Berenice Eréndira Ortiz Alfaro

Name, First Name: Ortiz Alfaro, Berencie Eréndira Nationality: German/Mexican City, Country: Hamburg, Germany Study Program: International Production Management, MSc Position, Employer: Airbus Hamburg

“We want to shape the Future!”

You first studied in Mexico, how did you come to decide on a master’s degree at the TU Hamburg? I always wanted to do a master’s degree abroad. I compared the most interesting universities in Germany in the field of production management and the TU Hamburg program convinced me because of its quality and reputation.

What was your motivation for choosing this field of study and this profession? I wanted to study both mechanical engineering and industrial engineering. I also planned to work in production management in an international environment afterwards. I had already gained experience in this because I had previously worked in production at FAURECIA Puebla Mexico.

What was your career like after you left the TU Hamburg? I applied to various companies and was lucky enough to join Airbus in August 2006 as a Supply Chain Quality Manager in the purchasing department. That is the production management for suppliers.

What is the best thing about your current job? I love my job because I work in a very international environment. I communicate in four different languages ​​because I deal with a wide variety of people from different cultures and countries. In addition to German and English, these are French and Spanish. This internationality enables us to achieve valuable results for our customers every day.

What does a typical working day look like for you and what skills do you need for it? My days are always very different. They usually start with a meeting with my team or with other teams to coordinate the work. We act according to a clear performance management, we plan our projects and follow the milestones we have set. This requires the multilingualism already mentioned and a customer-oriented approach from me. Important skills that I have to bring with me are above all of a superordinate nature: to be resilient, to operate good conflict and feedback management and to treat everyone, the team, but also customers and suppliers, with respect.

What did you take away from the TUHH degree beyond your technical knowledge? The ability to work in an international team. To solve problems that arise from overcoming language barriers and always wanting to improve.

Where did you prefer to spend your time in Hamburg – besides your studies? On the Alster, where I learned to sail, and in Rotherbaum, where I played tennis.

Was there an unforgettable experience during your time at TU Hamburg? I particularly remember the ‘Day of Cultures’, when all foreign students were able to present their country and culture. There was a wide variety of dishes, some were dressed according to their country of origin, we made music and danced, and I met many people from all over the world in one place: on the campus of the TU Hamburg!

You are committed as a mentor to get more women interested in IT professions, what motivates you to do so? Including women and girls in MINT and IT professions is very important to me. We make up more than half of the world’s population, which means that we have to be much more represented in all of these areas. Only in this way can we be part of the decisions that our society makes and steer a development process that considers and reflects the opinions and needs of women. And only in this way can we be sure that we will actively shape the future and not be disadvantaged. According to the motto: “We want to shape the future”.

I would like to swap a day with … … Grazia Vittadini, our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Airbus.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future? Whether we women and girls will at some point have equal rights everywhere politically, economically and socially. Will this development be a reality at some point and if not, why not? Why does it fail?

If you were President of the TU Hamburg … … I would work with schoolgirls to get the young girls excited about MINT subjects and information technology. I would set up collaborations with schools and promote international exchange and create networks between women, industry, research and society.

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.

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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.

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Prof. Ingo Hadrych

Name, First Name: Hadrych, Ingo Nationality: German Stadt, Land: Buxtehude, Germany Study Program: Civil Engineering, Ph.D. Position, Employer: Präsident of the Buxtehuder hochschule 21

Don’t be afraid to tackle big issues

Why did you choose the TU Hamburg and your subject at the time?

My father was a self-employed architect, so I was not unfamiliar with construction. I also completed a degree in architecture at what was then the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, but quickly realized that the design subjects are more important to me than the design subjects. A degree in the relatively young civil engineering course at the TU Hamburg was an obvious choice – both the degree and the subsequent doctorate.

What was your career like after you left the TU Hamburg?

