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Volkswagen Group PhD Event; e-mobility, connectivity and new mobility concepts

At the Volkswagen Group’s PhD Event 2016, some 600 specialist visitors informed themselves about current research work. 108 young researchers presented the topics of their doctoral theses at the MobileLifeCampus in Wolfsburg. The project is focused on topics such as e-mobility, connectivity and new mobility concepts.

The Volkswagen Group currently supports 404 young men and women working for their doctorate, cooperating with universities and research institutions throughout the world.

PhD students from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, MAN, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands presented their doctoral theses on topics from eleven different specialist departments at the MobileLifeCampus in Wolfsburg.

25 of the young scientists are conducting research in the field of drive and vehicle technology; 14 in e-mobility; 13 in electronics; 16 in Industry 4.0; three in IT and logistics; five in communications, sales and trends; four in economics and the environment; three in human resources and organization; nine in production; four in quality assurance and procurement; and 12 in materials.

Experienced specialists, young scientists and the professors supervising their work exchanged views at exhibition stands and exhibits, in 22 specialist presentations and during specially themed tours on “electrification”, “connectivity” and “shaping the future”.

In the field of Industry 4.0, for example, Timo Bänziger and Johannes Teiwes presented their work on human-robot cooperation. Bänziger is investigating the environment of the smart factory, while Teiwes is focusing on the use of artificial intelligence. Anne-Maren Koch from the field of human resources and organization is studying aspects of the representation of women in management. In the field of vehicle and drive technology, Nesrine Boughanmi is researching new ventilation concepts for future electric vehicles with automated control systems. In the field of electronics, Michael Stecher is working on the ergonomic design and assessment of no-contact gesture control for innovative vehicle cockpits.

Via the PhD student forum, we doctoral students are building a Group-wide network in almost all departments. In addition, we exchange views and information on specialist and general topics. A good example of our commitment and cooperation within the forum is today’s PhD Day, which we have organized and shaped ourselves.

—Sonja Krömer, one of the two spokespersons of the doctoral students

Our theses always have practical relevance because we are working on key future topics for Volkswagen. This is a win-win situation for both parties. We benefit from the knowledge of specialist departments and the company benefits from new methods and the results of our work.

—Constanze Uthoff, the other spokesperson

PhD students at Volkswagen complete their doctorates within three years, cooperating closely with the relevant specialist department, which nominates a mentor to guide them during their research. There are opportunities for permanent employment at Volkswagen once the doctorate has been completed. The PhD student forum, established in 1990 and made up of current Volkswagen PhD students and alumni, fosters networking among the young scientists. The forum itself and all of its activities are organized by various working groups run by the students themselves.


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