Student and Alumni experiences - Management & Engineering

On this page you find experiences of current and former students about the Masters Management & Engineering at Leu­pha­na Graduate School.

Katharina's experiences

16.12.19 Katharina Wolff shares her experiences from her Masters studies in Management & Engineering at Leuphana Graduate School.

Katharina's experiences ©Leuphana
"I looked at many universities. But Professor Schmidt's focus at Leuphana particularly convinced me."

"Cars are no longer just red, green or blue," explains Katharina Wolff. This is precisely what makes the field of production technology exciting for the 22-year-old student. "It's not only materials and machines that play a role in a production hall. Due to ever-increasing individuality in many areas, the workflows and processes in a factory in particular need to be better planned." In order to meet these current challenges, Katharina Wolff decided to study the Masters in Management & Engineering at Leuphana Graduate School. "I looked at many universities. But Professor Schmidt's focus at Leuphana particularly convinced me." Matthias Schmidt is a professor of production management and has, among other things, created the Digital Factory. Students can use the model there to learn how production processes can be accelerated, for example through better networking of work steps. Katharina Wolff works part-time alongside her studies at a large medium-sized company for drive and automation technology in Aerzen near Hameln and can put what she has learned into practice: "There I am also involved in planning improved production processes."

Studying abroad in Shanghai

Even at school, Katharina Wolff was very good at mathematics: "I was equally interested in engineering and economics." So studying industrial engineering was an obvious choice. She completed a dual Bachelors degree in industrial engineering with a focus on production technology at a University of Applied Sciences. Even then, Katharina Wolff was working at the company in Aerzen. She would also like to write her Masters dissertation here: "There is a cooperation with Leuphana. Professor Schmidt does research on production management there." The North Rhine-Westphalian can also imagine doing a doctorate: "Especially in view of this, it is helpful that some course content is already taught in English, the language of science." Immediately after graduation, however, Katharina Wolff would first like to immerse herself more deeply in practice and would like to continue working for her current employer. But she can also imagine a career abroad: "I was already in Shanghai on a secondment from my employer during my studies."

Author: Dr. Marietta Hülsmann

Vanessa's experiences

20.03.17 Vanessa Hacke shares her experiences from her Masters studies in Management & Engineering at Leuphana Graduate School.

Vanessa's experiences. ©Leuphana
"That is the good thing about industrial engineers, that they have this technical background, but also the economic thinking. They can combine both and work at interfaces such as logistics, production planning, technical purchasing or sales - that's where industrial engineers are really in demand."

What did you do before you applied here for the Masters Management & Engineering?

I did a dual study programme at Volkswagen, for which I studied in Wolfenbüttel and completed my Bachelors degree in industrial engineering with a focus on mechanical engineering. In the first part, I did an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic. That was during the semester break, we had two practical semesters. So I know a bit about machining processes and assembly. And in the second part, I worked in the planning department for press tools. After that I went abroad for a year, worked for VW in Mexico and was responsible for just-in-sequence parts in logistics.

What appealed to you about the Masters in Management & Engineering here at Leuphana?

I wanted to continue studying industrial engineering with these two areas. In other words, I didn't just want to go down the technical track and not just the economic track either. That's why I chose Management & Engineering, because it combines both.

Since this semester, there are two specialisations in the study programme: Production Systems and Production Engineering. - What do you mean by that? Is it about how assembly line production works?

Before that, of course, we have the whole supply chain, the whole value chain: it starts with the supplier, then goes through your own factory, all the way to the customer - how I link all that is what production management is about. It's also about delivering parts 'just in time', for example: these then go directly to the production line, i.e. are installed directly. Or 'what do I do when there are bottlenecks?' 'How do I order my suppliers?' 'How do I proceed?' 'Which ones do I choose?' So it's actually... everything is complete.

So production engineering is the management needed to produce and distribute products in quantity, right?

Yes. But of course I also need technical background knowledge, I also have production engineering, where I learn how things are welded, or which techniques I use for which materials - so it's not only this economic background and how I organise my production, but also that I have an idea of which factors from manufacturing play into the production strand. That is the good thing about industrial engineers, that they have this technical background, but also the economic thinking. They can combine both and work at interfaces such as logistics, production planning, technical purchasing or sales - that's where industrial engineers are really in demand.

How do you rate the management studies in your degree programme?

