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Bringing together academia and industry

The Elite Graduate Program “Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis” at the University of Regensburg stands out with its highly ad­vanc­ed academic level of education op­por­tuni­ties for practical application. One of the highlights each year is the industrial excursion for the program’s students, which is usually their first real insight into the world of industry. This year’s destinations were Müllerbräu in Neuötting and Wacker in Burghausen.

But first, let us have a beer

First part of the excursion took students of the Elite Graduate Program "Advanced Syn­thesis and Catalysis" to a family owned brewery. It was a great chance to get familiar with the process behind German’s most popular beverage. We started with part of choosing the grains depending on which beer is being made and followed the tech­no­lo­gi­cal process all the way through to how the perfect foam is obtained. During the tour, we were lucky to try some of their new beer and take a bottle of choice home. The pas­sion and tradition behind this family business were as fascinating as the pro­duc­tion procedure.

Next day we went to one of Germany’s big­gest (chemical) companies. Wacker see­med to us like a world of its own, covering the surface of land our eyes were not able to cover. What fascinated us more than the size of this company, were all the products either made there or utilized by other companies for making their final products.

Moreover, the hospitality of its employees attracted us the most. They explained to us not only what kind of chemistry and business they do, but also what goes behind the sce­nes, namely, what is the recruiting pro­cess. It was very useful to hear tips and tricks for job hunt, which can serve as a guidance for our future career choices and planning. Besides that, all of our questions regarding scientific background of certain pro­ces­ses were met enthusiastically with clear explanations.

On a personal note…

Last but not least, the trip offered op­port­uni­ties to strengthen the ties amongst the students from the respective program. Stu­den­ts from different generations enjoy every opportunity to exchange the know­ledge and advices on how to tackle the chal­len­ges regarding their study program successfully and with as little stress as pos­sible. It might have something to do with the fact these conversations always take place with good beer and lots of singing. There was no better environment for all of us to charge our men­tal batteries upon the begin­ning of a new year. We are already looking forward to both new challenges as well as new get-togethers in months to come!

Text: Matea Sršen, Elite Graduate Program "Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis"