Making dual education and training easier

A great honour for the young academics – yet concerns about the high drop-out rates in science subjects.

The Coburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce has awarded the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) prize for the 42nd time to the best final projects in the academic bachelor's, master's, and diploma degrees to graduates at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences. The purpose of the prize is to support the young academics and provide special recognition of their achievements.

The awarding of the IHK prize underlines our location's huge importance foin terms of knowledge transfer between the university and the commercial sector.

"Due to the technological shift, fhat is to say Industry 4.0, there is an increasing need for highly qualified employees – academically, but in the main, vocationally qualified employees! However, in specific specialist areas, our companies do need well-trained skilled workers with university degrees – for example IT specialists, engineers and physicists – and they need them in the key sectors of our Coburg economic area in particular: in engineering, the automotive sector, in the insurance industry and in financial services," explains IHK Friedrich Herdan.

IHK President Friedrich Herdan described the increasing student numbers over many years as pleasing, adding however that this picture is marred by high drop-out rates (30 to 40 percent) in science subjects. There is a real need for collaboration between the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the university to make it easier to integrate students concerned within dual education and training when taking into account their higher education achievements. "In view of the demographic change, meeting the demand for skilled workers in general is one of the major challenges for policy makers, for universities and for business. Our prosperous, globally connected and high-tech location offers interesting career pathways for the next-generation of academics – career pathways which are more than a match for those available in metropolitan areas," emphasises IHK President Friedrich Herdan.

Outstanding work

In light of this, the Coburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce is working closely at various levels with the university, and the annual award of the IHK prize is an example of this. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, the achievements of the prize winners could not be recognised in an official ceremony on this occasion. "However, it is very important to us to publicly acknowledge the outstanding quality of the final projects," explains IHK President Friedrich Herdan.

Prof. Christiane Fritze, President of the Coburg University of Applied Sciences, also regrets that no ceremony can be organised this year and thanked the Coburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the annual awarding of the prize. She believes this really symbolises the Chamber’s close ties to the university.

The jury, consisting of the IHK executive committee, representatives of the university management team and the IHK general manager, this year decided that five prizes would be awarded to the following graduates: Maximilian Schmidt (awarded €1500), Ralph Biller and Benjamin Bock (each awarded €1000) and Sophia Fahl and Alexander Eller (each awarded €750).

Maximilian Schmidt receives the IHK prize for his work on the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology master's course on the subject of "Commissioning and verification of a thermal high-voltage bushing with DC current load using potential measurements at the control tapes." Maximilian Schmidt's work has made an important contribution to the improved understanding of transition processes in insulation materials.

Ralph Biller impressed the jury with his final project on the "Simulation and optimisation of a bobsleigh" on the Simulation and Testing master's course.

Benjamin Bock prepared his master's final project for the Business Administration course on the subject of the "Development and implementation of an up-to-date and deployable personal management system for Wöhner GmbH und Co. KG, supplier of electrotechnical systems: a case study".

Sophia Fahl received the IHK prize for her bachelor's final project "Modern Living Coburg – living for all. Living together – sustainably, diversely and efficiently" on the Architecture course. She prepared the project in collaboration with Wohnbau Stadt Coburg GmbH.

Alexander Eller received the award for his master’s final project in the Engineering with Automotive Engineering area on the subject of "Topology optimisation for improving the crash properties of an augmented reality head-up display".

Source: (website of the newspaper In Franken), revised by iMOVE, July 2021