Podcast "We are TUM" – Transcript, fifth episode

"Of course, there's the fact that with 17 Nobel Prize winners in our 150-year history we have an unimaginable treasury of knowledge here at the campus. And an asset like this has to be protected. Just imagine a fire: Maybe the 18th Nobel Prize just happens to be in that laboratory and it goes up in smoke. That's what we're here for, to protect against that kind of thing."

[Moderator Matthias Kirsch:] The man concerned about TU Munich's intellectual treasures is Jürgen Wettlaufer. His job is one of the many positions at the university which most people don't even know exist. Jürgen Wettlaufer is the chief of the TU fire department in Garching. You heard right: TU Munich has its own fire department. You'll find out why in this episode. Welcome to "We are TUM", the podcast by and for the Technical University of Munich. My name is Matthias Kirsch and I'll be guiding you through this podcast. As always university President Thomas Hofmann will get things started by introducing the topics of today's episode to you.

[President Thomas Hofmann:] Dear listeners, we live in a time of transformation. And TU Munich is proud to be at the vanguard. That means always finding new ways of thinking, always experimenting, always piloting. It also means reporting our successes. Just as  when we were the first German university to open a branch in a foreign country two decades ago: TUM Asia in Singapore. It was indeed an experiment, and a successful one at that. On the occasion of the 20th birthday of this project, in this episode we speak with the Managing Director of TUM Asia, Dr. Markus Wächter. Then we leave Singapore and head back to Garching where we meet this episode's Hidden Champion. Many of you may not even be aware of the fact that our Garching Campus is under the watchful eye of its own campus fire department. The chief of the university's fire department, Jürgen Wettlaufer, tells us why we really need the fire department at the university.

Then we meet the co-founder of a successful start-up, a company which took its first steps right here at TUM: Vectoflow is a leader in innovative flow measurement technologies which are found today in practically every high-end device from industry leaders such as Siemens, Tesla and ABB. We speak with Katharina Kreitz about the Vectoflow success story and also about the prejudices against women which still persist in the world of corporate founders. And there's an athletic conclusion to this episode of "We are TUM" with TUM alumnus Frédéric Margue, sports sciences specialist and performance analyst at the Olympic training facility in Luxembourg. He shares five tips with us from his work together with professional athletes on how each of us can integrate athletic activities in the everyday work or university routine, without the need to look for excuses. And now I wish you an enjoyable listening experience with the latest episode of "We are TUM".

Cutting-Edge Research

[Kirsch:] Today's episode begins a good 10,000 kilometers away from Munich – more exactly, in Singapore, where two decades ago TUM was the first German university to launch a foreign branch: TUM Asia. What started as an experiment is today a success story inspiring plenty of imitations. On the occasion of this special birthday my colleague Clarissa Ruge meets with TUM Asia Managing Director Markus Wächter.

[Clarissa Ruge:] Hello, Mr. Wächter.

[Markus Wächter:] Hello, Ms. Ruge.

[Ruge:] Mr. Wächter, you've lived in Singapore for many years now. Is there something that still fascinates you again and again when you take a stroll through your city?

[Wächter:] The first thing that still fascinates me, and which is probably what keeps me in Singapore, is certainly the climate, the weather, the vegetation. But in the city itself, I'd say it's the liveliness, the variety of cultures, the completely different or at least very different cultures in the various parts of the city: Whether in China Town, Little India or in the modern Central Business District. It's all been compacted into such a small space; a highly interesting and enriching experience.

[Ruge:] Singapore is a good 10,000 kilometers away from Munich. How do these two TUM campuses resemble one another so closely in spite of the enormous distance?

[Wächter:] A simple, direct answer: It's the people. That's something that we've probably all grown more aware of due to the Corona experience, due to the exchange among the students who go from Singapore to Munich for internships or Master's thesis projects. And more than anything due to the instructors who travel to Singapore, sometimes two or three times a year – we've established an employee exchange system here together with various departments. So primarily the resemblance is due to the direct, human exchange.

