Alabama meets AalenReturn visit from US delegation brings planned exchange programme forward

Impressed by the equipment and practical orientation of Aalen University, representatives of six universities from Alabama (USA) are shown around.

Th, 09. June 2016

„That was a great afternoon - I would by all means send my students to Aalen”, commented one participant of the delegation from Alabama who visited Aalen University while on a Baden-Württemberg trip. The 18 representative from six universities were impressed by the laboratories and the practical orientation of the department of Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science. It is expected that the first exchange students will be on their way to the southern United States in the winter semester of 2018/19.

Late last year Prof. Dr. Harro Heilmann, dean and study-abroad representative from the study programme Mechanical Engineering/Production & Management, along with eight other colleagues of the Baden-Württemberg university, traveled to Alabama to discuss the possibilities for co-operation with the local universities.

A return visit from Alabama was then found when the delegation visited seven universities during a one week stay in Baden-Württemberg.

The trip organized by Baden-Württemberg International was used particularly to bring the exchange and co-operation negotiations a step further. With guidance from Prof. Dr. Harro Heilmann, the visitors were given a guided tour through the faculty: “My goal was to show our visitors the high research and practical orientation of Aalen University authentic and ‘live’ and to show that our instruments and equipment is up to date.” Whether it was the 3D metal printer, laser application center, prototype laboratory, lab for fascinating productions, robotics lab, foundry, or the E-Motion racing teams workshop - the American guests were very impressed with the laboratories and practical orientation of the faculty. “Here you can actually see how research results are generated”, commented a member of the delegation.

Afterwards, the American guests visited the Innovation Center (INNO-Z) of Aalen University. Innovations manager Dr. Andreas Erhardt kindly welcomed the group and presented the INNO-Z and the various offers for the promotion of innovation and technology transfer. The common rooms, machine shops, and particularly the “shared desk area” were of great interest during the tour of the offices and laboratories. Here, students of Aalen University can work meticulously on a business idea,get in contact with other founders, and use various advisory services.

The results of this visit can be seen: a framework agreement has been planned between the participating Universities in Alabama and in Baden-Württemberg which will make it possible for an exchange of students from both countries.

This means that by winter semester 2018/19, it is expected to be “Sweet Home Alabama” for the first exchange students.