"Made in Science" – The official podcast of the University of Stuttgart

Podcast host Wolfgang Holtkamp talks to international guests about how science shaped them and how they became the personalities they are.

Dr. Wolfgang Holtkamp, Senior Advisor International Affairs, meets scientists, alumnae and alumni, employees and students from the University of Stuttgart. The conversations are not only about the interviewee’s current work, they also focus on their personality, what inspired them, and their career.

One thing that all of the guests have in common is that they have studied or worked at the University of Stuttgart, or are still doing so, i.e. they are "Made in Science". How did they become who they are? Looking back, what would they do differently? Which Swabian specialty do they prefer, Spätzle or Maultaschen? Holtkamp asks these and other exciting questions.

All podcast conversations are in English.

Latest episode: "The humanities are actually about who we are"

Duration: 37:26 | Source: YouTube

Episode 37 of our podcast "Made in Science" is all about Shakespeare. We discuss this with our guest Sybille Baumbach, who has been full Professor of English literature at the Department of English Literatures and Cultures at the University of Stuttgart since 2018. She has just been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council for her "LitAttention" project. Baumbach is also President of the renowned German Shakespeare Society, one of the oldest literary societies in Germany and the world. In any case, there were many interesting topics to discuss with her. 

Listen to all podcast episodes of the official podcast of the University of Stuttgart "Made in Science".

Source: YouTube

"If you do cutting-edge research and development, you must fail sometimes"

Our interview partner is Prof. Michael Totzeck, Zeiss Fellow and Head of Corporate Research and Technology. His focus today is on quantum technology, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing. The physicist set up his own working group at the Institute of Technical Optics at the University of Stuttgart in 1995, which he headed for seven years. Through his research activities at Carl Zeiss AG, an honorary professorship at the University of Konstanz and as a member of the advisory board of the Stuttgart Research Center of Photonic Engineering (SCoPE), he actively contributes to the combination of academic research and industrial research.
We talk about success, how new ideas are created at ZEISS and how he brings the industrial perspective to the University of Stuttgart.

Duration: 38:00 | Source: YouTube

"To solve technical problems it's a high amount of creativity that is required"

Our guest is Dr. Luiz Chamon from Brazil, who came to the University of Stuttgart in 2022. He heads is own research group at the Cluster of Excellence SimTech and ELLIS. His research areas covers optimization, signal processing, machine learning, and control, particularly in some intersection of these fields. In our conversation we hear about different forms of learning, some of his international expierences, music in his life and what it is all about "living next door to ELLIS".

Duration: 27:16 | Source: YouTube

"This is a new level of interdisciplinary research"

Professor Sabine Ludwigs, who is our podcast guest today is heading an interdisciplinary and international research team of polymer chemists, physical chemists and material scientists who are developing functional and intelligent polymer materials and devices. We talk with her about chemistry at the University of Stuttgart and her research activities, about functional soft materials and Soft Robotics about the role of Music in her life and not to forget the new Center for Bionic Intelligence Tübingen Stuttgart (BITS).

Duration: 42:35 | Source: YouTube

"This is the time, when innovation happens"

We talk to Professor Katharina Hölzle, who has headed the Institute of Human Factors at the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering since 2022. Among other things, we talk about how the work of the future is being researched, what Hölzle advises the political level on and why the education system needs to be changed. Many inspiring statements can be heard in this interview.

Duration: 33:11 | Source: YouTube

"Today startups want to create an impact, not only money"

Our guest is Rubina Zern-Breuer, who has headed the new Transfer Center (TRACES) at the University of Stuttgart since the beginning of 2023. This is where the transfer of knowledge and ideas is bundled and where the central career service for students is also located. We talk about collaboration between the university and external parties, innovation and the new startup culture. But biographical topics, such as her stay at the Thomas Mann-Haus in Los Angeles or decisive moments for her career path are also part of the conversation.

Duration: 34:58 | Source: YouTube

"Our core value is to keep information free and available to all"

Nina Devolder works as Lead Program Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation. Working with professionals and volunteers around the world, she implements strategic programs, streamlines ongoing workflows, optimizes resources, improves collaboration and knowledge sharing, and helps improve collective impact. She took a starting point for her career path at the University of Stuttgart: coming from Finland, she began her studies in the humanities in 2008. In the podcast, we talk about the future of Wikipedia, why she thought it made more sense to study something that doesn't necessarily lead to a profession, and what "future audiences" means. 

