The best lecturers and professors in maritime teaching

German Maritime Centre honours the winners of the “Outstanding Academic Maritime Teaching” competition.
1 December 2020

Claus Brandt, Managing Director of the German Maritime Centre, today awarded the prizes in the “Outstanding Academic Maritime Teaching” competition at the opening of the renowned Bremen Shipping Congress.

“With the competition, we want to promote academic maritime teaching in Germany, increase the visibility of the subjects and support the exemplary commitment of teaching staff to teaching and students, thus strengthening Germany’s maritime future in all its diversity,” says Claus Brandt.

At the beginning of the award ceremony, Dr. Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, welcomed the audience on behalf of the Senate. She said: “The linking of training, qualifications and research with the diverse maritime economy in Germany is an invaluable advantage for Germany as a maritime location. We must continue to be able to combine new and fresh ideas from science with proven skills and experience from companies in order to develop and implement innovative yet practical procedures and processes. The quality of teaching itself is a key factor in preparing students to become the skilled workers of tomorrow and in getting them excited about Germany as a maritime location. I would like to congratulate the teachers who have been honoured here today and thank them for their commitment. Keep up the good work and pave the way for young people to enter the maritime economy and science. With your work, you are making a decisive contribution to the future of Germany as a maritime location.

The award winners are: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Schwerdt, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Thiemke and Ann-Kathrin Lange, M.Sc.

The 1st prize goes to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Schwerdt from Wismar University of Applied Sciences: Technology, Business and Design. She teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical, Process and Environmental Engineering. For her, it is particularly important that “the students contribute to industrial projects by conducting their own studies, which are then used in practice and do not disappear onto the shelves.”

The 2nd prize was awarded to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Thiemke from Flensburg University of Applied Sciences. He teaches marine engineering. He says: “We must do more to protect the environment and are therefore dealing with modern energy and drive concepts, emission reduction, and alternative energy sources, but also with questions from the field of automation technology and simulation, which are becoming increasingly important.”

The 3rd prize was awarded to Ann-Kathrin Lange, M.Sc., from the Technical University of Hamburg. She teaches at the Institute of Maritime Logistics and hopes to increase awareness of the role of maritime logistics: “People think it is easy and cheap to transport goods from China to us. Hardly anyone can see the effort associated with the preliminary leg, the main leg and the subsequent leg.”

All prize winners have a practical background in the field and are familiar with working life outside of the university. All three focus their teaching equally on theory and practice.

“With the competition, we have sought and also found people who motivate their students and introduce them to maritime careers through interesting cooperation projects with industry”, says a delighted Claus Brandt.

Daniela Schwerdt was head of the metallography laboratory and component strength department in an industrial company and was previously employed at the State Materials Testing Institute at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She particularly likes “large components, like the cylinder of a ship’s main engine, because it packs a real punch.”

Michael Thiemke, who worked in the research department of the shipbuilding company Flensburger Schiffbaugesellschaft before switching to teaching, says: “Practical, up-to-date training and excellent cooperation with the business world are very important in our courses and facilitate a good entry into working life”.

Ann-Kathrin Lange worked in the port of Hamburg as part of her dual studies and afterwards and says: “I am still thrilled when I drive along the A7 and look at the terminals.” For her students, she says, it is great “when they can watch what they are studying at university live while strolling along the Elbe River with a view of the Burchardkai container terminal”.

Students from different maritime study programmes such as Nautics, Transportation, Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering, Maritime Transport and Port Management, Logistics, Mobility, Underwater Archaeology, Ship Operation Technology, Shipping, Emergency Management, Labour Law, Maritime Law, Chemistry and Biology of the Sea, Plant and Supply Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Process Engineering and Maritime Technologies had nominated their lecturers and professors for the competition. From their nominees, the prize winners were selected by a jury based on a matrix. The award comes with prize money that is to be used for a specific teaching purpose.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us.

Press contact:
Dr. Regine Klose-Wolf
Head of Communications
+49 40 9999 698 -51
+49 1590 189 1929

We have produced a short, approximately 2.5-minute clip for each of the three prizewinners. You will also find the Senator’s welcoming address in a clip. You can watch them on our YouTube channel – we would be delighted if you subscribed to it!