumni Meeting  2017

Within the scope of the "Long Night of Science", the alumni meeting 2017 took place, to which a total of 112 former students and staff members have come together.

The official welcome of the alumni took place at 6 pm in the foyer of the building N27. The event served as a starting point and meeting place for all former students of Ulm University. After a brief welcome from Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stadtmüller, patron of the alumni office, and Diana Frankenhauser, director of the alumni office, former students, lecturers, professors and former employees were able to meet again, reminiscing and then experience together the offers of the "Long Night of Science".

Foto: Carola Gietzen

Alumni News

Alumnus Professor Dr Manfred Cierpka receives Federal Cross of Merit first class

Manfred Cierpka studied medicine at Ulm University between 1971 and 1976 as a scholarship recipient of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. Following his practical training in Ulm in the areas of internal medicine, surgery and paediatrics, he wrote his medical state exam in 1977 and achieved his doctorate.


Foto: Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg

Alumnus Prof Dr Dr Gerhard Rogler named new clinic director at the University Hospital Zurich

The hospital council of the University Hospital in Zurich (USZ) appointed Gerhard Rogler the new director of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department. Rogler succeeds Michael Fried, who is retiring.
Gerhard Rogler has been at USZ since 2007, serving as chief physician in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department. He studied human medicine at Ulm University between 1984 and 1991.

Foto: Universität Zürich

Focus Research

From the brain to robotics
Algorithms emulate human brain to process sensor data

He has ink-blue ears and looks rather adorable with his dark camera eyes. The little robot carefully moves towards the scientists at Ulm University. The researchers affectionately nickname him Ninja Turtle. He helps the scientists from neuroinformatics and cognitive psychology to develop and test special algorithms that mimic human perception and cognition. The goal is to boost the robustness, efficiency and speed of the processing of visual and auditive sensor data. The project is part of the 'Neurorobotics' programme of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation and receives 500 000 euros funding.  

Foto: Elvira Eberhardt/Uni Ulm

Researchers develop 'osteoarthritis scanner'
Recognising joint deterioration before the pain hits

Osteoarthritis is a widespread disease. Numerous women and men suffer from the painful deterioration of joints, particularly in their later years of life. Early diagnosis helps keep the breakdown of cartilage at bay and preserve the affected joint as long as possible. Researchers around Professor Boris Mizaikoff, Director of the Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry in Ulm, are working on a solution: A sensor in the mid-infrared range, to be used during surgery, is hoped to diagnose cartilage changes before the onset of osteoarthritis. 13 European research institutions and businesses from six countries contribute their knowledge to this endeavour under the coordination of the Finnish University of Oulu. Project MIRACLE is funded with over 6.1 million euros as part of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.

Foto: Shutterstock

3D printing technology of the future – preventing pirate copies with secure license management

The 3D printing process offers several advantages. Prototypes can be manufactured quickly and cheaply. Storing spare parts becomes superfluous, as replacements with an exact fit can be printed on demand. However, these so-called additive manufacturing processes also entail risks.

For instance, components can be printed using lower quality materials by non-authorised individuals, which could present safety hazards. The joint project SAMPL (Secure Additive Manufacturing Platform) offers assistance. Together with partners from the areas of industry and research, computer scientists from the Ulm Institute of Distributed Systems are working on creating a new model for digital rights management based on blockchain technology. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is providing 2.6 million euros in funding for the SAMPL project over a period of three years. 

Foto: Institut für Verteilte Systeme

Studies and Teaching

Breaking ground for the teaching facility “To Train U” – new training hospital for medical students

At Ulm University, a new training facility is being erected in which medical students will have the opportunity to learn medical conduct and medical skills in a clinical setting. The new facility is entitled “University Hospital for Advanced Education Ulm” (for short “To Train U – TTU”).

The new building, with roughly 3,100 square meters of space, will include customised training rooms and labs (“SkillsLabs”), some with a flexible design. The facility will provide students with a simulation operating theatre, a simulation shock room with an entrance for emergency personnel and various hospital rooms and doctors’ offices. Here, students will be able to go through practise treatment discussions and treatment processes with “acting patients”. The planned directing/observation and meeting rooms will serve for purposes of evaluation and assessment.

Foto: Universität Ulm

Auditing exam parallel to a bachelor’s programme – 10 years of auditor training at Ulm University

Ten years ago, Ulm University was the first university in Germany to start the successful project “13b-Bachelor”. This programme enables future economists to collect credits that can be counted toward the auditing exam at the same time that they are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. On Friday, 6 October, Ulm University and the Ulm Forum for Economics (UFW) celebrated the 10th anniversary of this supplemental qualification. The celebration included practical lectures, a podium discussion and an insightful presentation by one of the first 13b graduates.

Foto: Elvira Eberhardt/Uni Ulm

SAPS: first master’s programme launched in the field of natural sciences – offer for professionals, combining biotechnology and medical technology

In the 2017/2018 winter semester, the new master’s degree programme “The Science of Biopharmaceuticals and Medical Technology” is getting underway with the first four modules. This programme is designed for students who wish to pursue continuing education while continuing in fulltime employment.

This is the first joint course in the field of natural sciences to be offered by the School of Advanced Professional Studies (SAPS) at Ulm University and the Centre for Scientific Continuing Education at Biberach University of Applied Sciences. This programme reinforces the successful cooperation between the two sites, which are linked with numerous research institutions and regional companies in the fields of biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

Foto: Elvira Eberhardt/Uni Ulm