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Pascal Gehlert - Success Story

I attended BIS from Reception through to Grade 12, where I completed my IB in the summer of 2012. In the following October I joined Imperial College London to begin my Master of Engineering (MEng) degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Being part of the men’s first tennis team as well as the University football club together with the vast amount of possibilities offered by the bustling city of London (especially in comparison to the more rural Haimhausen, which had been my home for the previous 15 years) it did not take long before I found myself in the middle of my degree. Two summer internships after my first and second year at MTU Aero Engines had given me a brief glimpse of what the working world looked like but it was not until I completed my third year that I was able to gain a better understanding of what my University course was preparing me for.

I joined the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team for a 13-month industrial placement in their aerodynamics group. As part of the “rear-car” team I was seeking to improve the cars’ performance by optimising the aerodynamics package. Here I was involved in everything from having an initial design idea, drawing the geometry using computer aided design (CAD) software, utilizing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to assess the cars’ performance to being the responsible aerodynamicist on shift (including being alone at nights) during wind tunnel testing. Working in such an enthusiastic and fast paced environment, where it could take as little as a week from thinking of a design to it being tested in the wind tunnel and a further two race weekends before it could be seen racing around on the car driven by 2016 World Championship winner Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton was truly inspiring and extremely fulfilling. Having had in total four different designs featured on the car and being part of the team during their third consecutive constructors championship win was an amazing experience, especially considering that I had been reluctant to apply, as I thought there would be no way that I would be selected.

The second part of my fourth and final year at Imperial was focused on my Master’s thesis which experimentallyinvestigated the effect of fractal endplates on the formation of the wingtip vortex of an aircraft. I was able to use one of the wind tunnels at Imperial where, by employing stereographic particle image velocimetry (stereo-PIV), which basically uses a laser sheet and small particles in the flow to visualise the flow field, I discovered some very interesting results. The project ended up being so successful that I was awarded the Airbus Prize for best aerodynamics Masters’ project of my year and together with my supervisor we submitted a paper to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal, where we will present the results at the 2018 AIAA SciTech Conference in Florida in January.

After completing my Masters’ degree in the summer of 2017, I have begun my PhD at Cambridge as part of the Fluids group, where I am excited to spend just over three years experimentally investigating aerodynamic phenomena.

If there is one thing that I take away from my time since I have left BIS it is that you should never doubt yourself and even if you think that there is no chance on earth that you will accepted for a program or a position that you should never let that stop you. Both times when applying for the Formula 1 and PhD position I had been convinced that the chances of being accepted were almost zero. Yet through some way or other I was offered the possibility to experience these (at least for me) extremely interesting worlds and in hindsight I am unbelievably grateful that I did not let my fear deter me from pursuing what interested me the most.

Pascal Gehlert

Farewell message

My time as alumni coordinator is drawing to a close. It has been a fascinating and most rewarding experience. Throughout my years news from alumni finishing university, moving up the career ladder, doing gap years, founding families and new babies born has been pouring in. Witnessing the role BIS has played in their lives has filled me with pride and I think we should share this pride – the student body, parents, staff and leadership, the whole community.

I would like to sum up my experience by thanking all the people involved. Naturally, I won’t be able to mention everybody; the following thanks can only exemplify the support I have received, but they do document our progress in alumni relations.

I would like to thank:

  • Erica Swedberg, my predecessor, for laying the foundation of alumni work at BIS;
  • Alex Schoch and Sebastian Seehusen for acting as guest speakers at the graduation of 2006;
  • Alex Sperl for his impetus to establish the Annual Great Reunion at BIS:
  • Matt Willis and Sebastian Mühlhaus for founding the alumni football team, the backbone of alumni relations in the Munich area;
  • Andi Pichler, Andy Box and the IOU1 team, worthy opponents of the alumni team
  • Claudia Freitas, Daping Fu, Jean Moorhouse, Renate Bock, Ben McGroarty, Allegra Peruzzi, Damien Barr, Mark and Christa Bender, the most loyal staff supporters of alumni events;
  • Tia Martin, our superb photographer;
  • Johanna Schiller for organizing the Annual Report and anniversary videos, containing important alumni news;
  • Tom Aney for his professional advice;
  • Marc Hörhammer and Katie Schuhbauer for acting as speakers at the 20th anniversary celebrations;
  • Katie Long and Franziska Bauer for organizing 10th anniversary reunions;
  • Katie Long and Leo Peruzzi for organizing the Be Inspired talks;
  • Stuart Kilner and Robyn Klijn, our first alumni speakers at Be Inspired;
  • Claire Ziatas and Kiyoshi Tiele for acting as Career Day speakers;
  • Mark Schuhbauer for helping to organise our Black Tie Dinners in Munich and London
  • Erica Borgstrom, Marie Sophie von Bibra,

