Dr. Gabriela Espinosa Gutierrez

Name, Vorname: Espinosa Gutierrez, Gabriela Nationalität: Mexikanisch Stadt, Land: Studiengang/Abschluss: Abschlussjahr: Arbeitgeber/Position:

Why did you choose the TUHH back then and was that good from today’s perspective?

After studying environmental protection technology in Mexico, I really wanted to do a master’s degree in Germany because of the country’s language and tradition of innovation. I found Hamburg very attractive as an international metropolis, but the combination of a technical university and an MBA degree was the decisive factor. For me it has been confirmed time and time again that it was a very good decision. Thanks to my training as an engineer at the TUHH and the management skills I acquired at the NIT, I am able to take a holistic view of the challenges in my job.

What was your motivation for choosing this field of study and this profession?

Environmental protection has always been an important issue for me. I just can’t imagine working with passion in any other field. But I also know that economic progress and environmental protection must go hand in hand in order to be able to guarantee real sustainable development in our global society.

What was your career like after you left the TUHH?

I worked as an environmental consultant in Hamburg for two years. During this time I got to know many branches of industry, visited locations and traveled a lot. Then I came back to the TUHH and got the chance to do my doctorate at the Institute for Wastewater Management and Water Protection. I developed a water balance project for my hometown in Mexico. I have been working as a project manager at Knoell Germany for a number of years, creating ecological risk assessments for the use of pesticides.

What is the best thing about your current job?

I find it fascinating that you can simulate very complex processes in nature in long-term time series on the computer. I work with colleagues from many different disciplines and everyone has a different job. I not only find this multidisciplinary approach exciting, it is absolutely necessary for holistic solutions. If I can then ensure that everyone supports the project goals, that communication between the specialist units works well and that we manage everything within the projected time and budget, then that feels great!

What does a typical working day look like for you and what skills do you need for it?

As a project manager, I have to communicate a lot. My working day is characterized by team meetings, phone calls and customer communication. I spend a large part of the time organizing work and interpreting and communicating results for risk assessment.

What did you take away from the TUHH degree beyond your technical knowledge?

During my studies, I not only got to know the German culture and way of working, but also people from many different countries. I noticed the cultural differences and learned that everyone ticks differently and that there are different mentalities depending on the country. This experience helps me to communicate and work effectively with people from all over the world today. In addition, thanks to the double master’s degree, I have learned to deal better with stress and to set priorities under time pressure. But also that hard work can be a lot of fun when a good atmosphere is formed with friends and colleagues.

Where did you prefer to spend your time in Hamburg while studying?

In my free time I often went for walks with friends on the Alster or in Planten and Blomen. And I was also very fond of salsa dancing on the Reeperbahn or with friends in pubs with live music to have a beer. It was almost a weekend ritual.

Was there an unforgettable experience during your time at the TUHH?

The 2006 World Cup in Germany was unforgettable, some of which even took place in Hamburg. The party atmosphere on the streets, which were full of tourists from all over the world, was just great. The biggest party I’ve ever seen.

What would you ask omniscient researchers from the future?

Whether they found life in space and how they communicate with life beings from other planets.

If you were the President of the TUHH …

… I would introduce the subject of sustainability as a compulsory lecture in all courses with specific exercises depending on the subject. In this way, the students could learn very early on to keep an eye on and integrate the aspects of sustainability in production and innovation processes.

Hugo Pernía

Name, First Name: Pernía Arellano, Hugo Nationalität: Venezuelans City, Country: Caracas, Venezuela Study Program: International Production Management (IPM) Master Position, Employer: Claim adjuster bei Miller International

You are President of our Alumni Chapter in Caracas, what is it about this job that attracts you? 

I have the task gladly taken on to bring together all Venezuelans attending a faculty or have studied and researched at an institute of the TUHH. I wish very much that the connections between our two countries will be improved – especially in the areas in which we are active. Besides, it’s a The joy of being in touch with different generations living in the an academic or past 40 years have completed academic training at the TUHH ..

