My wonderful experiences with the KIT during the last 4 decades

Good morning everybody. Great to meet all of You back here again in my blog. After my yesterday`s participation in the wonderful  "Virtual Coronactivity" Zoom Meeting event of the KIT Alumniclub Argentina the idea was immediately born, to share my different experiences obtained with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) over several decades here in my post with You.

But at first I wanted to show You a collage of some pictures from my different times and visits during different periods at the KIT in Karlsruhe:



On the upper left corner Philipp Scherer and Laura Bosch are standing besides me. On the foto below I am together with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr h.c. Jürgen Becker. Greetings and a warm embrace to all of You. Hope to meet again with You soon in Karlsruhe and in Sao Paulo !

Let`s at first jump incredible 41 years back to September 1979, when I came on the first day of my studies of chemical engineering to the at that time still called University of Karlsruhe (founded in 1825 as public research university; also called "Fridericiana"). It took me exactly five years of hard studies, which at that time was not so bad, to conclude successfully my academic education there as graduate chemical engineer with specialization on the chemistry and technologies of oil, gas & coal and combustion engineering.  

Since I had left Karlsruhe at the end of 1984 and started my professional career in industry, I came back again to the KIT for the first time after about ten years. In one of the capital investment projects for the construction of complete new production plants, which I was executing as project manager in the process engineering department of Henkel at it`s headquarter in Düsseldorf, Germany, some difficulties with burners for residues popped up and I decided to consult the still well remembered specialists for this kind of technologies and applications at the KIT for advice and with their help we quickly found good solutions to solve all our problems.

Later-on in 2009 - as I witnessed from Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, where I was living and working at that time - the University of Karlsruhe merged into the newly created Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) together with the Karlsruhe Research Center, which had originally been established in 1956 as a national nuclear research center.  The KIT is a member of the TU9, an incorporated society of the largest and most notable German institutes of technology. As part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative KIT was one of three universities which were awarded excellence status in 2006. In the following "German Excellence Strategy" KIT was awarded as one of eleven "Excellence Universities" in 2019.  KIT is among the leading technical universities in Germany and Europe and established the first German faculty for computer science in 1972.

As of 2018, six Nobel laureates are affiliated with KIT. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is well known for many inventors and entrepreneurs who studied or taught there, including Heinrich HertzKarl Friedrich Benz and the founders of SAP SE.


My next contact with the KIT happened during October 2018 in Santiago, Chile. I participated in the yearly "Economic Days Chile - Germany" event, which was perfectly organised once again by Camchal (https://chile.ahk.de/es/), the Chilean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where we as Vulkan do Brasil - the same as in Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre), Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico are associated members and play a quite interesting and active role. I made personal contact and friendship with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr h.c. Jürgen Becker from the Institute for Information Processing (ITTV) at the KIT, who held a fascinating panel speech about Industry 4.0 projects which he and his colaborators and students at that time were working upon in Karlsruhe. By the way our friendly contact continues since then and we have agreed  to meet again personally at the KIT upon one of my next visits there. 


As alum of the KIT, I received the invitation to join the KIT Industry Experts Network soon after it`s foundation in October 2019. This is a really fancy invention. The Industry Experts Network connects KIT alumni, means former KIT students, which are now working as professionals in all types of industries and countries allover the world, with the KIT and it`s academic production of ideas, inventions, patents, technologies and processes in order to help to spread these into the industry and make it`s practicle utilisation available for the society in general. 


Since my membership in the Industry Experts Network I am frequently beeing invited to participate in inquiries for the avaliation of the practicle industry applicability of new technologies which the KIT constantly develops. And additionally I receive so called "technology alerts" from KIT about new technologies beeing put at disposition for concrete utilisation in the industry.  


One of these technology alerts made my friend and colleague Josias Leal, Development & Engineering Director at our company Vulkan do Brasil, and me interested in a certain new technology beeing currently developped at the KIT. I therefore contacted the KIT. I was very nicely attended immediately by Laura Bosch, the Project Coordinator for the KIT Industry Experts Network and she brought me into contact with Philipp Scherer, who until the end of last year was the Innovation Manager of the KIT. A few weeks later Josias Leal and I visited - amongst other activities which we had in Germany during this travel - for one whole day the KIT.


