Rev. Met. Paris
Volume 106, Number 12, December 2009Selected papers from the 3rd International Seminar on Society & Materials, SAM3 - Freiberg, 29-30 April 2009
|Page(s)||572 - 578|
|Published online||08 December 2009|
Integrated interdisciplinary university: technology, materials, society
RWTH Aachen University has a long history as a research organisation and as an institution of education. It is known as a progressive, modern and forward-looking institution among students, industrial partners and citizens. RWTH Aachen University recognises its responsibility towards society, it has established and demonstrated flexibility and adaptability over the years and it is determined to improve its international visibility. Within the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments, RWTH Aachen University has been awarded funding for its future concept. This allows a greater concentration on the clear stated goals and principles of the university, one of which is to train a highly-qualified and responsible new generation of academics for the benefit of business and society, research and teaching. RWTH Aachen University has developed a strategic plan which is reflected in the Institutional Strategy and leads to a super ordinate goal: In contrast to a university primarily characterised by the coexistence of individual strengths, especially in engineering, RWTH is developing into an integrated interdisciplinary university of technology that is able to meet global challenges. Six interdisciplinary forums at RWTH (e.g. Forum Materials Science, Forum Technology and Society) are engaged to provide a better integration and cooperation among all scientific areas. Working groups within the forums and the different departments at the university collaborate in order to make a faster progress in cross-cutting research fields. Interdisciplinary pathfinder project proposals were submitted and doctoral theses, e.g. “Development of materials and technologies in the mirror of literature” and “Material design against the background of technology and society”, are begun at our Department of Ferrous Metallurgy, Chair for Metallurgy of Iron and Steel. In cooperation between different departments of Material Sciences and the Humanities we have set up a project relating to “Materials, symbolic meanings of materials and identity construction”. The speakers of the Forums support the dialog between academic world, industry, society and politics. The best researchers are supposed to contribute and collaborate. That is why the social surroundings and environment should be appropriately arranged. Modifications in organization and structure at RWTH Aachen University have been made. With its large number of projects for integration and support for newly-appointed researchers and their families, Dual Career Programme, Parent Service Office, efforts to internationalise all the faculties and to inspire young people to be the future generation of engineers, scientists and leaders in industry and society, demonstrates the strong will to learn and teach. RWTH Aachen University is looking ahead with a great optimism that it will succeed in Meeting Global Challenges in the next 10 years and that it will bring valuable information, research and development to the SOVAMAT Initiative.
© La Revue de Métallurgie, 2009
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