Matthias from Unna
is studying for a doctorate degree at the Institute of Mineral and Waste Processing, Waste Disposal and Geomechanics
The recycling specialist
If Matthias Hoffmann were to enumerate all the advantages of studying at TU Clausthal, it would be a long list. He has been living, working, and studying in Clausthal-Zellerfeld since 2010. After his bachelor’s degree in business and engineering, he used his master’s to specialize in the management of energy and mineral resources and is now a research assistant at the Institute of Mineral and Waste Processing, Waste Disposal and Geomechanics. The main factors in his decision to come to the Harz were Clausthal’s convincing CHE ranking and the fact that its bachelor’s program in business and engineering providing the opportunity to gain wide-ranging basic training in technological subjects. “After I graduated high school, I quickly realized that I wanted to get to know a new region and new surroundings during my studies,” the North Rhine-Westphalia native recalls.
Speedily from A to B
Upon arrival in the Harz town, he immediately noticed how quickly you could get everywhere, enjoying short distances between home and class, sporting facilities, shopping, and friends. Even an appointment with his professor could be had without a long wait. That appealed to Matthias. It wasn’t long before he felt right at home: “Buddies I met in my first few weeks here have grown into long-term friendships. At this point, we not only know each other privately but also work together as colleagues spanning various institutes.” Looking back, he sees that shared development and continuous exchange as beneficial at a personal level. He also sees the helpfulness and the tangible sense of communal endeavor in Clausthal as positive factors. “People just know each other, and you always find someone for a chat.”
Going abroad for a change of scene
And if you should feel the need for a change of scene after all, Matthias recommends going abroad. TU Clausthal maintains numerous ties to partner universities, so it’s an opportunity well worth exploiting. He has made use of it himself to spend a semester in Malaysia. It was an experience he would not want to have missed. That said, he reveled in his familiar surroundings and accustomed structures when he was back in Clausthal. “I can focus well here and don’t get distracted so easily. Plus, I value the constructive working atmosphere among my fellow students,” the 26‑year‑old concludes. Matthias also invests in that sense of community during his leisure time. What he likes best is exploring the great outdoors with his friends. Mountain biking and jogging, but also university sports and soccer are the outlets he has found to unwind from his doctoral studies.
Broadening your horizons through workshops and field trips
Having discovered a love of travel, Matthias tries whenever possible to combine his hobby and his work. During his undergraduate degree, for example, he was involved in the support association of his departmental student council and organized numerous trips, to destinations including Austria and Australia. Now, as ever, he appreciates the chance to broaden his horizons through workshops and seminars. “The university offers lots of opportunities for supplementary education and training, including for research assistants. I find it inspiring to be able to discuss recycling with other academics. Plus, it obviously helps put you in touch with people,” he reports, speaking from experience. TU Clausthal’s ties to industry, he says, are outstanding. He is therefore visibly laid back about the future: All of his friends who graduated from TU Clausthal are well settled in life with good jobs. When the time comes for him in three years, he would most like to either go back to the Ruhr valley or work in Canada. The knowledge he has gleaned from various recycling projects is sure to stand him in good stead.