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Alumni ambassadors

Our international Alumni initially came to Siegen to study. After they finished their studies they moved either back home, or it drew them out into the world..... As ambassadors for the University of Siegen they show their remaining close relationship with the University of Siegen with their signpost to Siegen at a place of interest in the country where they live.

My Uni Siegen Signpost

Mexico: Dr. Saúl Tovar-Arriaga

"El Jugador de Pelota" (The Ball Player), in front of the rectory esplanade of the Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico

Santiago de Querétaro ⇔ Siegen


Dr. Saul Tovar-Arriaga received his Master of Science in Mechatronics from the University of Siegen. He then obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. Currently, he is a full-time professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the Autonomous University of Queretaro and is the coordinator of the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence. His research interests include automatic medical diagnosis and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Saul Tovar-Arriaga: The photo shows a sculpture called "El Jugador de Pelota" (The Ball Player) made by sculptor David Manzanares de la Fuente, which is located in front of the rectory esplanade of the Autonomous University of Queretaro. The sculpture is inspired by one element that makes up the University's coat of arms. This symbol comes from a Mayan disk with the image of the player hitting the ball in the center, alluding to the origin of the game.

The Mesoamerican ball game (in Nahuatl: tlachtli or ollamalistli, in Classic Maya: pitz) was a sport with ritual and warlike connotations, played since 1400 B.C. by the pre-Columbian peoples of Mesoamerica; it was practiced both in daily life and in religious celebrations. It apparently served to resolve conflicts of various kinds: land disputes, tribute, trade controls, and others.

Ghana: Dr. Efua Esaaba Agyire-Tettey

Legon Botanical Gardens of the University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Accra ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Efua E. Agyire-Tettey is a lecturer at the Department of Social Work, School of Social Science, University of Ghana in Accra. She graduated in 2015 from the faculty of Education and Psychology with a Doctoral degree of Philosophy in Social Work from the University of Siegen.

Dr. Efua. E. Mantey Agyire-Tettey: "Legon Botanical Gardens, is owned by University of Ghana and managed by both the Department of Botany, University of Ghana, Legon and Mulch Company Limited. The Botanical Gardens are located in Legon, Accra, Ghana's capital city. The Botanical Gardens are a beautiful outdoor play space for persons of all ages. The garden serves as a playground, habitat for some flora and fauna species with a lovely dam which gives the garden a cool ambiance. It has a beautiful, serene atmosphere, which is a nice and great place for a day out with family and friends."

Thailand: Prof. Dr. Korakoch Attaviriyanupap

Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Nakhon Pathom ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Korakoch Attaviriyanupap visited Siegen University for the first time in 2009 as part of a research cooperation. Since then, together with her cooperation partner Prof. Dr. Petra Vogel and other colleagues, she has repeatedly conducted research on questions of contrastive linguistics of the German and Thai languages during various research stays in Siegen. Her findings are of particular interest to the department of German as a Foreign Language at her university in Bangkok. This field of research, which Dr Attaviriyanupap is working on, is widespread in Thailand.
In addition to her commitment to research, Dr Attaviriyanupap is also involved in the international exchange between alumni of the University of Siegen and the research projects that develop from this within the framework of the Alumni Academy.

Dr. Korakoch Attaviriyanupap: „The Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest Buddhist Chedi the world, is considered the landmark of the city of Nakhon Pathom in Thailand, about 60 kilometres southwest of Bangkok.

My university, Silpakorn University, has a campus in this city where our German department is located. When you go south by train in Thailand, you pass this city and from the train you see this big Chedi I therefore find a connection here with the "Krönchen" in Siegen, which I can see on the train to Siegen.“

USA: Eric Marshall

Marshall Brewing Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa ⇔ Siegen

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Eric Marshall studied International Economics and German at the at the University of Tulsa in the US state of Oklahoma. 2003 he came to the University of Siegen for six months as part of an exchange programme. A time that had a great impact on him. On the one hand, because he found people in his host family with whom he is still in close contact today, and on the other hand, because he got to know something in Siegerland that turned his entire professional career upside down: Beer

Eric Marshall: "Back in Tulsa, I missed the fresh, locally brewed beer. In Oklahoma, the alcohol laws were very strict for a long time and many very religious people completely rejected the consumption of beer or wine. But times have changed and restrictions have been relaxed. So I started brewing my own beer at home. I came to the conclusion that Tulsa lacked a brewery. Through a friend I met a brewmaster from Munich who wanted to help me. After graduating from university, I continued my studies at brewing institutes in Chicago and Munich. I went to six smaller breweries in Germany for training. Then I worked at a brewery in Pennsylvania for a year and then actually started my brewery in Tulsa. That was ten years ago now." (Eric Marshall in an interview for the university newspaper "Querschnitt")

