Tag: USA (page 1 of 3)

Adapting under the Californian sun

I am Cyril Hottinger, a Computer Science student at ZHAW School of Engineering. I spend a semester abroad at San Jose State University.

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Home Sweet Home – Back in Switzerland

Hello everyone,

My Fulbright fellowship at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio has reached its end and I am now back at ZHAW in Winterthur. It is time to look back to this fantastic adventure and to think about what this experience brought me both on a professional and personal side.

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IT geek? Go to California State University!

My name is Stefan, I live in Winterthur, Switzerland and study Computer Science at the ZHAW. I’m no CS student by accident – I like technology a lot and like to play around with gadgets of all sorts. To balance out my mostly urban life I like to hike in our beautiful countryside.

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Cincinnati Calling – Outreach Lecturing Fund in Cleveland

Hello folks,

I hope you are doing fine! Spring time finally reached the queen city… Winter was long this year! 🙂

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Double Degree-Abkommen mit der Grand Valley State University

Die ZHAW School of Engineering hat ein Double Degree-Abkommen mit der Grand Valley State University im US-Bundesstaat Michigan unterzeichnet. Masterstudierende können dadurch ein gekoppeltes Studium in der Schweiz und in den USA absolvieren. Für die School of Engineering ist es das zweite Abkommen dieser Art mit einer US-Partnerhochschule.

Das Double Degree-Programm bietet den Studierenden beider Hochschulen die Möglichkeit, zeitgleich den Masterabschluss der ZHAW und der Grand Valley State University (GVSU) zu erlangen. Die vorgesehene Studiendauer beträgt dafür vier Semester. Die Studierenden verbringen das erste Jahr an der School of Engineering der ZHAW und das zweite Jahr am Padnos College of Engineering & Computing der GVSU in Grand Rapids. Die Studierenden starten ihr Double Degree-Programm jeweils im Herbstsemester. «Zunächst werden die Studierenden aus den USA zu uns nach Winterthur kommen und zusammen mit unseren Studierenden die Vorlesungen, Übungen und Praktika im Master of Science in Engineering belegen», erklärt Wolfgang Kickmaier, Leiter International Relations an der School of Engineering. «Im zweiten Jahr reisen dann unsere Studierenden in die USA und schliessen dort mit weiteren Modulen und der Masterthesis innerhalb von zwei Semestern ihr Studium ab.»

Internationalisierung als Strategie
Die renommierte GVSU wurde 1960 gegründet und zählt derzeit rund 25’000 Studierende. Die GVSU ist mit insgesamt 94 Partnerverträgen in 35 Ländern international ausgerichtet und fördert die Internationalisierung aktiv. Die School of Engineering pflegt mit der GVSU bereits seit 2012 eine intensive und erfolgreiche Kooperation. Neben dem Studierendenaustausch auf Bachelorebene ist die gemeinsame Summer School seit 2013 ein Erfolgsmodell. «Ein weiterer Ausbau der Zusammenarbeit durch das Double Degree-Programm ist eine sinnvolle, logische Weiterentwicklung der bestehenden und erfolgreichen Beziehungen», so Wolfgang Kickmaier. Internationalisierung gehört zu den wichtigen strategischen Stossrichtungen der School of Engineering und der ZHAW. Die School of Engineering wird ihre strategischen Partnerschaften mit internationalen Hochschulen auch weiterhin ausbauen.

Weitere Informationen zur GVSU: www.gvsu.edu/pcec

Cincinnati calling – Winter time! Snow men, icy roads and government shutdown…

Hello folks,

Happy new year! I hope you had a good relaxing time over Christmas. Semester has started here at UC last week and everything is back to normal… well almost everything!

As you probably know the country is experiencing the longest “shutdown” of its history. To be honest, we have not noticed anything special here in Cincinnati except that this is the major news on television. Apparently, even the FBI is running short on budget and this might affect the national security… Let’s hope that a solution will be found soon and that everything will go back to normal.

Winter has also arrived here with the first “real” snow falls. 20 to 25 cm of fresh snow. This makes the city more beautiful and also way more dangerous because nobody has winter tires here! Incredible!

The snow makes the city even more beautiful.

I was even told you could ski in Ohio (but more north east from Cleveland which is a bit far away – Ohio alone is almost 3 times Switzerland!).

We had to relocate to another area closer to campus. It is called “Clifton Gaslight” and the street lights actually still run on gas! Let’s hope that there will be enough gas and that the new house furnace will not break down: temperature will drop up to -22 °C in the coming nights…

This is our new home.

What else? UC officially turned 200 years last week. There was a small ceremony with a huge cake and UC president Pinto gave a small talk about the university history. Was nice but to be honest I was more impressed by the 10 years of ZHAW! 🙂

Research is doing fine (I realized this is the first time I talk about my research here in the US). Two papers were recently accepted (but more related to my activities back in Switzerland) and several others are in the pipeline including joined publications Switzerland – USA.

New: I am also co-supervising a visiting student from China on a very interesting topic, but I cannot tell anything: top secret! My host lab has over 100 patents granted, published, or submitted, and has generated the most invention disclosures (more than 150) and patent licenses in UC’s history! IP is a serious business here.

In my opinion, we should take more care about IP at ZHAW and develop a “transfer office” to help ZHAW researchers commercializing their research findings wherever it is in the form of a startup, license, or partnership.

A more personal note: I can’t believe I already reached the middle of my stay in the US. It went so fast! I wish I could stay more. A very unique experience.

See you next time!


*) Mathias Bonmarin is a senior lecturer at the ZHAW School of Engineering. Recently, he was honoured to get a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and therefore he’s at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio for one year as a visiting Professor.

Cincinnati calling – California dreaming…

Hi everyone,

I hope you recognized the song from “The Mamas & The Papas”?


Yes indeed, this time I am bringing you to sunny California!

Last week I had the honor and pleasure to participate the “Fulbright Enrichment Seminar” in San Diego. The 4 days conference was about “Leveraging Strategic Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Long Term Success” and gathered more than 90 Fulbrightees from 47 different countries. In addition to the fantastic South California weather (around 78° F all year long) it was a unique opportunity to meet exceptional people with different background and culture: from an anticorruption judge in central Europe, to a journalist in Africa or a nephrologist specialized in kidney transplantation.

Various events and workshops were held on the University of San Diego campus (UCSD) and all participants were staying at a beautiful hotel resort in front of the beach (I attached a pic from the view from my room to make you jealous).

The meetings and workshops were very interesting. We could meet successful local entrepreneurs, business angels and UCSD professors, and discussed how entrepreneurship could be supported at the university level. One possibility is the organization of so-called “challenges” where teams of students compete for an award (non-dilutive money + coaching and eventually incubation). Actually, the ZHAW does have something very similar: the Startup Challenge! This is an exciting event where you might have the opportunity to go the US! So, if you are a student: be bold and apply!

If you want to know more about entrepreneurship at ZHAW (and in Winterthur), here are few links:




I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas time and see you next year!

*) Mathias Bonmarin is a senior lecturer at the ZHAW School of Engineering. Recently, he was honoured to get a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and therefore he’s at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio for one year as a visiting Professor.

Cincinnati calling – Fall, pumpkins, and politics

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing fine and could enjoy some nice weather in the last months. Fall definitely arrived in Cincinnati. At some point I thought it would never come: temperature still reached 90°F (= 32°C) in October! I am looking forward to winter time where it is supposed to drop below zero Fahrenheit…

Fall time is beautiful in Ohio, especially the landscape with fantastic reddish colors. Summer was so warm and humid that we are now enjoying long walks in the parks (Cincinnati has many beautiful urban parks).

We discovered Halloween. Of course, we somehow do celebrate Halloween in Switzerland, especially in the suburbs area where you might see kids walking around on that evening. But here it is definitely different: It is a big party! The kids dressed up – and usually accompanied by their parents as it is not so safe – are basically going from door to door with the famous “treat or trick” to get sweets. The neighbors are most of the time on their porch where they arranged a “cosy” place with lots of skeleton, graves, and of course pumpkins, and do offer the parents some beer or punch, sometime even something to eat like cakes or cookie. I was even told that some parents do not hesitate to drive their child to wealthy neighborhoods like Hyde Park or Mason to get nice food! 🙂 If your child is still small, this is also the opportunity to dress him or her up with the most ridiculous gear you can find – they do not complain at this age. Pumpkins rank number one according to my friends from the lab.

This is also a very political fall with the mid-term election happening on November the 6th (always a Tuesday) where it seems that many people are elected (governors, judges, prosecutors, etc.). Our mailbox is basically full every single day, and it is hard to find anything else in television. Everywhere on the road you will find signboards for one candidate or the other. Interestingly, it is not forbidden to denigrate the opposite candidate here in the US so that you will see many ads recapitulating all the failures, mistakes, or questionable connections. Very vivid but on the other hand, difficult to get the program of the candidate!

That’s it for today folks. Write to you soon – I do have a small surprise for you for next post.

*) Mathias Bonmarin is a senior lecturer at the ZHAW School of Engineering. Recently, he was honoured to get a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and therefore he’s at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio for one year as a visiting professor.

Summer Schools mit der Grand Valley State University

Auch in diesem Sommer fanden die Summer Schools mit unserer Partneruniversität Grand Valley State University (GVSU) statt. An der Summer School „Data Science“ beteiligten sich Studierende der ZHAW School of Engineering und der GVSU. Fokus der insgesamt vier Wochen – davon zwei Wochen in den USA – war das weite Feld „Data Science“, wobei pro Woche ein spezifischer Aspekt behandelt wurde. Die so erworbenen Credits konnten die Teilnehmer ihrem Studium anrechnen. Neben dem Unterricht sind natürlich auch Exkursionen Teil jeder Summer School. Die GVSU hat Eindrücke der Wochen in der Schweiz und den USA in einem Video zusammengefasst.

Cincinnati calling – New York: The city that never sleeps

Hi folks! You are not mistaken: this does not look like Cincinnati. 🙂

Last week I was in New York city for a short stay to support the ZHAW spin-off opus néoi GmbH.

The startup had been selected to participate to the SHIELD pitch event. SHIELD is an acronym for Skin Health Investigation, Education, Longevity Development and has been established by Nestlé Skin Health to bring bold disruptive ideas and maintain skin health in the digital era.

The event was really great and inspiring with startups coming from everywhere around the world presenting different ideas around skin health. Though opus néoi unfortunately did not win the 25’000 $ cash prize, we ended up on the podium and will keep in touch with SHIELD for further support once back home in Switzerland.

On Friday, we had a quick stay at the NYC offices of Swissnex Boston. Big thanks to Estelle and Oliver who put us in contact with US investors! Their office is located in the south of Manhattan in the WeWork working space: best view of New York and startup atmosphere guaranteed.

See you next time!
*) Mathias Bonmarin is a senior lecturer at the ZHAW School of Engineering. Recently, he was honoured to get a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and therefore he’s at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio for one year as a visiting professor.

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