Amanda Decker reports

Student trainee, Technology Research
Amanda DeckerStudent trainee, Technology Research

Combining degree and family obligations

I first came across SEW-EURODRIVE at the annual company networking event at my university. As a mechatronics student, I was particularly impressed with how many engineers worked there in research and development. As I have two children and study part-time, it was clear that I would only be able to work for a couple of hours per week. Nevertheless, in addition to the theoretical knowledge from the lectures, having an insight into practice was also important to me. I therefore sent a speculative application for a student work placement at SEW-EURODRIVE. I soon received an invitation to an interview and soon after was able to start work in the Technology Research department.

The project I am working on is involved with the development of a hollow shaft motor. This is constructed based on existing solid shaft motors and the intention is ultimately to combine all their benefits, e.g. precise and reliable encoder technology, high overload rating and modular concept capability. My task was initially to model the motor in the CAD program and make sure that everything was compatible mechanically. I then prepared drawings working closely together with an experienced colleague and, after that, researched for appropriate spindle drives. Calculating their service life was a particular challenge because the values needed were not listed neatly next to each other as they are for work at the university. Instead, I searched through various data sheets and calculated them from other given values.

A key motivation is that I am working on an "actual" project and my results have a genuine impact. Here I can implement my ideas and address problems on my own.

A few weeks ago I was able to start my semester internship here with SEW-EURODRIVE and now have the opportunity to focus my attention on the electronics and programming of the encoder system for the new motor.

On the one hand, I have been working completely independently since starting here. I can implement my ideas and address problems on my own, to start with. However, on the other hand, there is always somebody I can contact with questions or difficulties and I receive regular feedback. A key motivation is that I am working on an "actual" project and my results have a genuine impact.

SEW-EURODIVE also offers their students factory tours which have enabled me to gain very interesting insights into the company's manufacturing and production facilities. There is also the offer once in the semester to continue your training on the basis of seminars - last time I opted for the “project management” topic. An important factor for me is the opportunity to be able to complete my semester internship flexibly and on a part-time basis (over the course of an entire year). In agreement with my supervisor, I can come to work when it suits me best. Here at SEW-EURODRIVE I can balance both my degree and my family obligations with one another.

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