[Ruge:] At TUM Asia you can study for a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering and a Master's in Green Electronics. But there are similar degree programs at the main TUM campus in Munich. Why should anyone go to Singapore to do that?

[Wächter:] You already mentioned the word "similar" in your question. The degree programs aren't identical, they're similar. Of course we've oriented the content to the different circumstances on location, that's one thing, for example the market situation in Singapore and Asia. Students who study in Singapore will as a rule look for jobs in the Singapore / Asia region, not necessarily in Germany. That's the first difference. The degree programs you mentioned are what we call joint degrees, which means we conduct the curriculum with a partner university on location.

In addition to the TUM instructors who fly to Singapore or nowadays who teach online, we also have a corresponding number of local professors and instructors, which also means an entirely different teaching landscape, different teaching didactics. And of course the student body has a completely different make-up from the student body in Munich. So in the Bachelor's degree program you mentioned, Chemical Engineering, we have almost exclusively students from Singapore. In the Green Electronics Master's program we primarily have students from China, India and other Asian countries, some from Europe, South America, Africa, a fundamentally different clientele. And European students are an absolute minority in Singapore.

[Ruge:] You've worked with TUM Asia for almost 17 years now. What has changed for you over the years, in terms of TUM and your work?

[Wächter:] If I look back to the TUM Asia of 2005, when I joined: Back then we had only just started with the second degree program, we had maybe on the order of 30 or 40 students. Over the years we've been able to develop new degree programs, both for the Bachelor and Master levels. We launched a significant research project in 2010 and now we have around 600 enrolled students at the research subsidiary, which over the last ten years has trained, I'd say around 120 or 130 doctoral candidates who are active in the field of Executive Education. So we've undergone a great transformation which certainly has to do with the fact that TUM was the first university in Germany to really launch an offshore project like that. And a lot simply has to do with the experience and the knowledge that has accumulated over the years, on both sides, in Munich and in Singapore.

[Ruge:] 17 years is also long enough to be able to make a personal interim assessment and say: Yes, that was particularly difficult, and I'm especially proud that we were able to manage this…. Is there a personal highlight for you?

[Wächter:] There are actually two things, both of which happened from my point of view in the 2009/2010 year. The first thing was the step of expanding our Master's curricula to offer Bachelor's degrees as well. This was also preceded by major discussions inside TUM, between us and TUM: Do we really want to do that, offer a Bachelor's degree together with a new partner? And at the same time there was the launch of the research project, our research subsidiary TUM CREATE, which was also an entirely new project with a very considerable order of magnitude. Both of these events came along at about the same time. Back then, as a comparatively very small unit, that was a giant step for us towards something different, something bigger, and it kept us, my staff and me, extremely occupied for a good six months to a year. But we successfully managed both events with considerable support from TUM, especially from Board of Management. And those are really the two cornerstone events which also still define TUM Asia today.

[Ruge:] Could you say a few words about what TUM CREATE is for those listeners who may not be familiar with it?

[Wächter:] Officially TUM CREATE is our research subsidiary; since 2010 it has been supporting and conducting research on various topics as an independent unit in Singapore, financed by the local Singaporean research agency NRF, the National Research Foundation. The first topic area was electro-mobility in 2010, which is now fanning out, Mobility, Sustainable Cities, Future Cities. And we, or TUM CREATE, is now in the final phase of new proposals for example in the field of Foods. Here we work together closely with Weihenstephan, which is a truly important research center where doctoral candidates and postdocs are active as well.

[Ruge:] What can TUM learn from a metropolis like Singapore? For example about the attitude towards innovation and inquisitiveness?

[Wächter:] In Asia and specifically in Singapore, the pace is much different, much faster. The readiness to take risks is significantly higher. This means nobody spends two, three, four years thinking about and talking about a particular topic area. When someone says they want to try something out, then plenty of funding and resources are provided in a flash. And a serious effort is made to achieve results in new areas within just a couple of years. We in Germany, I think, we're not worse off, but sometimes we slow ourselves down too much with too many cumbersome questions, worries and doubts. In Germany we definitely have to ask a general question in future-oriented fields like Big Data, IT, Artificial Intelligence: How long will we continue to allow ourselves to be that cautious in new topic areas?