What was a for you during your time at the TUHH unforgettable experience?

That we are foreign Master’s students on the first day of class in the Audimax from the then TUHH President Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Christian Nedeß were received, who was clearly committed to peace and to Advancement of science, applied technology and humanism known. That was in October 2001, shortly after September 11, 2001. The TUHH President formulated this courageous answer, which was necessary at the time was. It was good when I was a young student from a far-away country at the time To hear the message from the TUHH President in person.

What do you use from your studies for your job?

In my job I guess I am happy to have a large part of the TUHH’s production management program To be able to apply what has been learned, especially in the areas of materials science (Advanced Ceramics, Polymers & Composites), Reliability in the construction of machines and spare parts (reliability technology), design technical parts (product planning and development), factory design (organization of the production process), technology assessment, innovation management etc. I have to mention the only subjects that are not relevant to my work Relevant are: the competencies in transaction processing, business software (SAP) and international legislation – but they are very good Courses that were part of the curriculum.

What is the best thing about your job?

For those of us who are active in an area of ​​industrial risk excludes ours Work Travel almost anywhere in the Americas. We receive a lot of very different and versatile knowledge Production processes (most of which are technologies “Made in Germany” apply) and meet very different people.

What does a typical working day look like for you and what skills do you need for this?

Our work usually begins after an accident or after high economic losses. We work for clients (reinsurers) from all over Latin America. We also help in the organization of emergency repairs or business premises and advise on ensuring safety on site in order to prevent further losses. My job is a round-the-clock service for the international market.

The claims adjuster plays a crucial role in claims processing. Around To become a claims adjuster, a university degree in construction, Surveying or engineering and risk management, but experience with complex industries is a key factor in getting solid expertise guarantee.

I would like to swap a day with …

I remember the film and the story of Prof. Dr. Hauke ​​Trinks (1943–2016), the former TUHH President, when he returned from Spitzbergen, where he survived with an unknown Englishwoman and the hungry polar bears – to the benefit of chemical research and evolutionary theory. After almost 10 years of marriage, it amuses me to wonder what would happen if I were to swap places for just a single day with that courageous and legendary teacher whose scientific and academic career was so great.

What would you get from an omniscient researcher Ask future?

After the 100 most important patents for the next 200 years in the industrial fields Risks, process engineering and materials science.

What was your favorite meal in the cafeteria back then?

All dishes for a tropical inhabitant from the Caribbean are unusual, e.g. Königsberger Dumplings, asparagus and salmon.

If you were President of the TUHH …

… I would be from many Surrounded talented people from all over the world and would be closely associated with companies (Industries and service providers) responsible for environmental protection, health and logistics are responsible to work together. Without hesitation I would do the whole Invest the money that is available in research and ensure that that partial results are secured by well-structured patents. I would Use all means to motivate students to be innovative and ethical Develop applications in industrial areas and in environmental protection.

Michael Bluemner

Name, First Name: Bluemner, Michael Nationality: German, Seychellois City, Country: Glacis, Mahé, Seychelles Study Program/Degree: HWI/Dipl.-Ing. oec. (Industrial Engineering) Year of Degree: 1988 Employer/Position: Self-Employed

You live in the Seychelles, what brought you there?

I have lived in the Seychelles for over 10 years. My wife comes from here, so it was foreseeable that we would end up here at some point to spend our afternoon and evening in peace.

Wie war Ihr Werdegang, nachdem Sie die TUHH verlassen haben?

As an industrial engineer, you are predestined for a career in management consulting, which is why I initially took this path. It is an extremely challenging job, but compared to other careers you learn a lot more in a very short time and you work with the management of the company right from the start. However, you travel a lot and often for longer periods of time, especially with global consulting firms like Price Waterhouse. But I wanted to have a “permanent residence”, so I left Price Waterhouse in Hamburg for SAP in Walldorf. Within SAP, I performed various tasks and roles in consulting, sales and management. Now it wasn’t the project work that sent you around the world, but the regional or global role itself. I lived in Dubai for several years as Managing Director of SAP for the Middle East. I then moved to Bahrain for almost two years as Vice President for SAP. In this role I also spent a lot of time in Palo Alto and Philadelphia. So much for the “permanent residence”.

