Faces of Constructor University

Let’s face it: Constructor University is a unique place in Germany. And it is such a place because of the people from more than 110 nations on this campus. Each and every of this faces makes a difference. In our series “Faces” we are featuring students, alumni, professors, employees and others who are connected with Constructor University. All stories that have already been published can be found here.

Together these faces build a growing mosaic and make clear what we all at Constructor University have in common. No matter what department we work in. No matter what we’re studying, researching or teaching: We share common beliefs. We believe that education opportunities must not be a matter of nationality and family origin. We believe that the pressing problems of our time can only be solved in a dialog between the research disciplines and world cultures. And we know that people can live in peace together no matter what their origin and religion may be. Because we face it together every day.

Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahem Ali
Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahem Ali, scholarship holder of the Wolfgang Ritter Foundation, works to improve cancer treatment with mathematics
His voice becomes more intense when he talks about his area of expertise because Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahem Ali, PhD candidate at Constructor University in Bremen and scholarship holder of the Wolfgang Ritter Foundation, wants to make a difference with his doctoral project: improving the effectiveness of radiotherapy in cancer treatment.
Iris-Stefania Petcu
Iris-Stefania Petcu: Psychology student and human rights advocate
How can we help people struggling with learning difficulties and disabilities handle their condition? That is the focus of Iris-Stefania Petcu. Her commitment to better learning conditions and human rights has shaped the life of the psychology student at Constructor University in Bremen. And it has taken the 19-year-old to the United Nations headquarters in New York as a delegate from her home country of Romania and a representative of the university to the 17th annual conference of Youth for Human Rights International.
Sarah Winkelmann
Alumna Sarah Winkelmann: Crossing the icy desert of Greenland on skis
On 28 May 2023, her 28th birthday, Sarah Winkelmann made it. She had conquered the minus 30-degree temperatures, the icy storms, the bagged food, the sled with up to 75 kilograms of luggage. Sarah, a graduate of Constructor University in Bremen, is Germany's youngest woman to have crossed Greenland on skis – a total of 600 kilometers.
Rezi Chikviladze and Manuel Kimanov
Constructor University graduates digitize construction industry
In his second year at Constructor University in Bremen, Rezi Chikviladze, then aged 19, and fellow student Manuel Kimanov founded the start-up "Sharemac". The former “Airbnb” for construction machinery has since become "syniotec", a company with around 60 employees that is driving digitization in the branch.
Francesco Maurelli
A jack-of-all-trades: Francesco Maurelli
No doubt: Francesco Maurelli knows how to multitask. As Professor of Marine Systems with a focus on Marine Robotics at Constructor University, he is first and foremost a researcher and teacher. But he is also an entrepreneur, an Esperanto protagonist, involved with the United Nations and the European Vegetarian Union, to name just a few activities. Recently, the 39-year-old was also appointed to the renowned Global Young Academy, which is based at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
Conny Scheitz
Conny Scheitz: The Multiplier that helps you find your superpower
She wanted to cure cancer. That's why she enrolled in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Constructor University in Bremen - which first was called International University Bremen and then Jacobs University. Today, Conny Scheitz is Senior Director for Programs and Business Excellence at the software giant Autodesk and helps her team to find their superpower – and utilize it.
Hazim Saleem
Hazim Saleem: passion, excellence and a love for chemistry
Yemen, Pakistan, Germany - Hazim Saleem, a student at Constructor University in Bremen, had to adjust to new living conditions many times. However, there is one thing that remains constant: his love for chemistry. Now, Hazim has received the prestigious scholarship of the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Foundation of the German Chemical Society. He was also accepted for the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at New York University within the same week.
Adilah Ponnurangam
The woman who does it all: Adilah Ponnurangam is Resident Mentor at Constructor University
Dr. Adilah Ponnurangam holds a PhD in Geochemistry, and is a manager, an educator, a dispute mediator and a supporter, an understanding advisor as well as an assertive authority figure – in short: she is Resident Mentor at Constructor University in Bremen, Germany.
Maureen Knust
Maureen Knust: Other cultures and other worlds just around the corner
Nineteen-year-old Maureen Knust started her career at Constructor University in Bremen in August 2022. Her perspective and plans before and during her apprenticeship and the impact Corona had.
Muhammad Ali Alam
Muhammad Ali Alam: How to connect entrepreneurs
In the beginning there is the business idea - followed by many questions. What does it take to implement it? How do I found a startup? What needs to be considered in the process? "Exchange is particularly important at the beginning of the project," said Muhammad Ali Alam. The student at Constructor University Bremen knows what he's talking about: He's a founder himself and wants to bring together people interested in starting a company.
Samata Shresta
Constructor University graduate receives Schwarzman scholarship
Around 3,000 international top talents had applied for one of the world's most prestigious graduate scholarships at Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. 151 applicants from 36 countries were accepted, chosen for their exceptional academic achievements and commitment to positive social change. One of them is Samata Shrestha, Constructor University in Bremen alumna.
Christian Angern
Start-up Founder Christian Angern on the Fascination of Founding
A bit of luck, a good idea and especially a great team – these are Christian Angern’s essentials for setting up a successful business. His great team is made up of brother Julian Angern and Benedikt Reinke, former classmate at Constructor University Bremen. Together they created the startup Sympatient, a digital treatment service for anxiety disorders, which recently received 7.5 million Euros of investments.
Bogdan Belenis
Constructor University Student Founds Start-up to Save our Forests
Climate change, agriculture, wood industry – according to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund, an average of thirteen million hectares of forests disappear worldwide every year. With his start-up Airoot, Constructor University Bremen student Bogdan Belenis wants to facilitate the reforestation of such areas.
Saleem Zafar
Saleem Zafar: Embodying the Entrepreneurial Spirit
When most teenagers are worrying about getting into college, Muhammad Saleem Zafar was focused on entrepreneurship and making the world a better place. He was 15 years old and still a high school student in Dubai when he first participated in the Hult Prize. Today, he consults fellow students at Constructor University Bremen to compete in the prestigious competition.
Sonja Mattfeld
Sonja Mattfeld: The Start-up Accelerator
To kick off start-up week Bremen & Bremerhaven on November 8th with a bang, fascinating founders, events and projects will be presented over the course of the next few weeks. One important and dedicated figure of Bremen's start-up scene is Sonja Mattfeld - enabler, supporter and coordinator of student start-up activities at Constructor University.
Sonia Slippke
Sonia Lippke: Excellent Psychological Application Research
Exchange with colleagues from all over the world and interdisciplinary collaboration are important to her: Sonia Lippke, Professor of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at Constructor University, has now been awarded the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award by the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). She was furthermore appointed as member of the Ninth Ageing Report Commission of the Federal German Government.
Aganze Baciyunjuze Gloire
The unusual career of Aganze Baciyunjuze Gloire
He was young, naive, and eager to gain experience in mining. "I had always dreamed of it, minerals fascinated me," said Aganze Baciyunjuze Gloire. When the recruiter came to his hometown and offered good money to work in a mine, the then 17-year-old didn't think twice. What followed, he recalled, "was the worst experience of my life."
