'HAW goes USA' - Strategic US partners are back in Hamburg

Cooperations with US universities were put to the test over the last two pandemic years, as travel wasn’t possible and faculty exchange had to take place via virtual platforms. But it is a sign of the strong connections between HAW Hamburg and its strategic US partners that three delegations visited Hamburg in May – not just to pick up where we left off at the start of 2020, but also to discuss new forms of collaboration based on the virtual formats developed during the pandemic.

Group of professors and staff

URI delegation at HAW Hamburg

University of Rhode Island (URI)

Representatives from the URI College of Business came to visit HAW Hamburg at the beginning of May. Dr. Shaw Chen, associate dean for graduate programmes, has led the development of the strategic cooperation between the business schools since the cooperation came into being in 2006. He was joined by Dr. Maling Ebrahimpour, dean of the college; Dr. Donna Gamache-Griffiths, senior lecturer and coordinator of the International Business Program; and Dr. Kristin Johnson, interim vice provost for global initiatives at URI.

The discussions focused on new formats for teaching collaborations and exchange between the business schools, and two new ideas were developed during the visit. Starting in the summer semester 2023, the undergraduate International Management Programme will introduce a new collaborative online international learning (COIL) component as part of the International Organisation and Cooperations course taught by Prof. Dr. Natalia Ribberink. She will work with Dr. Donna Gamache-Griffiths, who will teach the COIL component as part of her MGT 448 International Dimensions of Business course. The four-week programme will bring URI and HAW Hamburg students together in transatlantic teams. They will participate in joint virtual lectures and be given the task of completing and presenting an international business research project.

URI students are currently coming to Hamburg as part of the International Business Program, which includes a study and internship year in Germany. In order to increase the study-abroad options at URI, the decision was made to develop an International Business Certificate for Non-Global Business majors. URI students will have the opportunity to take four HAW Hamburg business classes in English. The pre-approved courses will transfer back for a full semester of credit towards their business degree, which means that their time to graduation will not be extended.

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)

HAW Hamburg has a long-standing partnership with CSULB in the area of brand design, with guest workshops and summer schools in Hamburg and co-teaching in Long Beach. This collaboration is headed by Prof. Sven Vogel (HAW Hamburg) and Prof. Tor Hovind (CSULB). Due to the pandemic, it hasn’t been possible to offer the workshops or summer schools in Hamburg over the past two years, so it was wonderful to have Tor Hovind back on campus this week. Prof. Hovind joined Sven Vogel’s Brand Design class, while the main focus of the overall discussions was lessons learned and how the collaboration might work in the future.

As was the case with URI, the decision was made to develop a COIL component. Previously, US and German students have worked together over the space of two weeks as part of the brand design summer school in Hamburg. With the introduction of the COIL component, they will work together over several weeks during the summer semester with joint lectures and a team brand design project. Sven Vogel will give a week-long input session in Long Beach at the start of the semester, and Tor Hovind will do the same with the German students in Hamburg. At the end of the session, Tor will come with his students to Hamburg for a week to complete the module. In this way, students will profit from the instructors' expertise and develop their intercultural team skills over a longer period of time.

In addition to the COIL module, semester exchange will be strengthened through the development of a 'Junior Spring Semester Abroad' concept for CSULB design students. HAW Hamburg classes will be pre-approved for credit and accepted as core classes and electives for the BFA programme in graphic design. This will ensure that a semester in Hamburg does not extend time to graduation or affect financial aid and will make the programme more attractive to CSULB students.

Virginia Tech

Faculty exchange with Virginia Tech has been made possible through ISAP funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) since 2018. From 16–20 May, Dr. Gary Seidel and Dr. Pat Artis came to Hamburg to give guest lectures and network with HAW Hamburg faculty. It was Gary Seidel's first visit to Hamburg and an opportunity to learn about the different research areas in aeronautical engineering at HAW Hamburg and in the Hamburg Aviation Cluster at ZAL, Hamburg’s Center for Applied Aeronautical Research. Steffen Günnemann, a HAW Hamburg Master’s student, is currently completing his Master’s thesis in Blacksburg with Dr. Seidel, so Dr. Seidel also had the chance to meet Prof. Dr. Martin Wagner, who is Günnemann's first examiner in Hamburg, and give a guest lecture in his Master’s course. 

Pat Artis, a familiar face in the strategic cooperation with Virginia Tech, gave presentations for first-year students on studying abroad at Virginia Tech and on his focus area, launch vehicle design. He also joined Prof. Dr. Jutta Abulawi’s Industry Team Research course – a concept similar to the senior capstone design class at Virginia Tech – and met with students.

The extension of the ISAP funding for another four years (2022–2026) means that Dr. Artis will continue his eight-week online module Space and Trade Spaces for HAW Hamburg Bachelor's students in winter semester 2022/23. And there are initial plans to explore how the collaboration with Master's students might be developed further to allow HAW Hamburg students to complete a PhD in Blacksburg, with scholarship opportunities provided through the ICTAS programme at Virginia Tech.


Learn more about HAW Hamburg's USA strategy and its strategic partnerships.


Ingrid Weatherall
'HAW goes USA' strategy
International Office

Prof. Dr. Natalia Ribberink
Department of Business

Prof. Sven Vogel
Department of Design

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