A group of students from the University of Minnesota is currently staying at the ZHAW School of Engineering. The Global Mechatronics Seminar they attend is a specialized, concise course in mechatronics − complex systems, composed of mechanical components, computers, and sensors. In addition to that, their stay in Winterthur also offers them a chance to get to know Switzerland, its people and geography, as well as some unique ZHAW traditions like the Frackwoche – also known as Tail Coat Week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Informatikstudierende der ZHAW School of Engineering sind diesen Sommer an die Grand Valley State University gereist, um dort im Rahmen einer Summerschool zu lernen und zu forschen. Hier berichten sie über ihre Erlebnisse: