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New ISAP funding for 'HAW goes USA' strategy

Since 2018, the strategic 'HAW goes USA' cooperation between HAW Hamburg and Virginia Tech has been developed with the help of ISAP* funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The Department of Automotive and Aeronautical Engineering, in cooperation with the International Office, has just been awarded another round of funding of €145,000 for a further four years (2022–2026).

Virginia Tech football stadium

Virginia Tech football stadium

The Department of Automotive and Aeronautical Engineering at HAW Hamburg has been expanding its international university contacts to prepare students for an international career in the aerospace industry. Since 2008, the most important strategic overseas partner has been the renowned Virginia Tech on the east coast of the USA. The partnership is also one of the four strategic partnerships defined in the university strategy 'HAW goes USA 2020'. 

Prof. Dr. Jutta Abulawi has been the ISAP project leader since 2018 and works closely with Virginia Tech, especially in the context of the Joint Virtual Design Team project. 'The cooperation with Virginia Tech is very important for our department's international orientation and offers students and faculty on both sides of the Atlantic the opportunity to exchange ideas, to work together, to make international friends and, above all, to broaden their horizons.'

ISAP projects, 2018–2021

With the ISAP funding from 2018-2022 HAW Hamburg was able to finance full scholarships. These and the associated credit transfer of courses have further strengthened the existing student exchange and put it on a solid footing. In 2019, the 'Junior Spring Semester Abroad' model was developed with Virginia Tech. Through this programme, credits for HAW Hamburg courses transfer back as credit to Virginia Tech, so that students can study abroad in Hamburg and not extend their time to graduation. In 2021, another type of cooperation was established. Max Schmidt became the first Master's student from HAW Hamburg to write his Master's thesis at Virginia Tech, as part of Prof. Dr. Mike Philen's research.

I have seen the tremendous benefits of the exchange programme for Virginia Tech students who gain a global perspective from their studies in Hamburg.

Prof. Dr Pat Artis, Virginia Tech

In addition, guest lectures in Hamburg and Blacksburg were funded in 2018 and 2019 to develop faculty exchange. Due to the corona pandemic, the exchange had to be put on hold because travel was not possible, but a new cooperation model emerged in 2021. Prof. Dr. Pat H. Artis from Virginia Tech offered HAW Hamburg students insights into his space expertise with his 10-week online lecture Space and Trade Spaces.

Next steps: ISAP, 2022–2026

With the extension of the ISAP project for another four years, HAW Hamburg will receive ISAP funds amounting to €145,000 (€239,000 in total since 2018). In addition to having the opportunity to deepen their studies in aeronautical engineering at Virginia Tech, students will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the special expertise of space technology at Virginia Tech through the newly designed 'Space Minor' exchange programme. The courses transfer as elective modules for the HAW Hamburg degree course, and students also receive a 'Space Minor' certificate. In the next phase of the project, the plan is to clarify in which subject areas closer cooperation in teaching and research is possible, and whether there is a possibility to cooperate in the area of doctoral studies.

Text: Ingrid Weatherall


We would like to take the opportunity here to say a big thank you to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the many years of funding that have made this strategic cooperation possible.

Virginia Tech is a 'public, land grant research university' and is ranked 25 among the top public schools (U.S. News & World Report 2018). The College of Engineering is ranked 9 'for public institutions with doctoral programs' (USNWR 2018), and the Aerospace Programme is ranked 10 worldwide (Shanghai Ranking 2017).

*ISAP: International Study and Further Education Partnerships from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


Prof. Dr. Jutta Abulawi
Dept. of Automotive and Aeronautical Engineering

Ingrid Weatherall
'HAW goes USA' Strategy
International Office