Author: bhen (page 2 of 4)

My summer internship in Jiangyin

karte«I’m studying Engineering and Management at the ZHAW. This summer I had the opportunity to do an internship for two months at one of the leading Chinese tool manufacturers, the company Jiangyin SAT precision tools co., ltd. The company didn’t pay me money during my time there, but they paid me the hotel and the meals. Normally we had lunch in the factory and dinner in a restaurant. All the other things were born by myself, but the living costs in smaller cities aren’t that high, so this was no problem. Jiangyin SAT precision tools co., ltd is located in the province Jiangsu along the Yangtze river, near to Shanghai. The city is a small industrial city with their focus on metal industry and shipping industry.

The population of the city is about 2 Million, the factory is based in the industrial development zone of Jiangyin. In the office I was working at different projects, one project was a project for the marketing office, we had to design and correct the website of the company especially the English one. Later on I had the opportunity to go with my boss to visit some customers.

fabrikThe company is famous for their Hobs and a lot of other types of tools. Their machines are mostly from German or Swiss companies, because they emphasise on European quality and European standards. The company in the last couple of years made significant investments for new machines. Their measuring equipment  is at the newest western standard to prove the quality of the tools is the best in China. In the second month of my stay there I had the possibility to give them some ideas about the layout design of the new company building. I did this as well during other short internships in my father’s Company, so I know how to build up an efficient factory layout. I did this together with the assistant General Manager, we tried to apply some fundamentals of the factory layout theory.

gebaeude_visualisierungOn the picture you can see an animation of the new factory building, but until now they have already changed some things. The five workshops are not anymore all the same height, some of them got a second floor and they are only four workshops  left, and the office building will get seven instead of four floors. But unfortunately the little park you can see on the picture will not be built like this, because there already is a gas station. The building should be finished with the end of this year and they want to move at the beginning of the next year. The problem was that this project they set up before they knew where they were going to build it. Normally in Switzerland you first buy the land and then start the planning, but here in China the communist party will decide where you can build your factory. You will also not be the owner of the land where your factory is located, it will always be owned by the government. But maybe this will change in the future, when China continues to open itself.

«During the time here, I learned a lot about Chinese business culture and their way of living and doing things.»
Tobias Bannwart

During the time here, I learned a lot about Chinese business culture and their way of living and doing things. For me it was a unique possibility to go there for two months. I’ve met a lot of new friends and possible future business partners. Normally in their company they work seven days a week even in the office, but each of them gets a day off if they want. I really could recommend all students from ZHAW to do an internship it’s an enrichment for yourself and a good part for you CV especially if you think about working abroad in the future.

On the picture below we were at a business dinner with the Korean and the two German agents. The other people are friends and people from the local government, our boss invited them to attend the dinner, most of them are part of the «drinking club» (that’s how we call it). This is pretty common in China, normally if you go for dinner with business partners you will meet a lot of people there. And because it is a business dinner everybody wants to drink a least one glass with you, and you have to do the same with all of them, one by one. It is also common that they smoke during the dinner, actually they are smoking everywhere at any time, even if it’s officially forbidden.

business_dinnerAfter the first month I had the honour to attend a lunch with the local Lions International Club, we enjoyed the lunch in our company. The boss then gave me the driver to send me back to my hotel. Some days later I had the luck because the company finished their last layer of the new building and they celebrated the finish with some fireworks and made sacrifices. Also in the evening they organized a big party with friends, employees and representatives from the local government. All in all there were around 160 people invited, to attend the party.

During my 2 days off I went to Shanghai to visit my parents, we did some sightseeing, we went to the Bund, to the east Nanjing Road, and visited an old part of Shanghai. In the next week I got back my passport for the visa extension, finally I was sure that I can stay until September in China.

business_cardA big plus in asian countries are business cards, I first took the business cards from my father’s company with me until I got the cards from the Chinese company. Chinese people like to give business cards to everybody. If you get them take them with two hands and look at it for a short time. Do not put them in your pocket directly after you got it, read them even if you don’t understand a word. If you want you also can create your own business cards as a student, then you can at least give them something too if you don’t have any others. At the picture you can see my business cards for my internship.

