Linking theory and practice: twice as good
Christoph von Plettenberg completed his apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic at thyssenkrupp in Bremen at the beginning of 2019. But that’s not the end of his training because in parallel with his apprenticeship he is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering on an integrated degree program at the private university PHWT. A big advantage of this arrangement for him is the combination of theory and practice. It does mean that the 22-year-old has to move from Diepholz to Bremen and back every six months, but thanks to his good connections with fellow students, he is always able to find a shared apartment quickly. “I don’t mind having to move frequently – quite the opposite in fact as it means I get to meet lots of people, which I enjoy.” Something else he enjoys is the international design competition “Formula Student”, which the university has entered regularly since 2011.
The challenge is to design a racing car from scratch and get it on the road. This year there are 51 students from the mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, mechatronics, electrical engineering and business administration faculties at PHWT on the team. The project involves countless hours of designing, tinkering and testing to get everything working. Christoph is responsible for the aerodynamic design of the car. Once it’s built the highlight are the international races in which their DD19E racing car with a top speed of around 100 kilometers per hour is put through its paces. This year the team is heading to Hungary and Spain, where they will line up as the “Deefholt Dynamics” and compete against other teams from all over the world. “With my apprenticeship at thyssenkrupp and my degree at PHWT I’ve hit the jackpot,” says Plettenberg, who comes from Bamberg. “Where else can you get involved in such cool projects when you’re still a student?” Christoph is currently getting a taste of work in various departments such as design, research and development. After his degree he would like to work in customer documentation, which he particularly enjoys.