The win­ners of the Uni­ver­sity So­ci­ety's Out­stand­ing Thes­is Award 2018: we in­tro­duce them

Encouraging students and young academics to foster their enthusiasm for science - the University Society pursues these goals by promoting special achievements. As part of UPB's New Year's Reception, the University Society annually awards one student each from the fields of engineering and natural sciences, as well as from the fields of humanities and social sciences, including economics, for their final theses. The prizes are endowed with 1,300 € each. In addition, one award is given to foreign students.

We introduce you to the current award winners...

Philip Christian Georgi has had his Master's degree in physics since last autumn. He has been fascinated by physics since his school days: "I always learn something new in physics, and I'm particularly attracted by the fact that you don't always understand everything straight away at the beginning. The proximity to his home in Elsen tipped the scales in favour of UPB. His Master's thesis at the Department of Physics was about very small surface structures, less than one micrometre in size, which he had rotated for an experiment. For comparison: 1000 micrometres correspond to one millimetre. He used this to investigate the famous rotational Doppler effect. The production of the investigated surface structures is currently still too expensive for industry, but with his work he is making a contribution to basic research in physics. Philip Georgi has been tinkering with his doctoral dissertation for half a year. After his doctorate, the physicist can also imagine a job in industry, for example in the field of software technology - because he can also programme, something he was born with in his parents' house.

Award winner Markus Lauert studied German and history to become a teacher and wrote his master's thesis in history. The topic was the analysis of the first surviving historical city view of Paderborn from 1647, which can still be seen today at Christmas time as the background of the nativity scene in Paderborn Cathedral. The aim of the work: How was this elaborate graphic made and how can the city view of Paderborn at that time be interpreted? To do this, he went on a search for clues through today's Paderborn and analysed the "Topographia Westphaliae" in more detail, an early modern publishing work published by Matthäus Merian, which describes Paderborn during the Thirty Years' War. For him, it was particularly exciting: "You suddenly discover the city view everywhere, even in completely unsuspected places - in the stairwell of acquaintances or in the waiting room at the doctor's." In the meantime, Markus Lauert is doing his doctorate at the Department of Early Modern Studies. "After my Master's, I had the feeling that there was still so much to discover, which is why I decided to pursue a university career for the time being. But becoming a teacher is still an option, in the seminars you now have a similar role." By the way, the decision to join UPB was also made because of the many opportunities to get involved while studying: "During my studies, I did a lot of things on the side: I was on campus radio and got involved with the student press agency Cultura. That's super important, because that's how students can help shape the university and the city of Paderborn."

Milyausha Mukhlisullina is this year's foreign student award winner and comes from the megacity of Kazan in southwest Russia. When she started her Master's degree in International Economics in Paderborn two years ago, she found it quite relaxed and quiet here compared to her home city. But Milyausha Mukhlisullina quickly settled in. What she particularly likes about Germany: the punctuality, the structured thinking and the good weather. Studying is also very different from Russia: "For me, the German study system is the best. It's a real challenge for me and I have to study for twelve hours every day. In Russia, I didn't really study at all, they don't take attendance very seriously and sometimes the lectures are simply cancelled," says the future economist with a laugh. Incidentally, Paderborn University is one of the few German universities that offers its degree programme in English. That's why UPB was at the top of her wish list in her DAAD application. She is currently doing an internship at a French bank in Munich and notices how much she has grown to love Paderborn and the university: "In the meantime, it's as if UPB is like a friend. I just love everything here." In her free time, the student is involved with the International Student Union to inform interested foreign students about UPB and to support them locally. Milyausha Mukhlisullina sees her future field of work in economics and consulting; she will write her Master's thesis on the topic of "offshoring", about the relocation of companies from some fields to other countries in order to save costs.

(from right) Heike Käferle, Chairwoman of the University Society, presents the UG prizes to Markus Lauert, Milyausha Mukhlisullina and Philip Christian Georgi. Here together with the DAAD award winner, Boluwatife Marie Akinro, and laudator Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kabst, Vice President for Technology Transfer and Marketing. (Photo: Paderborn University, Johannes Pauly)

Physics is his passion: Philip Georgi did his Master's at UPB and is now working on his doctoral dissertation.

Markus Lauert is engaged in the subject of history. In addition, commitment at the university is very important to him.

Milyausha Mukhlisullina comes from Russia and came to UPB for her Master's degree - the right decision for her. (Photos: University of Paderborn, Juliane Fröhling)