If someone wants to go to China for an internship I recommend you to learn  the language a little bit, so that at least you can say some basic sentences, it will be very helpful for your time here. For example if you want to buy some things, or want to tell the taxi driver where you want to go. But if you stay in Shanghai there are a lot of people who are speaking English as well. I will never forget the time here in China and in the company, they offered me an unique possibility to learn more form my future

«Hope that I can go back to China as soon as possible.»
Tobias Bannwart

Hope that I can go back to China as soon as possible. Best greetings from Jiangyin in the Peoples Republic of China!»

Tobias Florian Bannwart

Lectures & presentations

With eating a first burrito for breakfast we braced ourselves for the first presentation of the teams to representatives of Bühler. Tom  Chase started today with a lecture about concept selection. After this lecture everyone seemed to be ready to present the Product Design Specifications to our customer Bühler before lunch. All the teams had really put a lot of effort into the presentations. Bob, the extruder technologist of Bühler, was impressed with our concepts. He could see high potential for many of our products we would like to design. If only there would be more time for us to realize all our ideas.
Right after lunch, we listened again to Toms lecture about modelling and estimation. This gave us some good inputs for the afternoon. We could finally start to work out various possible solutions for our given assignments.

Swimming in Lake Calhoun

While it’s raining in Zurich, we are glad to have very nice, warm weather here in Minneapolis. During the day we were working hard on the concept selection for the Bühler project. After the work was done, we had a chance to explore Minneapolis in the evening. A group of us students decided to go to Lake Calhoun in the center of Minneapolis and enjoy the warm weather by cooling down with a swim in the lake. After a nice dinner at a rooftop bar/restaurant in Downtown Minneapols, we went back to the Yudof Hall, our student housing, where we had some beers to conclude the evening.

Visiting the Bühler Company

On our second day we visited the branch of the Swiss Bühler company here in Plymouth, Minnesota, which is our industry partner for the project design seminar.The visit to see one of the twin-screw extruders for food production, like pasta, snacks, biscuits etc. at the site was very helpful to understand the structure and functions for the product design. After the visit the coach brought us back to the University of Minnesota, where we had the first lectures in Product Development by Prof. Tom Chase. After the lectures a whole group of us went to Chipotle, a Mexican restaurant, which Adam Pagel, the coordinator here in Minnesota, had suggested to us for dinner. On the way to Chipotle, we passed our ZHAW coordinators Dejan and Armin eating in another restaurant, which resulted in a fun group photo. We are enjoying the campus and the atmosphere very much, here at the University of Minnesota.

D&A at the restaurant

Group photo with Dejan and Armin

ZHAW Summer Seminar at the University of Minnesota

I’m pleased to open our blog about the ZHAW Summer Seminar 2016 at the University of Minnesota. On our first day here we were introduced both to the campus life and to our project task, the Bühler Challenge. For Swiss students life on a typical American campus is so new and different to what we know from studying back home and we are really excited to experience the “Campus Feeling”. We are surprised about the huge size of the campus as well as we are about the many possibilities for recreational activities.


Medical Devices Research Center

Even though during summer time many students are on vacation and the campus is not very crowded, there is still much going on here. Many restaurants are open and we could choose from a big variety to eat lunch and get energized for the visit of the Medical Devices Research Center in the afternoon. Fascinating about the Medical Devices Center is that there are several possibilities for students and researchers to build prototypes on 3D printers, laser cutters or using an electronics assembly workspace. After a team workshop on our project task, we were invited to a very warm and lovely welcoming dinner to the TCF Bank Stadium. The first day ended with a tour to «Dinkytown». This is the place near the campus where students meet in the evening to have a beer or eat in a fancy restaurant.

ZHAW School of Engineering fasst Fuss in Japan und China

Im Zuge der Internationalisierung baut die ZHAW School of Engineering ihr weltweites Netzwerk stetig aus. Nun ist es erstmals gelungen, mit Universitäten in Japan und China zusammenzuarbeiten. Ein erster Student verbringt das laufende Frühlingssemester in Tokio.

