###salutation### ###given_name### ###last_name###,

As the Graduate School celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, it has been a very special year for us. We very much cherish the fact that so many of you joined in for the anniversary events and celebrated with us. With the International Alumni Newsletter, we want to share, on an annual basis, a few prominent developments and events of the past year here at Offenburg University.

We hope you like the new and modernized format of the newsletter and enjoy its short summaries of what has been going on at the Graduate School during the past twelve months.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season and all the best for 2019,

The Graduate School Team

Alumni Celebrated the Graduate School’s 20th Anniversary

Almost 100 alumni of the international master's degree programs attended the 20th anniversary of Offenburg University’s Graduate School on June 1-2 this year. The event started off with an official ceremony and reception at Offenburg University, including a much-applauded speech by Mohamed Hanbal, alumnus of the MBA program of International Business Consulting (IBC), who described, in a very personal and entertaining way, the difficulties he encountered when deciding to study in Germany and during his first weeks in Offenburg, but also the benefits he has drawn out of his studies at the Graduate School.

It was great to see so many of you at the international dinner at Mercure Hotel on Friday and the time we spent together on Saturday, with an excursion to Hofgut Sternen, fun games at the Haberjocklhof in the Black Forest, and barbecue party back at the Hochschule! It was an unforgettable celebration – thanks to all of you who participated and made it so special!

Picture Gallery: https://www.hs-offenburg.de/aktuell/veranstaltungen/bildergalerie/

Graduate School Launches New Distance-Learning MBA Program

We are delighted to announce our new MBA program for March 2019: The Master of Business Administration in Finance, Risk and Insurance is an online, part-time program designed for professionals aspiring to a successful career in finance and risk management.

Program Director Professor Andreas Klasen said: “This world-class postgraduate program will guide students through management and entrepreneurial leadership as well as financial and insurance skills. The new MBA will enable participants to perform at the top of the international trade, finance and insurance industry. Participants will learn from leading finance and insurance practitioners, as well as renowned academics from Offenburg, Cambridge University and IMD, how to put academic thinking and business strategies into professional practice.”

The MBA includes a Postgraduate Certificate and takes 18 months to complete. Students study online in the first year using a virtual learning platform and receive high-quality resources and support from experienced practitioners. In the third and final semester, they attend block seminars at the Hochschule’s Gengenbach campus.

Website: www.hs-offenburg.de/fri

Regional Innovation Center of Energy Engineering Nearly Completed

Construction of the ten-million-euro project, the “Regionales Innovationszentrum für Energietechnik” (‘regional innovation center of energy engineering’) of Offenburg University has almost been completed.

The new building stands on the (former) sports grounds across the Südring, vis-à-vis the University’s recently established “E” building. It will house research laboratories for the most part, paving the way for a concentration of research and development activities in the fields of environmental technologies, renewable energies and resource efficiency.

Graduate School’s Professor Daniel Kray Won This Year's Science Slam

In May 2018, five professors from Offenburg University took up the challenge of presenting their research field to a non-scientific audience at the Reithalle in Offenburg, in as comprehensible and entertaining ways as possible.

The topical spectrum of the presentations was broad, ranging from economics to electrical engineering, information technology, materials technology and energy systems, to collaborative robotics. Professor Daniel Kray from the Institute of Energy System Technology emerged as the winner, voted by the audience. He had made a fiery plea for solar energy. Shouting out "Solar power rocks!" to an astonished audience, he presented his lightweight, ecologically harmless and inexpensive solar modules for the future.

Rector Winfried Lieber said that the ultimate goal of the Science Slam was “for us professors to step out of our classical roles and try to engage society with complex engineering topics as well as stimulate discourse …Today, we have once again succeeded quite impressively in showing people that science can be fun."

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-GfrxdtE5o

Students of the Graduate School among the Best

At Hochschule Offenburg's annual awards ceremony on December 7, 2018, 28 graduates and students were honored for their outstanding academic achievements by partnering companies and associations, two of them from the Graduate School’s program Process Engineering (MPE)

MPE graduate Adriana Bomba received a scholarship from Badische Stahlwerke for her excellent final grade. Our current student, Malini Bangalore Mohankumar from India, received an award from the Zonta Club. Since 2009, the local club of Zonta International has annually awarded two female  students who have completed their Bachelor's degrees in one of the – traditionally male-dominated – engineering or IT disciplines.

Interview with ECM Alumnus Satya Gopisetty

Satya Gopisetty, currently completing his doctorate, comes from India and graduated from Offenburg University with a Master's Degree in Energy Conversion and Management (ECM). At EnBW AG, he is now responsible for the planning and optimization of decentralized energy plants. Professor Peter Treffinger, former ECM director and founder of the new program Power and Data Engineering (PDE), interviewed him in September:

Q: How well were you prepared though your studies for practical work in a company?
A: The combination of energy knowledge and methods allowed me to become productive in a short time. I am, therefore, very well integrated in the company and opportunities are constantly opening up for me.
Q: What advice do you have for Offenburg University with regard to the Master's degree programs in energy technology?
A: I would recommend further strengthening the methodological competencies, which is actually taking place in the current transition from ECM and PDE. The industry expects these competencies from te graduates, especially in the fields of cyber-physical systems and digitalization. I really enjoy working with graduates from the Offenburg University.

Save the date – Next Alumni Get-Together on July 6, 2019!

The biannual International Fest will be celebrated again at the Offenburg marketplace on July 6 and 7, 2019. We will organize an alumni get-together for the Saturday evening, July 6, on that occasion.

Take the chance to meet and network with other alumni, professors and staff of the Graduate School, and enjoy the International Fest in Offenburg together.

The Graduate School Team is surely looking forward to seeing you again!