M.Sc. Karsten Rätze
M.Sc. Karsten Hans Georg Rätze
Phone: +49 (0) 391-6110-254
|Studies:||2011-2016||M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Process Engineering
Specialization: Systems Process Engineering,
|Doctorate:||since 2016||Topic: „Integrated Chemical Processes in Liquid Multiphase Systems",
Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
Why the decision to study Process Engineering? What was the motivation?
In my schoool days I already knew that I would later work in the chemical industry. For this reason, my upper-class education was focused on the subjects of chemistry, biology, mathematics and English. When it was time to choose a degree program, I first wanted to study chemistry. If I wanted to work in the chemical industry, this, to me, appeared to be the logical consequence. After attending some introductory lectures, I felt the subject was too monotonous and was already prepared to study business, as this was also a possible entry point into the industry. I can only call it luck that I was able become acquainted with a chemistry professor in one of these sample lectures, who gave me an extraordinarily piece of important advice: "If you want to study nature, choose a science (e.g. chemistry). However, if you want to build something, invent something and make it useful for mankind with the knowledge you have acquired, then you are better off with the engineers." Up until this point, I had never thought about becoming an engineer since I had never associated chemistry or the chemical industry with engineering. After some quick research, I became aware of the chemical engineering and process engineering fields of study, which immediately fascinated me. They deal not only with chemistry, but are interdisciplinary and have classes in mechanics, biology, thermodynamics, and information technology, for example. The latter is my little passion next to chemistry, which I never hoped to pursue during my studies. This quickliy led to my final decision to study process engineering and I must say, to this day, I do not regret it.
What is exciting about Process Engingeering?
As already mentioned, the exciting part was the interdisciplinarity of study program. First, you get insights into the basics of natural sciences, engineering sciences, as well as mathematics, and afterwards you specialize in process engineering. While studying, you have an incredible variety of subjects and you can discover many disciplines that you have never heard of in school. These previously unknown sub-areas can suddenly be so much fun that you can very well imagine a specialization in this area. A good impression of the diversity of the subjects can be obtained by looking at the study regulations. Thus, in addition to mathematics, physics, and various chemical subjects, you have disciplines including materials engineering, electrical engineering, thermodynamics, control systems engineering, equipment engineering, reaction engineering, bioprocess engineering, and simulation technology, to name a few.
For me, studying process engineering alone was worth it because I learned a lot about my environment and everyday things - things I did not even think about before. By studying these many disciplines, you get an insight into how nature works, which is a great feeling for me personally.
Can anyone do it?
In my opinion, absolutely everyone can do it! As long as the technical interest is present and one has the ambition to understand not only the teaching material but, above all, the connections between topics, then one can definitely get through the study program. It is by no means an easy study program, but with the right incentive, it is not any more difficult than other courses of study. The orientation during the Abitur (general qualification for university entrance) is, in my opinion, completely immaterial to the choice of study program. I personally did not take physics as an upper classman and had to start from scratch at the beginning of my studies. However, since all of the foundations are taught again and explained very well, one must not be afraid of knowledge gaps from their time in school.
What do I do now at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems:
I am currently working on my PhD in process systems engineering. In process systems engineering, we investigate the development of new and optimize existing processes. We use process simulations and process optimization to design new, innovative reactor concepts and reactor-separator networks. These systems are subsequently optimally controlled via process control. This requires the study of a lot of mathematics, chemistry, and programming, which makes it the perfect topic for me.
Short company profile:
The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems was founded in 1996 by the Max Planck Society to address the growing importance of engineering science basic research. Using the chemical industry as an example, efforts are being made to achieve improved safety, increased environmental protection, and increased efficiency in production and refinement processes, resulting in a complex interaction of the various plant components. The use of complex biological systems in biotechnology as well as micro- and nanotechnology are further examples, for which basic research in the link between natural sciences and engineering is required in order for technical implementation. The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg has four research departments, which are led by MPI directors
- Bioprocess Engineering (BPE)
- Physical and Chemical Foundations of Process Engineering (PCF)
- Process Systems Engineering (PSE)
as well as two research groups of external scientific members
- Process Synthesis and Process Dynamics (PSD)
- Systems and Control Theory (SCT)
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