Nicklas Vorrink
Nicklas Vorrink Founds Virtual Reality Lab at Constructor University
It was always clear to him that he would do "something with technology," said Nicklas Vorrink, "I love technology.” Only what that particular ‘something’ could be, he didn't know for a long time. That changed when he was given a pair of virtual reality goggles by a company after an internship- "It's such cool technology," he exclaimed. Now Nicklas, who is studying Industrial Engineering & Management, founded a Virtual Reality (VR) Lab at Constructor University Bremen. He wants to show students and companies how they can use the technology for their needs.
Startup "WasteAnt"
Startup "WasteAnt" Wants to Make Efficient Use of Waste with Artificial Intelligence The systems have to be robust and reliable, able to cope with all kinds of adversity, such as poor visibility. "There are many similarities between underwater robotics and the requirements of waste management," says Dr. Szymon Krupinski. No longer dedicated to deep-sea exploration, Krupinski, Arturo Gomez Chavez and Dr. Christian Müller are using their expertise to increase recycling rates. The scientists, who share a common history at Constructor University Bremen, want to modernize waste management with their startup "WasteAnt" and contribute to waste prevention.
Host4Ukraine facilitates Housing for Ukrainian Refugees Worldwide and Free of Charge – Church App as a Role Model There are very unusual offers of help: Someone offers a sailboat as an accommodation, another a caravan. Hotels provide free rooms, as do real estate companies. But above all, private hosts are providing accommodation: Individual beds, rooms, apartments, entire houses. "The people are creative, the solidarity is incredible," said Nils Bischoff. And it goes beyond borders. Not only in Germany and Europe do people provide free housing for Ukrainian refugees over Host4Ukraine (, but also in the United States or Australia. Even the Fiji Islands are providing shelter.
Karelle Priso
Karelle Priso: Apprentice at Constructor University Bremen
How do you make small talk and behave appropriately? What is the right form of address, what is the appropriate outfit? Recently, the five apprentices at Constructor University had a joint seminar. The topic: business etiquette. It was about manners in everyday business life, questions of communication, rules of etiquette and respectful behavior. "The seminar was very instructive. We laughed and discussed a lot," said Karelle Priso, apprentice at Constructor University.
Joud Amin Dakkuri
Inspiring! Joud Amin Dakkuri received DAAD award
"Truly outstanding academic achievements – Extremely inquisitive, always willing to learn and improve – Represents the students' interests very well.” Her teacher, Stanislav Chankov, is full of praise for her. With the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Award, Constructor University Bremen honors international students for their exceptional academic achievements and social commitment. This prize was recently awarded to Joud Amin Dakkuri, who is studying Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) at the English-language university.
Drishti Maharjan
Women in the Digital Industry: The Long Road of Drishti Maharjan
It was a very emotional moment for her. After all, it was not only geographically a long way from Nepal to the stage in Dresden Drishti Maharjan stood on. In her school, she had often been the only girl to attend inclination courses in natural sciences. And now she accepted the prize for the 3rd place in the Zeiss Women Award 2021. A competition that honors outstanding female students in subjects such as computer science or computer engineering.
Andres Matallana
Andrés Matallana: Community spirit for beautiful holidays
In December, the Christmas trees in Bremen-Vegesack and on the campus of Constructor University Bremen are once again decorated with lovingly designed wish lists. The fact that the wishes of more than 300 kindergarten children in Bremen will be fulfilled this year is also thanks to Andrés Matallana. Make a Wish is the name of the charity project of Constructor University, the parents' association EPSYMO e.V. and Vegesack Marketing, which the 35-year-old Colombian coordinates for the university. "This project brings people together and brightens up Christmas for many families in Bremen. We are very happy about that," he said.
Gharissa al Muftah
Gharissa Al Muftah created a Sports Facility for Young People
Without Gharissa Al Muftah, the calisthenics park at Constructor University Bremen would not have existed. Building it was not only her idea, she also secured the financing, brought together the cooperation partners and coordinated the construction of the fitness facility. "Sports mean a lot to me, it brings people together," said the 23-year-old Constructor University student, "that's also evident in the park."
Stefan Krstevski
Stefan Krstevski: IEM student on the road to success
Assuming responsibility in companies early on in your studies? With the right expertise, this is possible. Since the beginning of September, Stefan Krstevski has been leading a team of ten freelancers at the Hamburg-based company Container xChange. The 21-year-old, who is studying Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) at English-speaking Constructor University, has great potential – and promising plans for the future.
Binyam Mogessie
Binyam Mogessie: The innovator had his start at Constructor University
From Addis Ababa to New Haven, Binyam Mogessie has scaled through many different stages to reach the pinnacle of his career. For the Ethiopian, it all began with his studies at a renowned University in northern Bremen, which paved the way for many research opportunities all over Europe, and now the United States. His research passion lies within understanding the complexities of egg fertilization, in order to tackle the challenges families face with infertility.
Ishansh Gupta
Ishansh Gupta: data analyst with enthusiasm for change
Being an active person, taking initiative, tackling things and trying them out – that's important to him. With this attitude, Ishansh Gupta developed an app as a student in India and founded a start-up. It led him to study Data Engineering at Constructor University in Bremen – and it led to projects with the local sports club SV Werder Bremen and the BMW Think Tank during his studies. It was no surprise that, together with a friend and fellow student, the 23-year-old chose to represent his class by delivering the graduate student address at this year’s graduation ceremony at Constructor University.
Jingchun Lin
Jingchun Lin: entrepreneur and bridge builder between cultures
“Saying yes out of politeness even though you want to say no – that is probably one of the biggest differences between Chinese and German culture,” said Jingchun Lin. She laughingly shared a story about sparkling water introduced to her by her host family during an exchange program in Germany. "I had never experienced this type of water before. I was nervous and it tasted weird; however, I didn't want to say so," mentioned Jingchun. She drank the water politely with apparent pleasure, and was offered sparkling water every day from then on.
Dan Andrei Corbeanu
Dan-Andrei Corbeanu: a passion for electronics
Computers, robots, circuits: that is Dan-Andrei Corbeanu's world. The 22-year-old is studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at Constructor University Bremen. Electronics is also an important part of his spare time: Dan-Andrei developed his own underwater robot for a competition in October 2020. The experts from the Canadian IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society quickly realized what was presented to them: an unusual concept worthy of a prize. The student's design was awarded first place in the renowned organization's Student Poster Competition.
Alexey Lyutov
Alexey Lyutov: Data scientist with industrial experience
Experiencing the New Year and Christmas without snow still feels unusual to him. Alexey Lyutov is used to something else: minus 20 degrees Celsius, frost and lots of snow. "Winter is just too warm here," joked the 28-year-old, whose home is the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. An industrial project with the automotive supplier Schaeffler attracted the data scientist to Bremen, to Constructor University.
Ishita Rakholia
Ishita Rakholia: Master's student for the community
Encounters, exchange, interaction, shared experiences – these are also important components of a degree program. As Resident Associate at Constructor University Bremen, Ishita Rakholia creates a sense of community and looks after the well-being of the Master's students. "I am there to help them," said the 26-year-old, who is doing a Master’s degree herself and is currently finalizing her thesis in the field of Data Engineering.
