Former International Students

Experiences from former international students

"I spent 6 months at ICVT for my Research and Development Project I had to achieve as part of my course in France. I worked on the N-Vinylpyrrolidon free radical polymerization under the supervision of Dipl.-Ing. Mario Hellmund. First fixed objective was to determine the chain transfer agent reactivity or polymer chain control. As regards of experiments, I investigated parameters influencing polymerization in batch reactors. After my work, it resulted that oxygen and chain transfer agent were both responsible of polymerization inhibition and formation of side reaction products. Further investigation are carried out in tubular reactor for industrial applications. Very well developed analytical methods namely Liquid Chromatography and Size Exclusion Chromatography were used for polymer properties characterization. Although I had a strong experimental experience, it allowed to adapt me in understanding problems not always easy to solve. Finding solutions was part of my job as well optimization of reactor parameters. Since I had never learned German before, English has been used during the whole period and allowed me to work without considering language as a barrier."

— Benjamin from France, internship in 2014, Erasmus program

"Included in my exchange year at Stuttgart University was the carrying out of a project of initiation to research and development. I chose the subject proposed by Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Rink at ICVT concerning a heat-integrated exhaust purification device for natural gas vehicles, allowing me to carry out measurements at the lab scale prototype and furthermore to simulate the system’s behavior. The measurement results were exploited using Matlab, while the simulation studies used Python as interface language. Through this work, I have gained valuable knowledge concerning this subject and the project represents a first great experience in research. The collaboration with my tutor was excellent, my questions always received an answer and the schedule was completely adapted to my own activities and plans."

— Ariana from France, internship in 2012, Erasmus program

"I came to ICVT for the winter semester of 2011/2012 in order to complete an internship under Dipl.-Ing. Rene Kelling. When I started to study Chemical Engineering the idea of crossing the ocean to complete an internship was far from my mind. During the last semester of my studies I searched for some interesting research projects to work on. So, I looked into the partner Universities of my home university. Univ. of Stuttgart is one of them. I found a lot of projects at ICVT, but specially one caught my attention. I contacted his leader, Rene, and I expressed my interest. I received his reply with a charming invitation to work with him. My internship involved the study of the reverse water-gas shift and dryreforming reaction conditions in a fixed bed reactor. The aim was to identify the most appropriate reaction conditions. Also, we choose a catalyst for the process. We built an experimental setup and carried out several test/experimental investigations at different temperatures, composition, pressure and catalyst weight in order to evaluate the conversion, catalyst activity, selectivity and deactivation. I learnt a lot building setup, programming in Labview and about data analysis. The facilities of ICVT are well equipped for research. We had everything that we needed to complete a successful work. My welcome by Rene and his colleagues was friendly. I completed the internship in English. German is not my first or second language, but that was not a problem. Everyone at the institute was willing to help me. The work environment was always good. Additionally, I had the opportunity to learn German at the Sprachenzentrum of Univ. of Stuttgart, so I could improve my German a little bit. This internship was one of the most important and grateful experiences I have ever had. Being in Germany broadened my perspective. Now I have a wider vision of my career and the world, and above all new tools and motivation to achieve my new goals."

— Wilmer from Colombia, internship in 2012, Overseas program

"I spent the second semester of my Erasmus year at the University of Stuttgart working on my Bachelorarbeit (Bachelor thesis) under René Kelling at the ICVT. I helped build and run experiments on a reactor plant to test two reactions as part of a much larger project involving company sponsorship and other universities. I also used various programmes to run simulations of what could be expected from the plant. Despite German not being my first language, everyone was very patient and welcoming and I had no trouble at all feeling comfortable at the institute and going to people for help whatever the issue, be it computer simulation or simply trying to find a screw driver for the plant. Not only have I progressed in German, but I have also learnt a lot - the hard way, as is usually the case with experimental work - through building the plant. Overall this experience has been incredibly valuable to me as a person and as a future engineer, not to mention that it looks great on a CV!"

Robert from U.K., Bachelor's thesis in 2011, Erasmus programm

"I spent the summer of 2010 working with engineering graduate student, Matthias Rink, and gaining valuable knowledge and insight on the modeling parts of GDL fuel cells and catalytic converters. I acquired a great amount of experience implementing engineering software and utilizing computer programs such as Matlab and Excel to model the heat transfer in pipes and ceramic materials that will assist Matthias in his research. The programming is designed to help understand how to best design a tube for certain types of heat transfer applications. Along with writing code, I also translated a German Matlab-instructional manuscript used by the university into English. Not only did I gain a great amount of experience in the engineering arena, but I also greatly improved my German in my time here. Thanks to this experience, not only am I able to write code to model real-life experiments, but I have also gotten ahead in learning Matlab coding that will be very important in both my final year of university in the United States and eventually when I have a job. When I return to my home University, I will already know important pieces of coding that I will need to implement for my senior project. I enjoyed my time here at the Institute and I feel this experience will greatly help me in the future."

— Micheal from U.S.A., internship in 2010, DAAD RISE program