Tervetuloa Hampuriin – Welcome to Hamburg!

Patric Granholm has taught at the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), a Finnish university which is a long-standing cooperation partner of HAW Hamburg, since 2001. When Prof. Andreas Baumgart of the HAW Hamburg Department of Mechanical Engineering and Production Management contacted him in December 2018 and suggested a job exchange, Granholm was immediately interested and the two began planning. Granholm has been living in Hamburg since 11 August and is looking forward to his first semester at HAW Hamburg.

Patric Granholm in Hamburg.

A Hamburg adventure

Although he previously had no particular connection to Hamburg, Patric Granholm was excited by the idea of experiencing something new for a year. It is definitely a goal of his to promote this kind of long-term exchange, he says. During his time in Hamburg he hopes to gain new perspectives and teaching experience, as well as new research contacts. His research focuses on numerical simulation in radiation protection, but he’s also open to exploring new fields. For example, he’s recently been examining ethics in engineering. He is also looking forward to refreshing his rusty German skills. Understanding what is being said is still easier than speaking himself at the moment, he says, and hopes for understanding, especially at the beginning of his stay.

Granholm’s career path

Granholm was born and raised in Helsinki, and in the 1980s he headed to Turku, 160 km to the south-west, to study physics. He stayed there until the beginning of this year, when he and his partner moved back to a house in Helsinki in the middle of the corona crisis. He received his Master’s degree in experimental nuclear physics from TUAS in the 1990s and shortly after obtained his Licentia docendi, the licence to teach in Finland, with a focus on the electrical conductivity of polymers. He was head of the international computer science programme for eight years, and since 2018 he’s headed the chemical engineering programme. With approximately 10,000 students, TUAS is the fourth-largest university in the country and one of three universities in Turku. This makes the city young and lively, Granholm says.

A year at HAW Hamburg in an unusual time

During his time at HAW Hamburg, Granholm will teach math and related subjects such as MATLAB in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Production Management, which is part of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. He is looking forward to collaborating with his German colleagues and exchanging information about teaching methods. He has mixed feelings about the impact of Covid-19 on the upcoming semester: He hopes to be able to teach in person in order to get a full picture of everyday life at a German university, but thinks it would also be interesting to experience how teaching strategies and methods have to be rethought in order to adapt to the situation.

Though he’ll miss his two grown children and his grandchildren, he’s pleased that his partner will be working in Hamburg for part of the time. He also has a number of activities planned – for instance, trying German wines and training for the Hamburg Marathon in April 2021, which he’s already registered for. He will also definitely have the chance to pursue his sailing hobby. A colleague in the department has already offered to organise a sail on the Elbe.

We’re pleased to welcome Patric Granholm to HAW Hamburg and wish him an interesting stay in Hamburg!

Author: Maike Kristin Lempka, Internationalisation at Home, International Office

You can also read the article about Andreas Baumgart’s first impressions of Turku.