Adriana Martinez
Adriana Martinez: artist, organizer, human rights activist
There are still a few months to go until the Art Fest begins, but Adriana Martinez is already in the middle of preparations. The art exhibition brings together people from all over Germany and students from Constructor University Bremen. The 20-year-old from Honduras studies International Business Administration at the English-speaking university. She is one of the organizers of the event. But that’s not all: she is also a committed intercultural trainer as well as a defender of human dignity for a worldwide operating youth organization.
Suna Turhan
Suna Turhan: Between social commitment and US-American start-ups
She is a pioneer: Suna Turhan was the first in her family to attend university – the English-speaking Constructor University in Bremen. "This made me not only the first student in my family, but also the first to go to a private university," the Berlin-native said. Thanks to her outstanding academic achievements and her great social commitment, she even qualified for the "Vodafone Chancen Stipendium", a full scholarship for students with migration background. Suna now works in marketing and sales for a US-American company based in the Silicon Valley. Here, she also plays a pioneering role: she is one of the few women pursuing a career in the tech industry.
Renate Bollmann
Renate Bollmann: Farewell from the café “Friseur”
She is an institution on the Constructor University campus in Bremen. For 19 years Renate Bollmann has been running her snack bar “Friseur” right next to the main entrance. It is named after the military hairdresser which once shaved the heads of German soldiers. At the end of the year, the 68-year-old will shut down "Bollie's Bistro", as the snack bar is affectionately called by the guests. "Starting is easier than stopping", she described her mixed feelings. "I realize that now, I didn't know that before."
Malte Prieser
Malte Prieser: The event expert
Diversity, this is what distinguishes the program of the cultural office in northern Bremen, the “Kulturbüro Bremen-Nord”. Whether young or old, hip-hop fan or literature lover: the institution is dedicated to all people. Program director Malte Prieser puts great importance on this: "Cultural participation is my top priority. That is something we can give back to this neighborhood". Regarding diversity, Prieser sees a parallel to Constructor University. The colorful campus life offers much variety – for students, guests and neighbors of the international university alike. The two institutions have been connected for many years through different cooperative events.
Radwa Khalil
Radwa Khalil awarded the DAAD Prize
Academic excellence and social commitment at Constructor University. How are decision-making and creativity reflected in the brain? What interactions are there? These are the neurobiological questions Radwa Khalil is dealing with. The neuroscientist is a doctoral student at Constructor University. For her outstanding academic achievements and social commitment, she has now been awarded the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) prize for international students and doctoral candidates.
Bonaventure Dossou
Bonaventure Dossou - Overcoming language barriers in Africa
Student at Constructor University develops translation program. If you ask Alexa or Siri whether they speak Fon, the two language assistants from Amazon and Apple express their incomprehension. Even translation programs such as Google Translate hardly know any African languages. Bonaventure Dossou, who is studying for a master’s degree in Data Engineering at Constructor University Bremen, wants to change that. Together with his friend Chris Emezue, he has developed a translation software – in order to better understand his mother.
Kirsten Mueller
Kirsten Mueller: From the German Bundesliga to Constructor University
Thrills, passion, cheers: soccer moves people's minds. That is not different at Constructor University. Since September, the women's soccer team has another reason to cheer. The team now plays in the district league as an official member of the local club SV Grohn. Therewith, the players are following a successful model at Constructor University, as the men's soccer team, the basketball team and the rowing club are also organized in Bremen sports associations. Moreover, the women's soccer team is supported by a new coach: the former professional soccer player Kirsten Mueller.
Maryam Mahjoub and Mobina Sharifi
Start-up founders Maryam Mahjoub and Mobina Sharifi
Two Constructor University students develop learning platform It is still rare in Germany for women to found a start-up. Not even every fifth young company is founded by women. Two students from Constructor University took this risk – with the support of the international University and despite some challenges. "UniqMaster" is the name of the online platform developed by Maryam Mahjoub and Mobina Sharifi. It aims to make education accessible to everyone.
Fariba Sabzi
Fariba Sabzi: Two PhDs and a black belt
Fariba Sabzi was 18 years old, when she had to choose between a career as a professional tae kwon do athlete and a career as a scientist. She didn’t have to think twice. Even though tae kwon do played a significant role in her life and she herself played a major role in the development of the sport in her home city of Tabriz in Iran, Fariba always knew that she was going to be a scientist. “Tae kwon do is my pleasure, but science is my future”, the PhD student at Constructor University Bremen said to her young self, many years ago.
Emilia Ergin
Emilia Ergin: A lot of commitment for Bremen
They offer leisure activities for everyone, promote environmental protection and help people in need: For many students at Constructor University it’s only natural to demonstrate social commitment. This is also the case for Emilia Ergin. The 22-year-old is part of the organizing team of "Explore Bremen" – an initiative that gives children between the ages of ten and twelve access to cultural offerings in Bremen and its surroundings. Born in Bremen, Ergin is also active in the Constructor University football team.
Karin Huschenbedt
Karin Huschenbedt supports the students of Constructor University
There is something magical about it, when the stilt walkers pass through the audience, especially in the evening. With their colorful, glowing costumes and their fancy make-up, they seem to float above the audience. "This is an amazing perspective for me, too," said Karin Huschenbedt, who as Community Coordinator at Constructor University significantly enriches the life on campus. "When I get down from the stilts, I sometimes think: I actually liked it quite a bit up there!"
Erica Luzzi
Fascinated by Mars: the Amelia Earhart Fellow Erica Luzzi
She will spend the money entirely on her research, attending conferences, buying new instruments, and for field trips for terrestrial analogues and she plans an excursion to southern Africa, to Botswana. "There are areas on Earth that resemble those on Mars and help us to infer the geological processes that shaped Mars," says Erica Luzzi. The doctoral candidate for planetary geology at Constructor University is enthusiastic about the red planet: "When I look at satellite images of its surface, I sometimes discover geological structures that no one else has seen before, the available data is huge and sometimes unexplored. This is truly pioneering work."
Nada Hashweh
Nada Hashweh cares about empowering the vulnerable
She experienced the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians at first hand. Nada Hashweh grew up in East Jerusalem, but her school was located in Ramallah in the West Bank. Every day the Palestinian Resident of East Jerusalem had to pass the checkpoints. "My experiences back home shaped a lot who I am today," says the 26-year-old, who came to Germany in 2012 to study Psychology at Constructor University Bremen, where people from over 120 nations live, learn and do research together. Today she works for the German Red Cross in Frankfurt and takes care of the concerns of women and children with migrant backgrounds.
Lara and Arne John
Siblings at Constructor University: Lara and Arne John
On 12 June, Arne will celebrate his graduation. He will spend the day with his sister Lara, their mother and probably their grandmother at home in Halstenbek near Hamburg. That is the plan. To meet friends from all over the world and their families, that would have been very nice, says Arne. However, because of the coronavirus, this won’t be possible. For the first time in its history, Constructor University will have a virtual graduation in 2020. "I'm still looking forward to the ceremony," says Arne.
Mai-Brit Schulte
Mai-Brit Schulte: The environmental activist
Everyone can contribute, even small deeds make a difference when it comes to preserving the planet – Mai-Brit Schulte is convinced of that. The 21-year-old heads the student Environmental Club at Constructor University Bremen. "Environmental protection is very, very important to me," she says. "I hope that through my voluntary work I can motivate others to take a closer look at this topic.”