My topics of steel and timber construction prompted me to switch to the medium-sized construction industry at the Hamburg company HC Hagemann, which at the time was intensively involved in the renovation of riveted bridge structures. There I gradually grew into real estate project development. In 2017 I decided to work at a university. I took over the professorship for structural engineering and building informatics at the university 21 in Buxtehude. I have been the President of this university since October 2020.

What is the best thing about your current job?

On the one hand, I work in an academic environment, where I really enjoyed passing on knowledge and experience to students in the lectures, and on the other hand, in my role as President, I am now able to shape and shape this environment to a certain extent.

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

In these challenging Corona times and after such a short time in office, there is still no typical working day, but I can say so much: A very significant part is made up of communication with the various parties involved in a university, from students to colleagues in Academics and administration to various committees, such as the university senate.

What do you use from your studies for your job?

Of course, I still need my construction knowledge from my studies at a university of applied sciences with a large construction department. Above all, I also took along the ability to think analytically and in a structured manner. Bringing content into a clear structure, simplifying complex topics if necessary and prioritizing questions are things that are extremely important for dealing with non-subject questions.

What is your guide? Do you have a work or life motto?

You shouldn’t be afraid to tackle new topics and hurdles that might seem big at first – the others only cook with water. In addition, open and honest interaction is important to me, but always on a factual and non-personal level.

What kind of student were you? Nerd or party animal?

Even if it sounds boring, more the job-oriented nerd.

Was there an unforgettable experience during your time at TU Hamburg?

Two things come to mind very spontaneously: on the one hand, a day excursion to a bridge shift in Hesse with one of my professors at the time, during which we had to struggle with his somewhat aged vehicle and lubricating oil losses on the way, and on the other hand, a field test as part of a study project at where we carried out vibration measurements on a pedestrian bridge in Wilhelmsburg and hopping with several students to stimulate the bridge to vertical and torsional vibrations.

I would like to swap a day with …

… a scientist at Neumayer Station in Antarctica.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future?

I would like to know whether the current pandemic situation will one day simply be an anecdote in history or whether it will change us and our coexistence in the long term.

If you were President of the TU Hamburg …

What would be important to me is overcoming the boundaries that I keep seeing in the university landscape, sometimes in the form of state borders between Hamburg and Lower Saxony, sometimes in the form of fear of contact or fear of competition between universities, technical colleges or private universities. After all, we all have a common goal, namely to advance teaching, research and further training.

“It is important to me to be open and honest.”

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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!

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Dr. Lothar Behlau

Nationalität: Deutsch
Stadt, Land: München, Deutschland
Studiengang/Abschluss: Verfahrenstechnik/Dipl. Ing.
Studium: 1982-85
Arbeitgeber und Position: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Leiter der Abteilung Agenda Fraunhofer 2022

He had the matriculation number 1 and belonged 1982 to the first five students of process engineering at the TUHH. The lecture sometimes took place in the professor’s office, there was a no campus, the cafeteria was the canteen of the neighboring tax office and they were known in Harburg as colorful dogs.

Dr. Behlau, wie sind Sie überhaupt auf diese neue TU aufmerksam geworden?
1982 wurde die Lehre an der TUHH aufgenom­men, und zwar mit dem Hauptstudium der Ver­fahrenstechnik, das heißt, es mussten ein Uni-Vor­diplom oder adäquate Leistungen vorgewiesen werden. Und da es damals noch kein Internet gab, wurde diese Ankündigung über sehr „normale“ Pressekanäle publiziert. Ich habe davon erfahren, weil in meinem Studentenwohnheim ein Student eine Kurznachricht aus dem Hamburger Abendblatt ausgeschnitten und an die Pinnwand in der Küche geheftet hatte…

How was that, the first group of students to be at the TUHH? Because of the limiting criteria there there is only a very limited number of applicants. Most of them were graduates the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, which sometimes have additional lectures were imposed to prove an equivalent to the intermediate diploma. So we started after a first selection with five students, after a few months we then only four, who then all got the diploma. We didn’t feel as a student group, but rather as a somewhat exotic group (from FH graduates) at a TU where 99.7 percent research was carried out.

Wie war das Studentenleben an und außerhalb der TUHH?
Einen Campus im Sinne eines Areals, auf dem es vor Studierenden wimmelt, gab es natürlich nicht. Es gab das große Hauptge­bäude an der Eißendorfer Straße und eine alte Wäscherei, von der die oberen Räu­me für ein paar Doktoranden angemietet wurden. Unsere „Mensa“ war die Kantine einer Steuerbe­hörde ein paar hundert Meter entfernt. So mussten wir uns hinsichtlich eines studentischen Milieus selbst genügen. Es gab auch keine studentischen Teilnahmen in den Organen der TU. Auf der anderen Seite hatte unsere exotische Situation natürlich auch etwas Gutes: Wir beka­men eine äußerst persönliche Betreuung durch die lehrenden Professoren, die – trotz der geringen Studierendenzahl – sehr motiviert und ernst­haft ihre Vorlesungen gehalten haben. Auch die Assistenten zeigten viel Einsatz bei den Praktika (die sie ja nur wegen uns erfinden mussten). Diese Sonderrolle entschädigte für den Aufenthalt in einer ansonsten lehrleeren TU. Nach einiger Zeit waren wir als Grüppchen dann auch bekannt wie bunte Hunde…

Können Sie sich an die Atmosphäre in Harburg erinnern?
Wie gesagt, an der TU gab es am Anfang kein Studentenleben. Auch als ein Jahr später reguläre Studiengänge starteten, gab es noch keine studen­tische Szene, weder an der TU noch in Harburg, weil die meisten Studierenden auch von überallher pendelten und nur wenige in Harburg wohnten. Und Harburg war damals natürlich keine Uni­versitätsstadt. Ich bin in der Nähe von Hamburg geboren (Pinneberg) und hatte in Bergedorf an der Fachhochschule studiert und auch dort gewohnt und bin später nach Harburg gezogen. Harburg hatte damals eher den Ruf einer Arbeiterstadt. Ich habe mich dort sehr wohl gefühlt, aber es gab natürlich (noch) kein studentisches Milieu. Ich hatte in Nebentätigkeit als Redakteur für die Lokalbeilage des Hamburger Abendblattes über die TU-Entwicklung berichtet (u.a. später auch in einer Fortsetzungsreihe erklärt, was die neu aufgenom­menen Studiengänge Verfahrenstechnik, Städte­bau, Maschinenbau beinhalteten). Man hatte in Harburg durchaus einige Vorbe­halte, was die TU dem Ort bringen würde. Auch Kneipenbesitzer hatte ich interviewt, ob sie denn froh wären, wenn hier bald viele Studierenden leben würden… das konnten sie sich damals nicht vorstellen. Ich hoffe, das hat sich inzwischen geändert… Aber natürlich gab es in Harburg alles, was ein Studierender braucht, billige Wohnungen, Kneipen, guten Verkehrsanschluss nach Hamburg etc. Ich war froh, auch diesen Teil von Hamburg kennenge­lernt zu haben.

Was nutzen Sie aus dem Studium für Ihren Beruf?
Die Verfahrenstechnik-Ausbildung war aus meiner heutigen Sicht exzellent. Trotz des kleinen Se­mesters hatten die Professoren das Ziel, für die TUHH einen hohen Standard zu setzen. Heute bin ich im Bereich des Forschungsmanagements tätig und brauche immer wieder auch profunde Ingenieurkenntnisse aus dieser Zeit zur Beurteilung von Forschungsprojekten. Zum Glück vermittelt die Verfahrenstechnik ein breites Verständnis der Natur- und Ingenieurwissenschaften. Die damalige hohe Intensität der Betreuung hat durchaus Spuren hinterlassen, weil man eben zu dritt oder viert permanent aufmerksam sein musste.

