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German-Chinese Exchange in Physics

Tuesday, 02. July 2019

Twenty-five selected Chinese doctoral candidates visit the physics labs at TU Berlin

Ultrafast Laser Science Lab (Prof. Dr. Ulrike Woggon)

The sound of lively interest, a multitude of questions and an English-Chinese buzz of voices could be heard in several of TU Berlin’s physics institutes on 26 June 2019. A group of 25 doctoral candidates from China, invitees to the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates, stopped off in Berlin to visit TU Berlin’s physics research labs.

Professor Dr. Ulrike Woggon and her team responded to a request from the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (CDZ) by organizing a visit to several TU labs for this group of young Chinese physicists, the majority of whom are in the third year of their doctorate programs. The CDZ, whose vice-director Dr Zhang Baiyu also accompanied the group, is a Beijing-based research organization jointly established by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The NSFC director of programs also accompanied the group. “When devising the program, our aim was to present TU Berlin to our guests as both home to our physics institutes as well as a lively hub where researchers together encounter impulses for interdisciplinary research topics,” says Professor Woggon. “It is of considerable significance for TU Berlin that these candidates - selected by experts by interview from several thousand young physicists from all over China - have chosen our university for their visit,” she adds. The visitors were able to find out about methods of femtosecond laser spectroscopy for innovative materials and structures of photonics at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics (Professor Woggon), optoelectronics and quantum elements at the Centre of Nanophotonics (Professor Stephan Reitzenstein) as well as electron microscopy grids with highly sensitive measuring devices at TU Berlin’s purpose-built TEM building. The visit also took in the historic electron microscope constructed here in 1929 by future Nobel Prize winner Ernst Ruska.
But that was not all: “Our university is involved in many cooperative activities with China and hosts a very active China Center”, explains Ulrike Woggon. “As such, it was important for us that the tour should visit two further locations in addition to the physics labs.” Professor Dr.-Ing. Frank Straube provided the young visitors from China with an insight into the work of the Integrated Logistics Laboratory at the Chair of Logistics, where they could observe modern material flow and identification technologies. This is also home to the longstanding project “German-Chinese Logistics Networks” which is closely linked with the Kuehne Chair of International Logistics Networks and Services led by Professor Dr. Sidong Zhang at Tongji University Shanghai. At the conclusion of the tour, Dr. Sigrun Abels welcomed the guests in TU Berlin’s China Center (Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China, CCST) which strives to maintain a lively exchange with Chinese partners, organizing seminars, exhibitions and exchange programs. The China Center is also home to the Berlin office of Tongji University’s Chinese-German College for Postgraduate Studies in Shanghai.
“The junior researchers contributed very knowledgeably to the scientific discussions in the labs,” Ulrike Woggon comments in conclusion. “Common topics from current research were quick to emerge, leading to a lively scientific debate. There was a high level of mutual interest and many topics were discussed of both a scientific and non-scientific nature.”

Vice President Prof. Dr.Angela Ittel welcomes the efforts of her colleagues to implement strategic considerations regarding exchange with China:  “A recent event we staged here at TU Berlin with the president of the HRK, Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, demonstrated a considerable need for dialogue with academics attending the event from all over Germany and Austria in their dealings with cooperation partners from China. In the future we will provide more detailed guidance and stronger support for academics conducting research both in and with China. Developing a dialogue with junior scholars is an important first step in easing their concerns and thus developing cooperative activities.”



Patricia Pätzold

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