[Ruge:] I have one last question for you, one which has to do with your life story. You say you've come a long way in these 17 years. But what comes next, where would you say: In five years I definitely want to succeed there, here's a challenge, we want to be faster, better there… What could that be?

[Wächter:] What I personally wish we could expand a lot more would be, on the one hand, closer coordination for example between the various TUM entities we have in Beijing, Mumbai and Singapore. We may be structured differently, but I think we'd all benefit if we could work together a little more closely. I see great potential simply at the personal level, with really direct exchange, whether in administration, among employees or in research. This would mean really using TUM Asia as a launching pad for new things, for new projects. It would be good if TUM says, okay, let's place a couple of people, junior researchers, maybe a couple of administrative employees in Singapore for six months or a year, just so they can see what works differently here. It's not about what's better or worse in which location. I also think that's very important – and I've learned this over the past few years – just to look at what for example is different in Singapore.

We shouldn't start thinking in terms of what is better, what's not. We should be open enough to simply say, okay, I want to take a critical look at my own horizons. I think that can be extremely fruitful. And that's where I see TUM Asia playing a much greater and more effective role; also as a strategic spearhead for TUM, not only in Singapore and Asia, but really throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region.

[Ruge:] Thank you for the interesting discussion, Mr. Wächter.

[Wächter:] My pleasure, Ms. Ruge.

Hidden Champion

[Moderator Kirsch:] Imagine you're sitting in your laboratory working on an important experiment for a paper, for a degree thesis or just for a seminar. Suddenly there's a loud bang and the whole lab, including your notes, goes up in flames… Preventing exactly this kind of situation is one of the tasks Jürgen Wettlaufer and his colleagues handle. Jürgen Wettlaufer is chief of the TUM fire department in Garching. Our Hidden Champion of today's episode tells me why the university needs a fire department.

[Kirsch:] Welcome, Mr. Wettlaufer.

[Jürgen Wettlaufer:] Hello, nice to be here…

[Kirsch:] Why does the TU, a Technical University, need its own fire department?

[Wettlaufer:] Oh, that's a pretty easy question to answer: Because it's required by law. But that answer would be too simple. Of course, there's the fact that with 17 Nobel Prize winners in our 150-year history we have an unimaginable treasury of knowledge here at the campus. And an asset like this has to be protected. Just imagine a fire: Maybe the 18th Nobel Prize just happens to be in that laboratory and it goes up in smoke. That's what we're here for, to protect against that kind of thing.

[Kirsch:] What do your actual missions look like? Do you actually have calls here on location at the campus on a regular basis? Or are the serious calls, and let's hope this is the case, more of an unusual event?

[Wettlaufer:] Well, the campus fire department has a highly diverse range of assignments and missions. First of all we have to make sure that at least 14 responders are on duty and ready to go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And assignments range from fighting fires to providing technical assistance. That refers to traffic accidents, but also to work accidents and various ABC events. A word about ABC: We have a large number of atomic, biological and chemical hazards here on campus. And as a result we of course have also have accidents, incidents, unintended outcomes in experiments. And that's where we come in. And yes, we have missions, we reach almost two thousand alarms a year. A very large portion of those calls go to the emergency medical team, but we also have a good 250 fire missions and about 250 calls for technical assistance as well. And then there are a few other services which the fire department handles as well… We provide support to the researchers, there's a whole bunch of other topics there too.

[Kirsch:] From what you've said, when there's a mission then something has happened somewhere on campus and you're called on to go there. How often does it work the other way around, how often do the research facilities or faculties notify you in advance? When they call to say, we're planning a project here, a research project, and things could get a bit tricky. Do they then approach you and ask for advice, "Could you as the fire department help us figure about what we should expect?" Does that happen as well?

