Cooperation Project With Indonesian Partner University Strengthens Alumni Network
RWTH has a strong alumni network in Indonesia, which was clearly evident at the GetIn-CICERO Conference held in July 2022. About 120 people came to Yogyakarta, Java, to discuss battery recycling, geohazards, geothermal energy, and resources as well as water supply tasks at the “German-Indonesian Talk on Research for Society”. RWTH co-hosted this two-day conference with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and its alumni there. The conference was intended to define the topics of further joint research after five years of development of the BMBF-funded research activities GetIn-CICERO.
The conference was opened, among other things, with a greeting by Science Attaché Annisa Fitria, representing the German Ambassador Ina Lepel, and the signing of an agreement on a student exchange program between the engineering facilities of RWTH and UGM. In their keynote presentations, Professor Ocky Karna Radjasa from the National Agency for Research and Innovation (BRIN) and Professor Nizam from the Ministry of Education and Culture explained the structures and programs of research and international higher education teaching in Indonesia. Accompanying the conference, Professors Klaus Reicherter and Jan Schwarzbauer conducted the practical part of a workshop on environmental pollution from flood deposits using the GetIn-CICERO Laboratory of RWTH at UGM. After two years of severe travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the year of Indonesia’s G20 presidency, the conference highlighted RWTH’s strong presence in Indonesia and its networking in Indonesian academia through its active alumni network.
The day before the conference opened, the DAAD Jakarta Office held a regional meeting of former Indonesian Deutschlandstipendium holders in Yogyakarta, which was also attended by resident RWTH alumni. At this event, the Rector’s Delegate for Alumni, Professor Bernd Markert, and the Rector’s Delegate for Collaborations With Indonesia, Professor Thomas Rüde, spoke about the importance of alumni networks for collaborations between universities and business and about RWTH’s GetIn-CICERO research activities in Indonesia. Professor Markert and Dietrich Hunold, RWTH Alumni Coordinator, took the opportunity at this DAAD Alumni Meeting to present topics related to RWTH’s international alumni activities in more detail.
During their stay in Indonesia, Bernd Markert and Dietrich Hunold were able to meet with several more of their Indonesian counterparts. They accepted the invitation from the Directorate of Partnership, Alumni and Global Initiatives of the UGM to visit the campus of the partner university, where they could share and discuss more of their ideas in greater depth.
As a result of the mediation of RWTH alumnus Sjarif Hidajat, the two guests from Aachen also had the opportunity to meet another Indonesian alumnus, Otto Toto Sugiri, at a meeting in Jakarta. Sugiri graduated from RWTH with a degree in Computer Engineering in 1980 and he is currently President Director of DCI Indonesia, the country’s leading data center provider. In his home country, he is revered as a pioneer of entrepreneurship and digitalization. Otto Toto Sugiri has fond memories of his student days at RWTH: “Aachen is like a second home for me.” He is still in touch with people in Aachen to this day.
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