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Success Stories - UBC & SFU Engineering students gain experience in Germany

During a twelve day trip to Germany in May 2011, 17 University of British Columbia (UBC) and four Simon Fraser University (SFU) undergraduate and graduate students visited companies and universities near Dusseldorf, Cologne, Ladenburg, Berlin, and Munich. The organizations visited include ABB, Vodafone, Vossloh Kiepe, Bombardier, GE Global Research, BMW, and Cologne University of Applied Sciences.



Students were given company presentations and laboratory tours, and were able to learn about their research projects and company products. They were able to learn and experience German engineering first hand, by riding the high speed train network across Germany and observing how trains and automobiles are engineered and manufactured at the Vossloh Kiepe, Bombardier & BMW. Students were also able to see wind farms on the fields and learn about power generation technologies at ABB & GE. Students also learned about wireless device testing at Vodafone


The objective of our trip was to provide students with the opportunity to visit some of the leading engineering companies in Germany and learn about research projects being developed. During the twelve day trip, we visited Vodafone, ABB, Vossloh Kiepe, Bombardier, GE, BMW, and Cologne University of Applied Sciences. The trip included company presentations and laboratory tours, which allowed students to learn about their products and research.

Another goal of the trip was for students to explore the cultural differences in work environment and lifestyle between Germany and Canada. During our trip, we learned how Germans celebrate their May Day holiday, and experienced their high speed train system and technology through day and night trains across the country. While touring company facilities, we were able to observe the German work environment and diverse engineering opportunities.

The intended outcomes of the trip were primarily for students to explore work and study opportunities in Germany and build a professional network internationally. During company and university visits, students were informed of any internship and graduate opportunities available with the company, such as Bombardier

This field trip was funded by the IEEE Canadian Foundation, the IEEE Vancouver Section, the UBC Professional Activities Fund and the UBC ECE Department. This report was submitted by Michelle Siu, co-organizer.

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