Im vergangen Oktober ist eine Winterthurer Delegation nach Japan gereist, um die Stadt als innovativen Standort bekanntzumachen. Mit dabei war auch Prof. Dr. Martina Hirayama, Direktorin der ZHAW School of Engineering. Vor Ort traf sie sich unter anderem mit den Vertretern der Nagaoka University und der Sophia University Tokio. Vorgängig hatten sich die Hochschulen bereits intensiv über die Kompatibilität ihrer jeweiligen Studienangebote und die Rahmenbedingungen einer Zusammenarbeit ausgetauscht. Anders als bei Hochschulen in Europa oder in den USA kommt in Asien meist noch die Sprachbarriere hinzu: «Unterrichtsmodule auf Englisch sind leider noch nicht überall etabliert, somit ist die Auswahl an möglichen Partnern eingeschränkt», so Hirayama. «Umso erfreulicher ist es, dass wir sowohl in Japan als auch in China renommierte Hochschulen in unser Netzwerk aufnehmen dürfen.» Denn neben den beiden Universitäten in Japan arbeitet die ZHAW School of Engineering auch mit dem Beijing Institute of Technology zusammen.

«Unsere Hochschulen sind sich sehr ähnlich: die praxisorientierte Ausbildung mit projektbezogenen Arbeiten und auch die engen Beziehungen zur Industrie.»
 Prof. Dr. Yoshiro Ito, Nagaoka University

Studierendenaustausch bereits gestartet

Delegierte aus Japan und China haben in den vergangenen Monaten Winterthur besucht. Anfang Januar 2016 stattete Prof. Dr. Yoshiro Ito von der Nagaoka University der ZHAW School of Engineering einen Besuch ab: «Unsere Hochschulen sind sich sehr ähnlich: die praxisorientierte Ausbildung mit projektbezogenen Arbeiten und auch die engen Beziehungen zur Industrie. Wir hoffen auf einen regen Austausch sowohl von Studierenden als auch von Mitarbeitenden», so Ito. Mit der Sophia University ist in dieser Hinsicht bereits der erste Schritt getan. Ein Systemtechnik-Student ist nach Tokio gereist und schreibt dort seine Bachelorarbeit. Um den interkulturellen Austausch zu fördern, bietet die ZHAW School of Engineering ihren Studierenden in sechs Bachelorstudiengängen die Möglichkeit, ihr Studium im Internationalen Profil zu absolvieren.

Summer Internship in Berkeley


Jonas Heitz, who is currently doing his Bachelor’s thesis on query processing of NoSQL databases with Kurt Stockinger and Richard Bödi, was accepted for an internship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This lab is located right across San Francisco and is home to 13 Nobel laureates. Jonas will be able to work with world-class researchers of the Scientific Data Management Research Group to tackle Big Data problems.

Horizonterweiterung in den Niederlanden

Mit der Universität Windesheim in Zwolle unterhält die ZHAW School of Engineering eine enge Beziehung. Studierende können in den Niederlanden ein einfaches Austauschsemester verbringen oder – indem sie ihre Bachelorarbeit dort schreiben – einen schweizerisch-niederländischen Doppelabschluss erwerben.

«Ich würde jedem, der gerne ein Auslandssemester in einem anderen Land machen möchte, Zwolle und die Windesheim University of Applied Sciences  sehr empfehlen»
Raphael Schurtenberger, Schweizer Austauschstudent in Zwolle

«Mein Auslandssemester war für mich eine Bereicherung, sowohl in akademischer als auch persönlicher Hinsicht», sagt Raphael Schurtenberger. Der angehende Wirtschaftsingenieur hat das vergangene Semester an der Universität Windesheim im niederländischen Zwolle verbracht und ist begeistert von seinem Aufenthalt: Der Austausch mit Studierenden aus der ganzen Welt, der spannende, anwendungsorientierte Unterricht und die erstklassigen Sportmöglichkeiten auf dem Campus sind ihm in besonders guter Erinnerung geblieben. «Ich würde jedem, der gerne ein Auslandssemester in einem anderen Land machen möchte, Zwolle und die Windesheim University of Applied Sciences  sehr empfehlen», sagt er, wieder zurück in Winterthur.

Doppelter Hochschulabschluss

Raphael Schurtenberger hat sich für ein einfaches Austauschsemester entschieden. Studierende des Studiengangs Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen haben darüber hinaus auch die Möglichkeit, ihre Bachelorarbeit an der Universität Windesheim zu schreiben. Das hat verschiedene Vorteile, wie Studiengangleiter Richard Bödi erklärt: «Die Studierenden aus Winterthur verbringen ein Jahr in Zwolle: ihr letztes Semester und ein zusätzliches siebtes Semester. Während des ganzen Jahres können sie sich der Bachelorarbeit widmen.» Das Zusatzsemester bedeute natürlich einen Zusatzaufwand – der allerdings belohnt werde. «Die Studentinnen und Studenten haben anschliessend einen schweizerischen und einen niederländischen Hochschulabschluss. So können sie ihr Studium nicht nur in der Schweiz, sondern auch im Ausland problemlos weiterführen», so Richard Bödi.

