A Moving & A Shaking


Instructor Robert Macrae to Teach in Germany

Brandenburg Technical University to Welcome Macrae for Two Semesters


Integrated Environmental Planning Technology instructor Robert Macrae will be spending the 2016-2017 school year overseas.

The veteran Selkirk College instructor was selected as the recipient of this year’s SCFA professional development assisted leave. He will be teaching at Brandenburg Technical University (BTU) in the city of Cottbus, Germany for two semesters starting September, 2016. 

Robert Macrae to Germany One

Selkirk College Instructor Robert Macrae will teach in Germany for two semesters starting in September.

BTU offers a BSc program in environmental science in both German and English. Students from over 80 countries attend BTU to complete programs in English.

This is what Macrae had to say about his upcoming teaching stint:

I will be teaching one course per semester in the English environmental science program. The courses are Environmental Techniques I and II. BTU was particularly interested in my experience in renewable energy curriculum development.

I expect I will gain experience working with international students, broaden my teaching experience, and learn more regarding the environmental and renewable energy initiatives being undertaken in Germany. Students in the BTU environmental science program are required to complete one semester abroad. I will encourage BTU students to consider attending Selkirk College in years to come. 

Robert Macrae to Germany Two

Cottbus is approximately one hour by train south of Berlin, very close to the Polish border, one hour north and a little west of Prague, situated on the Spree River, close to the Spree Wald UNESCO heritage site which is a series of canals linking small farms and market gardens. There are a number of large coal mines and therefore several large coal-fired power plants (around 3500 MW each). I assume because of the coal, Cottbus is a former home to a large synthetic textile industry. The power plants have been retrofitted with air and water pollution control and the retired coal mines have undergone considerable restoration. Cottbus is also the site of large renewable energy installations (wind, solar PV) and virtually the entire city is heated by a cogen system sourced at the power plants.

Like the West Kootenay and Boundary region, Cottbus has a large indigenous Slavic community, the Sorbs or Wendish people who speak Sorb and actively preserve their culture. A delegation from the Spree Neisse regional government visited the West Kootenay region is 2006 to explore establishing cultural links. I was invited to meet the delegation. That was the beginning of my connection with BTU.

I'm delighted to have been selected as an assisted leave recipient. Big thanks to the SCFA PD Committee and to Rhys Andrews and Brendan Wilson for their letters of support.

Good luck to Rob in his educational adventure!


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