Sun, Chuan-Wen and Kao, Chia Chuen, Professors Emeritus of NCKU, receive Freundschaftsmedaille.
German Institute Taipei awarded Freundschaftsmedaille (Friendship Medal) to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sun, Chuan-Wen, Professor Emeritus, Department of Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kao, Chia Chuen, Professor Emeritus, Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, in the annual meeting of Association of DAAD-Friends in Taiwan R.O.C (Verein der DAAD Freunde in Taiwan R.O.C) on January, 4th, 2020. This award symbolized the appreciation of Germany that both professors dedicate themselves to advance the academic exchange between Taiwan and Germany. Getting their Dr.-Ing (Doktoringenieur) in Germany, Prof. Sun and Prof. Kao expect that there should be more understandings and good contacts between Taiwan and Germany. Both of them make every effort to enhance the exchange between two countries and never change their mind until now. “We won’t ask any payback. Excepting feeling excited, we are more appreciated for being recognized of our effort.
”Prof. Sun, Chuan-Wen got his Dr.-Ing (Doktoringenieur) of Architecture at Universität Stuttgart and Prof. Kao, Chia Chuen got his Dr.-Ing (Doktoringenieur) of Civil Engineering at Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover. Both receiving Freundschaftsmedaille, their stories could be dated from 1980s and 1990s.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sun, Chuan-Wen, Professor Emeritus, Department of Architecture
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kao, Chia Chuen, Professor Emeritus, Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering
In 2019, Technische Universität Darmstadt set Asia Office and had visiting German scholars stay on at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). This is the first time that the outstanding German University has the branch office in Taiwan. This achievement is contributed to the effort of professors who studied abroad in Germany during 1980s and 1990s. Being the contact person for many times, Prof. Sun, Chuan-Wen and other professors of NCKU held receptions for Helmut Boehme, President of Technische Universität Darmstadt, and other faculties when they visited NCKU. During these eight years, they held international conferences and academic workshops and showed the strength and energy of NCKU.
Recollecting those active days, Prof. Sun said delightedly, “those days were so energetic! We welcomed and held hospitable receptions for not only scholars, but also the members of the German Federal Parliament (Abgeordneter des Deutschen Bundestages) and German media. During that time, the German representatives would start their visiting at NCKU and then transferred to Taipei.”
NCKU get highly recognition in promoting Taiwan-Germany exchange
During 1980s and 1990s, there were more than 30 professors who studied abroad in Germany. Most of them felt that Germany has many experiences worth learning. Being the early center of researching Germany-related issues and of promoting the exchange of German-speaking countries, German Center at National Cheng Kung University, established by Prof. Sun and other NCKU professors who studied abroad in Germany in 1997, is a still operating organization, while The Association of DAAD-Friends in Taiwan R.O.C was established in 1999, two years later.
Prof. Sun was the first director of German Center at National Cheng Kung University till 2010, the year of his retirement from NCKU. Prof. Sun also served as the president of The Association of DAAD-Friends in Taiwan R.O.C from 2004 to 2008. During his tenure, Prof. Sun invited Prof. Kao, Chia Chuen to serve as Secretary-General. With closer and enthusiastic cooperation, Prof. Sun and Prof. Kao are the significant contributors to the exchange between Taiwan and Germany.
When it mentioned to the reason why he actively advanced the Taiwan-Germany exchange, Prof. Sun indicated that Taiwan was deeply influenced by America, but tended to neglect experiences, which are also worthy to learn, from Germany and Europe. In addition, during the six years Prof. Sun studied abroad in Germany with scholarship, he received lots of help and got many friendships. Prof. Kao also mentioned that by comparison, Taiwanese is smarter than Germans. However, Germans are more “nit-picking” that they devote full attention to systematic approaches and excel at group cooperation.
Prof. Kao distinctly recalled that the German tend to look serious. Though they don’t have the culture of Karaoke, they have the tradition of beer festival. “The Macanna Beer House at Shengli Road was the regular restaurant of afterparties for us and Germans. We reserved the whole third floor which had the machine of Karaoke. Indeed, Karaoke advanced our friendship.”
NCKU get highly recognition in promoting Taiwan-Germany exchange. Prof. Kao pointed out that National Council on Science Development (now is Ministry of Science and Technology) firstly signed an agreement of exchange of students with Germany, and he was the principal investigator. In order to execute this project, “I took half a year’s sabbatical and flew to Germany many times to discuss every details of this project.” This project is still executed by NCKU until now. In 1997, Prof. Kao held the first “Chinese-German Joint Symposium on Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering,” a biennially conference. In 2002, the symposium included China as participant and was extended to a tripartite conference which held by Taiwan, Germany, and China by turns. In 2018, the ninth Chinese-German Joint Symposium on Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering was held in NCKU. Focusing his research on “Marine Observation Research,” Prof. Kao not only cooperates with German scholars but also participates in the related research project of European Union, which will enhance the visibility of NCKU and Taiwan.