MSOE has had a longstanding partnership with Technische Hochschule Lübeck (THL), or the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences, in Lübeck, Germany for mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and business programs and this year biomedical engineering joined the partnership.

“This program is a natural extension of the existing MSOE-THL partnership,” said Dr. Olga Imas, biomedical engineering professor. “It is also no surprise that Germany is at the forefront for medical device innovation, and THL is known for its excellent biomedical engineering education with a curriculum that aligns closely with ours, so it is a win-win all around.”

The biomedical engineering exchange program is a semester-long program during students’ junior year. THL students attend MSOE during the Fall Semester, and then MSOE students attend THL during the Spring Semester. There are currently two THL students attending MSOE this semester, Marcel Mahler and Katharina Blum.

Blum was interested in studying abroad after becoming friends with MSOE students in the electrical engineering dual degree program who attended THL last year. “I knew I wanted to visit them and their university and experience a different kind of education.”

Imas explained one of the many reasons the MSOE and THL partnership works so well is because the two universities have similar program curriculum focused on hands-on, application-oriented courses. Mahler and Blum noted the similarities in the programs and enjoy the inclusiveness at MSOE.

“The teaching of the professors here is very personal. The professors know each student by name. I think that is very cool,” said Mahler.

In addition to taking courses, students also have the benefit of experiencing the culture at MSOE and in Milwaukee. Mahler and Blum are both involved in student clubs and orgs on campus, Mahler in the Embedded Systems Club and Blum in the Crochet Club and Ski Club. They are enjoying experiencing Milwaukee, especially the German aspects found across the city.

“I found it very surprising how many German festivals and restaurants there are in Milwaukee and Wisconsin,” said Mahler. Blum agreed, stating, “I was surprised by the amount of German encountered in everyday life. Names of companies, last names and foods.”

In addition to the exchange program, the biomedical engineering program initiated an annual summer trip to Europe which includes a visit to THL and various medical device companies in Germany. The summer 2023 trip included visits to two medical device companies, Drager and Philips. The short trip provides students with a sneak peak of the exchange program.

“Aside from being an exciting travel opportunity for our students, it offers an opportunity for them to explore the option of completing the exchange program at THL by visiting it ahead of time, meeting MSOE students who are currently studying at THL and learning about campus and Lübeck,” said Imas.

For students who are still thinking about studying abroad, Mahler and Blum recommend it. “To study abroad in a different country is a valuable experience, for life and in general, but especially for biomedical engineering students,” said Blum. “We experience what work in an international environment looks like while improving our English skills.”

Learn more about MSOE’s study abroad programs at