Robin Wolter
Robin Wolter: Bridge builder between business worlds
The motto he chose for his LinkedIn profile speaks for a certain willingness to take risks: "If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives." Robin Wolter is one of the main organizers of the Constructor Startup Competition at Constructor University. He is enthusiastic about the dynamism and the willingness to change of founders. But he is also fascinated by something else that does not seem to fit into the agile startup culture: Financial Accounting. "I see myself as someone who connects both worlds," explains Wolter, who studies International Business Administration at Constructor University.
Julia Timpe
Dr. Julia Timpe: "Teaches with passion and dedication"
She seems to be doing something right: "Exceptionally well structured and prepared" – "Extremely committed and fair to her students" – "Teaches with passion and dedication". Once a year, Constructor University’s students choose the best university teachers. Last year, the historian Dr. Julia Timpe won this title in the field of "Diversity", one of the three Focus Areas at the university. And that already for the second time. The coronavirus has also changed her teaching.
Luis Vierroth
CrossFitter Luis Vierroth: Not a day without sports
Weights, yoga mat, skipping rope, medicine ball – Luis Vierroth manages well these days even without a fitness center. He has almost everything he needs in his room on Constructor University’s campus. In the morning he goes running, about ten or twelve kilometers, and then practices yoga. Fitness is the basis for a better life for the 20-year-old, and he wants to convince others of this attitude by coaching and motivating them. At the international university, the computer science student leads the CrossFit and Volleyball groups.
David Lewis
David Lewis: A student with a passion for fashion
Those who wear these clothes stand out. On the campus of Constructor University Bremen more and more students belong to this group. Their outfits are colorful, the patterns are inspired by traditional clothes from Nigeria, the cuts are comfortable. And the designer? He is one of them: David Lewis is not only founder of the fashion label "Lewini", but he is also a second-year student of "Global Economics and Management" at the English-speaking Constructor University.
Annika Moje
Annika Moje: It’s never boring as a chemical laboratory assistant
Reliability is essential – as well as responsibility. After all, hazardous substances have to be handled. But above all, Annika Moje thinks, applicants should bring one thing in particular with them: an interest in chemistry. This year, for the first time Constructor University Bremen will be training two chemical laboratory assistants. The future trainees will be working with Annika Moje. The 36-year-old is in charge of the training program together with a colleague. "It will never be boring," she promises.
Victor Tilgner
Victor Tilgner: The whole world right on his doorstep
Not only did he grow up in Bremen but he also went to school there. Now, the 20-year-old started his professional career in Bremen, too: as a trainee at Constructor University, but that wasn’t planned at all. The prospective event manager only found his first job in Bremen-Nord on a detour that took him as far as Latin America.
Stamov Rossnagel
Prof Christian Stamov Roßnagel: The Organizational Psychologist
It’s rare to see so much change. The key phenomena behind the technological leaps being seen today are digitization, automation, and artificial intelligence. These go hand in hand with new, agile, and mobile forms of work. In companies, this often leads to conflicts with older employees, who may find it difficult to make changes and have a fear of the transition. As an organizational psychologist, Professor Christian Stamov Roßnagel works on managing demographic change and transformation. As he puts it: “We certainly have our work cut out.”
Mayssane Boudi
Mayssane Boudi: From Morocco to Bremen with an Alumni scholarship
Climate change, a growing world population, increasingly scarce resources – the global challenges of the 21st Century are complex. However, Mayssane Boudi won’t let that put her off. Quite the contrary, the 18-year-old set herself ambitious goals: one day, she wants to get involved in world politics and tackle the big problems of our time, one by one. Mayssane already created a basis for her career plans, as she started studying International Relations: Politics and History at Constructor University in September 2019.
Margaret Nandudu
Margaret Nandudu: From the SOS Children's Village in Uganda to Constructor University
"When I look at our healthcare system, I sometimes get really angry," says Margaret Nandudu. The AIDS-virus is widespread in Uganda, the infant mortality rate is high and access to clean drinking water is limited. "You can do so much better," says the 21-year-old, who is studying Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Constructor University. And that's exactly what she aims for: to do better, to help her country. "One day, I'd like to become Minister of Health.”
Anne Valtink
Anne Valtink: A strong voice
Constructor University and its alumni have a unique relationship. The Alumni Association is a key player in the development of the university. Alumni form a close international community that supports not only itself but also the university. As President, Anne Valtink and her team have had a significant influence on the development of this network. After three years in office, the 27-year-old management consultant is not running for office again.
Soeren Petrat
Professor Sören Petrat: the maths teacher
Three of Professor Sören Petrat’s students have recently been granted spots in prestigious summer schools at renowned US universities: Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, and a Utah branch of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Professor Petrat himself did postgraduate work at Princeton University. When he came from there to Constructor University in fall 2017 to take up a post of Assistant Professor of Mathematics, one of his immediate objectives was to be a good teacher.
Anil Kumar
TV-chef prepares food for Constructor University-students
He hosted his own TV-show with more than 1000 episodes, he cooked for politicians as well as for show stars and he advised restaurant founders all over the world. Recently, Anil Kumar and his family moved from India to Germany, because his son is studying at Constructor University Bremen. Now Anil Kumar caters for his son on campus – as head chef on behalf of the service provider “Apetito”.
Mahlaqua Noor
Mahlaqua Noor: JU-alumna receives Gates scholarship
It was the largest single donation a British university has ever received. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated 210 million US dollars to Cambridge University in 2000. The money is used for funding an international postgraduate scholarship program for students who perform outstandingly in academics and are socially committed. One of these scholarships has been awarded to a graduate of Constructor University Bremen: Mahlaqua Noor from Pakistan.
Bannour Hadroug
Bannour Hadroug – The talent scout
When asked if he could imagine working as Head of Student Marketing and Recruitment at Constructor University Bremen, Bannour Hadroug didn't think twice. He sought to live in an open and international environment which is not focused on origin, religion or ethnicity, but on achieving something together. Therefore, he left Tunisia ten years ago and came to Germany. "I am driven by this ideal," he says – and so is Constructor University. "Helping an organization with these values and this potential to develop is a great opportunity. I identify myself with my task and I am very passionate about it."
Ayshan Aliyeva
Ayshan Aliyeva: A passion for biochemistry and literature
Robots taking over the world, gluttonous zombies, scary aliens? This is not what Ayshan Aliyeva’s science fiction literature is about. "There are far too few texts about things that could actually happen from a scientific point of view," she says. The biochemistry student at Constructor University Bremen is currently working on such a science fiction piece. It is about DNA and the ability of individuals to determine the genetic information of their offspring. "By describing realistic scenarios, I hope to be able to reduce fears and prejudices," she says.
Lisa Tichagwa
Lisa Tichagwa: An exceptional chemistry student
Medicine? Yes! Engineering? Yes! But chemistry? Better not. "When people in Zimbabwe say that they want to study chemistry, most people ask: ‘What will you do with it?’ ", tells Lisa Tichagwa. "They normally suggest other subjects." The 21-year-old nevertheless decided to study chemistry at Constructor University Bremen. Now she has been awarded the August Wilhelm von Hofmann scholarship of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) for her outstanding academic achievements - and she feels satisfied with her choice. "The scholarship shows me that I made the right decision."
