Sustainability from the German and American points of viewDelegation from the US-Consulate General at Aalen University
Because sustainability is always an important theme, the US Consul General James W. Herman and representatives of the American Consulate General visited Aalen University. After the talks with Rector Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schneider, the Senate´s Delegate for Sustainable Development at Aalen University Prof. Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur and other representatives, along with students at the University, the Consul General visited different laboratories.
“As a university, we want to strengthen our contact and intercultural understanding with the USA,” explained Rector Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schneider during US Consul General, James W. Herman’s visit. The university is trying to remove language barriers and get Americans to study in Germany by offering new lectures taught in English. Similar opportunities to study abroad are also available for German students. “Foreign exchange and internships abroad help to shape young people’s personalities” explained Rector Schneider. Consul General Herman said the same thing: “The partnership between the USA and Germany is very important for the USA.” Both have very similar ideals. Ever since the last Rectorial election, it’s been important to renew friendships, to go to different countries and to talk to foreigners. “People are very interested in the political situation in the US,” said a very serious Herman, “And the annoyance and the frustration that you hear in the media only comes from a small group,” explained the experienced diplomat, who has worked in Guatemala, Japan, Italy, China and India. Herman is travelling around supported by the US Embassy’s “Going Green Project”. He mentioned that over 300 big cities in the US had signed an agreement which stated that they wanted to follow the climate protection goals of the Paris agreement. “In the end, it’s right to stay on board,” stated Herman emphatically.
At this point, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur, the Senate´s Delegate for Sustainable Development at Aalen University, piped up. He showed projects about sustainability in a presentation. The clear focus was on teaching and qualifications for sustainable development. He presented projects like “Green Aalen” and “Urban Gardening” next to the campaign “AUSgebechert!” During his last tour, the Consul General got to know the labs. In the laser lab, Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Harald Riegel showed the Consul General pieces that were put together with 3D Printing techniques and that were being researched in the laser lab. During his tour of the laser lab and the labs of Materials Research Institute (IMFAA), Herman seemed to be very interested in the researchers’ and students’ work.
In an IMFAA lab, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Goll showed him a device that helps establish how materials will behave in a magnetic environment. Helium comes into play in these experiments. The Consul General was very impressed by the high recycling rate of Helium. “Very sustainable,” was the praise he gave.