"May there always be a few centimeters water beneath the keel" - rowing eight of RWTH Aachen is christened

24/10/2016

The flagship of the rowing team Aachen is christened: In the future, the rowing eight is going to participate in competitions in Germany and Europe under the name of Theodore of Kármán. The godfathers, Prof. Dr. Doris Klee, pro-rector of RWTH Aachen and Prof. Dr. Dirk Abel, representative of the president's office, revealed the name in a ceremonial act last Saturday.

 

"I'm very happy to deputize the president's office in order to christen the boat", declared Prof. Klee in her naming ceremony speech. It all started with three rowers, which entered the office of Uli Weber, employee at the University Sports Center (HSZ) and resposible for rowing, with the words "we need to talk". In this year the rowers decided not only to participate and win in the German University Championship, but also to continue on an international level. Said and done: The rowing eight of RWTH Aachen is undefeated German University Champion and can also list some successes in international competitions. With these accomplishments, it was clear that they needed a new boat, suitable for competitions. The University Sports Center provided for the new boat and that was the starting point: Whether German University Chmapionship, Kölner Lichter or different competitions on European level - the rowing eight of RWTH is always competing at the front and sometimes also shows the traditional eight from Oxford and Cambridge their place. Prof. Abel is convinced that this success isn't a nine days' wonder: "Today, we don't christen an 'infant' anymore: The boat and the team are able to show their progress and I'm sure that this spirit will also be carried on to follwing generations."

The christening at Wildenhof

The christening took place at the RWTH owned venue Wildenhof at lake Rursee in the Eifel, in which the rowers also train. The two godfathers agree on the meaning of Wildenhof as venue and basis of water sports: It needs to be preserved. "I have a lot of beautiful memories with regard to Wildenhof and that should be kept that way in the future. That is, why we try to guarantee the attractiveness of Wildenhof", emphasizes Prof. Abel. Pro-rector Prof. Klee joins him: " The president's office is aware of the meaning of Wildenhof: The sports complexes and venues are very important for the image of RWTH Aachen as "Place to be". Rowing chairman Oliver Matzke adds: Over the years, we have completely restored the boat parc and hope that also other parts will be following."

The name of the rowing eight

Theodore of Kármán (born May 11, 1881 in Budapest, deceased May 7, 1963 in Aachen) was a Hungarian-American physicist and an aeronautical engineer, who is considered a pioneer of modern aerodynamics, aeronautical and rocket research. From 1913, he lead the Institute for mechanics and aeronautical aerodynamics, which is the Institute for general mechanics at the RWTH Aachen. He died in 1963 during a stay at a health resort, after visiting the United States and Belgium. He received a lot of awards in the course of his life for his scientific accomplishments.

Kármán and RWTH Aachen

The name of Kármán is connected to RWTH Aachen a few times: Not only the Kármán auditorium and an award for students is named after the former head of the Institute, but also a residence for students a University paper elected their names to honour him. With the rowing team of Aachen, also a sporting showpiece uses the name Theodore of Kármán. Prof. Klee assures: "Using this popular name, this fantastic team will also be successful in the future."