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How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
His interest in automotive engineering and the good reputation of Germany’s automotive industry gave Manpreet S. Saini from India the idea in 2010 of enrolling on the English-speaking master’s course in mechatronics at the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten. He was spoilt for choice, as anyone wanting to study mechatronics in Germany has to opt for one of 100 bachelor’s courses or 40 master’s courses. Some of the master’s courses continue the generalist training begun in the bachelor’s degree course. Others make it possible to specialise, with different points of focus, for example in automotive engineering, medical engineering or robotics.
What do you like about vehicle engineering?
Manpreet S. Saini’s passion is for vehicle construction and the “embedded systems” used there, which monitor and control numerous functions in the car. Sensors, mechanics and electronic hardware and software work together in these systems. For example, an ESP control unit receives information from sensors about the wheel speed and the lateral acceleration of the vehicle and regulates hydraulic valves as needed, which apply brake force to the individual wheels in such a way as to prevent the vehicle from skidding.
What is your current area of work?
Manpreet S. Saini is currently working on his master’s thesis in the research and development department of Marquardt GmbH, a developer and manufacturer of switches and switching systems which is active internationally. The student praises the links between the university of applied sciences and industry: “I find it good that our professors have close contacts to the automotive industry and to other firms in that field.” His final thesis is in the subject areas of “engineering design” and “software development”. “I am dealing with the conceptual design of mechanical parts – to be more precise, with switches and the way that they are connected to the electronic control unit of the car and how they communicate with it,” Manpreet S. Saini says to explain his research project.
Do you use Robotics?
“We also learn a lot about modern robot systems, their components and their motion control. There are laboratories available for us where we can familiarise ourselves with the robot applications used in industry.”
What is the language of delivery?
And another advantage of the degree course is that it is taught entirely in English. Manpreet S. Saini knows that basic German language skills are very useful nonetheless. The university therefore offers German language courses free of charge before the lecture period begins. Manpreet S. Saini praises the support which made it easy for him to get started as a student: “The professors take a lot of time for the students and are always available for questions. I also got good tips and support from the student union (Studentenwerk) and the International Office at the university.”
The four-semester international master’s course in mechatronics at the University of Siegen is also directed specifically at foreign students. “The courses at German universities have to position themselves in the national and international competition,” head of graduate studies Professor Hubert Roth says, explaining the motive for creating an Englishlanguage degree course, and adds, “however, this course also gives German students the opportunity to gain an advantage with international firms.” The interdisciplinary degree course is conducted jointly by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“Our specialist fields are automation, robotics, materials science and control engineering,” Professor Roth tells us, summarising the thematic orientation of the degree course.