Duration: 31:59 | Source: YouTube

"Quantum computing will change society"

With our guest Joris van Slageren, Professor at the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the University of Stuttgart, we talk about the current research project "Chem4Quant" - on the impact of research in chemistry on quantum science. But we also talk about diversity in teaching, what science fiction has to do with science, and we also get an unusual book recommendation from Prof. von Slageren. Worth listening to! 

Duration: 37:27 | Source: YouTube

"I learned to love the university"

Erasmo Cachay Mateos graduated from the University of Stuttgart in 2002 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Today he works as a project manager in the automotive sector. His main interests are also literature and film. In 2014 he published his first novel. In the podcast, we talk about his approach to art, his path from Peru to Germany and why he owes a lot to the University of Stuttgart.

Duration: 31:30 | Source: YouTube

"We require interdisciplinarity to move foreward"

Salma Maged graduated in 2017 with a double degree in the master’s program Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD) in Cairo and Stuttgart. Nowadays, she looks after development in Egypt in a non-profit organization and she has founded the network NIU together with another alumna. NIU is a community of diverse, interdisciplinary researchers and professionals with a passion for integrated urbanism and sustainable design. In the podcast we talk about social entrepreneurship, the role of architecture on social behaviour and how she found purpose in her work.

Duration: 35:25 | Source: YouTube

"People want opportunities to connect"

Dr. Matthew Hoehler is our guest on this episode of the podcast. He is a research engineer in the Fire Research Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Hoehler was part of the very first cohort to study the COMMAS (Computational Mechanics of Materials and Structures) international degree program at the University of Stuttgart.
Topics of the podcast include: How Hoehler got into fire research, what motivated him to study at the University of Stuttgart, what he recommends to American exchange students, and why he is involved in alumni outreach.

Duration: 22:29 | Source: YouTube

"Nano-technology will become an effective method to develop personalized-medicine"

In the 26th episode of our podcast, we talk to Chinese physicist Laura Na Liu. She is an international leader in the field of metamaterials. Since July 2020, she has been head of the 2nd Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart. We talk about how her interest in physics was sparked, what nanotechnology is all about, and what recommendations she has for young scientists.

Duration: 28:55 | Source: YouTube

"Mentoring plays a significant role for gender equality"

Iranian Mahsa Taheran is a space systems engineer at the University of Stuttgart. She won the Amelia Earhart Fellowship Award 2022 for her Ph.D., which is valued at USD 10,000. Taheran’s Ph.D. is part of a collective European effort to shift the landscape of astronomical balloons by developing extensible, reusable and adaptive platforms that can fly regularly to operate different instruments and even different telescopes. In the podcast we talk about what it's like to win such an outstanding prize, why Iran has a comparatively high number of women studying engineering and why you need luck as well as strong commitment to be successful.

Duration: 37:55 | Source: YouTube

"Intelligent systems will help us in crises and in the future"

Wolfram Ressel is an engineer, professor and currently also rector of the University of Stuttgart. In the current episode, he talks to Dr. Holtkamp about why he loves the mountains so much, which three people have influenced him the most, and how universities will develop in the coming years.

Duration: 36:27 | Source: YouTube

"The strongest impact was to see different cultures"

In this episode we talk to Dr. Johannes Ziegler, the Founder and CEO of Miaplaza Inc, an elearning and play platform for young students. Ziegler is an engineer and studied at leading universities including Stanford University, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of Stuttgart. He enjoys creating innovative forms of online learning and testing them out on his five kids.
Among other things, the conversation covered the development of the e-learning field in the U.S., how it got started in Silicon Valley, and what makes Germany an attractive place for young American students to learn.

Duration: 43:21 | Source: YouTube

"Corona made us ready for what is coming up"

In this episode we talk to Dr. Anette Fintz, founder of the "Institut für Sinn-orientierte Beratung". She has been supporting managing directors and CEOs in SMEs in Germany and Switzerland since 1998. Dr. Fintz graduated in philosophy, psychology and sociology. In the interview, she explains the importance of humour in daily work, gives her impression of the status quo of digital transformation and explains why her philosophy studies at the University of Stuttgart were particularly valuable for her professional path.

