FEST connects students to the industry

| Michaela Nesvarova

FEST, short for Fraunhofer project center Expertise Student Team, is a new student team of the Fraunhofer Project Center at the UT. It aims to bridge the gap between students, the industry and the academia. ‘Our core activity is connecting students with both research and industry.’

FEST was founded one year ago and it has connected over 200 students to various companies so far. Demitriana Minassian, one of the nine members of FEST’s organization team, explains: ‘Our main goal is to create an integrated community where the industry, students and the academia are collaborating. We get projects from the industry requiring specific knowledge and we match them with students with the right competencies. This, for example, allows industry to get new views on possible solutions in manufacturing, and a chance to learn what talent and future workforce they will need.’

‘The projects are usually related to advanced manufacturing,’ continues Minassian. ‘They cover topics such as industry 4.0, robotics and additive manufacturing. These are all very broad topics, so almost all students can find a suitable project. The projects can be separate from the studies as a side job or can be used for a thesis project. The length varies from a few days to a few months. So far we have worked with both large international companies and local start-ups.’

Any UT student is welcome to register with FEST and the team will match them with an appropriate case submitted by a company. ‘It’s a great opportunity for students who want to gain professional experience before graduating,’ says Minassian, who studies Industrial Design Engineering. ‘At the university you gain a lot of knowledge, but students generally don’t know what is coming after graduation. They often wonder: do I have the right skills? Am I even in the right field? This is a possibility for them to find out and explore their options.’

On the 19th of September, FEST is organizing an ‘open day event’ at the Fraunhofer Project Center, where visitors can get familiar with their work.

FRAUNHOFER PROJECT CENTER

The Fraunhofer Project Center, opened in 2017, is an independent institute based at the UT campus. It is a partnership of the University of Twente, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Aachen, Germany. The Center mainly aims to transfer research directly into industrial practice. It focuses on assignments based on issues from industry, helping to develop solutions covering from product development, production processes and maintenance to digital designs.