History of TTASS

In the wake of the fall of communism in eastern Europe around the year 1991, Professor Galwas from the Technical University of Warsaw, Poland, visited alongside his delegation the Technical University of Darmstadt, and his counterpart there, namely Professor of Microwave Electronics, Hans Hartnagel. During their discussions the idea of a summer school was born, in order for doctoral students to have the chance to interact with fellow students and professors from both west and east Europe. A common friend from Rome, Italy, Prof. Franco Gianni was joined in and the three of them founded the International Traveling Summer School (ITSS)l with its first edition taking place in 1991 in Warsaw, Poland. 

The ITSS has always been concerned with the latest developments and future issues of microwave and optical electronics, frequencies of the terahertz range, and application concepts. Quantum electronics is a significant area of concern as well. The success and increasing prominence of the ITSS led to requests from universities from the USA for participation, which were met with mixed reactions and ultimately not encouraged. Participating universities included students from all over the world including Africa, Asia, and South America.

During the summer school in order to create opportunities for cooperation between students of different universities and backgrounds, they are divided into multinational teams of 4-6 persons. Every team is responsible for developing their design project in the field of microwaves and/or photonics. Students have broad access to information including the internet, the university libraries as well as industry data. The final result I presented in a seminar form at the end of the summer school. A certificate of participation is issued for students to include in their resumes. For certain universities, the summer school is part of their optional/elective courses, with remarks being given to the final project which is included in the student’s transcripts.

The first Summer School in 1991 took place then in Warsaw. With subsequent editions taking place in Rome, 1992, in Guildford (near London), 1993, and in Darmstadt, 1994.  The Summer Schools were often of interest to local industrial companies who then provided prizes for the best design projects. In the coming years, ITSS took place in various locations, such as Bratislava in 1997, where at our very comfortable and well-equipped hostel two soldiers ensured day and night that nothing happened to us. In 1999 it was Rome, where Prof Giannini had to solve the problem of finding a good repair company for our Polish bus so that participants from Germany, Poland, and other northern European countries could ultimately return home again. In the year 2000, we were in Moscow, where our Russian host together with Professors Galwas and Hartnagel had an impressive invitation for an afternoon conversation with the President of the Russian Academy in the center of Moscow. ITSS has taken place in many other cities like Madrid (Spain), L’Aquila (Italy), Stockholm (Sweden), Prague, and Frankfurt (Germany).

The Summer School ITSS is supported financially by various organizations such as the European Union. It is involved with 24 universities from 15 different countries. It certainly was and continues to be a contribution of great importance to European science and engineering education.

by professor Hans Hartnagel

1991

Warsaw – Zaborow

Bratislava

1997
1999

Rome

Moscow

2000
2011

Darmstadt

Warsaw

2013
2015

Madrid/Getafe

l’Aquila

2016
2017

Stockholm

More of TTASS

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