My wife and I left SAP and Germany in 2009 and moved to London for half a year, from where we migrated to the Seychelles. There we built a house, adopted 6 dogs, founded an NGO that supports a local rehabilitation clinic and a hospice, and trained ourselves in financial services at the University of Seychelles. As independent management consultants, we are now active in the financial services sector and hire ourselves as “Fit-and-Proper” directors for several investment companies (my wife is an economist).

By chance I got to know the Namibian ambassador for the SADC countries at an event, which resulted in my being appointed Honorary Consul for Namibia in the Seychelles in 2018. In this position one meets many servants, up to the President of the Republic. He then appointed me to the board of directors of the largest bank in the Seychelles, in which the Seychelles government is the main shareholder. Let’s see what the future will bring .. So much for the quiet evening of life.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

There is no typical working day except that I am responsible for breakfast in the morning for my wife and me, our housekeeper and our dogs. Then I sit down at my computer and go through my emails. I mainly work from home when there are no meetings at the bank or anywhere else in town. In the afternoons, if time permits, I allow myself an hour or two to study online. I signed up for a couple of astrophysics courses at the Australian National University in March of this year.

What is the best thing about your current job?

I meet interesting people and can make a lot of things happen that are economically and ecologically relevant for both Seychelles and Namibia. As a freelance management consultant, essentially as a fit-and-proper director for several investment companies, you learn a lot about asset management, financial products, and business ethics, and of course you get to supplement your pension because living in Seychelles is quite expensive. As a member of the bank’s supervisory board, I can use my experience as a consultant in the financial services industry to help establish processes to reduce, for example, the anticipated risks of the Covid-19 crisis. This is an enriching and fulfilling task.

Why did you choose the TUHH back then and was that good from today’s perspective?

I didn’t opt ​​for the TUHH directly, but rather for the inter-university course in industrial engineering (HWI), in which the TUHH was one of the sponsoring institutions. It was the best decision of my life after my wife. (Naval engineering would have been my alternative as I am also a qualified shipbuilder)

What was your motivation to choose this field of study and this profession? As an industrial engineer, you are prepared for economic, legal as well as technical tasks. This seemed more interesting to me than thinking only in one particular direction, such as law, economics, business administration or engineering. However, it was also a very challenging course of study, but through which you get a good multidisciplinary education for a career in management consulting, as mentioned above. If you come from a top international management consulting firm, you can transfer almost anywhere. My recommendation: Also for an engineering student at TUHH, based on my current experience, I would recommend to attend parallel lectures in Finance at the University of Hamburg, or to get an international Master in Finance, Economics or Business Administration following a TUHH Bachelor degree, absolutely in English. Alternatively, if you want to go the purely technical route and have a successful career, I would not leave TUHH without a PhD. This is almost a requirement for global high-tech companies. Here, semesters abroad at partner universities as part of the doctoral studies would be advantageous.

What did you take away from the TUHH degree beyond your technical knowledge?

At the time, I took my exam in automation with Professor Cremer (RIP) from TUHH. During my studies, I worked at his institute and led the lab experiments (Technical System Simulation, Robotics) there. I also held “tutoring lectures” in mathematics for my fellow students. I learned that the best way to understand a subject is to teach it yourself. This experience has been with me all my life and has often given me the necessary courage to raise my hand when it came to finding someone who could quickly and thoroughly familiarize himself with complex new topics in order to pass on what he had learned to colleagues/peers and, of course, to coach employees.

What do you use from your studies for your job?

As an industrial engineer, one can solve interdisciplinary tasks well and is therefore well prepared to lead companies from various services and industries, including consulting companies. As a consul, I help to negotiate a double taxation agreement and various technical cooperation agreements as well as to validate bilateral investments. The Wi-Ing degree provides a good foundation even for a diplomatic career.

