This year the Training Center for Fiber Composite Technology at Fraunhofer IFAM is focusing on internationalizing its training courses. The internationalization of the Composite Engineer course, which was developed in collaboration with ten member institutes of the Fraunhofer Lightweight Design Alliance, is the first step in this direction. The first international course will start on 6 November 2019 and will meet the growing demand for an English language Composite Engineer course. Beate Brede, Head of the Training Center for Fiber Composite Technology and also Head of Talent Recruiting Management at Fraunhofer IFAM, explains the features of the international Composite Engineer course, its structure, and who the course is targeted at in this interview.
What are the features of the international Composite Engineer course?
The international Composite Engineer covers the whole life cycle of a fiber composite component. Successful course participants will receive a certificate from the Fraunhofer Certification Body for Workforce Training in accordance with DIN EN ISO 17024. This certificate is proof that the relevant person has acquired the expertise specified in the Certification Handbook. In principle, the international Composite Engineer course has the same content as the existing German language Composite Engineer course, answering questions such as what components can be made with fiber reinforced plastics, what benefits does that bring, and what other factors must also be taken into account. The German language Composite Engineer is mainly directed at companies in Germany. It consists of several three-day modules spaced out over a year. The problem with organizing the international Composite Engineer course, which is aimed at companies all over the world, was organizing the modules to minimize travel. The structure of the course had to be reconfigured with regards to the content and didactic aspects.
How is the international Composite Engineer course structured?
In contrast to the three-day modules of the German language Composite Engineer course, the international Composite Engineer course has the modules concentrated into blocks of two and a half or three weeks. The fundamental module and four basic modules are concentrated into one block of two and a half weeks. Technical knowledge about materials, manufacturing methods, machining, and joining methods is acquired in these modules. The course participants are then able to select four from twelve advanced modules. These modules are taken in a block of three weeks. The final module takes place at a later date in order to give the participants optimum preparation time. The advanced modules have been grouped into thematic blocks, so enabling participants having differing prior knowledge to take as many modules as possible within a short space of time. Participants can take the modules of most relevance to them. This new structure has also seen the development of completely new advanced modules. These include modules in multi-material design, ceramic composites, short-fiber reinforced plastics, production system design, and evaluation methods – and these can naturally also now be taken as part of the German language Composite Engineer course.
Who is the international Composite Engineer course targeted at?
Like the German Composite Engineer course, the international Composite Engineer course is targeted at engineers and scientists in all technical disciplines and industries, as well as qualified technical employees, who already use fiber composite technology or plan to do so in the future. New, however, as the name suggests is that the training course is aimed at international companies, to help engineers and technologists in foreign countries acquire expertise in lightweight materials. In general, there is though often still a lack of awareness of the benefits of lightweight design and about what new materials are available. For this reason, we have also, in addition to the English language Composite Engineer Course, developed an international course entitled Lightweight Professional. This starts on 3 September 2019 and answers questions such as what is a lightweight structure, what is lightweight design, and what lightweight materials are available. And the great thing is that it can be dovetailed with the Composite Engineer course! The introductory module of the Composite Engineer course can, for example, be counted towards the Lightweight Professional qualification – and vice-versa.
Many thanks for the interview!