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“Orient” and “occident” united in science

Selected students of Embedded Systems as well as Micro and Nano Systems traveled in December 2014 for an educational visit to the Tunisian Sfax

  • From left: Ninad Mehta, Shaik Jany Basha, Murali Padmanabha, Anand Narayanappa, Pratik Prajapati, Imran Mohammed, Ganesh Ramesh and Niveditha Bhat belong to the selected students who could participate in the field trip to Tunisia. Photo: private
  • The participants of the 2nd Tunisian-German Scientists Meeting stand for the understanding between cultures, which besides scientific progress also promotes intercultural communication. Photo: private

To gain a new perspective was the declared goal of the student educational visit. It took place in the course of the German-Arab transformation partnership of the German Academic Exchange Service which has been existing since 2011. This also connects the National School of Engineers of Sfax (ENIS) with the Technische Universität Chemnitz since 2012, which delegated selected students, because of their good performance for an educational trip to the Tunisian industrial city at the end of 2014. In the context of the “Sfax-Chemnitz Cooperation for Higher Education“ was established, for instance, the consecutive program in Embedded Systems at both universities that allows a regular transfer of knowledge and student exchanges.

The journey began on 23 December 2014, when students, all enrolled in the Master’s program Embedded Systems as well as Micro and Nano Systems, flew to North Africa. There, the student group from Chemnitz could build an excellent linkage to the students of the partner university. On 26 December was organized a joint workshop at the National School of Engineers of Sfax, where students from both universities presented and discussed their projects. TUC students were supervised by the students of the ENIS, and have been previously led through the laboratories and faculties. They have also visited the Inkubator, which assists the new start-ups from the university environment. In the afternoon, the high point was then the 2nd Tunisian-German Scientists Meeting – a platform for exchanges between scientists from both universities. Director F. Rekhis welcomed the German guests and gave an overview of the ENIS programs. Prof. Dr. Olfa Kanoun, holder of the Professorship of Electrical Measurements and Sensor Technology at TU Chemnitz, who accompanied her students, addressed words of thanks to the hosts. Jointly with Prof. Nabil Derbel, who supervises the cooperation on the part of the ENIS, she emphasized the importance of the workshop and the history of partnership of both universities.

Afterwards, the students of both universities had the time to present their scientific projects. Among them is also Shaik Jany Basha, who is studying Micro and Nano Systems at TU Chemnitz since 2012. He presented his work entitled “Electronic Paper Display (E-Paper)“ to the attendees. The project examines corresponding particles that move in an electric field on the surface of a microcapsule to be visible to the viewer as either white or black points. Shaik Jany Basha and his fellow students appreciated the mutual discourse, which resulted in the subsequent discussion of student projects: “The Tunisian students have a different view of our research projects and were able to give us feedback that allows us to improve our work“, the group members agree. “It was specifically interesting to see what kind of technologies has the ENIS“, added Imran Mohammed, who is enrolled since 2013 in the Embedded Systems program at TU Chemnitz. They also met Sfax’ students that are planning to come for a stay at TU Chemnitz as part of the university cooperation. “There we could share our impressions and give valuable advice“, said Imran Mohammed. The traveling doctoral students finally marked the conclusion of the scientific part of the journey by coming together for a research seminar on 29 December.

Thus, the Master ¬students’ stay in Tunisia was not yet finished. They have diligently collected impression of Arab culture and designed their own excursions until their departure. In the second largest city of Tunisia, students were largely impressed with its cultural offerings, markets and places of interest. For the future, they wish to successfully complete their studies and have an enjoyable career. Shaik Jany Basha is very specific: “I would like to have my own business later“, says the student confidently.

(Author: Andy Schäfer, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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