Team of the Month 06/18: “Long Night of Research” project team

On the initiative of Vice-Rector for Research Stefan Pichler, WU opened its doors to the public for its first Long Night of Research event on Friday, April 13. The event was organized by a team of seven staff members, who worked together with researchers to master the challenge of implementing this new type of event on Campus WU. The team was made up of Gregor Bauer (Campus Management), Stefan Baumgartner (IT-SERVICES), Beat Binggeli (Marketing & Communications), Stefan Jester (IT-SERVICES), Alexandra Lachout (Rector’s Office), Anna Maria Schwendinger (Marketing & Communications), and Reinhard Sefelin (Research Service Center).

The Long Night of Research at WU was a premiere – not just for the organization team, but also for the participating researchers who presented their work and answered the visitors’ many questions. The event offered something for everyone: ten fascinating research stations, three top-class lectures, campus tours, information about the WU University Library and the history of WU, and insights into the world of start-ups at the WU Entrepreneurship Center. The Rector’s Council already started inviting researchers to submit and present their research projects for the Long Night of Research in the fall of 2017. Inspired by the many fascinating submissions, the project team started work in January, 2018. The Marketing & Communications team was in charge of design and scheduling, as well as for event management and marketing. Alexandra Lachout and Reinhard Sefelin coordinated communications with the researchers who were responsible for the individual research stations during the Long Night of Research event. Careful planning and implementation by the IT-SERVICES and Campus Management teams made sure the evening went smoothly. “The biggest challenge was creating an experience for visitors that met the researchers’ demands and showed their work in the best possible light while also channeling the flow of visitors safely and smoothly,” said the team.

At the event on April 13, around 1,600 people of all ages attended the Long Night of Research at WU. In the forum of the LC building, visitors found answers to questions on topics like the cost of the future, our aging society, how data can explain the world, wealth and poverty, justice, and what makes us happy.  Federal Minister Margarete Schramböck also visited the event and was very impressed by the research stations. A food court outside the Library & Learning Center building made sure no-one went home hungry.

The night’s success was thanks not only to the project team, but also to the committed researchers on stage and at the research stations: their energy and expertise inspired interest and enthusiasm in the visitors, who were visibly curious and fascinated by the evening’s events. “It was a great night and interesting for visitors of all ages. We would also like to say thank you to our researchers, who invested so many hours in preparing for and holding this event.”