[Wettlaufer:] Sure, I clearly see the campus fire department as a service provider for research. I think the situation we have here is unique in Germany, this symbiosis, the position of the campus fire department as an appendix to a research center like ours. This makes a lot of things possible, especially when it comes to highly inflammable or even explosive experiments: We can make things possible, simply by securing this kind of experiment. Just recently, this winter, there were these real-fire tests, the Teamplus project, which we supported. And that's the kind of thing I'd like to see us supporting more in the future as well. It's not like we're conducting research on our own. That's not the issue – we're not researchers, we're firefighters. But I see us as close supporters of research. And I think this relationship is a unique one in Germany, being able to function that way here at the research campus. Any researchers who are interested in this kind of support, please, feel free to contact me. We'll try to make everything possible so that you can conduct your experiments here, even if it involves real-fire tests.

[Kirsch:] Do you also have missions outside of campus? For example, if a major call goes out in Garching or in the city and the local firefighters can't do enough?

[Wettlaufer:] We also function as a conventional fire department. The difference is that we're specialized on our specific potential hazards. So we maintain auxiliary equipment, things that a municipal fire department like Munich or another municipal fire department might not have in the form that we do. For example, we have to be very specifically prepared to deal with the nuclear reactor and the associated radioactive dangers. That means we need special equipment, special devices. There are one or two unusual things brewing at the Department of Chemistry which we'd have to be able to handle if the need arises. So we need special equipment, special protective suits to make sure we can get the job done in a reasonable manner, and safely.

[Kirsch:] Speaking of missions outside of the TU campus here in Garching: Not all that long ago there was an explosion in Garching. You ended up responding there too. Can you tell us a little bit about the mission? That was one which went beyond the Garching campus.

[Wettlaufer:] Exactly. That happens on a pretty regular basis, that we provide external assistance on request. In this case there was an explosion in a basement laboratory in Garching, followed by a serious basement fire. The smoke then made its way into the entire building above. So there were a lot of stranded people who were calling for assistance from the balconies and windows. Our fire-fighting vehicle was the first unit to arrive at the scene and our team rescued two people from extremely smoke-filled areas. And this is the kind of thing that again and again shows why it’s a good idea to go through all the training and exercise drills we do. It's examples just like this one where just a few seconds can make a very big difference, even the actual difference between life and death.

[Kirsch:] And that’s another example of one of your missions outside the world of TUM. To what extent is that also good for the university itself?

[Wettlaufer:] It is, at least in my opinion: This makes the campus fire department is visible to citizens outside the campus as well, especially in the adjacent communities. Our ambulance is relatively often one the go in nearby towns and villages. And the professional appearance of our ambulance makes an important contribution here, maybe a small one, but it helps make sure that TUM is not perceived as just a dangerous campus. And certainly, the campus fire department can also do a small part in making sure that the public perceives TUM as something positive, on a personal, individual level.

[Kirsch:] Let's talk about you personally: Before the interview you mentioned that you started with the Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 14. And you've been active in the fire department as a firefighter throughout your entire adult career. You've passed through all the possible stations along the way. What does this career mean to you personally? What does it mean to hold your position as the chief of the fire department here in Garching together with your colleagues?

[Wettlaufer:] Well, firefighter is a pretty classic profession. I think everybody will know that without having to be an insider. Team capability is an important concept for the fire department, although it's a term you find in every job announcement, regardless of what industry or where you are. But team capability in the fire department means really being able to work as a team. And that's not just a cliché – I think there are very few professions where such an unconditional trust in the capabilities and performance of your own colleagues is so necessary. I don't think there are many professions where you're called on to place your own physical safety completely in the hands of your colleagues the way you do as a firefighter. And this results in a really unique sense of unity, one you won't find anywhere else.

[Kirsch:] Mr. Wettlaufer, thank you for taking the time to speak with us and for sharing so much information.

[Wettlaufer:] Thank you, I enjoyed the conversation.

