In a double degree program, the TU Ilmenau and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, PUCP, jointly train specialists and managers for industry and research - and have been doing so for 26 years. Thanks to the successful student exchange, both universities work closely together in teaching and research.
Excellence program for engineers with vision
Once a year, Prof. René Theska, Head of Precision Engineering, takes a plane to Peru. A tight program awaits the professor in Lima: guest lectures, thesis supervision, student recruitment, laboratory visits and, above all, professional exchanges with colleagues are an integral part of the long-standing partnership between TU Ilmenau and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima, a private university considered one of the ten best in Latin America.
For more than 25 years, the two universities have been training highly qualified graduates in engineering in a double degree program. Starting as a program in materials science, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, and technical cybernetics and systems theory have been added since 1997, and biomedical engineering will soon join the double degree program.
Master with intercultural competence
Students who opt for the double degree program spend their studies both in Lima and in Ilmenau. Participation in the program requires good academic performance, language skills of the respective host country and intercultural competence. Prof. René Theska, who has been responsible for cooperation with the PUCP for many years and is the TU Ilmenau's representative for the target region of South America, describes the double degree as an "excellence program" that qualifies young talents for leadership positions in research and industry in Germany and Peru.
The graduates not only receive an excellent technical education, but also expand their intercultural competence through the program. Their view of other approaches to solving engineering problems is broadened by studying in Peru.
Guest lectures, joint publications and conferences
According to Prof. Theska, a positive effect of the student exchange is the close professional exchange between the TU Ilmenau and the PUCP. Lecturers and researchers from both universities give guest lectures, work on joint research projects, publish scientific articles or meet at conferences - such as the 60th Ilmenau Scientific Colloquium (IWK). Prof. Jorge Rodriguez Hernández and Prof. Jorge Alencastre Miranda are in charge of the cooperation with the TU Ilmenau in the field of mechanical engineering at the PUCP and used the colloquium to get in touch with their Ilmenau colleagues in person again. Both lecturers completed their studies in Berlin and Karlsruhe in the 1980s and 1990s and therefore particularly appreciate engineering studies in Germany.
The education our students receive at the TU Ilmenau is of top level. We always tell them: If you go to Germany, choose a university that reflects the quality of German industry. With the very good quality of teaching and research as well as the modern infrastructure and technology, our students are in very good hands at TU Ilmenau.
"Our collaboration over the past 25 years has been a success story," says Prof. René Theska. More than 60 Peruvian and 40 German graduates have completed the program. An above-average number of them have gone on to pursue doctoral studies, some of which have already been completed. Not only do they complement each other very well professionally with the research-strong PUCP, but the program participants also understand each other on a human level. He has maintained a long-standing friendship with Prof. Jorge Rodriguez Hernández and Prof. Jorge Alencastre Miranda. "Without the human component, our collaboration would not have worked so well," the three professors know today. And so Prof. Theska is looking forward to his next trip to Lima, where not only colleagues but also friends await him.