Dr-Ing Reinhard Ahlers
Our alumni board, personally speaking
Dr-Ing Reinhard Ahlers was managing partner of BALance Technology Consulting GmbH until the end of 2022 and now works as a freelance consultant. After training as an energy system electronics technician and graduating from Bremen University of Applied Sciences, he came to the University of Bremen in 1984. Here he completed his studies in electrical engineering and then did his doctorate in production technology. Dr Ahlers has been a member of the alumni board since 2010 and is currently the treasurer.
Volunteering…that’s all well and good, but it also means work. Why do you serve on the board of the alumni association?
The University of Bremen has substantially shaped my professional career, and in part made it possible in the first place. In return, I would like to give something back and support the university in its further development. We know from professional experience and also from other universities that such networks make a real difference for personal and professional development. Passing this knowledge on to students and actively networking them with the alumni community is important to me. The wide-ranging knowledge and experience of our members from different fields is a resource that we can more actively bring to the university, to make it stronger. Particularly in times of continually scarce funding, we can mobilise additional moral support so that the university maintains its excellence in various interdisciplinary research and teaching clusters. Beyond that, we as an alumni association, with our modest financial resources, are able to make projects and activities possible that for all sorts of reasons would not be possible for the university to do. These different facets motivate me to work in the association and to help guide its continuous development.
What was an alumni experience where you thought: “Wow, what a great association!”?
I find the numerous visits to companies and institutions fascinating. You can take a look behind the scenes and see the fields where alumni everywhere are active. The events on different topics are always very stimulating because you meet interesting people and get exposure to things that you don't always notice in your everyday environment. An outstanding experience for me was absolutely the hybrid event series "Just change the world". The alumni association was instrumental there in organising compelling events with a high level of professionalism.
When have you thought: "We could do better”?
Despite all of our efforts and activities, our visibility both within the university and in the region can still be increased. With over 4,000 members, we are one of the largest associations in Bremen, but not the best known. It would be very helpful for our work if we could have more of a joint presence with the university. Of course, I hope that the university's greater presence in the city centre will also raise our profile. We are well on the way to enhancing our national and international reputation, even if we still have a long way to go.
Uni Bremen alumni in ten years: What will be different from today?
In ten years' time, we will be even better known regionally and much more powerfully networked nationally and internationally. During the pandemic, we learned how to use modern communication tools to maintain contacts and organise successful virtual events. This allows us to create offerings for our members that actively promote and expand national and international networks. Besides technology, we of course mainly need people who share our enthusiasm for the University of Bremen and actively participate around the world. In other words, alumni who, with our support, organise events and meetings locally and thus establish a vibrant network.
Perhaps one day we will have a large international network where every member can find people to contact for any of life's diverse challenges.
About your time studying/working at Uni Bremen, what makes you say: “I wouldn’t miss that for anything!”?
During my studies, I formed numerous friendships that have lasted to this day. The European cooperation with companies and scientific institutions as part of my scientific work was very exciting for me and ultimately also the basis for founding BALance Technology Consulting GmbH.
When you’re not busy with alumni and the University of Bremen, what else is important to you in life?
After I reduced my professional activities at the beginning of the year and handed over my company shares to my successors, world travel (no longer for work) and sports are now becoming more important to me. My work-life balance should be significantly better.