Duration: 53:59 | Source: YouTube

"Scientists have a responsibility to the public"

Prof. Markus Bühler - an alumnus of the University of Stuttgart - is a materials scientist and engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he holds the endowed McAfee Professorship of Engineering chair. The focus of his research is computational materials science for biological materials. But Bühler's activities also extend to art: he is a composer of experimental music, setting the coronavirus Spike Protein to music in 2020, for example. In the podcast, he talks about interdisciplinarity at MIT, what art of him is currently shown at the Guggenheim Museum and what moments at the University of Stuttgart initiated his career path.

Duration: 33:34 | Source: YouTube

"I want to provide reasons for people to come to Stuttgart"

In this episode we welcome Sven Hahn, who works as a city manager at the City-Initiative Stuttgart e.V.. Hahn studied at the University of Stuttgart and in the USA. After completing his Master's degree in American and German Studies in 2009, he began his professional career as a journalist at the Stuttgarter Nachrichten. We talk about whether Stuttgart is a student-friendly city, what impact Corona has on the development of a city and road cycling in Switzerland.

Duration: 34:15 | Source: YouTube

“I'm hopeful for a sustainable future"

In this episode, host Wolfgang Holtkamp meets Ann-Kathrin Briem, who is Environmental Engineer and Life Cycle Assessment Expert at the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics. They talk about sustainability assessment in the area of "mass personalisation" and also "function-optimised biosurfactants", a sustainable alternative to chemically synthesised surfactants. She also gives us an insight into her stay abroad in Canada and her work with students.

Duration: 23:09 | Source: YouTube

"Maybe I will be an astronaut one day"

In this episode, we welcome Aerospace Engineering master’s student and team lead of the CubeSat mission SOURCE of the Small Satellite Student Society at the University of Stuttgart, Julia Zink. The conversation is not only about satellites, however, but also about a stay abroad in Australia and what are the next endeavors of Julia.

Duration: 27:31 | Source: YouTube

"Take the opportunities you get"

In the 17th episode of our podcast "Made in Science", Prof. Alexander Brem is our guest. He is Professor for Entrepreneurship in Technology and Digitalisation and Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science at the University of Stuttgart. We talk about what qualities a successful founder needs, how he himself went from founder to scientist and what major challenges companies will face in the future.

Duration: 24:40 | Source: YouTube

"Sometimes it is a good idea to go for crazy ideas“

In this episode, we welcome Simon Batzner. His way into academia included some twists and turns, but a few years ago he ended up at the University of Stuttgart to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace engineering. After that he acquire his Master’s Degree in Computational Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and started to pursue his PhD in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University in 2019. In his doctoral research, he focuses on deep learning. We are happy to welcome him in our podcast to talk about how he found his way into science, the differences between German and US-American universities and his exciting PhD research.

Duration: 17:41 | Source: YouTube

"I imagine Stuttgart with a beach on the Neckar River"

For Tasneem Barakat, it's all about water. Our podcast guest grew up in Syria and is a graduate of the English-speaking master’s program WASTE. She currently works at the civil engineering office of the city of Stuttgart, where she deals with the topic of water bodies and fountains. In this episode, she talks about how she developed enthusiasm for engineering, the challenges of her job and what she would do even better about Stuttgart's water situation if she could.

Duration: 33:22 | Source: YouTube

"How we take care of water is key"

In this episode we talk to Dr. Brighton Austin Chunga from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Mzuzu University in Malawi. He is an Alumnus of the the international English speaking Master’s program WAREM at the University of Stuttgart and now tries to help improve Water Management in Africa. We talk to him about the sustainability of support by NGOs, the role of governments in water policy and his personal life.

Duration: 42:20 | Source: YouTube

„Making a difference locally is always important”

In this episode we welcome Dr. Rama K. Aluru. He is a graduate of our English speaking master's programme PHYSICS and now founder of two different companies. Wolfgang Holtkamp talks to him about how he helps people pursue their careers according to personal passion, why he studied in Stuttgart and not in the US, and how he wants to close the innovation gap in India.

Duration: 37:04 | Source: YouTube

"How can architecture become more sustainable for real?"

Our guest is Jun.-Prof. Hanaa Dahy. The Egyptian wants to incorporate intelligent materials into architecture. She followed the usual career path of an architect until an event in her home country opened her eyes, from which point on Hanaa Dahy has been interested in sustainable building and has developed a straw composite material which has received several awards. As junior professor and head of the Department of Biomaterials and Material Cycles in Architecture at the University of Stuttgart, she provides students of architecture with the wherewithal to develop sustainable and intelligent building components.

