An excursion to locations of the wind energy industry and research in Germany

September 8th-13th 2019 the second time the practice week for students of the Online M.Sc. Wind Energy Systems took place. In addition to offering an internship in Germany of five or nine weeks, this is an opportunity for online students from all over the world to get to know various German research and industrial locations in the wind energy sector.

The Online M.Sc. Wind Energy Systems (wes.online) is a Masters degree program that is offered in full in virtual classrooms in English. "With the practice week, we want to give our students the opportunity to get to know each other personally and to exchange their technical and content-related information" says study program coordinator and project manager Dr. André Bisevic. "This week, students have the rare opportunity to network with researchers at various Fraunhofer institutes and companies in the wind energy industry," adds Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Detlef Kuhl, head of the degree program and department of structural mechanics and structural dynamics at the University of Kassel.

During their stay in Germany, the students visited the laboratory facilities of various wes.online teachers at the University of Kassel and the research laboratories for grid integration of wind energy of the Fraunhofer IEE, based in Kassel. In the Windpark Söhrewald in the Kasseler Umland, the students first visited a wind tower. During their subsequent visit to the 200-meter high mast in Wolfhagen-Nothfelden, they learned from the researchers at Fraunhofer IEE details about the characteristics of wind farms in uneven terrain.

At the largest German manufacturer of wind turbines Enercon in Aurich, the students were informed about their career opportunities at the company and received an exclusive tour through the production hall of rotor blade production. At the research location of Fraunhofer IWES in Bremerhaven, the students visited the modern offshore wind turbine of the Spanish manufacturer ADWEN as well as the rotor blade test center, in which whole-leaf fatigue tests are carried out. The participants of the practice week also got an insight into the dynamic gondola test laboratory DyNaLab of Fraunhofer IWES. The visit of the interactive museum Klimahaus in Bremerhaven was also part of the program and informed the students about weather, climatic zones as well as the causes and consequences of climate change.

The practice week took place at the Recruiting Day of the national wind fair in Husum. Every two years, Husum Wind presents companies along the entire value chain and the life cycle of wind turbines. Thus, the fair offers its visitors the opportunity to network and to inform themselves about career prospects and career opportunities.

The participating students rated the practice week as an enriching and rewarding addition to online study. „I travelled from Buenos Aires to Kassel for the WES study trip and would do it again. I believe that the possibility to meet your fellow students and professors is very enriching for the online study program. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to meet the professionals and visit the laboratories that are at the vanguard of the wind energy industry. This combination of technical and social aspects makes the study trip really motivating for the people who are passionate about wind energy and technology. I would definitely recommend everyone to participate, argues Argentinean Pedro Grasso and Iranian Anahita Rahmanian says, „The study trip was a good opportunity not only to meet some professors and students of the program, but also to learn some facts about the manufacturing, testing and validation process of wind turbines and related subjects in the wind industry. Many thanks for the organisation!"

The Online M.Sc. Wind Energy Systems is the result of a cooperation between the University of Kassel, the Fraunhofer IEE and IWES as well as various representatives of the wind industry. The pool of teachers consists of all three areas. The practice week was sponsored by the Stifterverband and the Fraunhofer Academy.