The mood is upbeat. The “dualers”, the name given to the five young men at the university, are in excellent spirits, tinkering around and programming several LEGO vehicles – small moon rovers which form part of their training, as it later turns out. The dual study course in Specialist IT Application Development at OHB in Bremen began with five students on September 1, 2018. Fynn Hagen is one of the young space pioneers. The 18-year-old has just successfully stood for the post of Youth and Trainee Representative and ventures a look back for us at his first three months as a “dualer”.
Dual study course students are better positioned and they have a different mindset.
Combination of theory and hands-on experience
“I am really up for OHB”, says Fynn Hagen as he takes a seat in the conference room of the new OHB training center at Universitätsallee in Bremen. “We virtually have our ‘own’ floor and are able to concentrate fully on our studies.” He says that he opted for the dual study course at OHB for a number of different reasons. “I have been passionate about air and space travel since I was a kid – the unlimitedness of it all is something I find hugely fascinating.” The combination of theory and hands-on experience was, he added, a decisive advantage: “Dual study course students are better positioned and they have a different mindset. We benefit from the experience we gain on the factory floor and get the theoretical foundations at the technical college and high school”. They also receive support from the OHB education team headed by Ulrich Uffelmann, Hartmut Claus and Erik Dehnhardt, much praised by the 18-year-old. No matter what challenge the students face between the university and their training, they always have the full backing of OHB, he explains. Fynn Hagen also wants to offer this backing to his dualer colleagues, and he took a snap decision to seek election as a Youth and Trainee Representative. Recognized training organizations with five or more trainees must designate a contact for all their trainees. “This means that I am the interface to our training management team and, if necessary, to the works council”, said Fynn Hagen.
Let’s get to the hardware: a moon rover made from LEGO and a mini-satellite
The high school graduate from Delmenhorst will get more and more familiar with interfaces over the coming four years of his college course, including in the area of robotics. At the moment, the “dualers” are in the middle of realizing a moon rover project. Their aim is to build a moon rover (or perhaps it will end up being a mars rover) with the help of LEGO and to convert a work surface into a moon surface. During the second year of their training they will move on to constructing a mini-satellite, which will communicate with the rover via Wi-Fi – controlled, of course, by their own ground control. “Like in real life, only smaller”, says Fynn Hagen. To make sure the realization works without a hitch, the “dualers” get to know every phase of the project work in every detail. They have also drawn up a list of requirements and the like for the moon rover – just like in the “real” day-to-day of an OHB project.