Experience Reports

  • Aircraft Technology
  • Space Technology
  • Vehicle Technology

Tina Sankul, 21, 5th Semester Aerospace Engineering, Aircraft Construction

I came into contact with planes early on. Back then I was often able to fly with my father and watch him working on his plane. This is how my interest in technology developed early on and it was clear to me long before my A-levels that I wanted to start studying at the FH Aachen. I did not miss the opportunity to specialize directly in aerospace engineering.
Until today I have not regretted my decision.
The best thing about my course of studies is its practical orientation. Since 2 semesters I am part of the student project aero | race lab. In this project I bring students closer to fluid mechanics by running several experiments at schools and explaining the basics of fluid mechanics. Since a few months I am also involved in the management of the project. Together with a fellow student I take care of the dates and organisation.
Later I would like to move towards aircraft design and would like to work in development or research.

December 2019

Daniel Jansen, 20, 5th Semester Aerospace Engineering, Aircraft Construction

Why do I study aircraft construction at the FH Aachen? Well, there are some good reasons for. For me, Aachen in general was the location of my university long before I graduated. I've been interested in science and technology for as long as I can remember, so it was a very obvious choice. Aachen is not far away from home, so that's one of the reasons why it fits. Well, and why the FH? Very simple. I have been flying gliders since I was 14, and these huge, flying giants have fascinated me for years. So, why not study aircraft construction directly in Faculty 6 of the FH Aachen, and specialize directly? Why only a normal study of mechanical engineering, when I can be equipped directly from the first semester with specialized knowledge in the direction of airplanes? I think these questions are self-evident.

Since I have been here at the FH, I have been amazed every day anew. I am amazed at how open the professors are, just like their staff and everyone who walks around in our department. No matter when you have a question, you can go to the professors and get a very good answer.

I am also fascinated by the practical relevance. Every semester there are internships that try to make you aware of the problems of your later professional life. I think that these internships are very meaningful, bring a learning success and above all are a lot of fun. Where else do you have the opportunity to touch the exhaust gas stream of an engine or to design and build a whole model plane yourself.

February 2020

Interview with Josefine Graebener, Master student, currently for doctorate at Caltech, California, USA

Was studierst Du im FB 6 und in welchem Semester bist Du aktuell?

I completed my Bachelor's degree at the FH Aachen in 2017 and started a Master's program at the California Institute of Technology in 2018. Meanwhile I am in my second year of doctoral studies at Caltech and still like to think back to my time in FB6.

Why exactly did you study here?

The FH Aachen was the perfect mix of theory and practice for me. I saw myself more and more in the theoretical area, so it was very helpful for me to experience the application possibilities live during the internships and to realize how much fun it is for me. Although I am now doing very theoretical research again, in some subjects I had an enormous advantage over my fellow students in the master's program, who had completed a theoretical course of study, and I can imagine working more in the practical area again after my doctorate. Another reason, which was very decisive, is the size of FB6. It was never a problem to get in contact with professors, be it for references or just questions about the study contents.

What did you enjoy most during your studies and did it meet or exceed your expectations?

What I enjoyed most was my practical project with subsequent bachelor thesis in the space laboratory. It was very motivating to work independently on a project for the first time. Of course, as a beginner in the field I had a lot of questions and needed support, but the team in the space lab was always responsive and helped me to find my way, in the project and also afterwards with an incredible amount of support for my doctoral and international ambitions.

What are you annoyed about at university, what would you change?

Especially as a woman in technology it is sad to see how outnumbered we are, be it students or teachers. It would be very desirable if there were more female professors at FB6 in the future.

What would you like to say to other prospective students or students in lower semesters?

Be present and don't be afraid to ask the professors directly if you have not understood something. Some subjects are hard work, but it is absolutely worth it to learn exactly what you want to work on later in your major.

How would you describe the FB6 at FH Aachen?

Close-knit, family-like community with very good contacts in the business world

What do you need to bring with you for this study?

The most important thing is enthusiasm and ability for enthusiasm for aviation and/or space travel.

Karina Szych, 20, 5th Semester Aerospace Engineering, Space Technology

Why do I study space technology? Because space is fascinating. Working on things in space is a special challenge; almost everything you do has a certain uniqueness.
Even when I was little, I found science and technology interesting. I always liked "Wissen macht Ah!", watched. My enthusiasm has only grown over my school days.
I finally came across the FH via the website after my A-levels. I searched for universities and colleges where you can get into aerospace from the very beginning of your studies and not just in the deepening or even the master.
What I now like about the FH is the comparatively small size of our faculty. You can contact the professors directly if you have any questions, suggestions or need for information, even outside the courses. In general, you don't feel left alone; you know contact persons, lecturers and tutors and if you don't know what to do or have problems, you can always turn to the student council.
I myself was a tutor for mathematics for some time and helped other students to practice and prepare for exams. In the meantime I am part of the student project µMoon, in which we develop an experimental module for a research rocket. Studying at the FH is not without its difficulties, but the opportunities that are offered to you to unfold yourself outside of your studies are worthwhile.
After my Bachelor's degree I would definitely like to do a Master's degree, but probably at another college or university, so that I can gather other impressions and influences. With my studies at the FH I will have built up a more than good basis for this.

December 2019

Ian Benecken, 28, 7th Semester Aerospace Engineering, Space Technology

Space travel is my passion. Always has been. It all started when my father showed me films like Apollo 13. Also the following of the space shuttle missions to the international space station on television and the internet influenced me so much that I decided to dedicate my professional career to space travel.

Now, after an internship at the European Astronaut Centre and having gained some experience in the field of space travel, I feel strengthened in my decision. I like the international cooperation, the thorough and precise working methods and especially the exploration of new frontiers of human feasibility.

I myself, like certainly many others, obtained my university entrance qualification by taking the entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences at a vocational college. So the nice thing about studying astronautics at the FH Aachen is that all students are allowed to enjoy a high quality of education, despite different educational paths. The high level is not a deterrent, but rather an incentive.

The range of our lecturers at the faculty is also broad, so that the most diverse areas of space technology, such as the development and assembly of satellites through to mission operations, are covered.

In addition, there are also numerous student projects where students can get involved early on in their studies. For example, I have been a member (now project manager) of a student project focusing on satellite mission operations since my first semester. This was and still is an important compensation for the basic studies which are difficult to learn.

Later I would like to develop further in the field of astronautical mission operations and hope to be able to use the good connections of our university to ESA and DLR for my professional future.

January 2020

Annika Frantzen, 23, 9th Semester Vehicle and Drive Technology, Drive Technology

I was very interested in technology at an early age; my father showed me his work in the car industry again and again as a child and thus aroused my interest.
I am very interested in the future of alternative vehicle drives and would like to participate in the development myself later on.
When I finished school, I looked at several courses of studies here in Aachen with a focus on mobility and technology and finally decided to go to the FH.
Mainly because practical orientation and experience were very much emphasized here during my studies, which was then shown in the recurring laboratory internships and exercises.
In the meantime, I am working in the field of "alternative drive systems" alongside my studies, together with other students and one of our professors. I conduct surveys and create consumption models for the electrically powered buses in Aachen as part of the COSTART project.
Later I would definitely like to complete my master's degree, probably here at the FH as well.

December 2019