Archive for June, 2020

Student Dining Halls Reopen

June 17th, 2020 | by

After about three months’ closure due to the pandemic, the Studierendenwerk Aachen is set to reopen its dining halls. They will gradually be reopened, starting with Mensa Academica and Mensa Vita offering a take-out only service from Monday, 22 June. The Studierendenwerk announced this in a press release.

Both dining halls will be open from 11:30am to 3pm on weekdays and only sell food for take-out. All operations will be carried out in compliance with all the necessary protective and hygiene measures and will be limited to the serving area on the ground floor of Mensa Academica. Among other things, a new guidance system will be used for customers. For the time being, it will not be possible to eat and drink on the terraces or in the entire outdoor area.

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RWTH Podcast: Mr Schütt and the Students’ Reaction

June 17th, 2020 | by

The latest episode of the RWTH podcast Coronavirus – Our Answers to the Pandemic is now online. In the sixth episode of the series, Alexander Schütt examines the developments of recent weeks from the perspective of AStA Students’ Committee. In Mr Schütt and the Students’ Reaction, teaching and participation feature among the key topics.

Together with his team from the RWTH Chair of Sociology of Technology and Organization (STO), Professor Roger Häußling conducts video chat interviews with those responsible for the digitization of teaching, as well as virologists and physicians at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, the Rectorate of RWTH, AStA, political scientists and experts in ethics, economics (including innovation research), computer science, and mechanical engineering.

Registration for RWTH “Schülerunis” Now Open

June 16th, 2020 | by

During the summer vacation, school pupils will have the opportunity to participate in one of RWTH’s Schülerunis online and get to know the University better. Besides the “MINT-Schüleruni” for STEM subjects offered to junior high school pupils, courses in computer science, mechanical engineering, mathematics, physics, as well as the taster event “Engineering Sciences for Girls” are on offer for high school pupils. In online seminars, workshops, and lectures, participants get an impression of what it means to study and the difference between university and school.

Participation is free of charge.

Further information is available at Please note that this information is not available in English, as Schülerunis are only held in German.

Further Opening of University Sports

June 12th, 2020 | by

The University Sports Center (HSZ) is pleased to be able to take a further step toward normalizing sports operations. Now that a limited indoor and outdoor program can be offered again, the ban on entering the outdoor facilities will also be lifted on June 15. This means that both the woodchip and running track can be used again.

The distancing regulations of the NRW Corona Protection Ordinance continue to apply. The HSZ urgently requests all sportspersons to comply with the rules. If these rules are not followed, the HSZ will be forced to revoke individual measures or suspend sports operations again. Non-compliance may result in sanctions and fines.

The outdoor fitness facility, the changing room, and the sanitary facilities remain closed. The Wildenhof water sports facility is only open during the interim program and only for sports operations. The HSZ Service Point can only be reached by telephone, email, or upon arrangement.

The current measures are based on the recommendations of the German Ministry of Health and the Robert Koch Institute, the regulations of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Crisis Management Team of the Aachen city region and have been agreed upon with the university management of RWTH Aachen University. For more of the latest information on the procedure of the university management, please see the University website.

Virtual Advising Offers for Prospective Students

June 12th, 2020 | by

Finding the right degree course is not an easy task. This is why the student advising offices at German universities strive to support prospective students in their decision-making process. However, since many of the in-person events cannot currently take place, the Student Advice Centre of RWTH Aachen University has now devised a range of virtual guidance offers. These offers include online lectures on how to apply for university placement, chats with students, half-day workshops, campus tours, as well as individual counseling sessions via telephone or Skype.

“Normally, we are very busy between Easter and summer vacation. We visit numerous schools, give lectures, present RWTH at trade fairs, and many school groups come to visit the RWTH campus to get a taste of university life,” reports Dr. Mandana Biegi, head of the Student Advice Center at RWTH. “Because of the school closures, high school seniors, for a long time, did not know what was going to happen with their final exams and whether they would be able to graduate,” adds Biegi. But now they can focus again on what’s beyond high school. Therefore, the Student Advice Centre is now ready to support and advise students from a safe distance.