Tanja Woebs
Dr. Tanja Woebs – Commitment makes a difference
After living with her family in Asia for almost 20 years, Dr. Tanja Woebs felt like a fish out of water when she moved back to Germany in 2010: “I missed the immediate international environment that I had come to appreciate so much.” As fate would have it, she stumbled upon a vacancy at Constructor University and applied for it. She’s been an active member of the Constructor University community ever since.
Marija de Gast
Marija de Gast: the mother of the blue village
"Mama Marija" - that's what the kids called her. Up to 60 of them were in the blue village at the height of the refugee wave. For each one of them she had something sweet and a warm hug in her office. "The blue village was my baby," says Marija de Gast. The former director of the refugee shelter on Steingutstraße in Bremen Grohn formed it into a showpiece. "And that only worked out with the help of Constructor University’s students," says the 68-year-old. From the very beginning, students of the international university have supported the residents of the refugee shelter – and still do so today.
Tilo Halaszovich
Tilo Halaszovich: The start helper
“We have a tremendous start-up potential on campus. The young people want to make a difference, they are looking for an outlet and they are enthusiastic about this opportunity," says Tilo Halaszovich. Recently, students at Constructor University Bremen have gotten the opportunity to set up their own company as part of their studies. As startup coordinator, Halaszovich, Professor of Global Markets and Firms at the English-language university, is in charge of the support program, which he essentially initiated.
Susanne Illenberger
Dr. Susanne Illenberger: A passionate lecturer
"At the beginning of their studies, many students are still quite insecure about their future,” says cell biologist Dr. Susanne Illenberger. “It is amazing to experience and contribute to how they develop during their three-year bachelor's degree, how they mature, make important decisions within the subject area and then graduate with an excellent degree that will possibly lead them to a top university.” An ardent teacher, she is passionate about motivating others and awakening their enthusiasm for a subject she found enriching when she was still a student giving tutorials.
Angelo Pio Rossi
Prof. Dr. A. P. Rossi: Geologist with an extraterrestrial twist
Steering a rover from a few hundred kilometers away is a complex matter. The vehicle has to avoid obstacles as well as collisions and dead ends. It has to collect samples, analyze them and transmit the data - despite recurring technical delays and communication problems. At the end of 2019, astronaut Luca Parmitano should be steering such a rover from space. The rover is going to be located on Lanzarote, whereas Parmitano will be on board the International Space Station ISS.
Lucie Knor
Lucie Knor: From Bremen to Hawai'i - to conduct research
Hawai'i has become her second home. "It is the most beautiful place in the world," says Lucie Knor. "Almost every day you see a perfect rainbow and ask yourself: "Where did I end up here?" But it is also a place with dark sides, with poverty and homelessness, gentrification and real estate speculation, filthy rivers and tons of plastic in the sea. The young woman from Bremen perceives both sides. In her recently completed master's thesis at the University of Hawai'i, the graduate of Constructor University Bremen dealt with heavy metals in rivers and canals. She will stay on the Pacific island for a few more years. In January, the 25-year-old will begin her doctoral thesis on the acidification of oceans.
Aliaskar Satyldy
With an alumni scholarship from Kazakhstan to Bremen
When Aliaskar was still a child, he often and gladly visited his grandfather Yegizbay at work and simply watched him. Yegizbay was a civil engineer, his profession fascinated him, he awakened his interest in engineering. Even where he would study the subject one day was clear to him early on: in Germany. "Already as a young boy, I dreamed of being able to study in Germany. It is one of the most highly developed countries in the world, it offers many opportunities. Whether at school or in the family, everyone here speaks well about Germany."
Stefan Baumgarten
More than just grammar: German for students at Constructor University
Three sexes, four cases - and then all those adjectives! German is known to be a difficult language. Just how complicated the grammar in particular is can also be felt by the students of the English-medium Constructor University, who come from more than 100 countries. German courses are obligatory for them. One of their instructors, who teaches the language and tells them about German culture, is 50-year-old Dr. Stefan Baumgarten.
Jasmina Bier
Jasmina Bier - a successful competitor
"She has remarkable willpower," says her trainer. She says: "I enjoy competition. Competing is a great thing. I don't give up quickly." Jasmina Bier competes in rowing - and she does so very successfully. The Jacobs University graduate is Bremen's state champion in the women's single sculls, reaching the finals of the German University Championship as well as winning the Great Bremen Regatta - and she has only been rowing for three years.
Yusuf Azka
His goal? To become an entrepreneur
What would his grandfather have said? He was the one who encouraged him to come to Germany to study – and, of course, he would have been very proud. Once a year, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards prizes to foreign students for their outstanding academic achievements and their notable social commitment. This year’s winner at Jacobs University Bremen is Muhammad Yusuf Azka from Indonesia.
Leonie Wilken
“It’s more exciting behind the scenes”
Planning, organizing, ensuring from behind the scenes that everything runs smoothly on stage – that is her specialty. That was the case at school and it is now the case at Jacobs University Bremen. Leonie Wilken is in her second year of training as an event manager and she seems to have made the right choice. She says: “The training is really interesting and varied. I look forward to coming here every day.”
Sebastian Springer
Inspiring students to love science
Of course, he was surprised. After all, no former student had ever donated 50,000 euros to his or her professor at Jacobs University Bremen. “This was an unbelievably momentous occasion for me,” says Sebastian Springer. A few years ago, the biochemist had seen potential in an applicant from far-away Yemen that no-one else saw. Other universities and colleges had rejected Hashem Al-Ghaili’s application. But not Springer, who awarded him a place to study at Jacobs University. Al-Ghaili, who was to later become a science communicator with 27 million Facebook followers, expressed his gratefulness in the form of a donation. Springer has invested the funds in cancer research equipment.
Michael Bau
A view of the whole earth
The oldest of the many stones in Prof. Dr. Michael Bau's office at Jacobs University Bremen are more than 3.8 billion years old. They formed on the bottom of an early ocean and Bau brought them back from an expedition to the west of Greenland. To geochemists, the stones are what hieroglyphics are to Egyptologists: they can read them and they serve as an archive, providing information about the environmental conditions at the time of their formation and about the chemical composition of the seawater and the atmosphere. Bau leaves no doubt that geoscience is much more than just collecting stones. "Fresh water," he says, "is the earth's most important resource." It's just harder to store on shelves.
Matthias Ullrich
Big research on the smallest organisms
Whoever takes one of Prof. Dr. Matthias Ullrich’s courses may have to deal with Jon Snow or Arya Stark. The microbiologist is a fan of "Game of Thrones", and in his lectures he likes to relate to his students' real lives. It helps students to internalize the subject matter better. And with the help of the series, he says, it can be superbly demonstrated how people already in the Middle Ages treated their wounds with substances that are still used in hospitals today. For him it is also important that his students remember: "What they learn with us they don't learn because it's in the curriculum, but because they will be able to use it one day.”
Karen Smith-Stegen
“It’s a dream come true for a professor"
When she found out the result, she was very proud. In the latest CHE ranking, the most important university ranking in the German-speaking world, “her” course of study “International Relations: Politics and History” achieved excellent results. “That was fantastic, an incredible confirmation,” says the political scientist Prof. Dr. Karen Smith Stegen, who not only teaches the course at Jacobs University Bremen, but also designs and coordinates it.
