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Company News, 2002-02-06, 01:00 AM

Dortmund university to cooperate closely with ThyssenKrupp AG

Both partners have close links with the Ruhr and have a key role to play in the technological development and economic restructuring of the region: Dortmund University and the ThyssenKrupp Group see many opportunities for close cooperation and today (February 6, 2002) signed a cooperation agreement.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Albert Klein, rector of Dortmund University, said at the signing of the agreement: "The broad cooperation of Dortmund university with ThyssenKrupp underscores our reputation as an innovative reform university. The agreement will help further strengthen the practical focus of our engineering and economics departments. The main beneficiaries will be our students."

Prof. Dr. Rolf Reppel, who is coordinating activities for ThyssenKrupp, said: "After our involvement in initiating the dortmund project, this collaboration is another key element of ThyssenKrupp`s commitment to the Dortmund region." He stressed: "The collaboration is already underway; a number of concrete projects have already been agreed."

The partnership was tested in advance when ThyssenKrupp was the main sponsor for Dortmund University`s 6th Jazz Festival in January. Support for art, music and sports projects is particularly welcome as university budget funds are usually not sufficient to cover these areas.

Focus on studies and work experience

However, in the first phase of the collaboration support will be concentrated on the mechanical engineering faculty, the information technology department and the economics and sociology faculty.

The cooperation agreement establishes the basic principles of the collaboration. Concrete projects will be agreed each year. The regional focus of the partnership is the Ruhr. Here, ThyssenKrupp has a number of industrial operations employing about 39,000 people. Dortmund University sees itself as a reform university with strong links with the region and a practical approach to research and teaching.

Career orientation begins at school

Both partners are agreed that support for training more engineers must begin at school. The university and the company will therefore be organizing activities designed to make engineering more attractive to youngsters.

For example, an Academic Career Camp (ACC) will be held from July 22 to 26, 2002 to introduce upper-school pupils to the activities and research areas of the engineering faculties and the IT department.

Support for tomorrow`s engineers and economists

The two partners will also organize activities designed to provide engineering and economics students with practical insights into their future work and help them make the right choices as they start on their career path.

The first concrete measures this year include the setting up of an advisory council made up of business representatives to support a new diploma course in Industrial Engineering. ThyssenKrupp itself has a growing need for industrial engineers and can offer students practical assistance through contacts to companies in the ThyssenKrupp Group.

Support will also be given to a master`s course in Industrial Design and Manufacturing, organized jointly by the universities of Dortmund and Twente.

Another area of support in 2002 will be for mentoring programs in the mechanical engineering faculty and for guest lectures in the information technology department.

Research and development for practical needs

In the future, high-caliber engineering and economics students will have the chance to gain one of the newly provided places on the ThyssenKrupp study support program. In addition to financial assistance, the program offers targeted seminars, work experience and mentoring by ThyssenKrupp executives.

The list of concrete support projects goes on: for example, places will be provided for high-potential students on internship programs in Germany and abroad and on international study courses. ThyssenKrupp also wishes to encourage the writing of practically oriented dissertations and will take part regularly in the "Konaktiva" careers fair held on the university campus.

To strengthen the links between teaching and the real world, the university and ThyssenKrupp will be organizing a regular exchange of information about research and development projects at ThyssenKrupp companies and will be looking into possibilities of cooperation in this area. There will also be consultation regarding reciprocal programs to train academic assistants, students and ThyssenKrupp employees.

This spring, the university and ThyssenKrupp will launch an annual round of talks aimed at concretizing the collaboration in this area.

Variety of activities

The list of activities where both sides are cooperating is long. Next year`s Dortmund University Jazz Festival will receive support, and ThyssenKrupp will also be providing financial and practical assistance for the 32nd annual meeting of the Informatics Society in fall 2002.

ThyssenKrupp also sees concrete opportunities to help students in the areas of trade show visits, company contacts and career guidance, and to promote the university`s public relations activities and the work of the Society of Friends of the University.

There will also be support for sport, with ThyssenKrupp working together with the German Rowing Association to sponsor events such as the University Fours during the Wedau regatta in May 2002.

ThyssenKrupp will also assist the university team of Dortmund labor exchange by providing speakers and practical workshops for programs targeted at students.

Partnership for know-how and reform

The agreement between the university and ThyssenKrupp has been concluded for an initial period of two years to deepen and extend the previous positive experience. It was signed for the university by rector Prof. Dr. Albert Klein and for ThyssenKrupp AG by labor director Prof. Dr. Rolf Reppel, member of the executive board of ThyssenKrupp.

ThyssenKrupp AG has chosen five universities across Germany with which it wishes to collaborate long-term. The others are the Ruhr-University Bochum, RWTH Aachen, TU Hamburg-Harburg and TU Dresden. All five universities have large technical/scientific faculties and in addition to the cooperation with ThyssenKrupp are already working together on numerous reform projects.


Dr. Bettina Böhm
Head of Academic and Student Affairs
Dortmund University
Telephone: 0231/ 755-2207
Fax: 0231/ 755-5150

Gerd Galonska
Head of Recruitment Marketing
Corporate Personnel and Social Policy
ThyssenKrupp AG
Telephone: 0211/824-36141
Telefax: 0211/824-36154

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