[Kirsch:] From TU Munich out into the wide world: The dream of many young founders here at TUM. Katharina Kreitz is one of these founders who has succeeded in making that dream come true. In the meantime her startup Vectoflow employs almost two dozen people and has customers around the world. My colleague Clarissa Ruge speaks with Katharina Kreitz about the obstacles faced by women in the entrepreneurial founder scene, about prejudices and about moving on in spite of all that.

The Young Perspective

[Ruge:] Can you describe your start-up for us in just a few sentences and tell us what makes it so special?

[Katharina Kreitz:] Hello, I'm very glad to be here. Put very simply: My company Vectoflow manufactures flow measurement technologies for all kinds of flows. We measure flow in the air, water, flowing gas, petroleum, just about anything, as long as it moves and we can make measurements in it. Then we extract all sorts of parameters, for example speed, pressure, temperatures, angle of attack... As a result we're present in an enormous number of application areas such as cars, aircraft, drones even in exhaust hoods, since something is flowing there too. So we work in an equally wide-ranging spectrum of different fields.

[Ruge:] You founded your start-up in 2014. At the time, female founders were even rarer than they are today. I did some reading and learned that only eleven percent of all start-ups are founded by women. What gave you the courage to start your own company back then?

[Kreitz:] Actually, in my field I don't think there are any female start-up founders at all, unfortunately. Somehow women usually end up founding vegan food start-ups. My start-up is just a bit more "niche" than that. With me it was really the case that founding the company was more of a means to an end, since I had simply recognized a problem. I had already done a tremendous amount of work in aviation and astronautics as early as during my university studies, because I get bored in lectures very quickly. I did a lot of work, at BMW, at NASA, Airbus and I was constantly in the testing station and I realized that there was actually a lot of room for improvement as far as measurement technologies were concerned. So, together with my degree dissertation project adviser Christian, who is in the meantime my co-founder, I had the idea of using additive manufacturing, 3D printing. That could solve a very large number of problems. And in order to see if other people thought this was a good idea as well, we had to found a company to see if everything worked. And that's how I ended up founding a start-up. I hadn't really planned to do it, I just sort of stumbled into it…

[Ruge:] Has there ever been a remark or a statement which you remember that really got you angry? Which really made you think, now I want to be a founder more than ever?

[Kreitz:] Just one? That's the question, that sort of thing happens every day. There are plenty of things that people used to say to us, wow, that'll never work out, that's a terrible idea, things like that. And when you talk to those same people today, of course all of a sudden they're the first ones who say they were the first to really believe in us. That's a classic. Then of course there are all the gender issues, since I'm in a field where there are only very few women. Actually, my customers are pretty much all men as well. There are many, many examples when all I have to do is enter the room and there's this rolling of eyes and "Oh right, that must be that girl from sales." And then they ask ten questions or so which my male colleagues wouldn't have to answer. First they have to look me over, okay, she seems to know what she's talking about. That's alright. Once I've given them good, convincing answers, then everything is alright. But up until then it's more of an uphill battle. But that's pretty typical.

[Ruge:] Let's talk about your start-up Vectoflow. Which of the milestones you've achieved since 2014 was the most significant for you personally, where you'd say: Finally, now we managed that too? Or was there a moment we're you said, that's it, we're quitting. Did that ever happen?

[Kreitz:] Well, it was of course fantastic to finally land our first customer. Back then we had our web site, we made it ourselves. We'd never created a web site before, and that's really how it looked. But we had a contact form on the site and when the web site had only been online for a week, a Formula One racing team contacted us. And we thought, whoa, some of our friends must have hacked the web site! But it really was the team and they invited us to speak with them and became our first customer; they're still with us. So that was really a milestone. And then of course there was the first calibration, since our measurement technologies have to be calibrated. There was an awful lot of calibration to be done, and there still is.

[Kirsch:] Do you have any advice for TUM students who would like to found a company?

