IT Center Blog

International Exchange @ Politecnico di Milano

June 10th, 2022 | by
Our colleague Martin Pieters at the Politecnico di Milano

Martin Pieters at the Politecnico di Milano
Source: Own illustration

“If someone goes on a journey, he can tell a story” – at least that’s how the poet Matthias Claudius wrote it back then.

Our colleague Martin Pieters can certainly confirm this today. He was recently allowed to take part in a business trip to Milan as part of a further training programme. There, the participants were able to exchange ideas with colleagues from the University Politecnico di Milano.

He wrote down for us exactly what he experienced there.

Visit to the Politecnico di Milano

In mid-May 2022, I had the chance to take part in a group mobility for a whole week as part of the further education Certificate International Pro (ZIP). With eleven fellow participants, we visited the Politecnico di Milano (Short: Polimi) and were able to take part in various group activities as well as individual job sharing. The Polimi is one of many partner universities of the RWTH Aachen University and belongs to the technical universities with a focus on engineering, architecture and industrial design. The mobility was organised by colleagues from RWTH Department 2 – International University Relations and the International Relations Unit of Polimi.

Group activities

In addition to a cultural programme, which of course included a guided tour of historic Milan and the Polimi Campus Leonardo (da Vinci), we were able to inspect the Polimi wind tunnel in the Wind Gallery. It was explained to us in detail how tests are carried out in the wind tunnel. The collection of models of famous Milanese and international buildings, which were tested in the Polimi wind tunnel before construction, was impressive. Also impressive was the mass of cyclists who have achieved their many international successes with bikes tested in the wind tunnel.

In addition, we were able to see how accident safety is being researched in the Transport Safety Lab. The focus here was mainly on road safety for passenger cars and in motor racing. We were shown various crash tests that deal with the impact behaviour of different models or projectiles.

Job sharing

A highlight of the visit was the job sharing. I had the chance to exchange ideas with colleagues from Polimi who carry out similar activities as I do in their daily work.

First, I visited the Department of Energy, where I was able to talk about the quality management processes according to ISO 9001:2015. At the IT Center, one of my tasks is to supervise such a quality management system. The facility is located on the Bovisa Campus of the Polimi, which is about a 50-minute train ride from the city centre. The exchange was very productive for both sides.

I also visited colleagues from ICT Services, which is the counterpart of the IT Center at Polimi. Among other things, I exchanged views on software and hardware asset management in the area of IT administration as well as on structures and tools in 1st-level support. The presentation of the Polimo chat bot and the ticket system by the colleagues from the Registrar’s Office and the ICT Helpdesk was particularly exciting.

I found the processes very integrative and was able to take away some positive impressions. Accordingly, it was of course also exciting for the colleagues from Polimi to get to know our processes a little better and also to take away ideas.

A successful exchange

First of all, it was very refreshing for me to meet the colleagues from our joint training outside of MS Teams and Zoom. This was the first official trip and also training in presence that many of us had been able to take in the last two years.

We received a very warm welcome from our colleagues at Polimi, and the support and planning was very good. For me personally, the exchange was a complete success professionally, socially and culturally. It was an additional enrichment to be able to look at the daily challenges from an international context, as our fields of work will be increasingly oriented towards international communication and processes in the course of the internationalisation efforts of RWTH Aachen University.


We would like to thank Martin Pieters for his impressions and are pleased that such international exchanges will be possible again in our presence.


Responsible for the content of this article are Linda Jörres and Martin Pieters.

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