The department works to integrate external collaboration when the semester topic allows for it. This is an explicit part of the department strategy of educating students that are sought-after, valuable world citizens. Niels Thomas Eriksen, Vice Head of Department and Head of Studies, explains:
“We aim to prepare our students optimally for their future work and provide a framework for their collaboration with companies that take the interests of both sides into account: The students fulfill their learning targets, the companies gain new knowledge or results from experiments performed, and our researchers develop their professional networks. In addition, companies may use student collaboration as a recruitment process in which they can identify potential future highly skilled employees.”
Valuable knowledge exchange
One of the researchers for whom this kind of collaboration is an integrated part of teaching, supervision and often also his own research projects is Associate Professor Morten Lykkegaard Christensen, who specializes in process engineering, especially membrane technology. He explains:
“Within my field of specialty, we have a very close relationship with industry. Both because the Danish companies within the field are very active within R&D and want access to the latest research at the universities, but also because this allows us insight into industrial challenges and problems that can be relevant for integrating into our research,” he explains.
Depending on the nature of the project, the students can either spend the semester at the company premises or work at the department’s laboratories on the company’s challenge and visit the company for meetings, presentations and workshops.
Grundfos gains new knowledge
One company that regularly collaborates with students from the department is Grundfos. Director of Technology Innovation Flemming Hedegaard says: