Premiere in New York

Premiere in New York

Students from Mittweida at the Field School at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the USA

As unique in the world as the Frauenkirche in Dresden, only wetter: Niagara Falls is a must-see for the Mittweida students at the Field School with RIT in Rochester/USA.

A field school with students and teachers from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has already taken place several times, but this year was the first time it was held in Rochester. 15 students made the journey across the pond to the US state of New York with Professor Frank Weidermann from the College of Engineering. From September 14 to 26, they had the opportunity to get to know the country, life, and teaching practices. For some it was also a reunion, for example for Professor Martin Anselm from RIT and his colleague Weidermann from Mittweida.

The relationship with RIT goes back a long way. In terms of content, the cooperation is primarily in the field of automotive engineering. This was also the main focus this year. The Germans' expertise in this area is highly valued, and the comparison between the USA and Germany played a major role in the introductory lectures and presentations prepared by the students from Mittweida. What they learned at RIT was presented at the end.

The courses the Mittweida students attended at RIT included hydraulic circuits and the practical production of electrical circuits used in automotive engineering. The students also had the opportunity to test their gaming skills and learn about game design at the RIT MAGIC Center. This was well suited to the breadth of the student group from Mittweida, which included not only future engineers for mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, but also fellow students from the colleges of applied computer and life sciences, industrial engineering

The visits to three companies in the automotive supply industry and vehicle construction provided insights into production: Marquardt in Syracuse, a globally active German company that has also been producing switches for automotive construction in the USA since the 1980s, Alstom Transportation in Buffalo, which builds rail vehicles, and Century Mold in Rochester, which produces injection molded parts for automotive construction. Classic sightseeing was not to be missed: Highlights were Niagara Falls - less than a hundred miles from Rochester - and the "Big Apple," the largest city in the state of the same name, New York.

Cooperation with history and future

This first joint International Field School between RIT and Mittweida University in the U.S. was preceded by three on Saxon soil in 2018, 2019 and 2022. In 2020, they met virtually.

The collaboration between the two universities has personal roots: Professor Martin Anselm's grandfather held a teaching position at Mittweida University for a time. His great-grandfather Julius Anselm worked at the former Technikum from 1901 to 1948, including many years as director.

RIT is a private university with about 20,000 students and more than 1,000 faculty members in 11 colleges and institutes. An academic year there costs about US$ 50,000 without supporting scholarships.

There were no fees for the Field School at RIT thanks to the mediation of Professor Martin Anselm. Travel and accommodation costs were supported by the International Office of Mittweida University through the "PROMOS" program. The colleges also supported their students and thus reduced their own contribution.

The next joint Field School will take place in May 2024 in Mittweida. More than 50 RIT students have already applied for the 16 available spots. In the future, the locations will change every two years, so that there will be a reunion in New York in 2025. Those interested can contact Professor Frank Weidermann directly.