Generation Z for satellite research

7 December 2023

The B2+ conference took place at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich (UniBw M) at the end of November. The Head of Human Resources at the Federal Ministry of Defence met together with his management team from UniBw M. The event focused primarily on current issues relating to personnel recruitment and development in the Bundeswehr. On the second day of the event, however, members of UniBw M had the opportunity to present some highlights from the university’s broad spectrum of research.

The SPACE research center demonstrated how the campus in Neubiberg has developed into a "Space Innovation Hub" in the field of satellite navigation and communication: with scientific minds and an infrastructure that not only enables laboratory research, but also a space mission such as the SeRANIS space research project at UniBw M, funded by – Digitalization and Technology Research Center of the Bundeswehr1.

Professor Roger Förstner presented the wide range of expertise at the SPACE research center. He let the participants hold a real CubeSat in their hands and explained how it is used in teaching.

Junior Professor Christian Hofmann and Professor Thomas Pany demonstrated how space infrastructure interacts with smartphones. Fake GPS signals briefly transported the participants' smartphones to Berlin and the smartphones were able to connect to the internet via satellites.

Professor Andreas Knopp reported on the challenges of recruiting young talent. There is strong competition with universities, universities of applied sciences, research centers, and finally with the industry. The changed decision-making criteria of Generation Z demand for new methods must be used to recruit personnel. The wide range of research opportunities and the existing infrastructure are unique features of UniBw M. In order to maintain and expand this uniqueness, it is necessary to solve not only the shortage of young talent but also the problem of the lack of mid-level academic posts for laboratory managers.

Lead image: The participants of the conference (© Universität der Bundeswehr München/Siebold) – Digitalization and Technology Research Center of the Bundeswehr – is a scientific center jointly supported by both universities of the Bundeswehr and part of the German government's economic stimulus program to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. With its inclusion in the German Recovery and Resilience Plan (GRRP), is funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU