News

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Overview

2013/12/31 2014 dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" for students at RWTH Aachen University
2012/07/16 Principle Lecturer for the course module "Study Trip Abroad" of the Executive MBA at RWTH Aachen University
2012/07/15 Dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University
2012/07/14 Seminar for North-American students within the UROP International Program at RWTH Aachen University
2012/03/11 Workshop on intercultural communication at the Center for Social Skills and Management Trainings, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität München
2012/02/28 Dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (summer semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University
2011/10/11 Workshop on intercultural communication at the Center for Social Skills and Management Trainings, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität München
2011/10/01 Dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University
2011/09/23 Talk at the "Tag der Intelligenz 2011" in Cologne
2011/07/27 Workshops on intercultural communication for Engineers without Borders - Germany

Older news can be found in our news archive.



List of news

2013/12/31 2014 dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" for students at RWTH Aachen University

The 2014 dates for our "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University have been set:

  • January 14-15, 2014
  • June 12-13, 2014
  • August 21-22, 2014
  • October 16-17, 2014
  • December 4-5, 2014
Registration, which is handled by RWTH Aachen's International Office, is now open for students of all faculties.

Details on the workshops are, as always, available on our workshop pages.

2012/07/16 Principle Lecturer for the course module "Study Trip Abroad" of the Executive MBA at RWTH Aachen University

Since 2007 Alexia Petersen has been contributing her workshops on intercultural communication to the curriculum of the Executive MBA degree course at RWTH Aachen University . Organized jointly by RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Academy, this part-time Executive MBA program is targeted specifically at professionals with a background in engineering, the natural sciences, and business administration. The 19 modules are taught over 22 months at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

At the end of 2009 Alexia Petersen was offered the position of Principal Lecturer for the course module "Study Trip Abroad" of the Executive MBA, which is a 10-day credited excursion to two Asian cities that concludes the degree programme. The "Study Trip Abroad" module is comprised of and credited on the basis of an introductory seminar on intercultural communication prior to the trip, the completion of a paper (typically a business case analysis with a focus on intercultural cultural issues) which is later presented and discussed on one of the days of the trip, and finally the actual trip itself.

Each year's trip centers around a core itinerary of formal visits to 3-4 technology-oriented companies, universities, or research institutions per city. The target cities over the last years have included Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore, with this year's group visiting Beijing and Osaka. The companies and institutions visited have included LISI Automotive, TRW Automotive, ENN Solar Energy, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation - AMECO, Bitzer Refrigeration Technology, BMW, Beijing Benz Automotive Company - BBAC, Siemens (China), Research Center of Computational Mechanics - RCCM, Fujitsu Laboratories, Japan Atomic Energy Agency - JAEA, Hitachi Power, Osaka University - Graduate School of Engineering, Komatsu, SPring-8, Sumitomo Metal, Hitachi Metal (Japan), Agency for Science, Technology and Research - A*STAR, Genome Institute of Singapore, Experimental Therapeutics Centre, Institute of Microelectronics, Port of Singapore Authority, National University of Singapore - Centre for Quantum Technologies, Nanyang Technological University - Centre for Electromobility - TUM Create (Singapore). Such an itinerary is designed specifically to provide the Executive MBA group with a platform upon which to engage in discussions with managers, technology specialists and academics, enabling them to synthesise and gain a deeper understanding of the practical and cultural realities of technology innovation and management in Asia and with Asian partners/customers.

The remaining itinerary, as designed by Alexia Petersen, includes cultural tours of the cities, special joint dinners, and informal dinner talks ("Kaminabend") in each city to offer the group a chance to not only sample local culinary and cultural specialities, but also a more casual forum in which to dialogue with guest speakers on their "behind the scenes" experiences in working and living in Asia.

2012/07/15 Dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University

Both dates for our "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University have been set:

  • December 7-8, 2012 (Friday-Saturday)
  • March 8-9, 2013 (Friday-Saturday) (moved from February 1-2, 2013)
Registration, which is handled by RWTH Aachen's International Office, is now open for students of all faculties.

Details on the workshops are, as always, available on our workshop pages.

2012/07/14 Seminar for North-American students within the UROP International Program at RWTH Aachen University

UROP , the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, offers students the possibility to conduct their own research project while still being engaged in their studies. UROP is being offered at RWTH Aachen University since the beginning of 2008 and is funded as a part of the Excellence Initiative.

UROP International  provides access to research projects at RWTH Aachen University for US-American and Canadian students from leading universities in their second and third academic years. This summer 40 young students from the USA and Canada spent eight weeks working under academic supervision of RWTH Aachen University researchers on research projects within the framework of the UROP program.

For this group of North-American UROP students, the International Office at RWTH Aachen University invited Dr. Stephan Petersen to give a seminar on intercultural communication, which was given at the end of May 2012.

The seminar prepared the students for differences between the German and the North-American communication culture, both with respect to the general social as well as the academic environment. It also introduced how both communication styles fit into the global spectrum, and which risks and potentials might result in communicating with other cultures.

2012/03/11 Workshop on intercultural communication at the Center for Social Skills and Management Trainings, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität München

Following Dr. Stephan Petersen's teaching of intercultural communication at RWTH Aachen, as well as at the University of St. Gallen, the Center for Social Skills and Management Trainings  of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technische Universität München invited him in 2011 to teach a workshop on the subject. Due to the very positive feedback by the participants the workshop was already repeated in the winter semester 2011/2012 und took place end of January 2012.

2012/02/28 Dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (summer semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University

Both dates for our "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (summer semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University have been set:

  • May 4-5, 2012 (Friday-Saturday)
  • August 3-4, 2012 (Friday-Saturday)
Registration, which is handled by RWTH Aachen's International Office, is now open for students of all faculties.

Details on the workshops are, as always, available on our workshop pages.

2011/10/11 Workshop on intercultural communication at the Center for Social Skills and Management Trainings, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität München

Following Dr. Stephan Petersen's teaching of intercultural communication at RWTH Aachen, as well as at the University of St. Gallen, the Center for Social Skills and Management Trainings  of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technische Universität München invited him to him teach a workshop on the subject. The 2-day workshop took place in July 2011 in Garching near Munich and due to the very positive feedback will already be repeated in the winter semester 2011/2012.

2011/10/01 Dates for the "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University

Both dates for our "Workshops on Intercultural Communication" (winter semester) for students at RWTH Aachen University have been set:

  • October 28-29, 2011 (Friday-Saturday)
  • March 30-31, 2012 (Friday-Saturday)
Registration, which is handled by RWTH Aachen's International Office, is now open for students of all faculties.

Details on the workshops are, as always, available on our workshop pages.

2011/09/23 Talk at the "Tag der Intelligenz 2011" in Cologne

On October 8, 2011, Mensa in Germany  organizes the Tag der Intelligenz 2011  in Cologne. Under the patronage of Cologne's mayor, visitors are invited to a whole day of extensive and engaging activities at the University of Cologne.

One of the activities is a series of talks and presentations that take place in three lecture halls. The organizers have invited Dr.-Ing. Stephan Petersen to contribute a talk on the often underestimated influence of intercultural knowledge and skills in the area of technology-focussed developmental cooperation projects.

From the program (in German):

"Wenn wir alle so schlau sind, warum hungert dann die Welt?"

Dr.-Ing. Stephan Petersen, Dozent für interkulturelle Kommunikation, Mitglied Ingenieure ohne Grenzen e.V.

An der Armut in den Entwicklungsländern beißen wir uns die Zähne aus. Nie scheint das Geld zu reichen, die Technik zu passen, und traditionelle Entwicklungshilfe vergrößert oft noch die Abhängigkeit. Kann es sein, dass die Lösung eines technischen Problems, so intelligent sie auch sein mag, viel kulturabhängiger ist als wir denken? Stephan Petersen zeigt, wie das Verständnis interkultureller Kommunikation den nachhaltigen Erfolg von ingenieurwissenschaftlichen Projekten entscheidend verbessern kann. Auch auf diesem Gebiet müssen hard und soft skills zusammenpassen.

2011/07/27 Workshops on intercultural communication for Engineers without Borders - Germany

In addition to his profession as an engineer and his freelance teaching activities in the area of intercultural communication, Dr. Stephan Petersen is an active member of Ingenieure ohne Grenzen  (Engineers without Borders - Germany) and its coordinator for international relations, as well as the representative of the Aachen local chapter. Upon the initial introduction of the topic of intercultural communication at the annual meeting 2009 in Marburg, interest in further exploring the topic was immediately expressed.

Due to the highly positive feedback to this introduction, a first full-length workshop on intercultural communication was held for members at the end of February 2010 in Hamburg, followed by a second workshop November 2010 in Munich. In July 2011, a third workshop was held in Dresden, all workshops were organized by the local chapters of "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen". The primary target group were student and professional members of all German local chapters who would spend time abroad within the framework of their development aid projects.

The technical nature of many humanitarian aid projects often misleadingly suggests that engineering and logistics issues are the predominant issues with which projects teams are faced during the planning and implementing stages. Reality shows that many projects are at risk or fail not for technical reasons, but due to the underestimation of the impact of cultural differences.

In contrast to many international commercial and academic projects, development aid projects almost always involve the crossing of an enormous cultural gap. Project staff from Northern Europe and North America, for instance, are required to cross the largest possible cultural divide, when dealing with countries from regions such as Africa, South America, or South East Asia.

The two-day practise- and applications-oriented workshop on intercultural communication aims to develop the necessary skills to handle typical culture-related problems - such as in leadership, team coordination and motivation, planning and implementation and problem-solving - and to help understand why such problems occurs in the first place.

Due to the significance of this and related non-technical key skills for the target group, Stephan Petersen co-founded an expert group on intercultural communication and ethnography ( Kompetenzgruppe Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Ethnographie ) in 2010 under the auspices of the Hamburg local chapter, which is responsible for training and consulting on intercultural and ethnological topics within "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen".

"Ingenieure ohne Grenzen" is a humanitarian organisation run almost exclusively by volunteers. It receives funding for its projects in developing countries primarily through donations, membership fees, as well as commercial sponsors. If you're interested in helping us carry out our projects, please contact us.

Older news can be found in our news archive.



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2013/12/31
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