Wie müssen sich Ihrer Meinung nach die Tech­nischen Universitäten in Zukunft aufstellen?
Neben dem soliden Kompetenzaufbau in einer Dis­ziplin sollte besonders die Vernetzungsfähigkeit mit anderen Disziplinen bereits während des Studiums geübt werden. Als Studierender über­blickt man mit einem TU-Studium einen immer klei­neren Teil des Gesamtsystems und deshalb muss die Anschlussfähigkeit mit anderen Disziplinen auf­gebaut werden (auch mit den Gesellschaftswissen­schaften). Diese Methodenkompetenz ist teilweise genauso wichtig wie die originäre Fachkompetenz.

Die TUs sollten ihren Beitrag und ihre Verantwor­tung für die Gesellschaft deutlich machen: Inwie­fern trägt eine TU mit ihrer Lehre und vor allem ihrer aktuellen Forschung direkt zu den drängends­ten Problemen der Menschheit bei? Diese Sinn­stiftung sollte Teil der internen Diskussion an jeder TU sein. Ein Nachhaltigkeitsbericht wäre dafür ein erster Schritt.

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Marcus Keding

Nationality: German
City, Country: Vienna, Austria
Study Program, Degree: Process Engineering/ Dipl. Ing.
Year of Graduation: 2005
Employer and Position:  Managing Director, Forschung Burgenland

Why did you opt for the TUHH at the time and was it, with hindsight, a good decision?
The TUHH had a very good reputation at the time. Other factors were the personal atmosphere and the very attractive campus. I spent several years working for the student body and am still in contact with former fellow-students. The only problems I had were, for a long time, with thermodynamics. Eventually I sorted them out and worked for two years as a thermodynamics tutor. By learning the subject several times for exams I ended up knowing the subject really well 😉

What motivated you to choose that subject and this career?
I felt that the combination of chemistry and mechanical engineering was great. My dream back then was already to develop hydrogen storage for vehicles, and process engineering with a specialization in energy systems was the obvious choice. An important milestone was then, without a doubt, the time I spent as an assistant with Prof. Jobst Hapke at the Institute of Apparatus Engineering. I was able there to work at an early stage on highly exciting research projects in hydrogen storage and to do my diploma project there. That, indeed, was the entry ticket to my career.

Where, apart from your studies, did you most enjoy spending time in Hamburg and/or Harburg?
I often got together with friends and we made intensive use of the little spare time that we had. There were parties in our shared apartment, outings for freshmen and, as I vividly recall, there was downtown inline skating. There was even a direct inline skating route from Mönckebergstraße to Große Freiheit 36 for an after-skate beer. And then there was the Elbe beach at Övelgönne and the Strandperle bar; I still go there whenever I am in Hamburg.

What is the greatest about your job?
After graduation I failed to get a job in the automobile industry, but I had an exciting space research job offer in Vienna, and there I really was in charge of developing hydrogen storage systems – for satellites. It was a truly  exciting time in which I learnt a great deal and had a whole lot of design leeway. I went on to head and further develop the research group. Five years ago I was offered the headship of a study program at a technical college along with the position of joint managing director of the research subsidiary. Had it not been for my time at the TUHH I would never have considered taking up that challenge. For a year now I have been the sole managing director of a research company with a payroll of 40. My best  decision after completing my studies was definitely that of taking on the job that gave me the most design scope for my career.

What did you learn at the TUHH that you still use in your career?
My former fellow-students thought it was hilarious when I told them five years ago that I was back in the lecture theater but this time as the lecturer. I wasn’t exactly the student who passed every exam at the first attempt with flying colors. I now greatly appreciate the sound basic knowledge we were
taught in Hamburg. Thermodynamics is simply difficult and sometimes you need to listen twice to understand it. Later there are countless opportunities
to put it to good use. I also have great respect for the organization of a study program and a lecture. I now know just how hard and arduous it is to design a high-quality lecture and to organize a good class schedule.

