Alumni Relations Management

Ship’s bells, nano-pellets and global change - Kiel University at the Hannover Messe

Pink cherry blossoms line the wide trade fair alleys. The sun is shining and the blue sky stretches across Hanover - perfect weather for a trip to Lower Saxony on 27 April 2017. Why Hanover? Because Kiel University is presenting itself for the first time at the Hannover Messe.  read more

Stand der CAU Kiel auf der Hannover Messe 2017
Kiel University's booth at the  Hannover Messe (click to enlarge)Photo: M. Mika, Uni Kiel

From 24 to 28 April 2017 the University introduced a selection of research concepts in Hall 2 (Research & Technology), supplemented by lectures and podium discussions on knowledge transfer. “As the flagship of cutting-edge research in the real north, we want to enter into dialogue with politics and business about good framework conditions for science and for technology transfer, at the world's leading industrial show,” said Kiel University’s president, Professor Lutz Kipp, about the initiative. I’m excited to find out what’s coming up!

Kiel feeling at the booth

Finding the right booth in the large hall isn’t difficult - the familiar CAU purple shows me the way right from the entrance. In line with the sunny spring weather outside, a wicker beach chair invites visitors to linger at Kiel University’s impressive booth - you feel right at home, no matter where you are from. A ship’s bell rings for each individual point on the programme - entrepreneurs from the CAU environment are currently talking about their innovative business ideas. The Zentrum für Entrepreneurship (Centre for Entrepreneurship, ZfE) provided them with lots of support and helped them to implement their projects and found their start-ups.

There are CAU students Simon Nordstad and Leewe Schönberg, for example. Together with Alumna Christina Wittke, they developed innovative nano-pellets. What are they used for? Conducting quality assured measurements of metal contents, for example, such as checking how much trace titanium entered the bones in artificial hip joints. Until now there has been no adequate reference material for these measurements. Bravo!

Strandkorb CAU Stand
Kiel University's wicker beach stair invites visitors to stay (click to enlarge)Photo: M. Mika, Uni Kiel

Start-ups and digitalisation

Transferring research into the industry in a practical and needs-oriented manner is also what “Sonoware” is focused on. This is a unique software that adjusts to suit the spatial acoustics in vehicles and filters out disturbing sounds by processing voice and audio signals. A real success story! What do Alumnus Stephan Senkbeil and Christian Lüke recommend to other start-up founders? “Accept that you might not succeed the first time, listen to advice from around you, but also to your gut instincts.”

Seeing challenges as opportunities or risks is also the topic of the following podium discussion on “Digitalisation in science and industry”. Andrea Hirzle-Yager (Allianz Deutschland AG), Thomas Losse-Müller (Chief of the State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein), Maren Martschenko (1st chairwoman of Digital Media Women Germany) and Professor Klaus Tochtermann (Director of the German National Library of Economics) have an animated discussion about this on the panel.

Societal change and changing framework conditions require a different way of thinking. Technological advances influence how people communicate and work - which also influences research and teaching. Digital methods can add value to research and teaching, for example, in new researcher networks. It requires the appropriate new skills and training, however. This is why it is important to not just see digitalisation from the economic-technological perspective, but also from the educational viewpoint. Crucial: support from politics as well as joint collaboration and strategy development between all those involved.

Podiumsdiskussion Digitalisierung
Podium discussion about digitalisation Photo: M. Mika, Uni Kiel

The excitement will continue in Schleswig-Holstein and in Kiel University’s research and entrepreneurial environment. I’ll keep you updated, and send you


best wishes from Kiel University

Unterschrift M. Mika


Mareike Mika M.A. 
Alumni Relations Management
Kiel University (CAU)