Mali: Ousmane Ouattara

Porte d'entrée à Bamako, Mali

Bamako ⇔ Siegen

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Ousmane Ouattara studied his diploma in electrical engineering from 1988 - 1996 at the University of Siegen. During his studies he specialised in electrical energy technology. He currently works as managing director for the engineering company Renergiepartner-Mali GmbH, located in Kalaban Coura, within the district of Bamako, south of Niger in Mali.

He was already focused on energy generation through water, sun and wind throughout his studies. These kinds of regenerative energy sources have many advantages for his home country of Mali, in contrast to thermal energy generation, which could disrupt the delicate ecological balance of the Sahel region. During his diploma thesis Ouattara worked on concrete projects, such as energy generation through hydropower in a southern Malinese region. His objective was always to use the knowledge that he gained in Europe for the benefit of his home country.

Ousmane Ouattara: „Behind me is the way to the Bamako airport MODIBO KEÏTA - SENOU. On the display one can read "BAMAKO MEILLEURS VOEUX 2020".

My engineering company d.h Renergiepartner-Mali works in collaboration with the ACCESS Energie SA company and the ONG Mali-Folkecenter (MFC). Renergiepartner has, together with ACCESS and MFC, supplied electricity to more than 15 villages within the framework of the Agency for the Development of Domestic Energy and Rural Electrification programme in Mali (AMADER). Renergiepartner- Mali, i.e. my engineering office is primarily responsible for the electricity grid in these villages. Renergiepartner is currently searching for financing for an 8.5MW wind farm project in Mali.“

El Salvador: Evelio Ruano Padilla

Jiquilisco-Bucht, El Salvador

San Salvador ⇔ Siegen

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Evelio Ruano Padilla first completed his master's degree in economic policy in Costa Rica. He then conducted a research internship in economic policy at the University of Siegen in 2010 with Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe (chair for business administration, with a speciality in earned value management, particularly in SMEs). He also participated in three summer schools at the University from 2013-2015, which dealt with the topic of sustainability. Today Evelio Ruano Padilla is based in the El Salvadorian capital city of San Salvador, where he works for the Ministry of Economy as an investment advisor. He works there on numerous projects related to economic development, one of which is shown in the photo above.

Evelio Ruano Padilla: "This picture was taken at a water basin in the Jiquilisco-bay, which consists of wetlands containing mostly Mangroves, which are managed by a cooperative dedicated to the rearing of shrimps. This cooperative receives financial support from the ministry of economy to modernise their technology, this enables higher productivity without increasing the impact upon the environment. The Jiquilisco-Bay was admitted to the Ramsar Convention in 2005, this convention is dedicated to the protection of internationally important wetlands. The bay is home to many different animal species, and is an ideal place to observe a variety of different seabirds, such as the American Skimmer, Wilson's Plover, Brown-mantled Oystercatcher and many others. In the background of this photo you can see the „Chichontepec“ volcano, which is approximately 2173m high, the second highest volcano in El Salvador."

… and about his time as a student in Siegen: "The experiences which I had in Siegen weren‘t only valuable from an academic and cultural perspective, but also from an interpersonal one. While I was there I developed some very important friendships, including Juliam Muhlack, who then worked for the Alumni team, which organised and carried out the Alumni Summer Schools. I helped him to get an invitation to do an internship at the Ministry of Economy in El Salvador, this further deepened our friendship, and it continues on to this day."

China: Xiaolong Li

Verbotene Stadt, Peking, China

Peking ⇔ Siegen

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Xiaolong Li completed his studies in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing, Entrepreneurship und SMEs from 2006 - 2010 at the University of Siegen. Since his graduation in 2010 he has become a founder and manager of Sino German Education GmbH in Beijing.