Where did you prefer to spend your time in Hamburg / Harburg while studying?

I lived in Winterhude, so I could often be found in the city park and in the observatory. But I also liked the Eppendorf scene, the plays of light in Planten un Blomen, the banks of the Alster in the summer after university, Pöseldorfer pubs, the ferry ride to Blankenese and of course the passages on Jungfernstieg. I have visited and lived in many cities, but Hamburg is still by far the most beautiful and livable city in the world.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future?

How did we solve the scientific challenges of warp propulsion and nuclear fusion and how did we explain the Big Bang.

If you were President of the TUHH …

… I would try to become part of an inter-university degree in industrial engineering again!

Tanja Karp

Nationality: German
City, Country: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Study Program/Degree: Electrical Engineering (Signal Processing and Communications Engineering), doctorate
Year of Graduation: 1993 (Dipl.-Ing.), 1997 (Dr.-Ing.)
Employer & Position: Employer & Position: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, Associate Professor

Professor Karp, why did you choose to study at the TUHH and do you now think it was a good decision?
The TUHH was a small, young university with a good reputation. The family atmosphere at the uni was very much to my liking. The professors
knew almost all of us by name and you soon got to know your fellow-students. There were many opportunities to gain an early insight into research as a student assistant. In spite of its modest size the TUHH was already a gateway to the world. As part of the Erasmus program I spent a semester studying in Bordeaux and and as a postgrad I took
part for a while in research projects at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and at the ENST in Paris, France. By attending conference I was able at an early stage to build up an international network
of my own.

How would you summarize your time at the TUHH?
It was a labor-intensive time but also a time when many new friendships developed. Back then the TUHH looked young and dynamic and was still
under construction, so our basic studies included lectures at the Helms-Museum and Eichenhöhe and we ate lunch at the IRS Office. Our professors
were highly committed teachers. After so many years and passing exams, the stress that they imposed on us all you no longer feel they were quite
so bad.

What do you use in your career that you studied at the TUHH?
I use a lot from my specialization in signal processing and communications engineering and I regularly have recourse to the math basics and what I learned about programming. In other subjects, such as materials science or energy technology, I still feel confident that I can understand somebody who works in that area and that if need be I could work my way back into it.

You now teach at the Texas Tech University. What, in your opinion, are the greatest differences between the Texas Tech and German universities?
The Texas Tech University is a wide-ranging university with around 35,000 students. It is a typical American campus university, and because Lubbock with a population of 25,000 is the largest city within a radius of about 500 kilometers nearly all of the students live on or near the campus. For the
students, of course, the main difference is the tuition fees, which are extremely high from a German point of view. In addition, a large part of the course work is done during the semester. Overall, the bachelor program is organized more along school lines and more practical in orientation. Students also enjoy intensive support. Outside of lecture times there are many more student organizations here that you can join and get involved in.

What does your typical working day look like and what competences do you need for it?
Most days consists of a time multiplex of teaching, research, looking after students and doing committee work. In the spring term I also organize a
robotics competition for school students in order to awaken or sustain their interest in MINT subjects. Around 700 school students take part and my
Introduction to Engineering Science students look after them. Before and during the eight-week competition I spend much of my time organizing.

You now live in the United States yet keep in touch with the TUHH. Why?
Connections with the TUHH have already been of benefit to me in my career. This spring, for example, school students from Germany, USA and South Africa, jointly took part in a robotics competition that I organized, with the Hamburg group being recruited by the TUHH. In international student exchange I have also advocated a partnership between the two universities. The first GES+ students from the TUHH were very successful during their semester at the Texas Tech University. I still have family ties in northern Germany and look forward to including a visit to the TUHH when I visit.

