DK ALM Festive Event

Celebration DK ALM 8 years plus – looking back and forward

On June 3rd 2024 the DK ALM festive event took place at the Aula of the University. The event started with welcome words of Gregor Weihs, Vice-Rector of the University and Jakob Wolf, Member of the Tyrolean Parliament. Both speakers pointed out the role model of the DK ALM inside the University and the importance of scientific achievements for Tirol.

Our speaker and co-speaker, Roland and Francesca, presented the mission of the DK and milestones within the timeline of the past eight years, focusing on the students and their important contributions to the success of the programme. They reported that, between 2016 and May 2024 more than 530 applicants from all over the world applied for an admission to the DK of whom 12 % were accepted. From the accepted application, around a third of originate from Austria, about half from the EU and the remaining from all over the world. The training environment, which emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, Science Days, Summer Schools, and soft-skill training, ensures that graduates are well-prepared for academic positions and highly in demand by industrial sectors. Additional DK ALM PhD student researchers have completed more than 160 research stays abroad, which is equivalent to a total time of 24.6 years. Synergies arised from the interaction with research institutions worldwide. The success of the DK ALM programme is evident as alumni secure academic postdoctoral positions and attract attention from international companies. To date more than 230 peer review articles have been published in high impact journals. Besides the publications scientific visibility was generated by DK ALM at more than 350 conferences, including invited talks.

The inspiring keynote talk entitled “Black Holes, Aliens, and the End of the Universe: Science Communication in Astrophysics” was held by Suzanna Randall. Suzanna is working as scientist at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), presenter at the ZDF YouTube channel Terra X Lesch & Co, and in her freelance work as a speaker and author. Her goal is to explain (astro)physical concepts in an understandable and scientifically accurate manner, while also entertaining her audience. In her talk she shared her experiences on the challenges she faced - and how knowledge transfer in physics can nevertheless succeed. According to the feedback, the young and established scientists in audience will implement some suggestions of Suzanna in their communication skills.

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