NEWS | Volkswagen Group's Ph.D. Event 2016 : e-Mobility, Connectivity & New Mobility Concepts

NEWS | Volkswagen Group's Ph.D. Event 2016 : e-Mobility, Connectivity & New Mobility Concepts


NEWS | Volkswagen Group's Ph.D. Event 2016 : e-Mobility, Connectivity & New Mobility Concepts

Image Attribute: Ph.D. student Anne-Maren Koch (left) from the field of human resources and organization presents her study on aspects of the representation of women in management and discusses her research with (from left to right) Constanze Uthoff, Stephan Wolf, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Sonja Krömer and Ralph Linde / Source : Volkswagen AG

At the Volkswagen Group's Ph.D. Event 2016, about 600 specialist visitors informed themselves about current research work. On Oct. 26, 108 young scientists presented the topics of their doctoral theses at the MobileLifeCampus in Wolfsburg. The project is focused on topics such as e-mobility, connectivity, and new mobility concepts.

"Nowadays, support for young scientists is more important than ever before," said Ralph Linde, Head of the Volkswagen Group Academy. "Digitalization and connectivity are reshaping business, industry, and society, and impose complex challenges for us. Highly qualified young people are therefore more important than ever before." The Volkswagen Group currently supports 404 young men and women working for their doctorate, cooperating with renowned universities and research institutions throughout the world. Linde emphasized: "The Volkswagen Group with its strong brands, from Audi to MAN, Porsche and Volkswagen, offers young scientists outstanding conditions for working on innovative projects. The spectrum ranges from technical development, information technology, human resources and production to sales and marketing."  

Stephan Wolf, Vice Chairman of the Group Works Council, said: "I am impressed by the quality and variety of the research projects being realized by young scientists in the Volkswagen Group. Our doctoral students dedicate three years to their theses at the same time as working in a Volkswagen department. The members of the Works Council would like to thank the young women and men for their tremendous performance and perseverance."  

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Head of AutoUni in Wolfsburg, said: "The world of the automobile faces tremendous technological changes. We are determined to exploit the opportunities offered by this transformation. The work of our doctoral students makes a valuable contribution. Our engineers and specialists value cooperation with the young scientists because they have already provided many valuable impulses for new approaches and solution strategies. We are therefore forging ahead with innovations for the car and the factory of tomorrow as well as new mobility services for our customers."  

PhD students from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, MAN, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands presented their doctoral theses on topics from eleven different specialist departments at the MobileLifeCampus in Wolfsburg.  

25 of the young scientists are conducting research in the field of drive and vehicle technology, 14 in e-mobility, 13 in electronics, 16 in Industry 4.0, three in IT and logistics, five in communications, sales and trends, four in economics and the environment, three in human resources and organization, nine in production, four in quality assurance and procurement and twelve in materials.  

Experienced specialists, young scientists and the professors supervising their work exchanged views at exhibition stands and exhibits, in 22 specialist presentations and during specially themed tours on "electrification", "connectivity" and "shaping the future".  

In the field of Industry 4.0, for example, Timo Bänziger and Johannes Teiwes presented their work on human-robot cooperation. Bänziger is investigating the environment of the smart factory, while Teiwes is focusing on the use of artificial intelligence. Anne-Maren Koch from the field of human resources and organization is studying aspects of the representation of women in management. In the field of vehicle and drive technology, Nesrine Boughanmi is researching new ventilation concepts for future electric vehicles with automated control systems. In the field of electronics, Michael Stecher is working on the ergonomic design and assessment of non-contact gesture control for innovative vehicle cockpits.  

"Via the Ph.D. student forum, we doctoral students are building a Group-wide network in almost all departments. In addition, we exchange views and information on specialist and general topics. A good example of our commitment and cooperation within the forum is today's Ph.D. Day, which we have organized and shaped ourselves," says Sonja Krömer, one of the two spokespersons of the doctoral students. The other spokesperson Constanze Uthoff emphasized: "Our theses always have practical relevance because we are working on key future topics for Volkswagen. This is a win-win situation for both parties. We benefit from the knowledge of specialist departments and the company benefits from new methods and the results of our work."  

PhD students at Volkswagen complete their doctorates within three years, cooperating closely with the relevant specialist department, which nominates a mentor to guide them during their research. There are opportunities for permanent employment at Volkswagen once the doctorate has been completed. The Ph.D. student forum, established in 1990 and made up of current Volkswagen Ph.D. students and alumni, fosters networking among the young scientists. The forum itself and all of its activities are organized by various working groups run by the students themselves.
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