Kristina Böe

Nationality: German
City, country: Hamburg, Germany
Study program/Degree: General Process Engineering/ Dipl-Ing.
Year of graduation: 1994
Employer & Position: GEA Brewery Systems GmbH, Senior Vice President Cross-Application Execution

Ms. Böe, why did you choose to study at the TUHH and do you now think it was a good decision?
The range of courses on offer at the TUHH made a very sound impression. The TUHH’s proximity to where I lived and its outstanding reputation will
also have contributed. Studying at the TUHH was highly challenging and comprehensive. That made a decisive mark on me and on my entire approach to the requirements of the job. You learn to tackle new ideas in a very structured way and to “dissect the elephant into small pieces.”

Can you remember your first impression of the TUHH?
In my days the TUHH was not as attractive as it is today. My first impression was not really inviting. Lectures were held at a large number of locations
in Harburg (Kasernenstrasse, a bar in Eissendorfer Strasse, the Helmsmuseum, etc.). We were allowed to use the Tax Office canteen. That is why the time between lectures was spent walking around or looking for somewhere to park. All that was offset, however, by the great fellow-students.

What was your motivation to study that subject and to choose this career?
I chose a study program that both required and laid a broad scientific foundation. The numerous options available in industry for general process engineering graduates also convinced me.

How would you summarize your time at the TUHH?
It was a work-intensive time that nonetheless left me with sufficient free space because of the great working group I was with. The group with which
I worked intensively back then continued to meet regularly after we graduated to visit Denmark, and to this day we still meet more or less regularly on many different occasions.

What is the greatest thing about your job?
I took on a new position in the GEA Group on June 1, 2015. I am currently setting up an entirely new area in which I have no existing structures on
which to build. That is great fun but also a challenge in view of the great responsibility that comes with it. The GEA Group was my first employer after graduation and has since regularly confronted me with fresh challenges – challenges that have been demanding and have taken me forward at the same time. I was latterly for many years Technical Manager of GEA Brewery Systems GmbH, where the enormous sense of cohesion and team spirit was always a power motivation. Yes, I really can say that is a part of my family.

What do you use in your career that you studied at the TUHH?
Today I use my fund of basic knowledge to understand complex connections and thereby to help my colleagues to solve their technical problems. My current job mainly involves personnel management.

What does a typical day of work look like and what competences do you need for it?
My typical day’s work is very strongly oriented toward communication. As my colleagues are distributed around the world, regular exchange via
modern means of communication is indispensable, and as my area of responsibility deals solely with resource management further education and personnel development play a very important part.

You are also active in the TU & YOU network, what do you do for it and why?
We attach great importance to promoting young researchers. That is why we are so committed at the TUUH, awarding, for instance, an annual prize
for the best Bachelor’s degree in biological process engineering written in the standard period of study. In addition, we and other leading companies in Hamburg sponsor the so-called Professors’ Grill, a network that has already generated a large number of trainees and led to the appointment of a number of TUHH graduates as employees. This cooperation is a win-win situation both for the students and for us as an employer.

Alexander Lorani

Nationality: German
City, Country: Munich, Germany
Study program/Degree: Engineering, Production Technology; Diplom-Ingenieur, followed by a doctorate
Year of Graduation: 1990
Employer & Position: Bristol Myers Squibb GmbH, Head of IT

Why did you choose to study at the TUHH and do you now think it was a good decision?
There is a reason for everything in life and in my life I came full circle at the age of 21. I was born in 1964 on what is now the lower campus in what used to be the Harburg General Hospital and commenced my studies at the TUHH in 1985. In contrast to what might today be seen as having been a fully planned career from high school onward, back then I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I applied for university places in Hamburg, Berlin, Brunswick and Hanover – and mechanical engineering at the TUHH. That summer I had to make a decision and for the sake of convenience and because of the fantastic, never-to-be-repeated student-teacher ratio of probably 3 to 1 I opted for the TUHH.

Can you remember the first impression that the TUHH made on you?
Back then the TU was spread all over Harburg and the only buildings that I imagine every student now knows was the Technikum. Everything was still new, the fi rst generation of professors had just gotten the fi rst semesters off to a start, and mine was only the second year’s student intake. Later, the professors were keen to enlist students for study and degree assignment and assistants’ jobs. Small groups were all that there was; the entire fi rst semester intake of around 80 students fi tted easily into Room 018 of the Technikum.

What was your motivation to study your subject and to choose your career?
Math and physics were the only high school subjects – apart from music and sport – in which I had good grades, so it had to be something technical. I may well have been the fi rst child in Germany who was allowed to work at a computer in the mid-1970s, but I would never have considered becoming a computer scientist. Much too much theory; machinery and equipment were more down-to-earth.

Where did you prefer to spend your time in Hamburg/ Harburg alongside your studies?
The car rental company Sixt used to have a brilliant ad for hiring a Porsche with the slogan “Get Out of Fulda!” As a Hamburger by birth that is roughly how I would describe the attraction of Harburg in the 1980s. I would be surprised if it was much better today. Hamburg had many cool live music clubs with Indie bands like “They Might Be Giants” or “Philip Boa and the Voodoo Club“.

What is the greatest thing about your job?
I have been with three employers since leaving university and I can say that I have always been lucky to work for great companies with inspirational colleagues and bosses who encouraged and promoted me.

What do you use in your career that you studied at the TUHH?
My specialization engineering was not much use and the computer technology that was around in my student days cannot be compared with the modern IT approaches of the work that I do now. I learned to think analytically and to solve problems by working with and on computers before taking up my studies. I can only advise every student to study only what you fi nd interesting.

What does your typical working day look like and which competences do you need for it?
I work for a U.S. group and spend most of my time mediating between project initiatives and our German organization. Along with a sound knowledge of IT technologies and management approaches I mainly need to have communicative competence, to be able to mediate on opinions and problem solutions, and to have intercultural competence. My typical working days starts with checking the around 50 emails from all over the world that I have received in the night, holding informal discussions with colleagues about the status of projects in order, usually toward the afternoon, to switch to meetings by telephone and Skype, by video or face-to-face. As a rule my calendar is booked twice or three times over, which allows me the luxury of prioritization and delegating.

Hugo Pernía

Name, Surname: Pernía Arellano, Hugo
Nationality: Venezolaner
Country, City: Caracas, Venezuela
Study Programm / Degree: International Production Management (IPM) Master
Position / Company: Loss Adjuster at Miller International

You are President of our Alumni Chapter in Caracas, what attracts you about this task?

I have gladly taken on the task of uniting all Venezuelans who have studied
and participated as researchers in one of the Faculties and Institutes of the TUHH. I have the best desire that reinforcing the bonds of our countries, especially in those fields of work in which we perform daily. On the other hand, it is gratifying to be in contact with different generations that the last 40 years have had academic or scientific training in the TUHH.

What was an unforgettable experience for you during your time at TUHH?

It was unforgettable that the first day of class had been in the AUDIMAX, we were received (foreign students who entered the Masters) by the Rector Prof. Dr .- Ing. Dr. h.c. Christian Nedeß, speaking bluntly about the commitment to Peace, the progress of science, of applied technology and humanism. That happened in October 2001, in the midst of much global expectation as a result of tragic events of 11.09.2001 that the university community of the TUHH rejected forcefully, with the same rector at the head of the courageous response that needed to be transmitted at that time. It is good that one (young student, at that time), who comes from a very distant country, receives it “personally” the rector; know one then what great things are about to happen …

What do you use from your studies for your profession?

In my profession I am fortunate to apply much of the knowledge learned in the Production Management program of the TUHH especially in the fields of Materials Sciences (Advanced Ceramics + Polymers & Composites), Reliability in the design of machinery and spare parts (Zuverlaessigkeittechnik), Design of ingineering parts (Produktplanung und Entwicklung), Factories design (Organisation des Produktionsprozess), Technology Assessment, Innovation Management, etc.  I must mention that the only subjects that do not apply to my work are the competencies in: Transaction Processing, Software oriented to Business (SAP) and International Legislation, very good courses that were part of the study curriculum.

What’s the greatest thing about your job?

For those of us who work in a segment of the Industrial Risks area, our work includes traveling through almost the entire American continent, knowing very different and varied production processes (most of them with technologies made in Germany), and interacting with very diverse people.

What does a typical working day look like for you and what skills do you need?


Our work starts, for example after a tragedy or important economic losses. A client (a Reinsurer Company) can come to us with any need anywhere in Latinamerica and we’re there for them. A part of our job is to assist with arranging emergency repairs and/or business premises, and advise on making the area safe and secure to prevent future losses. My job is a 24 hours / 7 days a week, service for the international market.

The Loss Adjuster plays a crucial role in the insurance claims process and its job start after a claim is logged. To become a loss adjuster, a degree in building , surveying, engineering, risk management, is useful, but experience in complex industries is a key factor, to ensure strong technical knowledgement .

I’d like to swap a day with…

I remember seeing the film and story of Professor Dr. Hauke Trinks (1943-2016) – ehemaliger President der TUHH – after he returned from Spitzbergen, living with an unknown woman from England, and managed to survive her and the hungry bears polar, for the benefit of chemical science and the theory of evolution. After being married for almost 10 years, I am amused to think what would happen if I changed for a single day with that courageous and legendary teacher, who did a great scientific and academic career.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future?

The hundred most important patents for the next 200 years, in the field of industrial risks, process engineering and materials sciences.

What was your favorite food at the Mensa?

All the uncommon meals to someone from Tropical Caribbean: the meatballs called “Koenigsberger Klopse”, Spargel and Lachs.

If you were president of the TUHH…

It would be a person surrounded by many talents from around the world, and also close to the companies responsible for environmental protection, health and logistics companies (industries and services). I would not hesitate to invest all the money available in research and verify that partial achievements are secured through well-structured patents. I would encourage students by all means to develop innovative and ethical applications in industrial fields and environmental protection.

André Katzenberger

Mr. Katzenberger, you studied energy and environmental technology at the TUHH. What memories do you associate with your studies at the Hamburg University of Technology?

Studying at the TUHH was an interesting experience for me. I gained many interesting insights along with some unpleasant experiences. What I was taught enriched me in general terms and taught me about engineering as a profession, but the B.Sc. was very general in content. The study programs were, in part, rigid and students were subjected to a relatively high level of pressure. That was why, after graduating with a B.Sc., I decided to start by getting a job.

What tasks do you face in your current job as Climate Protection Manager for the city of Hürth?

Climate Protection Manager is an appointment subsidized by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) that in cities or local government areas performs cross-sectional tasks in connection with climate protection and energy. On the basis of a (partial) climate protection concept drawn up for a city or local government area the Climate Protection Manager is responsible for implementation. The main focus in Hürth is on the city’s municipal real estate and thus cover all areas, ranging from simple energy controlling (documenting, analyzing and optimizing consumption) and facility management (prioritization of measures, implementation of the necessary energy-saving renovation work) to user training, such as energy-saving projects in schools or with employees.

Are the knowledge and skills you acquired during your studies a help in your work?

The basic understanding of technology such as in the use of renewables or in construction work is a great help in enabling me to follow discussions with technicians and to make plans jointly with them. But the skills that are required of me as a Climate Protection Manager tend more to involve analytics and energy management, and I have acquired them step by step, on my own initiative, and out of interest.

Straight-line studies and resumé, first-rate grades and a head full of knowledge… What is important in later, career life?

None of the above. My TUHH degree grade was nothing special and my career has been anything but straightforward. What has counted for much more than any resumé, no matter how interesting it might be, is the self-assurance of knowing what I want to achieve and what I am capable of achieving. Don’t let yourselves be thrown off track, see the bigger picture, expand your horizons and stay true to yourselves. Demand for specialists is increasing constantly and your average graduate with no vision at all has long ceased to be of interest to companies.

Dirk Thelen

Nationality: German
City, country: Strasbourg, France
Study program/Degree: Process Engineering, Dipl.-Ing.
Year of graduation: 1991
Employer and position: PPG AEROSPACE Southern Europe, managing director

10 Questions

Why did you decide to study at the TUHH back then and was it in retrospect a good decision?