What shape does your typical working day take and which competences do you require for it?
My day always begins at the coffee machine. I then go to my PA to discuss with her the meetings that lie ahead and to sign a slew of bills. The open and respectful way of dealing with people that I learnt from the professors at the TUHH is a great help in dealing with my present colleagues. After the first conversation I usually settle down to answer the most important e-mail. There too, prioritization is what counts. Otherwise my working day
largely consists of team meetings and discussions. Structured self-organization is the most important way to tackle very different tasks. I am also very active on a number of bodies and responsible for  the research company’s external impact and for communication with our stakeholders. Holding a Press may sound easy, but when it is you up there and journalists from regional newspapers and the regional TV channel are asking questions you need to be able to give straightforward answers. Improvisation is important too, of course, because there is never a time when everybody keeps to the plan. So my working day could hardly be more varied.

If you were President of the TUHH, …
… I would first say to myself “Marcus, that is just too much of a good thing.” I would then consider who was better suited for the job and nominate
him. As I have a good insight into the work of a university president I cannot imagine that post ever being in my resumé. But 13 years ago I would surely have said the same about my present position. So I should maybe best start looking into where I can best work on my doctoral dissertation… 😉

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Francis Bouchard

Nationalität: Französisch
Stadt, Land: Toulouse, Frankreich
Studiengang, Ab­schluss: Elektrotechnik – Tech­nische Informatik / Diplom
Abschlussjahr: 1999
Arbeitgeber und Position: Airbus in Toulouse – Head of A350 Cabin & Cargo Chief Engineering

Sie sind Präsident unseres Alumni Chapters in Toulouse, was reizt Sie an dieser Aufgabe?
Ich bin sehr stolz, zusammen mit dem Alum­ni-Team dieses neue Chapter in Toulouse gegrün­det zu haben. Unser gemeinsames Ziel ist, das internationale Alumni-Netzwerk zu vergrößern und die Verbindung der Alumni in Süd-West Frankreich mit der TUHH zu verstärken. Diese natürliche Verbindung zwischen Toulouse und Hamburg erlebe ich schon jeden Tag bei Airbus, einer der größten Arbeitgeber von TUHH-Absolventen: Viele Deutsche leben in Toulouse und der Airbus-Shuttle verbindet täglich die beiden Standorte. Ich freue mich auf die neue Aufgabe.

What was your time at the TUHH an unforgettable experience? I have so many good Memories! We were a small group from all over the world and we stayed in the library prepares the exams together. We did then Internet with the SUN workstations discovered and amazed when we in high Resolution and have seen the first images of Mars Pathfinder live. What was also fun to start the Sprachen AG with some friends Organize English, French and Chinese classes. Do they still exist? The lectures were all in German, which was not easy at the beginning, but in hindsight it was an opportunity. I could do microelectronics lectures by the famous saxon professor Reinhold Paul in the Audimax do not understand at all! Thank goodness my German friends were great helpful. I would like to thank them and also to Professor Otto Lange, who gave me a lot of trust.

Was ist das Tollste an Ihrem Job?
Ich führe die Entwicklung der Airbus A350 Passagierkabine. Diese muss beim gleichen Komfort noch mehr Passagiere transpor­tieren und gleichzeitig immer leichter werden. Es ist eine tolle Herausforderung dieses Multi-Mil­lionen Projekt mit vielen Ingenieurinnen und Ingenieuren aus Europa zusammen zu führen: In der Kommunikation zwischen den verschiedenen Kulturen kann ich oft unterstützen. Die Ingenieure haben meistens gute Ideen, aber Schwierigkeiten, sie an das Management einer anderen Kultur zu verkaufen und sie denken manchmal zu wenig an die wirtschaftlichen Herausforderungen. Im meinem Job geht es darum zu entscheiden, welche Ideen Sinn machen um das Management dann zu überzeugen, dass sie damit auch ein Business Case haben und die Kundenerwartungen erfüllen.

