2012-08-02 - About 30 students from different parts of the world will spend a week in Switzerland later this month as part of scholarships awarded by the ABB Jürgen Dormann Foundation for Engineering Education.
Students from China, India, Mexico, Malaysia, Poland, Turkey and Vietnam are taking part in a week of cross-cultural work and presentations, visits to ABB installations, as well as leisure activities, between August 14 and 20.
“It’s a great opportunity for the students work together and learn from each other on a variety of subjects and projects,” says Gary Steel, chairman of the foundation’s board and head of ABB Human Resources. “For many, it’s their first time abroad and their first real exposure to different cultures and ways of thinking.”
During the week of special events in Switzerland, they will
- Take part in workshops at the ABB Corporate Research Center in Dättwil
- Work on and prepare presentations on engineering projects which they were sent in advance of the international meeting
- Visit the ABB drives factory at Turgi
- Attend an afternoon of presentations from executives at ABB Switzerland’s headquarters in Baden. Speakers include Elizabeth Williams, ABB’s head of Corporate Strategy, Nina Thornhill who is Professor of Process Automation at Imperial College London, and Rene Cotting who has been a Board member of the foundation since it started in 2007.
“Preparing the week of events and logistics, and meeting the needs of the students, is a great deal of work but it’s very rewarding for both the organizers and participants – particularly if all goes according to plan,” says Angharad Dare-Edwards, a member of the ABB Mergers and Acquisitions function who has led a team organizing the event.
There are currently nearly 100 scholars in the scheme and the aim is to boost the number of student scholars to 150 within the next two years.
All the students have mentors – often senior ABB managers in different countries who help to guide the students through their studies. While there are no guarantees of employment at the end of their studies, a few scholars have already graduated and some are working for ABB. A few others also have had internships.
Partnership agreements have been signed with universities in eight countries and there are plans to expand further. An agreement with a university in Indonesia is scheduled to be signed shortly.
The foundation, which was set up in Switzerland in 2007, aims to provide scholarships to talented electrical engineering students who need financial support to continue their studies.
The foundation is named after Jürgen Dormann in recognition of his contribution to ABB as Chairman from 2001 to 2007 and as Chief Executive Officer from September 2002 to December 2004.