Jessica Fintzen
One of a few: exceptional mathematician Jessica Fintzen
Perhaps you can compare her to a top athlete who trains hard for years to achieve a goal. Only in her case it’s not about faster, higher, further, but about mathematical proofs. “This feeling, when you have proven something new, which no one has ever achieved before, and which can no longer be refuted - this feeling is indescribably beautiful,” says Jessica Fintzen. “It’s such a wonderful feeling to take on all the frustration experienced on the long and hard road in reaching this goal.”
Birthe und Stefan Harsdorf
“It's fun and expands one’s horizons"
Birthe and Stefan Harsdorf know what it's like to have their child live abroad. Their eldest son Sönke, now 19 years old, was in Sweden for a year on a student exchange program. “As a parent it’s nice to know that someone is there for one’s child,” says Stefan Harsdorf. The Harsdorf family is “there” - for Desar, an 18-year-old Albanian who is studying physics at Jacobs University Bremen.
Andrew Fiocco
Student Andrew Fiocco at the world championship in bench press
His back rests on a bench, his feet support him and his hands clasp the barbell. For some two seconds, the weights are on his chest. Then comes the hard part - lifting the weight high into the air with straight arms. Andrew Fiocco, himself weighing 66.9 kilograms, mastered 150 kilograms in March - his personal best and a German record in bench pressing. This success garnered him a nomination for the world championship. In November Andrew, who is studying “International Relations: Politics and History” at Jacobs University Bremen, will represent Germany in the US, his native country.
Yilmaz Uygun
Searching for new approaches to logistics
Digitization, networks, automation: New technologies are being developed at a rapid pace. It is not for nothing that industry specialists are talking about a revolution – the fourth in industrial development after mechanization, mass production and the electronification of production. “These are incredibly exciting times for me as an academic,” says Dr. Yilmaz Uygun, Professor in Logistics Engineering, Technologies and Processes at the English-medium Jacobs University in Bremen.
Anca Dragan
Anca Dragan: the robot teacher
Her university has produced 91 Nobel Prize winners, and just around the corner from her workplace, the heart of the digital transformation movement in Silicon Valley thrives. Here, close to San Francisco, is where the future takes shape – and Anca Dragan is playing a significant role in molding it. In Berkeley, at the University of California, the 30-year-old professor leads a research laboratory studying interaction between humans and robots. The Jacobs University graduate is teaching robots to anticipate human actions – and to behave with corresponding prudence.
Shuqing Zhao
From Shanghai to Bremen to study
She says it was one of the best decisions she has ever made, but what attracts a young Chinese student from Shanghai to study at a university 8,600 kilometers away from home? In the case of Shuqing Zhao, it was the international orientation of Jacobs University that was the deciding factor – as well as her love of the multiplicity of German music.
Adele Diederich
Adele Diederich: strict, fair, successful
Long, drawn-out meetings are not her thing. Adele Diederich values clear, quick decisions; her manner of communication is equally clear and unambiguous. “I love straight talk,” says the Professor of Psychology who has high expectations of herself and others. And her approach has been exceptionally successful, as evidenced by her fundraising achievements. Adele Diederich’s expertise in cognitive and mathematical psychology is in high demand.
Isabel Wuensche
A citizen of the world who builds bridges to art
She grew up in Dresden, studied in Moscow and taught in California. She speaks five languages and her research has an international focus. “I am at home in the world. This is why Jacobs University is such a great place for me,” says Dr. Isabel Wünsche, Professor in Art and Art History and one of the first researchers to join the campus in Bremen North.
Regina Arant
Beyond the ivory tower
No, she does not view research and science as disciplines to be carried out in isolation from the rest of the world. She wants to be in close contact with people and their lives and shape society – for the better. “Our research,” says Dr. Regina Arant, “is meant to reach the real world and help people directly”. This applies equally to her work on social cohesion, as well as her PhD thesis, for which the 33-year-old was awarded the Bremer Studienpreis for excellent dissertations by the Unifreunde Bremen this week.
Andrej Pivcevic
TEDx and other events: Andrej Pivčević – the organizer
What interests him about this event? That’s easy. Andrej Pivčević wants to drive changes forward, support good ideas, motivate people to change their way of thinking and make the world a little bit of a better place. And that is, after all, the spirit of the TEDx event, organized by the 22-year-old, that Jacobs University will be holding on Saturday, March 17.
Nicolet Ncube
Achieving something on one’s own
She can perfectly recall the first days at her secondary school in her hometown of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Her physics teacher? A man. The mathematics teacher? A man. The biology teacher? A man. “But then this teacher walked into the classroom and I thought, ‘Wow, a woman who teaches chemistry!’” Nickolet Ncube recollected. “She got me fascinated in the subject, she inspired me, I wanted to be like her one day.”
Giuseppe Abreu
Juggler with characters, numbers and code
For him, a good day begins with a problem – and it ends the same way: Giuseppe Thadeu Freitas de Abreu loves to wake up with a question on his mind. Everything is noted down as soon as he gets up, even before toast and coffee. In his office the question is then endowed with form(ulae) on the board. Solved – in a best-case scenario. The first students soon find their way to him. And with a bit of luck, the circuit is completed in the evening, “A more advanced student often comes by and we fight it out on the whiteboard.” Giving him his problem for the next day.
Angolwisye Mwakisu
Fired up to study at Jacobs University
Internationality, diversity, high academic standard: If you ask Angolwisye Paul Mwakisu for three reasons why young people should study at Jacobs University, he does not have to think twice. The fact that the private, English-medium university is growing and that it has had a steady trend of increasing student numbers is also thanks to the 32-year-old. “Ango”, as he is called everywhere on campus, is one of six recruiters who get students worldwide excited to study at the university in Bremen.
Stanislav Chankov
Student, PhD candidate, university lecturer: Stanislav Chankov’s career
08h15 is a difficult time for a lecturer to teach, especially in autumn and winter. In order to rouse his students from their early morning lethargy, Dr. Stanislav Chankov relies on interactive elements. His lecture “Introduction to logistics” starts with questions related to past material, which can be answered using a smartphone. An online game that he has developed, in which students play against each other on their smartphone during the lecture, also has an enlivening effect. “I try to think about the material from the viewpoint of students and the questions that they might have, and want to teach them the material in the best possible way and not just reel off content”, says Chankov.
Misley Granados Valverde
Alumni Scholarship holder from Costa Rica plans to use educational opportunities
Her friends, her family and even her teachers thought it impossible. Yes, her grades were excellent. But to study in faraway Germany, at Jacobs University, her? How was she going to do that? Her father, a bus driver, died when she was eight years old. Her mother did not finish school and money was always tight in the family. But Misley Granados Valverde is a fighter - the Costa Rican did it - with the help of a scholarship generously supported by the Jacobs Alumni Association, who reunites the graduates of Jacobs University. The 19-year-old has been studying physics at the international university in Bremen since September.
Ben Godde
Halting the aging process - and defining it
At the latest at the age of 30, everything starts to go downhill. For most people, this is when their brain starts to shrink in volume. That’s the bad news, the good news is that this aging process can be stopped by means of targeted training, movement and physical activity. “Everyone has the capability of maintaining their brain function as long as they are physically healthy,” says Dr. Ben Godde, Professor of Neuroscience at Jacobs University in Bremen.