Wie sieht ein typischer Arbeitstag für Sie aus?
In einem typischen Arbeitstag verbringe ich sechs bis acht Stunden in Webex und Meetings mit vielen deutschen und französischen Ingenieurinnen und Ingenieuren. Ich bekomme dazu ungefähr einhundert E-Mails und muss schnell entscheiden, was wichtig und dringend ist und was warten oder delegiert werden kann. Ich fliege noch ein bis zwei Mal im Monat nach Hamburg und muss ab und zu Kunden (Airlines) oder Lieferanten besuchen. Die Kompetenzen, die ich dafür am meisten brauche, sind gute Kommunikations- und Analysefähigkei­ten, Belastbarkeit und Ausdauer.

Ich würde gerne mal einen Tag tauschen mit …
…meinem CEO Tom Enders.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future? Where does it lead us the development of artificial intelligence? What does the mass of people do in the world of autonomous robots? How can we stop global warming and at the same time, the needs of mankind for more prosperity and mobility satisfy without plundering the earth?

Wenn Sie Präsident der TUHH wären…
Meine Themen wären KI-Anwendungen, Batterie der Zukunft und Energienetzwerke. Als überzeugter Europäer würde ich auch die Verbindungen mit europäischen und insbesondere französischen Hochschulen intensivieren: Zusam­men können wir viel bewegen und hohe Stan­dards setzten.

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Martin Brücher

Nationalität: Deutsch
Stadt, Land: Hamburg, Deutschland
Studiengang, Abschluss: Internationales Wirtschafts­ingenieurwesen (M.Sc.)
Abschlussjahr: 2009
Arbeitgeber und Position / Name des Startups: Mitgründer und Geschäftsführer von FASHION CLOUD

Warum haben Sie sich damals für die TUHH ent­schieden und war das aus heutiger Sicht gut?
Ich fand die internationale Ausrichtung der TUHH und speziell die meines Studiengangs ex­trem attraktiv. Bei Projektarbeiten und Seminaren durften wir mit Studierenden aus der ganzen Welt arbeiten. Ich hab die Wahl nie bereut und bin jeden Tag glücklich, durch die TU nach Hamburg gekommen zu sein.

Was war Ihre Motivation, dieses Studienfach zu wählen?
Ich hatte immer schon zwei Herzen in meiner Brust: Auf der einen Seite fasziniert vom technischen Fortschritt und auf der anderen interessiert an den betriebswirtschaftlichen Abläufen in Unternehmen. Da ist Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen dann wohl die perfekte Wahl.

When did you come up with the idea of ​​starting your own business? I discovered my talent for selling and trading early on on eBay. The desire to work for a startup one day came up in various “Business Planning” lectures and was solidified in a semester abroad in California.

Die wichtigsten Facts zu Ihrem Startup …
Gut zwei Jahre alt. 20 Mitarbeiter. Wir helfen lokalen Modehändlern bei der Digitalisierung. Wir bieten dazu derzeit zwei Produkte an: Eine Online-Plattform mit Bildmaterial von mittlerwei­le mehr als 250 Modemarken (dieses nutzen die Händler für ihr Marketing, ihre Webshops usw.). Außerdem eine mobile App, mit der ein Mode­händler prüft, ob ein gewisser Artikel noch bei seinem Lieferanten vorrätig ist und er diesen dann über die App direkt nachbestellen kann.

Was ist das Beste an Ihrem Job?
Die Arbeitsatmosphäre bei FASHION CLOUD. Ich gehe da jeden Tag mit riesiger Vorfreude hin. Die Leute haben allesamt richtig Lust, etwas Großes zu bewegen.

Was nutzen Sie aus dem Studium für Ihren Beruf?
Klingt abgedroschen, aber in erster Linie das Netzwerk, das ich mir in den zwei Jahren damals aufgebaut habe.

Wie sieht ein typischer Arbeitstag für Sie aus und welche Kompetenzen brauchen Sie dafür?
Eine bunte Mischung aus Besprechungen mit Kollegen, Kundenterminen, Interviews mit Bewer­bern, Basteln von Excel-Tapeten und Bearbeiten von E-Mails. Ich denke mit einer gut strukturierten Arbeitsweise, einer Portion Empathie, jeder Menge Neugier und viel gesundem Menschenver­stand ist man gut ausgestattet für das Leben in einem Startup.

