Exchange students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will be guests at Kiel University (CAU) until 19 June. As part of a two-week programme, they will be focussing on energy research, together with Kiel’s Applied Geosciences students. Today (Friday 14 June), Professor Anja Pistor-Hatam, Vice President responsible for academic affairs, international affairs and diversity, welcomed the group: “I hope you enjoy your time in Kiel and can make some new friends. Establishing international relationships is an important task for our university.” As energy research is becoming very important at the CAU and in the whole of Schleswig-Holstein, she also encouraged the budding researchers to “develop new technologies for the future, together.”
The exchange came about on the initiative of Professor Astrid Holzheid from the Experimental and Theoretical Petrology working group, who is a former postdoc from MIT herself. “I kept in touch with my former colleagues since then,” says the petrologist. During a visit last year, she spoke to Dr Antje Danielson, Director of Studies in the field of energy at MIT. “We immediately agreed that an exchange would be a great thing,” continued Holzheid. They were able to gather the funding required for the project from the CAU’s fund for internationalisation.
The lack of time was a challenge for the organisational team, however: “The schedule was pretty tight,” says Dr Frank Dethlefsen from the Applied Geosciences working group. Which is why he is even more pleased that they have succeeded in being able to offer the exchange students a programme with both subject-specific and cultural aspects. “The main focus is on scientific exchange, of course. For example, we visited the Energy Academy on the Danish island of Samsø on Tuesday. The island supplies all of the energy it needs itself, and does so using 100% renewable energies. At the same time, it now even exports some of the energy produced,” said the geoscientist. Additional stops include a visit to the radioactive waste repository in Morsleben and a trip to the Hamburg authority for energy and the environment, where the exchange students will be introduced to the city's energy concept.
“We found it important to offer a cultural programme of events and an insight into the regional culture as well as specialist exchange on the topics we are researching at the CAU, of energy and energy storage,” says Holzheid. This is why the exchange students also already had a tour through Gottorf Castle during the week. Next week they are due to visit the zonal border museum and the memorial for German division in Marienborn. The one-week return exchange will take place in Cambridge at the end of July.
Prof. Dr Astrid Holzheid
Head of the Experimental and Theoretical Petrology working group
Institute of Geosciences
Dr Frank Dethlefsen
Applied Geosciences working group
Institute of Geosciences