Aktuell und anwendungsorientiert

Windesheim ist mit über 20‘000 Studierenden eine der grössten Hochschulen für Angewandte Wissenschaften der Niederlande. Studiengangleiter und Student sind sich einig, dass die mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Grundlagen, die an der ZHAW School of Engineering vermittelt werden, mehr als ausreichend sind, um das dortige Studium zu meistern. «Die Anforderungen und der zeitliche Aufwand sind in Zwolle tiefer als in Winterthur», sagt Raphael Schurtenberger. Die Uni Windesheim trumpft mit anderen Angeboten:

Internationale Partnerschaften als Strategie

Die Zusammenarbeit mit Windesheim ist bei weitem nicht die einzige Hochschulpartnerschaft der School of Engineering. Internationalisierung gehört denn auch zu den wichtigen strategischen Stossrichtungen des technischen Departements und der ZHAW insgesamt. Die School of Engineering baut derzeit ihre strategischen Partnerschaften mit internationalen Hochschulen aus. Diese Partnerschaften beinhalten neben der Möglichkeit des Studierendenaustauschs auf Bachelor-Level auch Auslandsaufenthalte oder ein Double-Degree-Abkommen auf Master-Stufe sowie Forschungskooperationen

Attraktives Auslandsemester mit “Bahntechnologie und Mobilität”

Partnerhochschule FH St. Pölten bietet noch attraktivere Auslandssemester

Worldwide aviation programmes join forces

Eleven aviation programmes in Europe and across the globe are now working closely together in the areas of education, research and partnerships with the aviation industry. This collaboration has created a powerful network of like-minded Aviation universities; the ZHAW School of Engineering with its Centre for Aviation being one of them. The new network is called the Air Transport and Aeronautics Education and Research Association (ATAERA). ATAERA officially started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by all eleven institutions.

Today’s aviation industry is internationally oriented and organized, making it impossible for an individual Aviation institution to cover all aeronautical and air transport developments. Joining forces with similar institutions is therefore necessary to a) create and maintain full knowledge partnerships for the aviation industry and b) to provide the industry with well-trained young professionals. This new network has done just that, with a unique program that places intense focus on an aeronautics and air transport-centred curricula.


The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with representatives of all eleven institutions

Joining forces for international impact

The Memorandum of Understanding has joined participating universities from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Slovakia, the United States, Switzerland and the Netherlands. This international network brings an opportunity for professors and lecturers to increase – and then share – their own international experience. This in turn will help prepare students for international career, giving them experience and training that they can bring with them into a global working environment.

Opportunities for international cooperation

Every participating university brings its own areas of expertise to the table, creating new opportunities for international cooperation.  Faculty members and students will now be able to combine their various strengths to create joint educational programs with a focus on innovative applications, as well as develop and run joint research activities. Exchange programs between the participating programmes will provide extra training for both staff members and students. The institutions will also work together to bring in international funds for research and to develop partnerships with the aviation industry – including aircraft manufacturers, airports, airlines, air navigation organizations and aircraft maintenance companies.

Participation from a Bachelor’s Degree and up

The new network is also open to other aviation universities. And instead of the usual Master’s Degree restrictions, this new partnership opens up cooperation to those from a Bachelor’s Degree level and up. The focus of applied research will focus on issues with concrete solutions that can be quickly introduced into the workplace.

ATAERA Participating Institutions
  • Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • University of Zilina, Zilina (Slovakia)
  • Vives University College, Oostende (Belgium)
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Zurich (Switzerland)
  • IUBH International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef –School of Business and Management, Bad Honnef (Germany)
  • Aeronautical University on Querétaro, Querétaro (México)
  • Coventry University, Coventry (United Kingdom)
  • Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa (Portugal)
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (United States of America)
  • Institute of Technology Carlow, Carlow (Ireland)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide, Daytona Beach, Florida (United States of America)

Originally published on the website of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

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