As Rector of TU Graz I have many reasons every day to feel proud of this institution. We are an international university with a wide range of English master’s programmes, a highly desirable cooperation partner for business and science, our research focuses are at the top of the international leagues, and we are a community shaped by tolerance, openness and diversity.
But what gives me so much joy at a personal level again and again are our student teams.
These student teams are formed across many disciplines and with very much initiative and commitment to their research subjects. They get basic support from TU Graz – provided that they take part in international competitions and ensure continuity by recruiting successors. In this way, quite early on in their studies, team members contribute responsibly and innovatively to the sustainable development of our society; they try out know-how, business practices, team spirit and creativity.
And not rarely do they achieve outstanding results in international competitions. Let’s just take two examples:
TU Graz’s concrete canoe team (yes, concrete can float!) achieved two second places with two canoes among 125 teams with almost 1000 participants at the International Concrete Canoe Regatta at the beginning of June. The “Printess Layer” canoe – the first ever worldwide 3D-printed canoe – came second in the “Construction” category just behind ETH Zürich and came 9th in the design competition. The 15.25-kilo-light canoe “Fragile” gained second place in the category “Lightest Canoe”.
The TU Graz Racing Team must be the most fast-paced of our student teams. The team design, develop and build a racing car complete with combustion engine called the TANKIA every year in the Formula Student class in their own campus workshop. They work professionally just like a company, with a lot of fun and team spirit, and in this way team members expand their qualifications and key competencies. Currently the TU Graz Racing Team is in a sensational second place in the world rankings of 500 teams. And the latest racer is already pawing the ground at the starting line. TANKIA 2017 was only presented in April. I’m very excited about the team’s success in the coming season.
These were just two of many TU Graz student teams. The others include:
TEDUSAR, which develops rescue robots and is reigning world champion in autonomous exploration;
- The iGEM team from NAWI Graz, which takes part in competitions in the field of synthetic biology;
- GRIPS – specialising in industrial robots;
- TERA has already pocketed two world championship titles with the Fennek energy-efficient vehicle;
- Mirage91 – computer games using mind control thanks to BCI technology;
- TU Graz Satellites get involved in international satellite projects during their studies.
Pushing boundaries and actively shaping the future through acquired knowledge, technical competence and personal abilities – it’s this mindset that we want to give our students on their future paths. In these teams they don’t only work with enthusiasm and passion on a shared task, they are also optimally prepared for job and career.
So it’s only logical that our graduates with student team experience are especially sought after on the national and international job market. If I was an entrepreneur, I too would be sending out feelers for these high potentials.