On Friday, the 11th November 2022 at 11:11 a.m. started the big celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Dipl.-Ing. (FH)/Bachelor degree in Optometry and 20 years of the Master degree in Vision Science and Business (Optometry) at Aalen University. As part of this anniversary, a great symposium about the future of optometry took place in the main auditorium of Aalen University. Numerous top-class speakers from many different sub-areas of optometry appeared, as well as a large number of graduates and current students.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Schrage, the chief doctor at the eye clinic in Köln-Merheim, spoke about the change in the way opticians and ophthalmologists work together and pointed out many ways in which both professions can benefit from a cooperation. Also Dr. Sauder, chief doctor at the Charlotten-Klinik for Ophthalmology in Stuttgart, spoke about the existing cooperation between Aalen University and his clinic in order to prepare current and future students for closer cooperation between the medicine and opticians. Even if Prof. Dr. Schiefer, head of the “Vision Research” competence center, senior physician at the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Tübingen and professor at the University of Aalen, unfortunately couldn’t appear in person, he insisted on presenting his latest state of knowledge on the development and use of digital refractions. Thanks to the modern, technical possibilities, he was connected online to the symposium and presented his topic.
In addition to the speakers from the medical sector, there were also many representatives from the industry, such as Mr. Scheppelmann, Managing Director of 2do digital. He spoke about the future customer journey and how opticians can gain a clear advantage in customer acquisition with the many, already existing digital possibilities. In addition, Mr. Wyss, himself a graduate of the master program and CEO of eyeness AG in Bern, presented some therapeutic applications of contact lenses, which are not yet fully known to most opticians and optometrists. Mr. Hofmann, CEO of Sehzentrum Zürich AG, presented another exciting outlook on the development of the professional field of optometrists. In his lecture, he presented some practical examples and went into the topics of vision training, children and sports optometry.
In addition, Mrs. Dr. Breher presented her latest research results on the very current topic of myopia. Miss Dr. Breher showed some associations between daily habits and myopia progression.
40 years Dipl.-Ing. (FH) or bachelor’s degree in Optometry and 20 years of master’s degree in Vision Science and Business (Optometry) are a real milestone and it is not possible to exist for so long without having people who are completely committed to these courses and do everything to ensure that the imparted knowledge is always up to date. Two outstanding personalities who have ensured that the bachelor and master degree programs have existed for so long and have produced a large number of highly qualified graduates and current managers are Prof. Heinz Diepes and Prof. Dr. h.c. Dietmar Kümmel.
Next to the exciting specialist lectures and views of the future of optometry, the symposium also included eulogies to Prof. Diepes and Prof. Dr. Kümmel for their many years of effort. The eulogy for Prof. Diepes was given by Rector i. R. Prof. Dr. rer. Dr rer. pol. Dr. h.c. Hering, to which Prof. Diepes was also connected online and was therefore able to speak personally. Georg Scheuerer, the chairman of the alumni association gave a speech to express the appreciation of the efforts of Prof. Dr. h.c. Kümmel.
Another highlight was the presentation of the Karl Amon Optometry Award. For the 15th time, Mr. Amon, himself a graduate of the Master program, presented the coveted prize to this year’s two best-in-class, Jessica Gruhl and Maximilian Aricochi, for their respective theses.
The eventful and exciting day was rounded off with a nice party in the optometry and audiology laboratory building.
You can have a look at all pictures of the symposium “Future of Optometry” here.
Apply now here for the start of the next semester in the summer of 2023!