Here is an overview of the virtual advising offers in German.

Online Survey on Coronavirus Effects

June 11th, 2020 | by

The Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen has launched an online survey titled The Effects of the Initial Restrictions Caused by the Coronavirus Crisis on the Quality and Stability of Relationships in Couples, Families, and Shared Flats in Self-Isolation or Quarantine at Home. The aim of this study is to find out if and how the initial restrictions and the resulting close cohabitation of a few people (namely those living together in a household) affected social relationships by interviewing the study participants at three points in time using an online questionnaire: during the initial restrictions phase, after three months, and after six months. The questionnaire takes about 30 minutes to complete and is only available in German.

Research Project: Innovative Textiles for Face Masks

June 10th, 2020 | by

Researchers from Freie Universität Berlin at the Institute for Animal and Environmental Hygiene and the Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, short ITA, are collaborating on the topic of alternative personal protection equipment. As part of their research, they have tested innovative textiles for face masks that directly inactive SARS-CoV-2 virus particles. The testing was conducted in the context of the EIT Health Project ViruShield, supported by the European Union, with the objective to discover alternative filter materials for face masks in light of supply shortages and globally imbalanced supply chains for personal protective equipment.

While researchers at the Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University (ITA) conducted experiments on the chemical and physical properties of various textiles for face masks, researchers at Freie Universität Berlin were able to demonstrate that the textiles developed by Swiss firm Livinguard can reduce high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles by up to 99.9% within a few hours.

Testing Center at Tivoli Stadium Closes

June 10th, 2020 | by

The jointly acting crisis teams of the City of Aachen and StädteRegion Aachen have decided to close the municipal testing center of the City and StädteRegion Aachen and the associated call center at Aachen Tivoli Stadium on June 13, the City of Aachen has announced in a press release.

A total of 23,000 tests have been carried out in Aachen and Eschweiler since March. Recently, significantly fewer than 100 tests have been carried out per day. There are still appointments available until 4 pm on Friday, June 12.

Distancing Rules Eased for Exams

June 10th, 2020 | by

The distancing rules for examinations have now been eased so that we no longer have to keep the 1.50m distance to the hallway. The lecture halls for the use of exams have now been marked according to this new rule. This increases the capacity to about one eighth of the usual seating capacity. “We are also in negotiations with the Studierendenwerk about using the dining halls for examinations,” explains Vice-Rector for Teaching Professor Aloys Krieg. “Under these circumstances, we are striving to stick to the existing exam plans for larger and medium-sized exams (we currently expect about 150 participants) as far as possible, only adjusting room capacities and times. Smaller exams, on the other hand, may be postponed by several days.”

Unfortunately, under the new rules, the ZuseLab still has less than half the usual exam capacity at present. “So we will have to make significant changes to the exam planning in the ZuseLab, because no other alternatives are available. We will publish the new plans as soon as the planning and coordination is complete,” declares the Vice-Rector.

The guidelines have been updated accordingly.

Contact Tracing of Participants: Data Sheet Mandatory for In-Person Activities

June 10th, 2020 | by

As already announced to employees last week, we must also guarantee that all participants of in-person teaching and exam sessions can be traced in accordance with the updated NRW Coronavirus Protection Ordinance. In addition to the participants’ name and address, their telephone number is also required, which is voluntarily stored on RWTHonline. For this reason, all participants must complete this document at each session. If necessary, this information must be sent to the health department of the city region. The institute must keep the data secure and then destroy it four weeks after the event.

“When it comes to exams, gatherings of people at the entrance must be avoided,” explains Vice-Rector for Teaching Professor Aloys Krieg. For this reason, the University institutions must distribute the form with each exam on the designated desk. “Students must fill in the form during the exam. At the end, the form will be collected together with the exam papers, then separated from them, securely stored, and destroyed after four weeks,” continues Professor Krieg.

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