Gioia Forster, Kiyoshi Tiele, Aki Tiele and Pascal Gehlert for sharing their impressive success stories on our website and in the yearbook;

  • Our guest speakers in assemblies: Georg Theissen, Ivan Wiedemann, Phillip Rathjen, Dany Rothemund, Bardia von Beust, Julia Schultes, Maria Zanders, Manon Lichtenberg, Katharina Hampel, Franziska Bauer, and many more!
  • Stephen Powell, Tobias Linden Marina Banks, Annie Ashman, Natalie Willems, Philipp Breuer, Nici Böhm, Dan Ryan, Sam Lisle, Arnor Elvarsson for their video on behalf of our 25 anniversary;
  • All contrbutors to our website, the annual report and the year book;
  • Chrissie Sorenson for running the annual Cocktail Reunion in London and for providing most valuable impetus and support;
  • Last but not least, all the visitors who dropped in „just for a chat“.

Well, folks that’s it. It’s been great fun.You have shared your experiences with us. You’ve kept us in touch with the outside world and you have also enhanced our BIS identify, making BIS transgenerational and international in the best sense of the word.

Wishing you all the best
Siegfried Joseph
Alumni Coordinator

Alumni News

Paulina Svärd

Wow, time really flies! I attended BIS between 2000-2003 (grade 8 to grade 10). I don't think anyone understoodthis crazy fast talking Swede in her the first year! Since leaving, I've studied social sciences and IT at Swedish high school, followed by 1.5 years of Media and communication at university. After that adding another 3 years at university to study Journalism and media production. But I actually ended up following a path in Logistics and is currently working as a Logistic coordinator and Quality controller at a innovative Swedish medical device company. I also got married (last name used to be Bergerholm) and now live with my husband and our two sons close to Stockholm in Sweden.

Read more about Fast talking Swede
Miryam Choune (class of 2007)

After spending most of my life in Europe I have been very blessed to start a new life here in Saudi Arabia. For three years I have been living with the father of my now two year old healthy son. I am teaching 3rd grade in an International IB school here in sunny Riyadh while extending my knowledge of our early learners by studying an online child's psychology and counseling course.

It feels amazing to guide and support our new generations by helping them build their way up through the rich IB program, and support them to eventually become successful, balanced, and independent world citizens.

I am really looking forward to see you all back healthy and well. May God bless you all.

Read more about New life in Saudi Arabia
Maxi Lichtenberg (class of 2012)

After finishing my studies in London majoring in (BA) History and Politics, I have now arrived in Catalunya (Spain). I am teaching English as a foreign language at a private language school. I have a great work-life balance. This is key to a fulfilled life. I am living my life full of purpose and dedication towards my vision, which is furthering my knowledge of how people learn and how we communicate with each other, while simultaneously enjoying my accomplishments and the comfort of living with my needs taken care of. I am grateful for that and do not take it for granted. It is important to stay grounded, present in your body, regardless of what your personal goals are. This way you notice that truly anything is possible and you do not miss out on life while chasing your dreams. Balance is key. Enjoy your life. Every lesson it brings and message it has for you (messages come in a plethora of ways - through opportunities, people, your intuition and consequences of your decisions - you name it). Take pleasure in the little things around you and do not overwhelm yourself. Trust. Envision and work for your ideal life - and enjoy yourself while doing so. Most of all, be kind to yourself and to others.

Read more about Balance is key

We have a story to tell

There is one big creative task we are all faced with: we need to learn to tell the story of our lives, to discover in what direction we want to go, to give individual incidents cohesion and to communicate it to others in an enriching way. The stories on this page may not be representative but they show what great variety evolves from the Bavarian International School. One thing is certain: our alumni are actively moulding their futures. It is thrilling to hear their stories and to learn that they remember their schooldays with fondness and pride.

However, we also face new challenges. Students returning to BIS for a visit often find out that the place that meant home for them at an important stage of their lives is now inhabited by people they don't know. Social media may help to keep in touch, but real friendship and vibrant alumni relations depend on active encounters. A growing number alumni keep in touch at university and beyond and some even get married to an alumnus or and alumna! Furthermore, alumni speakers in assemblies also play an important role in inspiring the next generation of IB students. A BIS identity is being forget through reunions, black tie dinners and more informal meetings such as the Munich Stammtisch or the Alumni Football Team which stars at the annual Great Reunion at the beginning of the school year when they play the Haimhausen torpedoes. And they usually win!

Siegfried Joseph, Alumni Coordinator