Thato Mary Mokhothu
How strangers become friends
Sometimes, she finds herself becoming irritated when someone arrives five minutes late at a meeting or when events start 30 minutes late. That is Germany’s influence on her. In the Kingdom of Lesotho, the notion of time is different. What do five minutes, fifteen minutes or even one hour matter? To compensate, people are friendly and considerate of each other, they laugh and talk a lot and greet each other on the street. “It’s a different world”, says Thato Mary Mokhothu, who works for the Clinton Health Access Initiative of former US-President Bill Clinton.
Wassim Ayass
PhD student with passion for chemistry and opera
A scientific paper changed his life. He had not the slightest idea about Jacobs University, knew nothing about Bremen, and little about German culture and of course did not speak any German. However, while in Saudi Arabia, Wassim W. Ayass read a research paper on polyoxometalates by chemistry professor Ulrich Kortz, which propelled him to successfully apply to Jacobs University as aPhD student. Today, Ayass says: “I want to stay in Germany and build the rest of my life here".
Noor Cornelissen
On the road for Doctors Without Borders
Noor Cornelissen is on the move. The 25-year old graduate from Jacobs University works for Doctors Without Borders, currently on a Search and Rescue ship for people crossing the Mediterranean. Before that she was in the Congo and in Uganda in a camp for South Sudanese refugees. As “Humanitarian Affairs Officer” her task in Africa was, among other things, to analyze the humanitarian context of the aid organization’s local health centers.
Aylin Krieger
About the joy of traveling
For many people, it is a lifelong dream to take a trip around the world. To experience different cultures, fascinating landscapes, just drift, enjoy freedom – Aylin Krieger made this dream a reality. The Jacobs University staff member, responsible for Online Marketing and Student Recruitment, traveled to 15 countries in 18 months together with her husband Stefan. This has culminated in a book very well worth reading: “101 Dinge, die ein Weltenbummler wissen muss.” [“101 things a globetrotter must know”]
Gerd-Volker Roeschenthaler
Making connections, and not just in the laboratory: chemistry professor Gerd-Volker Röschenthaler wins award
It was in the 1980s, a time when the Iron Curtain still divided Europe into East and West, that Gerd-Volker Röschenthaler took his first lecture tour to then still-Communist Poland. This trip resulted in a long-term cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań – the chemistry professor trained young Polish scientists for decades. His commitment has now been recognized with a rare accolade: he was awarded the Medal of Merit by the Polish university.
Julia and Volker Schwolow
Enriching lives: Jacobs University’s Host Family Program
Julia and Volker Schwolow are host parents participating in the Host Family Program at Jacobs University – and Lawal Kankia, who recently completed his Masters in Logistics at the international University, was one of their protégées. “Our encounter with him absolutely enriched our lives and we parted with a heavy heart”, says Volker Schwolow.
Arnulf Materny
Bundled energy: research with lasers
“Star Wars” made them mainstream: lasers – colorful rays of light full of energy. Scientifically speaking: electromagnetic waves that are mostly of a single color, extremely intensive and highly bundled. These are the tools used by Arnulf Materny, Professor in Chemical Physics at Jacobs University. Using laser technology, Materny decodes the material characteristics or the exact stages of chemical processes.
Lida-Maria Lottko
Problem solver with an international network
“For me it’s always about people. How can a service or a product improve life?” That is the question that moves Lida-Maria Lottko. The independent business consultant is a former student of Jacobs University. Today she works worldwide on projects for digital innovation.
Fascination Start-up
A glove connected to the computer, enabling the user to experience virtual worlds; rooms for meetings of business people, which can be booked by smartphone: “There were just some absolutely exciting ideas that really knocked me out,” says Käthe Neuss. Last year the Jacobs University student was still an onlooker at the Start-up Competition at her university. This year she is co-organizer of an event that makes it possible to experience how new companies are founded.
Sigrid Juergens
A profession like a world tour
She calls her time at Jacobs University her personal world tour. For 15 years, Sigrid Jürgens provided support to students from around the world in organizing events – and experienced many adventures with them. Now she is retiring – and not without a touch of wistfulness.
Kent Bridgewater
Jacobs Alumnus develops creative business solution
“I’ve always been interested in start-ups,” says Kent Bridgewater with a subtle smile. The German-American was a member of the pioneer class of Jacobs University, those who began working toward their degrees in 2001, the year the then International University Bremen was founded. Just recently the 36-year-old founded his own company. Not one that deals with apps or Internet applications. But a start-up in the area of mechanical engineering, which wants to improve the cleaning of conveyor systems.
Rucsandra Popescu
Harmonious variety: how director Rucsandra Popescu formed the J-Cappella choir
Rucsandra Popescu still recalls the her first performance well. In the fall of 2008, the choir was still small, the singers inexperienced, the songs simple. But there was still that enthusiasm, these emotions, that touched you. They have remained. And they have been joined by professionalism, ambition, and the will to break through vocal boundaries. Musical Director Rucsandra Popescu has shaped J-Cappella, the choir of Jacobs University into an extraordinary ensemble.
Florence Yu
The Guide
Strange language, unfamiliar customs, and the cold weather: For many international students at Jacobs University, many things are new. They have to navigate an unfamiliar cultural and social environment, making the leap from high school to university along with fellow students from more than 100 different countries. Helping them is Florence Yu (42) from Hong Kong, a Psychological Counselor and Intercultural Education Officer at the English-speaking University in Bremen.
Michael Boemers
Bremen businessman establishes scholarship
He’s not someone who likes to be celebrated, but on his 75th birthday, Michael Bömers made an exception. That was at the end of August 2013, and an item on the agenda of the approximately 70 guests from near and far was a lunch on the campus of Jacobs University, in the cafeteria of Nordmetall College, followed by a tour of the laboratories. “Everyone,” recalls Michael Bömers, “found it very interesting, and there were also a few donations.”
Christoph Lattemann
Have no fear of China!
“China buys Deutschland AG” – “China crazy for Germany” – “China is shopping:” These were just a few of the media headlines in the past year. In 2016 Chinese companies paid 11.6 billion Euro to buy companies in Germany – a good 20 times as much as in 2015. Is this a clearance sale? “There is no reason for concern,” finds Christoph Lattemann, Professor of Business Administration and Information Management at Jacobs University. “This is really more a problem of perception.”
Klaus Boehnke
Researching what holds the world together
No, Klaus Boehnke can not complain about a lack of work. Globalization, refugee crisis, rightwing populism, nationalism – societies are in flux, cohesion is breaking down. Everyone just thinks about himself. Or is that really so? Identifying changes in the way we live together, recording social trends, and using them to reach conclusions are all part of the work area of the Professor of Social Science Methodology at Jacobs University in Bremen. Boehnke measures what is.
Aurora Simionescu
A star in the heavens of astrophysics
What’s going on up there is hard to understand, even for her. The universe is too big, too abstract, too complex; it bursts the bounds of our imagination, which is marked by our experience on our little earth. “Everyone knows how long a centimeter is. But what distance do a thousand light years measure?”, asks astrophysicist Aurora Simionescu. “The exciting thing about astrophysics is that I don’t understand it. I try to expand the limits of my knowledge; every day a little more. That is the challenge.” Studying at Jacobs University in Bremen has aroused her curiosity.