For sure to visit the KIT, where had I spent five years of my life during my studies, after so many years once again, was a very exciting and emotional event for me. I was deeply impressed, how strongly the KIT campus in Karlsruhe has developped further and grown since I had been there for the last time. Laura Bosch, Philipp Scherer and several other KIT employees, doctorates  and students received Josias and me very nicely there and after a general visit and presentation of the KIT and a very nice lunch in the  beautiful KIT guest restaurant, we discussed in many details the concrete technology development at one of KIT`s chairs, in which we were interested, together with the responsible professor and his team of experts and students. 


Once back home again in Sao Paulo, we signed a NDA with KIT and started to work actively on the concrete technolgy beeing developped at KIT and which we now want to use for the upgrade of several of our products and also for incorporation into new products, which we are - under the responsability of Josias - developping currently inhouse at Vulkan do Brasil in our DPPA (Development of Products, Processes and Applications) department. 


To close the loop, in December 2019 we received Philipp Scherer and the key developper from KIT for the technology, upon which our cooperation project has been kicked-off in the meantime, as guests at our company and factory in Itatiba, Sao Paulo, for one whole week and we had a great and highly productive time incl. visits to mining and steel industry customers, where our friends from the KIT could see with their own eyes the application and functionning of our products in authentic industrial processes and environments. 


Before the return of Philipp and his colleague from KIT to Germany, we organised a one full day "Open Technology & Development Experience Exchange" event at Vulkan do Brasil with the participation of several experts from other German and Brazilian universities, technical associations and research institutes, which was highly successful and gave us a lot of new inspirations for future projects, especially with regards to the future extension and intensification of our already existing colaboration with German and Brazilian universities, research and development institutes and technical associations.


It makes me very proud and happy, to have been able to use my personal experience and contacts for creating and strengthening this great friendship and cooperation with these wonderful and highly experienced people over there in Germany and to contribute thus personally and in my professional function as President of Vulkan do Brasil to the transfer of top notch technology and know how from one of the elite universities in Germany to Brazil, where we urgently need all this know how and experience massively in order to not miss "the train" technically and for the improval of our competitivity - as individual companies, industry and society in general, but also on country level. 


As my today`s music recommendation (only for real rock music fans !): The fantastic live version of Neil Young`s "Eldorado" song (originally only published as EP in Australia and Japan, but later-on on LPs like "Eldorado") from a 1989 concert at the famous "Grosse Freiheit" in Hamburg, Germany:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnwkbJmiJ04


I hope this was interesting, at least for some of You, highly appreciated and welcome readers of my daily posts. See You here again tomorrow. Enjoy the day and the weekend. Best regards from sunny but rather cold (at least in the morning) Vinhedo, Sao Paulo. 






Comments

  1. You are just an amazing person, dear Klaus!
    And a great example what positive can happen when somebody leaves his/her comfort-zone.

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    Replies
    1. Thank You so much, my dear friend Christian, for these beautiful words and recognition. In my own understanding, I am just the catalyst who - after bringing together enough good people and passion - ignites the fire. I really love this role and feel deeply satisfied and proud about the fun and success which we altogether have by doing so. Why not let Your live be a dream? At least sometimes....

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  2. Dear Mr. Hepp,

    thank you very much for these beautiful and warm words. It is great to read your enthusiasm and to experience it personally.
    I like to think back to your visit last year, your emotions were palpable and that infected everyone.
    I am especially impressed by your commitment and your dedication overall and I am very pleased that you are a member of the KIT Industry Experts Network.
    I am glad that I can/could contribute to your continued commitment to KIT.

    I am very much looking forward to further joint activities and I hope that we will be able to meet again personally.

    Many greetings
    Laura Bosch

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    Replies
    1. Thank so much,Laura. Your highly appreciated compliments are gasoline for my blog engine and motivate me, to continue this challenging and exciting project. Looking forward to meeting hopefully soon again with You and all our friends and project colaborators at the KIT in Karlsruhe.

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  3. Dear Klaus, thank you for your fascinating report on your experiences with your alma mater. We are proud to have alumni such as you who continuously strive to deepen our mutual relationship. Keep up the good work. We look forward to more exciting and fruitful encounters!

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    Replies
    1. Thank You very much Agnes Honka and all Your KIT global alumni network colleagues in Karlsruhe and all other places in the world. Your nice words honor me enormously and make me even more proud, to have had the pleasure and great opportunity, to study @ the University of Karlsruhe, which today - after merger with the former Institute for Nuclear Research is called KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). Wish all of You lots of further fun and success and hope to meet soon again with You in Karlsruhe and - at least some of You - in Sao Paulo.

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