From the initial tentative approaches during the mid 1990ies to today's broad development in the faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Josef Noeke significantly co-designed the cooperation of the two universities in Qingdao and Paderborn. In Qingdao, over the years he prepared almost 600 Chinese students in pre-departure seminars for the subsequent studies in Paderborn. In cooperation with instructors at both university locations, he assured the equivalency of many courses in Qingdao and Paderborn. Together with collegues in Paderborn, he later on assisted the Chinese students to orientate themselves in a new higher education system in the city at the springs of the Pader, especially during their first, now German-only semesters. While they had a set schedule during the first part of their studies in China, they now had to make important decisions on majors, electives and project seminars right after having moved to Paderborn. Advice and support were always required. Dr. Noeke assisted top-performing students early in their studies to apply for scholarships, e.g. at the DAAD. With the help of his contacts to companies in Germany, quite a few CDTF students found a placement for the mandatory industrial internship in Mechanical Engineering.
Paderborn's president Prof. Dr. Birgit Riegraf as well as the president and party secretary of the partner university QUST, Professor Dr. MA Lianxiang, thanked the long-time coordinator of the university cooperation for his commitment at both university locations. They wished him all the best for his pending retirement, the start of which he had voluntarily postponed by many years. In addition to the academic honors of a honorary professor of the CDTF, the QUST now honored Dr. Noeke for his special achievements in the development and operation of the CDTF with an "Honorary Credential". For some time now, his colleague Dr.-Ing. Vera Denzer has taken over his coordinating tasks.