We just had organisation, strategy and innovation - and that's exactly what I wanted - which is what industrial engineering is all about: I also learn a strategic way of thinking, recognise what I have to do when I want to introduce a new strategy, what should my organisation look like, with which types of organisation can I achieve which goals and how do I implement innovation? That's exactly what I can implement later in my job - and probably even better because of my mechanical engineering background. That's why I find Management Studies really fitting. Working in press shop planning gave me direct insight: my colleagues there always sat in simultaneous engineering teams, which means that colleagues from different areas meet to parallelise this engineering or product planning process as much as possible and to keep the whole time process as short as possible.

Interviewer: Ina Seifert

Martin's experiences

28.09.20 The engineer was the first doctoral student at Leuphana to graduate with the newly introduced degree of Dr.-Ing. During his doctorate, he developed an innovative manufacturing process in the field of 3D printing to produce metallic structures.

Martin's experiences ©Leuphana
"At the beginning of the doctorate, a joke prevailed among the doctoral students: For every letter of the Dr.-Ing. you need one year. But the supervision was excellent and the support from family, partner and friends as well, so that I was able to complete my doctorate much earlier."

Even when he was still at school, Martin Frönd knew how beneficial technical understanding is: the engineer grew up in Lower Saxony's Wendland region. Whenever his moped was broken, he had to fix it - or walk. "I would often repair it together with my father," the 29-year-old recalls. It was this kind of sense of achievement, of solving problems in an application-oriented manner, which shaped his choice of career: "In physics and mathematics, there is always only one solution behind an equation. Clear answers suit me." In 2011 he therefore applied to study engineering sciences at Leuphana. The programme fulfilled his expectations, while also being challenging: "But I enjoyed the content so much that I passed the exams quite well," remembers Martin Frönd. Back then, the student did not yet see himself in research: "Good preparation for employment in an industrial production company was important to me. Since I believe that this also includes a strong awareness of the sustainable design of successful business processes, I chose business studies as a minor".

His plans to enter industry quickly changed for the time being when he took up his subsequent Master's programme in "Management and Engineering": Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Klusemann, Professor of Local Engineering, in particular Process Simulation and holder of a shared professorship with the Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht (HZG), had just been appointed to Leuphana. Martin Frönd was extremely interested in his lecture: "Professor Klusemann went very deeply into the technical background, but was able to convey it very clearly". The student asked whether he could write his Master's thesis with the scientist. Benjamin Klusemann agreed, provided the student's module grade was good enough - it was. Benjamin Klusemann is also head of department at the Institute for Materials Research at the HZG, where he invited Martin Frönd for an interview for an experimental thesis. "Cooperation with the HZG is a great asset to Leuphana's research activities. I was able to work there independently with an industrial high-power laser during my master's thesis, and I was also able to examine the processed titanium components in very well-equipped laboratories. Laser beam welding is a common procedure in modern manufacturing technology, as it is a fast and effective process that can be easily automated. However, high residual stress values and component deformations often occur during the laser welding process, and these should be experimentally investigated and reduced as part of my master's thesis," explains Martin Frönd.

In his doctoral thesis he dealt with laser material processing of aluminium. "A material that is of great industrial interest, but also poses major processing challenges," Martin Frönd describes. "The research question of my doctoral thesis was motivated by the fact that although laser-based 3D printing of aluminium seemed very attractive from an industrial point of view, this material has an immense laser beam reflection of more than 95 percent. This meant that laser-based 3D printing of large aluminium structures was hardly feasible, either technically or economically". It was a problem that the young scientist solved in an application-oriented way in his doctoral thesis, as a result of which he received research prizes for two of his publications from Leuphana University. "At the beginning of the doctorate, a joke prevailed among the doctoral students: For every letter of the Dr.-Ing. you need one year. But the supervision was excellent and the support from family, partner and friends as well, so that I was able to complete my doctorate much earlier," reflects the former research assistant gratefully. He published several scientific articles and submitted his dissertation after just less than three years. Martin Frönd is thus the first doctoral student at Leuphana to graduate with a Dr.-Ing. in engineering sciences. The title is only awarded in Germany and is regarded worldwide as a trademark for German engineering. Martin Frönd is proud of his Dr.-Ing. degree: "We are engineers. That may also be mentioned in the title."

The job of his dreams followed swiftly: "Today, I work as deputy quality manager for an internationally established tapered roller bearing manufacturer. The transition to the industry was smooth and I enjoy the daily tasks immensely. Everything I learned in my studies and doctorate comes together here: With my team, I analyse different problems every day and develop effective technical solutions. In addition, at some points interdisciplinary skills are required to evaluate existing structures and adapt them if necessary. Especially when working in science, I have learned to think innovatively and to abandon the status quo when it is no longer sufficient. The management studies at Leuphana have also given me a very good foundation for dealing with strategic issues," Martin Frönd describes.

Author: Dr. Marietta Hülsmann

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