Xiaolong Li: "In the background you can see the Forbidden City. Within these walls is the former imperial palace, which throughout 1420 – 1911 was the residence of 24 chinese emperors of various dynasties and their families. In 1987 the Forbidden City was declared a UNESCO-World Heritage Site. It was originally not possible for ordinary people to enter the site. It was only in 1924, after the last emperor had left the city, that it was opened to the general public. Approximately 9 million visitors arrive to see this attraction each year"

...and about his time as a student in Siegen: "I enjoyed my time in Siegen very much, it was a great place to study, and I was also able to complete my studies early. At the University of Siegen, theoretical and practical knowledge are well connected, what I learnt during a lecture in the morning could be put into practice in the afternoon. After my graduation in 2010 I, together with three other University of Siegen business administration graduates, founded our company which specialises in educational exchanges between China and Germany. I was delighted that in 2018 two more graduates from the University of Siegen joined our company. We are now a „Siegener Haus“ in Beijing."

Pakistan: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ahmad Kamal Nasir

Minar-e-Pakistan (Tower of Pakistan), Lahore, Pakistan

Lahore ⇔ Siegen

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Dr.-Ing. Ahmad Kamal Nasir studied the mechatronics master programme at the University of Siegen and finished with he Ph.D.under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hubert Roth. Today he is Assistant Professor of electrical engineering and the Director of the Engineering Laboratory at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan.

Dr.-Ing. Ahmad Kamal Nasir: "The picture was taken along with my son in the heart of Lahore near Minar-e-Pakistan (Tower of Pakistan). Perhaps, one day he can also go to Uni-Siegen - 7737 km - for higher education!

Lahore is recognized by this symbolic tower. The tower reflects a mix of Mughal and Islamic architecture and is surrounded by old Mughal era (Middle Ages) buildings such as Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque and various others. It is an old city compared to other cities of Pakistan, the oldest written authentic document about Lahore was written in 982. Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan. It is also known as the education capital of Pakistan with more number of colleges and universities than any other city of Pakistan."

South Africa: Prof. Dr. Pamela Dube

West Coast of Cape Town, view of Table Mountain and Robben Island, South Africa

Kapstadt ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Pamela Dube is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Development and Support at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. She obtained her MA and Doctoral degrees in English Literature studies at the University of Siegen.

In her home country, South Africa, among other roles that include national government positions in the Department of Education, she established an International Office focused on strategic partnerships as Senior Manager in the Office of the CEO at the Nuclear Energy Commission of South Africa (NECSA). To date she has worked at various universities as the Vice Chancellor's Special Advisor in the area of Internationalisation and Student Affairs at the University of Johannesburg followed as Executive Director for Human Resources and finally herself in the position as Deputy Vice-Chancellor designate for Internationalisation, Advancement and Student Affairs. She also spent brief time as consultant to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the Kathmandu University in Nepal and lecturer for Media Studies and returned to South Africa to serve as Dean of Students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, before taking her current position at the University of the Western Cape.

Dr. Pamela Dube: "This is Blouberg, on the West Coast of Cape Town, in South Africa. I live there and this is my special place where I often take a walk along the sea, with both the view of Table Mountain ahead of me and on my left that of Robben Island. Our national icon, uTata uMadiba, Nelson Mandela as he is widely known, was imprisoned for 27 years at Robben Island.

I draw great inspiration from this place and the exemplary leadership that Mandela embodied and I am always reminded of this wonderful quote from him ‘What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead’. This is the special message I would like to share as part of expressing my everlasting gratitude for the opportunity to be linked with the University of Siegen as my Alma Mater. My student experience and support at the University of Siegen has enrinched my appreciation of my own country and amplified my role in it. It continues to impact on my professional growth and validation of my personal worth as a human being and as a global citizen, - that I am ‘good enough’, regardless of my background, race or gender."

Colombia: Catherine Chandellier und Jorge Enrique Rodriguez Arenas

Natural preserve near the "Club La Aguadora", Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá ⇔ Siegen

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Catherine Chandellier works as self-employed French teacher in Bogotá, Colombia.

Jorge Enrique Rodriguez Arenas is a Commercial Manager at the Empresa de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Bogotá (Water Supply of Bogotá). He is responsible for the operations of a water supply zone in Bogotá, Colombia.

The Frenchwoman Catherine Chandellier and the Columbian Jorge Enrique Rodriguez Arenas studied at the beginning of the 80s together at the University of Siegen. Jorge finished his civil engineering degree in 1983 with a specialisation on water supply. Catherine studied teacher training from 1981 to 1986 in the subjects of French and music. Since 1986 Catherine and Jorge have been living together with their family in Bogota, Colombia, the home country of Jorge.

