TU Freiberg Delegation Visits Northern Iraq

Panel discussion
From November 19 to 23, a delegation from TU Bergakademie Freiberg visited partner universities in northern Iraq. The delegation took part in a German-Iraqi symposium in Erbil on the topic "Areas of Cooperation Between Universities, Ministries and Companies in Germany and Iraq".

The conference was organized jointly by the Chair of Additive Manufacturing at TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the College of Engineering at Salahaddin University in Erbil.

At the symposium, Prof. Henning Zeidler and Prof. Moh’d Amro (from the Institute of Drilling Technology and Fluid Mining at TU Freiberg) reported on the importance of practical training in the engineering sciences at TU Bergakademie Freiberg, and how cooperation with companies and authorities promotes the training of students and the research activities of doctoral candidates. "The extremely active participation of many high-ranking representatives of Iraqi universities – including no less than five rectors – as well as companies and authorities in this 3rd symposium shows how important this cooperation is. In the intensive and constructive discussion, examples were presented of best practice at the level of university teachers and students and important initiatives were launched for the future," said Prof. Zeidler.

Two practical examples were presented by students of TU Bergakademie Freiberg on the basis of their basic or engineering internships. Mr. Vincent Stepputat, a student of Automotive Construction: Materials and Components at TU Freiberg, said: "During my studies, I was able to benefit from the good cooperation between the university and companies on a number of occasions, including in the course of my student research project and my engineering internship. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with the Iraqi students."

Alrik Dittrich, a student of Mechanical Engineering at TU Freiberg, added: "I decided to travel to Iraq because I wanted to get to know the culture, the way of life and the educational system of a part of the world that I had never experienced before. In addition to the exchange with Iraqi students and the employees of Salahaddin University, I was especially interested in the chance to visit a steel mill and a gas-fired power plant."

Prof. Amro also visited Koya University to give a lecture on "Digitalization in Oil Fields: Advantages and Challenges", and visited the TaqTaq oil storage facility. "Northern Iraq is rich in crude oil and natural gas deposits, and the fields of education and research in oil and gas production are of great interest to our partner university. Due to the complicated geological conditions in which the oil and gas are situated, the deposits in northern Iraq are particularly difficult and the extraction of oil from these deposits is a challenge. Our chair at TU Freiberg will afford this project the opportunity to develop new methods for so-called Enhanced Oil Recovery, and to test them on these deposits in practice," said Prof. Amro. The academic exchange between the Institute of Drilling Technology and Fluid Mining (TU Freiberg) and Koya University will be supported by an Erasmus+ project.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has been supporting cooperation with Iraqi partner universities within the framework of the DAAD University Partnership Program Iraq since 2009. More than 400 Iraqi students, technical staff and teachers have been trained in the engineering sciences since then. Together with Salahhaddin University, a one-year (Higher Diploma) postgraduate program has been established. The first students began their studies in November, and they will be able to complete some of their courses at TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

"We are pleased that our cooperation with our Iraqi partners will continue to receive financial support – we received news of the positive decision from the DAAD during our stay in Iraq. In the future, we plan to jointly develop E-learning modules, with additive manufacturing playing a central role in this," said Prof. Zeidler.

Contact person: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Henning Zeidler, Tel.: +49 (0)3731/39-3066

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