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Interview: Josef Kröll

08/19/2019 |

Josef Kröll is a 4th-semester Electrical Engineering student. He is particularly fascinated by embedded electronics, including intelligent microcontrollers and microprocessors in electronic devices that communicate online.

© TU Graz

What fascinates you in particular about studying Electrical Engineering?

Josef Kröll: Electrical engineering is the basic building block for all modern applications of the information age, no matter whether we are talking about the Internet or semiconductors. In addition, the entire field of electronics is developing enormously and extremely fast. As for studying Electrical Engineering at TU Graz, I am fascinated by all the support we get from the professors. I do not think that is a given at any university, and I'd also like to highlight the incredible camaraderie at the faculty. Whether students, teachers or the office staff: There are always people willing to help if you do not know what to do next.

What does it take to be a good electrical engineer?

Josef Kröll: In any case, I recommend a certain affinity to mathematics, and abstract thinking is definitely not a disadvantage. Right from the beginning of our studies, we deal with invisible phenomena such as electric current or magnetic field lines and, in addition to theoretical understanding, this also requires quite some imagination. Also, I find curiosity to be essential. At university, we are taught the basics, and it is our task to derive new findings from them. Therein lies the difference to the natural sciences for me: They describe the world as it is. The engineering sciences, however, take these findings and build a world that does not yet exist.

What advice do you have for first-year students? What helped you to settle in at TU Graz?

Josef Kröll: Especially at the beginning, it is important to organise yourself in teams and learning groups, and not try to go at it alone. This way, you learn how to divide up tasks and to work together to reach a goal. I can only recommend our high-voltage drawing studio to everyone. It is a collaborative and self-governing joint revision room used by everyone from first-year students to doctoral candidates. There, you will quickly learn how everything works at the university. Personally, I got a lot of support from the Student Advisory Service of the TU Graz Student Union. Nowadays, I work there myself and help students to master the initial phase of their studies well. The new mentoring system can also help – experienced students and teachers support first-year students. Also, let’s not to forget that networking can lead to new friendships that very often last a lifetime.

Would you like to specialise in a specific area during your master's programme? If so, in which area and why?

Josef Kröll: In the Master's Degree Programme Electrical Engineering, I would like to specialise in technical informatics and especially in embedded electronics. The bachelor’s programme Electrical Engineering covers the basics very well – from circuit technology to hardware and all areas of electronics. For this reason I would like to combine this knowledge with information technology in the master’s programme, so there will be a lot of computer science ahead of me in my future. Embedded electronics focuses on all devices that are connected to the Internet, that is, intelligent electronics such as microprocessors or microcontrollers. I would like to design, build, program, maintain and develop these devices and components.

Do you work alongside your studies? If so, in which area? And what do you want to do professionally in the future?

Josef Kröll: I am currently working at B&R Industrial Automation alongside my studies. The company focuses on the field of Industry 4.0, particularly robotics – so exactly the area I want to specialise and later work in. They closely collaborate with the Institute of Technical Informatics of TU Graz, which is how I found this job in the first place. It really works perfectly for me. I can put what I'm learning at university into practice right away, admittedly due to some start-up advantage: I completed an apprenticeship in electronics and had already been working for a few years before I decided to take the university entrance exam and apply here. Now, I'm giving it my all, because I also want to write a dissertation and apply for research stays at the top-class partner universities of TU Graz, be it in Zurich, Munich, Shanghai or North America.

What do you say to someone who is not sure if he/she should study electrical engineering?

Josef Kröll: It’s quite simple really: Come visit us at the Student’s Representation Electrical Engineering of the HTU, the TU Graz Student Union. I’m sure you will find the answers to all your questions there. Our door is always open to all. We want to help you in any way we can, because studying electrical engineering should be a fun experience for all. It is not an easy subject area, but it is the perfect choice for anyone who has a keen interest in new technologies and in a truly future-oriented degree.

Do you have a favourite place at TU Graz?

Josef Kröll: I prefer to hang around the institutes because I'm a really curious person. Or in the high-voltage drawing studio, where we have a study space, a kitchen and a terrace to sit together in the evening. Even the Dean of Studies stops by every now and again. That is really awesome at TU Graz: The professors are incredibly friendly, down to earth and honestly interested in how we are doing. They always answer our questions in a friendly, detailed and professional way, which has a great teaching value.

What is it like being a student in Graz? What do you especially like about Graz?

Josef Kröll: I'm from Upper Austria and I'm doing just great in Graz. In my opinion, Graz is the perfect city for both living and studying. Everything is very close by, the range of leisure activities is great, but not unmanageable as perhaps in a large city like Vienna. And the resident industry in my field is world class.

Information

Studying electrical engineering at TU Graz:
Bachelor’s Degree Programme Electrical Engineering
Bachelor’s Degree Programme Electrical Engineering and Audio Engineering

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Booklet for new students