Alumni Magazine "keep in touch"
Issue 67, Summer Semester 2019
Setting Course for the Race Track
Whenever Vanessa Mientus, 39, watches a Formula 1 race on TV, she is not enthralled by the battle between the Mercedes and the Ferrari, nor the duel between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, nor the spinning tires and risky overtaking maneuvers. She looks beyond all the usual cause for excitement and instead focuses on the safety fences, the arrangement of the stands, and the markings on the track and wonders whether the color complies with the regulations, while contemplating how the various access points to the track are set to salvage the cars and predicting how the mood among the spectators may develop.
And what about how the race will turn out? "I do not care," says Mientus, who completed her degree in architecture at RWTH in 2007. She watches the race from a unique perspective, as Head of Track Operations at Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the Formula 1 circuit in Mexico, and Site Manager of the planned México Speedway Drive Resort – a 3.8-kilometer private track just outside Mexico City, a kind of luxury circuit. In this issue of "keep in touch", Vanessa Mientus describes her current job and the exciting career path she took via New York to Mexico.
- RWTH – how it learns, researches, and creates. The University is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2020. RWTH has significantly developed from its founding as the Königliche Rheinisch-Westphälische Polytechnische Schule to its current status as the Integrated Interdisciplinary University of Science and Technology. Today the University has over 45,000 students and enjoys an excellent reputation far beyond Germany and Europe. There is consequently much to celebrate in the special anniversary year.
- From the aesthetic appeal of the cog wheel – Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Madrid I re-edited for the 500th anniversary of his death. When Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, 1519 at Clos Lucé Castle on the Loire, he bequeathed a total of 15 paintings and several thousand pages of notes and drawings on anatomy, architecture, water, light, and shadow, mechanical engineering, and much more. Codex Madrid I, his major work on mechanics, has been fully evaluated by historians of RWTH and published in four volumes on time for the Leonardo da Vinci anniversary year.
- António Guterres, Charlemagne Prize 2019 – Interview with students at RWTH Aachen University: António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, winner of the Charlemagne Prize 2019 and Secretary-General of the United Nations, spoke with RWTH students during his lecture at the C.A.R.L. Lecture Hall complex. Guterres, who received his engineering diploma from the technical university Technico Lisboa in 1971, spoke in front of roughly 1,000 guests, outlining the challenges facing today's generations. These include, for example, conflicts that are now much more interlinked than, for example, during the Cold War. Further, he highlighted the fact that human rights are being violated on a large scale and the increasing difficulty of protecting people around the world. He also spoke of illiberal democracies and the EU's lack of presence in international communities, not least with regard to the topics of climate change and artificial intelligence.
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