Hashem Al-Ghaili
I like it! The unusual career of Hashem Al-Ghaili
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is followed by 2.3 million people; Hashem Al-Ghaili by more than 8 million. On Facebook the graduate of Jacobs University, who was born in Yemen and now lives in Bremen, Germany, is a star. In his videos, he explains the world of science in a vivid and entertaining manner and tells about the latest scientific breakthroughs and technological achievements. His page, which has garnered over three billion views from around the world, is known to his fans as the “Science Nature Page”.
Ulrich Kortz
Pioneer of Materials Research
“You have to do things others have not yet done; Combine chemicals that others have not yet combined; Under conditions that have not yet been tried”. Ulrich Kortz sees himself as a passionate basic researcher. In 2008, the Chemistry Professor at Jacobs University in Bremen discovered a new class of compounds, the polyoxopalladates. Now the scientist and his team have developed another subclass of these functional materials. For the first time, they have combined two precious metals, palladium and silver, in a molecular metal-oxo assembly – with great benefits for science and industry.
A new look at thyroid diseases
Thyroid disorders are frequently found in about one-third of the adult population in Germany. In a research project of the German Research Foundation (DFG), scientists at Jacobs University are asking how the healthy thyroid works. Their findings might help adapting diagnosis and therapy of thyroid diseases.
Sven Voelpel
How can you grow older, yet still stay young? This is the question that has busied Sven Voelpel, expert in demographics and Professor of Business Administration at Jacobs University in Bremen, for more than a decade. Now he has compiled his scientific findings on the topic in a book for a broad audience. And the title describes the program: “You decide how old you are.” Privately, too, the 42-year-old has decided to stay young.
Robert Rennie
Someone who cares
His way to work is short. Since this summer, Robert Rennie has been living on the campus of Jacobs University with his wife and three children. As “Resident Mentor” at the international university in Bremen, he looks after the welfare of the 240 students in College 3.
Juliana Villegas Suarez
DAAD prize for socially involved top student
For Juliana Villegas Suarez the new year of study at Jacobs University began with a special event. The girl from Colombia received an award from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for her excellent performance in her studies and her social commitment.
Andrea Koschinsky
1600 meters under the sea
Underwater volcanoes spew out hot fluids at 300 degrees Celsius; the vicinity is swarming with life and full of valuable ores of copper, gold, and zinc: For Andrea Koschinsky, the Kermadec Arc, a submarine mountain chain north of New Zealand, is one of the most exciting regions in the world. At the end of the year, the Professor of Geochemistry at Jacobs University will again take off for the Pacific, as chief scientist of an interdisciplinary research project.
Robert Hein
From Bremen to Oxford
Stanford, Oxford, or Cambridge? Since finishing his degree in chemistry, the 21-year-old Jacobs alumnus Robert Hein has received offers from numerous prestigious universities around the world. He has decided upon Oxford.
Adalbert Wilhelm
The Orienteerer
At Jacobs University he was one of the professors at hour one. Now Adalbert Wilhelm wants to use his knowledge to help those looking for the right major for their studies. The 53-year-old recently became the Academic Coordinator of the Foundation Year Program – an orientation year designed by Jacobs University to help young people find their own way.
Freia Hardt
Creating Excitement, Preserving Excitement
“Anyone who has been on campus, and who has experienced this very special atmosphere, quickly gets very excited and often comes back again,” says Dr. Freia Hardt. 15 years ago, the political scientist came to the campus for the first time – and stayed. Back then, in 2001, the university in the north of Bremen was just being founded. Today, as the Head of Academic Management and Undergraduate Education, the 45-year-old is responsible for 20 employees.
Rene Wells
Primary Profession: Encourager
He used to be an actor, dancer, and stage director and appeared, among other places, on Broadway. Today, René Wells lives and works at Jacobs University. As Head of Campus Life, he now directs a 14-person team, which deals with all university activities that have nothing to do with seminars and lectures. Above all, however, he encourages students to try different things. Because he knows from his own experience what he’s talking about.
Peter Baumann
Pioneer in a Digital Universe
Never before in human history has so much data been created so quickly. It is increasingly becoming a valuable resource. At the same time, however, the rising flood of data is making it difficult to extract this "gold" of the digital revolution. Dr. Peter Baumann, Professor of Computer Science at Bremen's Jacobs University is making data usable – for instance for better prediction of natural events. He is a university teacher, scientist, and entrepreneur.
Julia Busch
The Microbe Understander
These are exciting times for Dr. Julia Busch. Whether on the coasts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, whether on the Weser, Elbe, Saale, Fulda, or Havel – everywhere on June 21st, the summer solstice, people will be filling a little tube of water. They will pull out their mobile phones and take photos of the water’s color. They will measure the water temperature with thermometers. All these samples, photos, and data will be sent to Bremen, to the marine scientist and her colleagues, and they will provide information on the state of German waters.
Connie and Manfred Kroll
Host Family with a Passion
They have been host families since Jacobs University began: Connie Broeker and Manfred Kroll have been looking after students from all sorts of countries for the past 15 years. As participants in the Jacobs University Host Family Program, they help to familiarize students with life in Germany and with the numerous facets of the city of Bremen and the surrounding area. As host families are always needed for the coming year’s new students, they also wish to inspire other residents of Bremen and the region to follow their example.
Erik Bettermann
The Bridge-Builder
To be open to the world without forgetting your own roots – that is what matters to Erik Bettermann. The former director of ‘Deutsche Welle’ has visited 170 countries over the course of his career. Today, the 72-year-old uses his diverse contacts to improve the educational opportunities of young people across the globe in many different ways – such as being a member of the Board of Governors of Jacobs University.
Kebdani Piso Hunter
A Fundraising Innovation
The easy way to raise money for good causes: graduates of Bremen’s Jacobs University launch a social crowdfunding Internet platform. The aim of their business concept is to exploit the opportunities offered by digitalization to enable initiatives and individuals to collect money for good causes in a very simple way. The first project was extremely promising and generated awareness for their concept on an international scale. Rowing brings people together. Ahmed Kebdani, Maarten Piso, and Mathew Hunter know this from their own experience. They came together on the rowing team of Jacobs University and went on to become friends and the cofounders of their own enterprise.
Aman Bhattarai
Aman Bhattarai: One Year after the Earthquake
The images went around the world. Images of mountains of rubble. Images of injured people being rescued from the ruins of their homes. Images of helpless people, who became homeless overnight. On April 25 it will be one year since the devastating earthquake in Nepal, a second earthquake followed on May 12. 8,900 people lost their lives, 600,000 homes were destroyed, including many schools. Aman Bhattarai, Nepalese student at Jacobs University in Bremen, initiated a spontaneous aid campaign at the time. Reconstruction is not the only challenge facing his native country, he says.
Julia Bendul
Julia Bendul: It’s all in the mix
Diversity is power; Dr. Julia Bendul, Professor of Network Optimization in Production and Logistics is convinced of that. At the Jacobs University in Bremen, she pools the knowledge of technical experts in transdisciplinary teams. She transfers methods from other disciplines to logistics; her students come from a wide variety of cultures. The diversity helps to describe – and solve – problems.