Was sollten (zukünftige) Gründerinnen und Gründer Ihrer Meinung nach unbedingt beachten?
Lernt so früh wie möglich, eurem Bauchgefühl zu vertrauen. Man kann viele Dinge planen und noch so gut durchdenken aber bei der Vielzahl an Entscheidungen, die als Gründer oder Gründerin auf dich zukommen, ist deine Intuition die wichtigste Begleiterin.

Wenn Sie Präsident der TUHH wären …
… würde ich in den Lehrplänen etwas mehr Raum für fachfremde Seminare wie beispielsweise „Literatur und Kultur“ (von Bertrand Schütz) schaffen. An alle halbwegs literaturinteressierten Studierenden: Das ist ein absoluter Geheimtipp!

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Ernesto Riestra Martínez

Name: Ernesto Riestra Martínez
Nationality: Mexican
City, Country: Mexico City, Mexico
Degree course: MSc Mechatronics
Year of graduation: 2001
Employer/name of startup & position: Metagraphos, Technology Director and Founder

Why did you choose this degree course at TUHH, and do you think it was a good decision?
Although I studied my BSc in mechanical engineering, I have always had an interest in programming so it was the natural decision to try to enroll on a MSc course that combined both fields. For me, the subject of mechatronics extends the physical hardware of purely mechanical devices in the same way that intelligence extends our biological essence. As humans, we are not that far from other animals in terms of physical “hardware”, but it is the brain “software” which sets us apart in terms of amazing new possibilities. It is through software that we make a mechanical system behave in amazing ways.

What are you doing now, and did your studies at TUHH help?
I am the founder and technology leader of Metagraphos, a seven-year-old company that offers training content development, online learning and other education  technologies. I apply everyday analytic and development skills to the improvement of the solutions that we employ to innovate education. Currently, I am working with virtual reality systems, and that has required very specific knowledge – and even some algorithms from scratch – that reminds me a lot of the skills I developed while at the TUHH. But the way my experience at TUHH helped the most is not with the specific models and algorithms. Instead, it is the engineering design mindset and the fact that you gain experience as a problem solver which really helps.

What are the most important facts about your startup?
Metagraphos is a completely digital culture firm. We are very small, around seven full-time team members. We also have many part-time colleagues who prefer to have their regular day job, but turn into rock stars for us at night. The company is very active in the field of internet and online learning, as well as virtual reality for training, and holds a position of Vice Presidency of Education and Culture at the Mexican Internet Association, where we are treated as equals with other very relevant IT corporations. We also have our own platforms for training, like yeira, which is one of the most intuitive ways to create an online courseware site for individuals, coaches, experts and small businesses, and to sell subscriptions to your contents.

What is the greatest thing about your job?
The family-work balance, which permeates across all team members while, at the same time, the flexibility to work on great ideas and having the freedom to explore them and prototype a new concept or solution. In addition, we are able to steer our direction with a very efficient decision-making committee. We are fully into ‘bootstrapping’, a model of funding a startup without external investors. This means the company is very sensitive to financial issues, which pushes us to prioritise expenses every day, but is also very quick in pivoting and adapting to changes, with no shareholders or investors to update or even convince.

In your opinion, what should (future) founders consider before they start a business?
The first step is to build your support network with friends and family. Moreover, some ideas cannot be evaluated until they hit a market, so try to reach that market even if it is a single customer. Whenever you are not building your service or product offering, get to learn something new. Find a cofounder that shares with you “why” he or she does this, not necessarily  the “what” or “how”. Most importantly, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that being busy means being important. Be available, answer the phone, reply to emails, and share time with friends and loved ones. Starting up doesn’t mean shutting yourself off from the world. You can still be focused while being socially aware and connected.

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