Catherine Chandellier und Jorge Enrique Rodriguez Arenas: "When we came back to Colombia in 1986, Bogota was a new city for us. At this time Bogota was already a metropole with more than 5 million citizens, it was loud and chaotic. This photo was shot at a natural preserve on the eastern outskirts of Bogota, located in proximity to the “Club La Aguadora”, in the foothills of the eastern mountain of Colombia. From there one has a nice view of the northern part of Bogotá.

Since our return to Bogotá, this place has been a place of peace and adventures for our family, similar to our unforgettable experiences on the Hardter-Berg or in proximity to the student residence in the Engsbachstraße in Siegen. Siegen is our second home and has a special place in our hearts because it was there that we married and became parents for the first time.

This natural preserve became our favourite place for walks and adventures when our children were little. As soon as we entered the forest, we went up the hill and tried to find our home from the top. At that time there were no paths,, so we felt like we were the first ones to explore this place. Today this place is one of the most famous places in Bogota. We decided to shoot this photo with the University of Siegen signpost here in remembrance of the beautiful relaxing times we had here as a family."

Kenya: Francis Mwangi Mugo

Uhuru Park, Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi ⇔ Siegen

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Francis Mwangi Mugo studied Business Administration and Economics at the University of Siegen. In 2003, he graduated with a Masters degree in Business Administration followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 2005. Having specialized in Business Computing, he expanded his interest in this area and returned to Kenya in 2006. Currently, he works as an IT-Consultant at the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) in Nairobi, which is only 15 km away from the city centre. Francis Mwangi Mugo also works with a team of seasoned professionals who are responsible for the IT-matters during various multinational/multi-dimensional missions and peacekeeping exercises rolled out by EASF or the African Union (AU).

Francis Mwangi Mugo: "This photo was shot in the famous “Uhuru Park”; a term meaning "Freedom Park" in Swahili language. The park, which lies in the heart of Nairobi city, is very popular with tourists and locals. In 2017, it started hosting a number of skateboarding competitions next to the traditional boating. The park owes its existence to a fierce battle fought by the late Nobel Prize Laureate and ardent environmentalist, Professor Wangari Maathai against the then political establishment in 1989. The then regime had sought to convert the public recreation park into private property. With the support of the majority of the citizens of Kenya, she won the battle. A lot of people visit the park to relax and have fun, especially over weekends

China: Prof. Dr. Tao Jiang

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, China

Chengdu ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Tao Jiang completed his doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Siegen in 2013 with Prof Kuhnert, Institute for Real-Time Learning Systems. Currently Dr. Tao Jiang is a professor and Vice Dean at the College of Automatic Control Engineering of Chengdu University of Information Technology in Chengdu,Sichuan province, China.

Dr. Tao Jiang: "This photo was shot at the „Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding“, the research station for the breeding of the big Panda in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The research station is about 10 km outside Chengdu city centre and is known as a major Panda breeding station, as the centre for the conservation of threatened local wildlife through research, conservation, education and education."

Albania: Prof. Dr. Kledi Xhaxhiu

New alley in Tirana, Albania

Tirana ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Kledi Xhaxhiu received his degree in food chemistry from the University of Tirana after finishing his thesis at the University of Siegen, he then stayed at the University of Siegen to complete his PhD. He is now engaged in research and teaching at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Tirana, he also works for the government of Albania as the Deputy Minister of the Environment.

Dr. Kledi Xhaxhiu: "This photo was taken at the new avenue of Tirana, in proximity to the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Tirana. A new avenue always signifies new perspectives in the background."

India: Dilip Kumbham

Ciclo Cafe Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad ⇔ Siegen

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Dilip Kumbhamn studied the master course Mechatronics at the University in Siegen. After his graduation he worked as a software faculty to the company NIIT in Hyderabad, India. Meanwhile he is working for an Organization TI CYCLES OF INDIA, which is India`s biggest cycling manufacturing company working for promoting cycling as an alternative form of commute across cities.

Dilip Kumbhamn: "The Ciclo Café is special project from TI CYCLES serves as a development platform for a cyclists-community in the city. An average commute times for most employees is nearly two hours in Hyderabad either with a car, motorcycle or public transport. We found out that these two hours could be reduced and used more effectively if people would use their cycles to work, by reducing congestion on the roads. The main problem of this project is that people think cycling is slow and insecure. Therefore, we offer cycling tours to demonstrate that cycling is a fast and secure and a better alternative. Cycling is one of the major solutions to our congested cities, air pollution and growing health issues!"