[Kreitz:] As Elon Musk says, "Don't do it..." [laughs], it's very important that you talk with as many people as possible as soon as possible. I say that because many people have the impression, no, I can't talk about my idea, if I tell someone I'm sure they'll copy it. And that's absolute nonsense. So if your idea is a good one, there will be at least ten other people on the planet with the same thing in mind and they may even do it. That's why it’s a better idea to talk with many, many people and to see, okay, I'm not the only one who thinks this is a good idea. These people may also be able to help you. So find out as quickly as possible, am I the only one who thinks this is a hot idea, or do a couple of other people think so too? And that may mean that you occasionally have to go out on a little bit of thin ice, where you may feel a little uncomfortable. It's really like being thrown into the pool at the deep end, but that's just the way it is – and that goes for men as well as women, and for many women who may say, oh, I'm just not that comfortable taking risks. That's also a difficult thing for men, you just have to go and do it.

[Ruge:] Vectoflow. Assuming you're proud of being a female founder and now you'd like to brag a bit: What can you tell us about your company?

[Kreitz:] In the meantime we're six and a half years old. I think people say, after seven years you've made it out of the woods. I think we're on the right path. We're present in over 80 countries. I think you'll probably be familiar with all of our customers. You've heard of SpaceX and the German companies and the other European companies. We're really spread out around the world. We'll soon be opening a branch in America and we always have innovative products because we always want to keep moving ahead and not get stuck, since if you do you get left behind. And I think that's also what makes it fun for all of our employees. In the meantime there are 19 of us. They know they can drive developments by themselves as well – and that's just a lot of fun. They can also be what they want to be and can also play a role in actually shaping the future of the company.

[Ruge:] And now just a few quick words or a sentence on studying mechanical engineering, for the students who are starting out right now. Is there a certain test where you'd say, listen people, you really have to study for this one?

[Kreitz:] Mechanics I/II. I'd recommend learning a lot more than you think you need to. I did a lot of extra laps there, and it paid off.

[Ruge:] Okay – Katharina Kreitz, thank you for speaking with us.

[Kreitz:] Thank you very much.

Five Tips

[Moderator Kirsch:] We'll wrap up today's episode of "We are TUM" as always by leaving the university world with our feature 'Five Tips'. Today we look at health, sports and finding a physical counterpoint to work and studying. In particular we'll be looking at the question of how to make it all work at the same time. My guest today is the sports scientist Frédéric Margue, Head of Performance Analysis at the Luxembourg Institute for High Performance in Sports, which can be compared to a German Olympic training camp. Frédéric is also a triathlon trainer. Hello, Frédéric…

[Frédéric Margue:] Hi Matthias.

[Kirsch:] Frédéric, today you've brought us five tips on how to work out a good balance between sports on the one hand and work and studying on the other. But before we get to that, you're a TU Munich alumnus: You studied sports science at TUM. What was your sports routine like when you were studying here?

[Margue:] Well, during my time studying here I did a lot of triathlons and I benefitted quite a lot from the program available at the ZHS sports center. Very often the routine was for example that I went to the pool in the Olympiazentrum before lectures; there is a lot of great sports infrastructure there. Otherwise I did my cycling sort of on the side, and did my running in Olympiapark. There are a lot of great possibilities in Munich.

[Kirsch:] That sounds in any case as if you managed quite well to get that all in on the same schedule. Now, let's move on to your actual suggestions. What are the five tips you brought along for our listeners looking for a good balance between work and studies on the one hand and sports on the other?


[Margue:] Alright, my first tip is: Try to integrate as much sports and movement as possible in your general everyday routine. Especially for people who don't have much extra time or who just don't want to spend too much time on sports, it's really worth it to think objectively about where exactly it would be possible to work physical activity into the daily routine. A classic is the way we get to work or school. If you make the trip with your bike, then you already have two units of sports behind you every working day and you've hardly lost any time compared to other means of transportation. An alternative is to simply get off the train or bus a couple of stations early and walk part of the distance. Otherwise it can be just little things, for example as a general rule I would not use escalators or elevators. Take the stairs - it's a great way to get some endurance training time for free in the middle of the working day.

