Report Summer School

An exciting and enlightening week has come to an end.  In the last week of June, after months of planning and preparation, our first Summer School finally took place in Berlin. Five Ethiopian guests made the long journey for this, including two students, two professors and one PhD student. Together we have mastered a week full of thrilling and interesting program points, of which I would like to briefly summarize my five highlights. If my brief summary doesn’t provide enough information about our Summer School and you would like to learn more, below you’ll find links to two very detailed reports about the Summer School.

Now let´s dive into the most exciting and fantastic moments of our Summer School, as experienced by me:

1. Welcoming by our President

The official start of our Summer School was marked by a warm welcome from Prof. Dr. Annabella Rauscher-Scheibe, the president of HTW Berlin. She graciously took the time to personally greet all our guests and to be informed about the current progress of the project and the future goals. Professor Diriba from ASTU seized the opportunity to express his appreciation with a gift – Ethiopian coffee.

Names (from left to right): Tihitena, Prof. Ayana, Prof. Diriba, Prof. Dr. Rauscher-Scheibe, Prof. Dr. Adam, Prof. Dr. Laß-Seyoum, Efa, Prof. Dr. Scholz, Fritz, Daniel, Bastian, Baye, Khounngeune

2. Invitation at the Ethiopian ambassador and dinner together

Right on the first evening, we had the privilege of experiencing probably one of the biggest highlights of the whole week. We were invited to the residence of the Ethiopian ambassador. First, we gathered as a large group and discussed the benefits and progress of the project as well as the sustainable connection between the two universities. We also had the pleasure of hearing a few older anecdotes from the professors and the ambassador. Later, we enjoyed a delicious Ethiopian dinner together. Especially for us German students it was an incredible experience to taste Ethiopian cuisine for the first time in the Ambassador´s residence. This dinner gave us the chance to exchange ideas about cultural topics in a sociable round, to laugh a lot and to build a connection with one another.

Joint dinner at the residence of the Ethiopian Ambassador in Berlin

3. Academic lectures

Besides the cultural exchange program, we also had some academic lectures on our agenda. We had the privilege of listening to a very interesting lecture on project management by Prof. Dr. Böttger. During this session, we not only learned the fundamental principles of project management, but also gained insights into what can go wrong in large-scale projects. Prof. Dr. Böttger underlined his lecture with exciting and vivid examples from his professional experience in the real business world.

We also had the opportunity to attend another highly interesting lecture by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lehmann, whose field of expertise includes industrial robotics. He introduced us to the world of robotics and its use in manufacturing. He also gave us vivid examples of automated production plants and research on industrial robots.

4. Visiting Siemens Energy

During our visit to Siemens Energy, we were given a very exciting guided tour of the company, during which the production process of gas turbines was explained to us. Throughout the tour, we observed the turbines at various stages of production up to almost finished ones, whose incredible sizes impressed us very much.

Furthermore, we were lucky that an expert in green hydrogen production was just on site and could give us a very special presentation on the subject. The visit to Siemens Energy ended at the Siemens Innovation Center, where we were encouraged to engage in our own creative thinking.

Visiting the Siemens Energy gas turbine factory

5. Hackerthon with Siemens Energy

At the Hackerthon, we once again met with two inspiring employees from Siemens Energy, who gave us two exciting tasks to work on in two teams. One group was to develop a technical solution to create a digital twin for electricity supply in rural areas. The other group worked on how to guarantee data plausibility. At the end of the afternoon, we presented our developed solutions and got feedback.

At the end of the day, we had a sundowner on the beach at the Spree and were able to end the day together.

Group work on the tasks of the hackathon

Beyond the highlights I’ve shared here, so much more happened during the Summer School. Behind the scenes, important discussions took place between professors from ASTU and HTW, selection interviews for the planned trip to Ethiopia were conducted, and we had a visit from the DAAD. Of course there was also some sightseeing and shopping in Berlin. Last but not least we visited the Reichstag building.

All in all, we had a week full of exciting activities and beautiful moments. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities we had.

For further information about the Summer School in Berlin, feel free to explore the detailed reports provided below.

Photos all by Philip Beller