On cost grounds. I come from Hamburg, it was the right decision.

Can you recall your first impression of the TUHH?

It was a small university that had good relations with its professors and academic staff.

What motivated you to choose your study program and your profession?

I was interested in the subject matter.

How would you summarize your time at the TUHH?

Super!

5What was your favorite meal at the student refectory?

We didn’t have a refectory so it was either the canteen of the Tax Office or, alternatively, the nearest döner kebab place or the baker’s.

Where did you prefer to spend time in Hamburg or Harburg alongside your studies?

Sailing.

What is your advice for getting off to a good career start in your industry?

Follow your inclinations and interests, be open for other cultures and mentalities, don’t forget your family.

What do you use in your career that you learnt as a student?

In a professional discussion, analysis and expertise are of greater use than management studies.

What does your typical working day look like and which are the competences that you need for it?

Forget about the inundation of e-mail and tackle issues with a helicopter perspective.

If you were the President of the TUHH…

… I would do more for the alumni.

Dirk Lesny

Study program/Degree: Mechanical Engineering, specializing in Manufacturing Technology, Dipl.-Ing.
Year of graduation: 1995
Employer and position: ExxonMobil, project engineer in petrochemicals

10 Questions

Why did you decide to study at the TUHH back then and was it in retrospect a good decision?

Back then sounds like it was so long ago! I decided in favor of the TUHH in 1990 because it was a young and dynamic university that was going places and was already held in high repute. Another factor that that mattered to me was its outstanding student-staff ratio. In retrospect, it was a good decision and one that I have never regretted.

Can you recall your first impression of the TUHH?

A modern construction site with something that was supposed to become a pond … And then the theater in the Helms-Museum and Monday mornings in Eichenhöhe, where the air mostly smelt of left-over alcohol from the weekend’s events.

What motivated you to choose your study program and your profession?

The fascination of technology and all that can be done with it if it is used responsibly. Studying engineering also promised to be a sound basis for a wide range of careers – even if the job prospects were not brilliant in the 1990s (but that is history).

How would you summarize your time at the TUHH?

Hard, focused work – always with the target in mind but without entirely neglecting the advantages of student life.

What was your favorite meal at the student refectory?

Which refectory? We didn’t have one back then.

Where did you prefer to spend time in Hamburg or Harburg alongside your studies?

Evenings in the bars on Lämmertwiete and otherwise on the water (rowing, sailing, kayaking…), going for walks on the dike or in the Nordheide or the Harburger Berge.

What is your advice for getting off to a good career start in your industry?

Starting with a good technical grounding never to lose sight of the commercial or the overview. A widely based, soundly developed personality clearly also helps.

And when starting your career it is always a good idea to be flexible about where you work and to be ready to give much more than 100 percent initially.

What do you use in your career that you learnt as a student?

A surprising amount, considering they always say that very little of what you learn is of any use later. I make use of both the bricks and mortar of my main study program and the approach, the methods and the strategies that we learnt for our Vordiplom. In addition I have very often benefited from experience gained in the many jobs I had, be it at the uni as a student assistant or intern or as an intern or jobber at many companies.

What does your typical working day look like and which are the competences that you need for it?

There are few if any “typical” working days because the days are filled differently with organizational, analytical, information gathering or problem solving activities. That, of course, involves every conceivable and all of the conventional forms of communication.

But the competences I mainly need (with the technical expertise to back them up) are flexibility, team skills, motivation (of myself and others), and the ability to switch roles – between contributor and decision maker, for example.

If you were the President of the TUHH…

… I would not have the great job that I have now, so I am happy to leave that to people who are better suited for the job. But as his advisor I would try to underscore the importance of the following points: 1) connections with industry that enable students to get their bearings and to gain experience; 2) enabling students to gain an international orientation while nonetheless appreciating and making use of the benefits of a regional anchoring; 3) constantly underscoring the importance of education and vocational training in this country’s political landscape and enlisting support for it.