Duration: 28:14 | Source: YouTube

"It’s exciting to see students from the humanities and sciences working together"

As guest of the 11th episode Wolfgang Holtkamp welcomes Dr. Jessica Bundschuh. She has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Houston and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Before joining the English Literatures & Cultures faculty at the University of Stuttgart, she taught at a number of universities in the US. We talk to her about her work as a poet, her passion for teaching and her interdisciplinary work. She also recites a poem and tells us what she particularly loves about Stuttgart.

Duration: 17:58 | Source: YouTube

"I was keen to bring the knowledge into praxis"

In this episode, we welcome our alumnus Dr. Tarek Zaki. He recently joined BMW as project manager and partner lead and develops future entertainment systems in vehicles. We talk to him about his passion for creating "lovable products", his way of working and his way into and out of academia.

Duration: 22:13 | Source: YouTube

“Other cultures are enriching us”

In this episode, Dr. Emna Eitel is our podcast guest. She is Course Director of the Master's program INFOTECH and International Study Manager. We talk to her about her journey to and within the University of Stuttgart, her ideas on equality, the importance of study abroad experiences and much more.

Duration: 18:18 | Source: YouTube

“If you have a garden let the weeds grow”

In this episode Wolfgang Holtkamp welcomes PhD student Linda Meier. She is researching at the University of Stuttgart at the Institute for Acoustics and Building Physics on the topic of Habitat Systems for insects integrated into façades. They talk about species protection and wild bees in particular, as well as what measures can be taken when constructing buildings to support bees.

Duration: 28:06 | Source: YouTube

“Science has to learn to adopt its way of communication”

In this episode, podcast host Wolfgang Holtkamp talks with Prof. Thomas Graf. The Swiss is since 2004 director of the Institute of Laser Technologies at the University of Stuttgart. Graf is engaged in high-power laser systems, laser beam shaping and laser applications in manufacturing. He talks with Holtkamp about the role of lasers in our everyday lives, why it's the universal tool of the future, the role of science communication, and more...

Duration: 35:25 | Source: YouTube

"Female engineers should talk about their achievements"

In this episode we talk to Nina Hepperle from GE Power in Switzerland. She graduated from the University of Stuttgart with a degree in aerospace engineering. Now she leads a multinational team of gas turbine and combined cycle power plant engineers. She is passionate about advocating for women&engineering and talks about what it takes to get ahead in this field.

Duration: 21:21 | Source: YouTube

"It is important to awaken enthusiasm for science in young people"

In this episode, we welcome Dr Tian Qiu, who is researching the high-tech medicine of the future at the University of Stuttgart. He has held a postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute since 2016 and has been head of the Cyber Valley Research Group since 2019. Cyber Valley is the largest AI research consortium in Europe. Host Dr Wolfgang Holtkamp talks to Tian Qiu about his exciting field of research, the future of robots and his first impression of Stuttgart.

Duration: 34:14 | Source: YouTube

"The goal is to make use of diversity"

With his guest Prof. Meike Tilebein, host Dr. Wolfgang Holtkamp talks about cognitive diversity and innovation, cybernetics and personal life. Born in Osnabrück, Prof. Meike Tilebein studied technical cybernetics at the University of Stuttgart. Today, she is director of the Institute of Diversity Studies in Engineering at the University of Stuttgart and also head of the Center for Management Research at the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf.

Duration: 38:29 | Source: YouTube

"Do you know the difference between a traveller and a tourist?"

The guest in this episode is Dr. Andreas Kannt, alumnus of the University of Stuttgart and Global Head of Procurement at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Host Wolfgang Holtkamp talks with Kannt about change, global challenges and the importance of international networks and start-up culture in Germany and abroad.

Duration: 27:20 | Source: YouTube

"I had a chance to look at architecture in very deep way"

Wolfgang Holtkamp talks to Hee-Jun Sim, Principal Architect at ArchiWorkshop, Seoul and alumnus of the University of Stuttgart. Among other things, they talk about architectural trends in Korea, Hee-Jun's life as an architect and the Seoul Biennale Of Architecture And Urbanism 2021.

Duration: 25:20 | Source: YouTube

"You are never too young to do something"

Wolfgang Holtkamp talks to Dr. Kristy Peña Muñoz, Mexican engineer and alumna of the University of Stuttgart. She talks about what hotel owners in Mexico are doing to prevent tourist hotspots from drowning in garbage. The waste expert's motto: protect the environment and promote sustainability.




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