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Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and TU Darmstadt President Hans Jürgen Prömel talk with students at the ceremony opening the liaison office in Blacksburg.

Office brings Germany closer to Blacksburg

For more than two decades, Virginia Tech and the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany have shared robust study abroad programs, joint research projects, and faculty and staff exchanges. Nearly 400 students have traveled the 4,000 miles between each university to study engineering, political science, German language and literature, and architecture. 

Now, the bonds between the two institutions are even stronger. This year, the Virginia Tech-TU Darmstadt Liaison Office opened in Blacksburg with the mission of strengthening collaboration. 

Philina Wittke joined Virginia Tech’s Global Education Office, part of Outreach and International Affairs, as head of the liaison office. Along with promoting existing programs, advising interested students, and facilitating enrollment, Wittke will explore potential areas for joint research with Virginia Tech colleges. These include refugee integration, smart housing, cybersecurity, and business informatics.

Woman standing in front of a map
Philina Wittke

“It is always great when you have a reason to celebrate — and this is a particularly great one,” Wittke said. “Two decades of friendship, partnership, and success; two decades of aspiring graduates on two continents; and two decades of world-changing ideas generated by trustful common projects.”  

 Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs, said, “Both Virginia Tech and TU Darmstadt have a long history together, and we are keen to deepen this partnership. The liaison office provides VT with the perfect opportunity to promote German higher-education opportunities on our campus and explore new ventures together.”

He said the office will support the development of initiatives that expand cooperation between the United States and Germany in the areas of education, research, and corporate engagement.