German Foreign Minister Tours Manufacturing at Tech
Undergraduate Tim Fleck, from Dresden, Germany, takes a selfie with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier during the foreign minister’s visit to Georgia Tech. Fleck, an intern at Tech’s Packaging Research Center, is studying electrical engineering at Germany’s Dresden University of Technology.
Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, recently visited Tech for an up-close look at the latest research in logistics and manufacturing. The visit, led by Steve Cross, executive vice president for Research, and Yves Berthelot, vice provost for International Initiatives, included an overview of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and a tour of the Manufacturing Research Center. Sebastian Pokutta, assistant professor in ISyE and a native of Germany, was instrumental in arranging the visit.
German companies have a strong presence in Georgia, which has led to 12 strategic industry partnerships with Georgia Tech. Additionally, Tech has 11 university partnerships in Germany and approximately 50 students who study there each year.
"Over 40 German companies are located in the Atlanta region, and Georgia Tech values the mutually beneficial relationships we share with them,” Cross said. “The partnerships provide important insights that help drive our interdisciplinary research in cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and advanced manufacturing, which all collectively power a fourth revolution in industry that began after the initial assembly lines of 100 years ago. This is often called Industry 4.0.”
Reflecting on his visit, Steinmeier said it was a good opportunity to delve into the world of Industry 4.0. He also said that "talking with German and American researchers about their innovative projects at one of the leading public universities in the United States brought home to me once again that there is so much going on in science, but also that there is still a lot of potential for German-American cooperation.”
Steinmeier went on to say that at Georgia Tech “one can see in very concrete terms that, if we join together, the U.S. and Europe can lead the way in science and business, and set global standards.”
Berthelot echoed Steinmeier’s enthusiasm: “It’s wonderful that the Germans have identified Georgia Tech as a top partner. Now, the hard work is to take concrete steps. We are proposing to have a German structure for R&D embedded here and to have more German companies at Tech Square.”