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A traineeship between Graz and Milano

01/29/2018 | Face to face

Maria Rebucci and Laura Rebosio are students at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. They did their compulsory internship at TU Graz – most of all because of its excellent know-how in timber construction.

Laura and Maria are working in their own office at TU Graz. Also in this picture is Jörg Koppelhuber.

News+Stories: You wrote in your application that you choose TU Graz for your internship because “TU Graz is one of the best places to deepen my abilities in the field of construction management, especially timber construction.” How did you know about TU Graz´s excellence in this field?

Maria Rebucci: I met Detlef Heck and Jörg Koppelhuber of TU Graz´s Institute of Construction Management and Economics in 2016 during the ACME seminar (Advanced Construction Management and Economics Seminar). They told me a lot about TU Graz and its connections to the timber construction sector and the local construction industry. The ACME seminar is a seminar organized by TU Graz and Polytecnico di Milano. 15 students of both universities are able to attend. It consists of three days of lectures and two days of site visits of interesting places and companies in both cities. There, I also learned a lot about TU Graz´s competence in timber construction – the field I am interested in the most.   Laura Rebosio: I did not participate in the ACME seminar, but was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic stories Maria told me. For a long time now we were planning on doing our master’s thesis together. In order to do that, we applied for the Erasmus+-Traineeship at TU Graz together.

The internship was funded by Erasmus+-Traineeships provided by the European Commission. Students from universities of the 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey are welcome to apply for an Erasmus+-Traineeship. Traineeships have a duration of two to 12 months and are based upon an individual agreement between the trainee, his or her supervisor at the home university and a supervisor in the host university. Most trainees come to TU Graz for their bachelor’s project or master’s thesis. After being enrolled as Erasmus+trainees, the trainees are provide with accident and liability insurance during their work on campus, as it is guaranteed for every local student. And they are also able to participate in lectures at TU Graz. Visit our Website for more information. 

What kind of timber construction are you focusing on?

Maria Rebucci: We only work in the field of buildings – so no tunnels or bridges, where timber constructions would also be possible. It is all about statics, acoustics, materials, air conditioning, water heating and so on in our field. There is only one course on timber construction at our home university in Milano. Because of that and because I was always planning on doing my master’s thesis abroad, I took the opportunity to go to TU Graz.

Is a traineeship abroad part of your curriculum in Milan?

Laura Rebosio: No. But we are obliged to do an internship of at least 75 hours, but not necessarily in another country. The internship in Graz is an assistance in timber construction management.

What is your master thesis about?

Maria Rebucci: We are focusing on spruce as construction material. We compare the costs and timing of a timber construction with a warehouse in concrete in Northern Italy. We do not only take into account the building material costs, but also include all life cycle costs including maintenance for 50 years.

Please describe a typical working day at TU Graz.

Laura Rebosio: Usually we start around 9am in the morning. Our room and all the equipment is entirely at our own disposal – which is wonderful and we are very thankful for the great support! Mostly we work on our computers and do a lot of reading. Although we do no work in the laboratory or at building sites, it is good to know that we are insured in case an accident happens during our working hours, as are all the Austrian students.

So why did you chose TU Graz, could you have chosen another university?

Maria Rebucci: There would also have been opportunities to do it in Canada or Australia – which would also have been a very good option. But we still decided to go to Graz because of TU Graz´s many years of work in the field of timber construction and also because there was already a strategic partnership in place between both universities. This made the decision even easier.


TU Graz has set up partnerships with six international universities of excellence. These make it possible to develop close networks on all levels of the university. Areas of cooperation include, for example, the exchange between teaching staff, employees and students, joint degree programmes, summer schools and joint courses as well as interdisciplinary research projects. The partner universities are Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Peter The Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia, Politecnico di Milano in Italy, Tongji University in China, TU Darmstadt and TU München in Germany.


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