Constantin from Hamburg
is studying at the Institute of Mining
The cosmopolitan whiz kid
Like grandfather, like grandson. “My grandfather, Wilfried Weigel, got his education in Clausthal and went on to become a professor of geophysics at Hamburg University,” Constantin Weigel recounts, “so I decided on TU Clausthal too.” That kind of route is not uncommon. Within families, the positive and special experiences of studying in the Upper Harz are passed down from generation to generation.
A degree program with a future
Constantin Weigler enrolled in the bachelor’s program in energy and mineral resources at TU Clausthal in winter semester 2013. “To begin with, I wasn’t sure what I should study. The deciding factor, in the end, was that it had to be something with a future – and energy and mineral resources will always be needed in industrialized countries,” he says.
Deliberately exchanging the city for the small town
Deciding on Clausthal-Zellerfeld also meant deciding to exchange the city for the small town. Born in Flensburg, he had been raised in Berlin and Hamburg. The move to the Central Uplands is a step he has never regretted. “Time and again throughout my studies, I have been struck by how good it is here: the right environment, good friendships, teachers you can get in touch with quickly. Plus, strong networks of ties exist not just among students but also to staff and professors.” This is a symbiosis that, Constantin is sure, you wouldn’t find at other universities.
Building ties across the globe
It was particularly during the master’s program on mining engineering – established as the first mining master’s taught in English at TU Clausthal in 2014 – that Constantin enjoyed the benefits of the Harz university. One of them, next to the culture of treating one another almost like family, is its internationalism. As a curious individual with a cosmopolitan mindset, Constantin made use of TU Clausthal’s contacts around the globe. The whiz kid has taken inspiration from a number of periods of study in St Petersburg plus events in Budapest and Estonia, a field trip to Switzerland, and a semester abroad in Pretoria, South Africa. He teamed up with some classmates to found the student association Minex-Clausthal e. V. in 2016, which is integrated into the global Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME). At one of the congresses he attended in St Petersburg, he won a prize for the best presentation. And in 2018, by which time he was a doctorate student in Professor Hossein Tudeshki’s department in the Institute of Mining, he received the TU Clausthal teaching prize in the “students’ choice” category.
Vital: freedom to arrange things his way
In 2019, Constantin’s doctorate is top of the agenda. He wants to finish it before the end of the year – aged just 24. His dissertation is about a mechanical process for extracting fine-grained material from mixed substances in the field of mineral resources extraction. And what awaits him after completing his studies and his doctorate? “I’ll wait and see; there are several possibilities.” On the one hand, he could imagine pursuing an academic career, perhaps abroad. “I would like to see something different,” he says. On the other hand, it may be that he starts working at GLC, the business consultancy run by his father, Professor Martin Weigel. And it could be that something entirely different comes along. The vital factor for him, Constantin emphasizes, is to have the freedom to arrange things his way – the freedom he has enjoyed for years at TU Clausthal.