Tuesday, March 14, 2017

TU Dresden

Today, we visited Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) to learn about research going on there. Later we got see the city.
Today, we visited Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden). We rode the Dresden tram system for the first time on the way to the university, which is very similar to the light rail in the Twin Cities. Our host, Dr Philipp Frank gave a presentation about the research he does in polymeric microsystems. He discussed how he and his colleagues are researching circuits that use hydrogen-based materials, fluid composition, and temperature to open and close valves, allowing pressurized fluid to follow thorough the circuit accordingly. We were able to see some of this research in action during our tour of the laboratories on campus.

In the late afternoon, we visited the Frauenkirche Dresden. Although we saw it the first day, today our we toured it. Our experience began with a video based on the history of the church. The church was bombed in 1945 and burned. Within a few days, the sandstone had turned molten red and the significant church fell. It was seen as a war memorial for many decades, but the public wanted to rebuild it. Remains of the first church that survived are used to represent the loss. As well, the previous cross atop the church stands tall in the hall. The entire experience was humbling. It was unbelievable what the architect, Bahr, had accomplished without the technology we have access to today.

For dinner the whole group and Philipp ate at an art café/restaurant that was entirely decorated in antiques. After dinner we walked around old town Dresden to see the city at night. Then we walked to new town, which is more like a neighborhood and saw how many Germans hang out outside to chat and meet people. Philipp took us to some art courtyard passages where courtyards of apartment buildings are designed artistically with themes. For example we saw a sort of Mousetrap game courtyard with pipes and drains, and then a safari themed courtyard with giraffes and wicker baskets as patios.