The kick-off event of this year’s trainee programme took place on 29 October 2020. For the thirteenth time, Composites United welcomed 12 successful new trainees, who will continue their training in the coming months in the various sub-areas of fibre-reinforced plastics.

World-Wide Web: This year’s trainees come from Wels, Augsburg, Karlsruhe, Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart and have secured one of the coveted places in the Composites United Trainee Programme. Only this time everything is different… due to the Corona Pandemic, the programme cannot be held as a face-to-face event. All stations of the trainee programme will take place virtually as an online conference.

Since its launch in 2009, this voluntary qualification programme has become a permanent fixture in the fibre composite industry. The programme has not only met with great interest among students. Every year, renowned research institutions and companies from all German-speaking countries and from all areas of modern lightweight construction take part.

This year’s virtual programme includes (among others) the Institute for Aircraft Construction at the University of Stuttgart, German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf, PFH Hansecampus in Stade, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal, Institute for Composite Materials and TU Kaiserslautern, Institute for Plastics Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland and the Institutes for Lightweight Structures and Plastics Technology and for Textile Machinery and Textile High Performance Materials Technology at TU Dresden.

The advantage is mutual: In two semesters alongside their studies, the trainees gain subject-specific and cutting-edge experience in the field of fibre composites and can make their first contacts in the industry. Conversely, this also applies to the member companies, who greatly appreciate the early contact with committed young professionals.

The kick-off event served to get to know each other virtually and to network, followed by lectures on “Fibre Technologies” (Dr. Bernd Clauß; DITF) and “Textile Preform Technologies & Additive Manufacturing” (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Middendorf). The newly qualified trainees used the opportunity to talk to the speakers and ask interested questions. Of course this is also possible in times of online meetings!

The next virtual reunion will take place on 17 November. There, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wilm Unckenbold from the PFH Stade will give a lecture on “Structural Mechanics”. Furthermore, speakers from the German Aerospace Center (Stade site) and the Clausthal University of Technology (Stade branch) will give lectures on current research questions.

Katharina Lechler (above left) and Florian Helber (above left) welcome the 12 new trainees on behalf of Composites United e.V. to this year’s programme kick-off.