Beckhoff Automation currently has 90 students, including 26 from the Industrial Engineering course and 64 from Mechatronics/Automation. Elektro Beckhoff has filled seven places for Mechatronics/Automation and one for Industrial Engineering. “This year’s intake is our fourth set of students, which completes the planned initial stage. In February 2014 the first students will complete their studies with a Bachelor of Engineering”, says Dr. Ursula Frank, Project Management Research & Development Cooperation at Beckhoff Automation.
Close integration of the theoretical knowledge acquired at university and its practical application in industry has proved very successful for Beckhoff. “In their first two semesters, our students go through the company’s production, systems engineering, hardware and software development and organisation departments to get an initial overview of the various business units. From their third semester on they are assigned to one specific department. Participating in product management, development, support, national and international sales, project management, organization and marketing gives them insight into the varied work carried out by engineers and allows them to develop in accordance with their interests. Our in-house engineers who supervise the students in their own departments also find the cooperation beneficial” says Dr. Ursula Frank, who is pleased with the acceptance of the integrated study courses in the company.
In view of the high dropout rates from engineering courses at German universities and specialist colleges, the company can take justifiable pride in the success of its “Beckhoff students”, with only one dropout in the past three years. To meet the demand for additional qualifications, there are also plans to set up a master’s course at Gütersloh.