[Kirsch:] That sounds great. What's your second tip?


[Margue:] OK, my second tip is: Find the kind of sports you really enjoy. That may sound pretty trivial, but there are so many people who force themselves to go to the health club every day or who think jogging is going to have to be fun for them. But a lot of the time that's simply not the case. So if you notice you're not enjoying the sports classics, make sure to try out another kind of sport, just find the one that's right for you. In Munich of course there's the central university sports program and the ZHS. There are so many different kinds of sports you can try out there, you're bound to find something you really like. So as a rule any form of movement is going to be better than no movement at all.

[Kirsch:] Makes sense. If working out is really work, then the odds are good that we won't stick with it. Great advice. And what's your third tip?


[Margue:] It sort of follows the second one: Try to find work-out partners or clubs, small groups that you can work out with together. A lot of people are more motivated when they do sports in a group or with a set partner. Take a regularly scheduled jogging round, for example. Or maybe a classic sports club, a team. It can also be just an informally organized group which meets to play soccer in the park. Or just a friend to meet up with for a workout. This often heightens motivation; if you've made a date to meet someone else, you're much less likely to just skip the work-out. There's just a greater feeling of obligation. In addition, working out in a group is often more fun. The group dynamic can move you quite a bit as well.

[Kirsch:] Of course we all know the feeling. When we decide to take a jog in the evening and there's no pressure from the social group, then it's much easier to just stay on the couch, as well probably all know.

[Margue:] Exactly, yes.

[Kirsch:] Frédéric, how about your fourth tip?


[Margue:] Make small steps, do small units rather than for example just one long run every week. It doesn't help if you try to make up on the weekend for everything you neglected all week. And don't be afraid to really step on the gas: The higher the intensity, the higher the energy throughput. That means you can often achieve more in a short period of time than with longer low-key units. By the way, the WHO also changed its official recommendations about a year ago: its recommendation for adults is now at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activities or as an alternative 75 to 150 minutes of high-intensity activity. So it can be worth it to move in the direction of high intensity. For example, riding your bike to the university or to work twice a week, playing basketball with your colleague at lunch and then maybe going for a jog again over the weekend means you'll make the recommended amount of exercise, and that without a lot of effort.

[Kirsch:] That brings us to your last tip, number five…


[Margue:] OK, this is a simple tip which applies to just about all areas of our lives, but which also applies very well to sports. Define your goals, define good goals. When is a goal a good one? In this context we often hear that the goal should be a smart one. First, it should be specific. You have to be able to describe exactly what you want to achieve. That should make it measurable. This means there has to be a criterion based which can be used to determine whether or not the goal has been achieved. Then: The goal should be an attractive one. That's of course highly subjective and individual. It should be a realistic goal, ambitious but also achievable. Very important. And it should have a deadline. There has to be a date by which the goal has to have been achieved. One example would be: Next October I want the run the Munich half-marathon in two hours. That would be a relatively simple, smart goal: At least it's specific, measurable and scheduled for a certain time. Of course the question of whether or not it's also attractive and realistic will vary from person to person.

[Kirsch:] Yes, it probably has to do with how well the individual manages to apply the five tips you brought along for us today. My impression is that the right combination of these various things will result in a good balance between work and studying on the one hand and physical activity on the other. Frédéric, thank you very much for visiting us, and of course thank you for your tips!

[Margue:] You're welcome, it was a pleasure to be here.

[Kirsch:] And that's it for this episode of "We are TUM". In the next episode we'll once again be showcasing TUM's cutting-edge research, student life and we'll be speaking with all those who make TU Munich the unique place that it is. This has been "We are TUM". This episode was produced by Marcel Laskus, Clarissa Ruge, ProLehre Media and Didactics and by me, Matthias Kirsch. Sound design and post-production by Marco Meister at Edition Meister in Berlin. That's all until the next episode. Make sure to join us and discover the big and little secrets of the Technical University of Munich!


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