Karlsruhe, June 18-23 2018
The Electrical Engineering Students European Association, Local Committee in Karlsruhe welcomed 13 young talented engineers from different European cities between the 18th and 23th of June 2018. The goal was to enhance the expanding of the technical knowledge and raise awareness of the topic of medical engineering through a week-long academic workshop under the name of "Stayin’ Alive".
The importance of medical engineering has remarkably increased in the last few years. Going forward with that in mind, students of Electrical Engineering from the prestigious European Universities had the chance to attend more than 15 hours of academic courses on the topic of medical engineering by some of the best lecturers from various institutes of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. They also got to even see and use robots and explore their experimental skills by using a seismograph. Other than that, the workshop offered a rare possibility of getting to know the German culture, the way of being a student in Karlsruhe as well as the German Higher Education System.
Without the outstanding support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Philips Healthcare, the city of Karlsruhe and others, a project like this would not have been possible. We especially thank for the lecture held by Professor Olaf Dössel (Head of IBT), the presentations from the IBT (Institute for Biomedical Engineering) and the IPR (Institute for Intelligent Process Automation and Robotics).
The international Workshop “Stayin’ Alive” was funded to the DAAD by Federal Foreign Office.
When I decided to apply to the ‘Stayin Alive’ workshop organised by LC Karlsruhe, I had only recently joined EESTEC and was essentially going in blind. I had never met the other members of the observer in Dublin (let alone elsewhere), I had never attended an EESTEC event, and I really didn’t even know what the organisation was about (or what the letters in EESTEC stood for…). However, as a biomedical engineering student, seeing the event on Facebook peaked my interest, and I knew I had nothing to lose but a hell of a lot to gain, and so I applied.
Sitting on the plane, I was full of regrets, I could not believe I had agreed to travel from Dublin to Germany, to meet a group of strangers, for an entire week. But, luckily for me, my fears couldn’t have been more misplaced. From the moment I met Max having disembarked the train, I knew I was in for a good week. He was positively bubbly about the events that were to come, and his excitement was infectious. For the first time, the nerves were replaced by pure, undulating positivity.
My fellow participants and I bonded immediately, and after several rounds of awkward ice breakers (thanks Max) I had mastered the names and we were good to go. Each day was filled with a mix of academic and leisure activities. We had a soft skills workshop, presentations from PhD students, a field trip to Philips Healthcare and lab tours at KIT which really introduced us to the practical world of engineering post-graduation. On the other side of things, we had trips to the local castle, a brewery tour, a day out at a beautiful lake and an afternoon trip to another German town a few hours away. All in all, we were kept remarkably busy during the day, as well experiencing the local nightlife. By the middle of the week, if you presented me with any form of a flat surface, I would inevitably end up napping (something I was fortunate the organisers were patient with, understanding my inability to cope with severe sleep deprivation).
All in all, the week in Karlsruhe far exceeded anything I could have possibly expected. I feel like I have genuinely formed friendships that will stand the test of time, and I am excited to see these new people in their various locations scattered across Europe. I could not have begun my EESTEC journey in a more perfect manner, and I am excited to see where this amazing organisation takes me next. To the organisers I have nothing but praise for what was truly an unforgettable week.
Most of the participants arrived on Monday the 18th of June and were welcomed with a casual grill night on the rooftop of a student dorm, called Hadiko. The first day of the academic schedule started with a presentation by Maximilian Schwind, the Chairman of LC Karlsruhe about EESTEC in general and what kind of goals we already reached in LC Karlsruhe. Additionally, he talked about his adventures being an EESTEC member. Afterwards, the Head Organizer of the International Workshop, Corinna Übel, presented the workshop ‘Stayin’ Alive’. The participants then enjoyed a lecture by Prof. Olaf Dössel who is the head of the institute for biomedical engineering (IBT). His presentation was very interesting because he gave the people an overview about ‘Medical Technology in the 21st century’ in a very expressive way by showing a lot of moveable pictures and diagrams. Moreover, the participants had the chance to explore their experimental skills by working with a seismograph after the most interesting presentation by two employees of the institute for biomedical engineering. The Soft Skill Training held by Maximilian Schwind and Mihailo-Michael Tosic was also very attractive and interactive. In addition, we prepared a tour to the institute of intelligent process automation and robotics where all of us could use a robot and the german academic exchange service prepared a presentation about study opportunities at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Finally, the participants spend a morning in Böblingen by visiting Philips Healthcare.
The cultural program was plentiful as well, starting with a BBQ at a rooftop with a beautiful view. The next evening the participants visited our best brewery in our area, called Höpfner, and they tasted a lot of different sorts of beer. The most awesome evening program was the so called ‘Running Dinner’. Participants and Organizers were split into groups of three or four people and prepared one part of the dinner. Within five hours they changed places and enjoyed the dinner made by the others. Additionally, we had a trip to Esslingen, a historic city close to Böblingen.
The weekend was joined by an additional 6 participants of the IMW. International Night was unforgettable and took place in the largest self-managed student dorm in Germany. The next day, the weather was wonderful and we spend the day at a lake near by Karlsruhe and visited the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (ZKM).
The most amazing part of the organization of this event was the teamwork that the members of LC Karlsruhe displayed. We had 15 organizers and a lot of helpers, most of which were partying with the participants every single night and took care of them on their way back to the hostel. The organizers did their part well and responsible with the result that we didn’t have any problems at all. We are very happy to have had such a team and are looking forward to the bright future of EESTEC LC Karlsruhe.
At this point, I would like to thank all of the people who made this week unforgettable and spend a lot of time into organization during the last five month.