Iran: Prof. Dr. Seyed Mohammadamin Emami

Art University Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Isfahan ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Seyed Mohammadamin Emami graduated in 2008 with a doctorate in chemistry from the Institute for Buildings and Materials Chemistry at the University of Siegen. His doctoral studies specialised in minerology and were supervised by Prof. Trettin. Today Dr Emami is assoc. Professor for mineralogy and crystallography and is also the Vice Dean and director of the International Office at Isfahan University of Art in Iran. His research interests lie in the field of archaeometry,which is one of the most important research areas in the Middle East.

Dr. Seyed Mohammadamin Emami: "This building at the Isfahan University of Art ,which contains my office, is 250 years old, making it one of the oldest parts of the University."

Northern Macedonia: Dr. Agron Kurtishi

Lake Ohrid, near Struga, Northern Macedonia

Struga ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Agron Kurtishi studied media studies at the University of Siegen. Currently he is the director of the Media and Intercultural Communication study programme at the Mother Teresa University in Skopje, North Macedonia.

Dr. Agron Kurtishi "This photo was shot at the Ohrid Lake in my beloved hometown of Struga. Struga lies on the Black Drin river and is a touristic city in the southwest of Macedonia. The city was founded in 300 BC and is located at an altitude of 695 metres on the northern shore of the Orhid Lake at the the Black Drin’s outflow, which has its source in the lake and flows through the city."

Philippines: Arnaldo Baltzar S. Diez

Cebu Language School, Cebu City, Philippines

Cebu City ⇔ Siegen

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Arnaldo Diez studied Business Administration at the University of Siegen. Back in his home country, the Philippines, he founded the Cebu Language School, where he is the head and project director of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programme.

Arnaldo Diez: "The language school Cebu is my work place in the morning where I manage school issues and realise various CSR projects. By realising lots of CSR projects through which we are able to help a lot of people. In the afternoon I work at Teradyne as “German Support“ for our German-speaking customers in Europe."

Sri Lanka: Prof. Dr. Neelakshi C. Premawardhena

University of Kelaniya, Faculty of Humanities, Sri Lanka

Kelaniya ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Neelakshi Chandrasena Premawardhena is currently professor for Modern Languages and the director of the Centre for International Affairs at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. She received her B.A (Honours) Degree and M. Phil at the University of Kelaniya and completed her doctorate at the University of Siegen, Germany. Since 1994 she has been working at the University of Kelaniya and is teaching German studies and linguistics for undergraduates and PhD students.

published a lot of research publications, and she has been recognised for her work on both a national and international level. Her research interests include intercultural communication, intercultural pragmatics, sustainable development, social and cultural development, learning traditions, discourse analysis, courtesies, reference index, second- and foreign language acquisition, culture in foreign language teaching, usage of media in language teaching and language change. One of her current major projects on sustainability and poverty reduction is this for supporting disadvantaged women in Sri Lanka, which she realized with the help of students and craftswomen of the Craft Village in Battramulla, Sri Lanka was the highlight of her current projects.

Dr. Neelakshi Chandrasena Premawardhena: "The Faculty of Humanities is the oldest faculty of the University of Kelaniya. The academic tradition and history of the Faculty of Humanities dates back to the foundation of the Vidyalankara Pirivena (Buddhist monastery). The Vidyalankara Higher Educational Centre was established in 1875 on the initiative of the honourable Sri Dharmaloka Thero. Then in 1959 it became the Vidyalankara Unversity. The former faculties of the Vidyalankara Pirivena, the Faculty of Languages, the Faculty of Buddhism and the Faculty of Philosophy are today part of the Faculty of humanities. Courses of studies in foreign languages such as German and French were offered from the academic year 1963/64, to bring the faculty to an international level."

Canada: Dr. Simon K. Nderitu

Mount Royal, near the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal ⇔ Siegen

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Dr. Simon K. Nderitu is a Scientific Computing Analyst at the McGill HPC Centre, the McGill University's centre for High Performance Computing (HPC) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He graduated in 2003 as a Master of Science in Physics/Experimental Particle Physics from the University of Siegen.

Dr. Simon K. Nderitu: "The Mount Royal is located immediately west of Downtown Montreal. It gave the city Montreal its name. This hill is part of the Monteregian Hills which consists of three peaks: Colline de la Croix/Mount Royal (233m), Colline d'Outremont/Mount Murray (211m), and Westmount Summit (201m) above mean sea level."
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