#Electrified - dual study program of mechatronics with focus on electromobility at EvoBus

Environmentally friendly - that's what electric mobility stands for. It already makes an important contribution to locally emission-free driving - that is no longer a secret. According to the motto "Thinking about tomorrow" Evobus operates a cooperation with the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Mannheim. In the mechatronics course of study with a specification in electromobility, young people are trained and their potential for the subject is furthered.

Niklas Gottschalk completes the dual course of study in mechatronics with a focus on electromobility at EvoBus. He is someone who is burning to complete this "Study with Future".

Niklas Gottschalk: "Gasoline in his veins and electricity in his heart"

Profile Niklas Gottschalk

As a kid I always dreamed about:
"I always wanted to be a test driver at a major German automaker“

I can get agitated about:
"About bad drivers in traffic!"

Great fun for me would be:
"Having an AMG GT R put in front of my door for a weekend just once“

What is a car freak doing at EvoBus GmbH? And is a person with gasoline in his veins also capable of burning for electric vehicles? Answers to these and other questions about cooperative studies at EvoBus are provided by Niklas Gottschalk, since 2016 dual student in the field of mechatronics specializing in electric mobility at EvoBus GmbH.

Niklas Gottschalk has hardly sat down on the couch and already he's talking about his first formative experiences with the automobile with a sparkle in his eyes: "As a small boy, I was often on the highway with my parents. Unlike other kids, I thought those trips to be anything but boring! My favorite game was to guess what cars were driving ahead of and next to us. My mom had a hard time believing that I was almost always right, even in the dark!“

In light of this, Niklas finds it hardly remarkable today that he ended up in the Daimler Group. "EvoBus GmbH was the first company which respond to my application. In hindsight, this was a major piece of good luck, because the jobs here are really very interesting! EvoBus is like a big family and you see directly what personal influence you have on its success.“ This is not given everywhere, he knows. He also had the chance to get a leasing car via the company’s member business right at the start of his professional training. In addition, after graduating from his dual studies, he will have countless opportunities in the entire Daimler Group.

It doesn't bother Niklas Gottschalk at all that he deals more with electric powertrains than with sonorous gasoline engines. "A lot of people say that electric cars lack the sound and the emotion. I don't think so at all. I have driven a number of electric cars and it was a real experience every time. Those things go like a bat out of hell! The humming of the electric motor and the power electronics also are fantastic and in no way inferior to the sound of a combustion engine. Being able to drive with zero local emissions will become increasingly important in future and will consequently make electric mobility even more appealing compared with conventional burners.“ Electric mobility also plays a major role for the city bus, Niklas emphasizes: "The routes in city transport are relatively short and on top of that the demand for emission-free driving is particularly high especially there."

The right degree for technology enthusiasts

But what do people in the field of mechatronics and electric mobility actually do exactly? "I would consider mechatronics as a complete overview of all technical disciplines. There are influences from mechanical engineering, materials technology, production technology, electrical engineering, information technology and even contents on business management. Specializing on electric mobility, we also look at the special features of electric vehicles such as the components of the electric powertrain, for example.“

The dual study programme comprises several alternating three-month practical and theory phases. After a pre-study internship to learn milling, welding and other craftsman skills, Niklas was able to get to know the workflows in the company directly during the first practical phase already: "I worked in process optimization in the project "Reorganization Assembly." My job was to optimize the processes in the pre-assembly of the instrument panel of the Citaro city bus. When I started, there were tables in the center of the assembly building where assemblers bolted the instrument panel together. All around were shelves holding all the individual parts. This means the assemblers had to walk to a different shelf for every part. My job was to develop a picking cart together with other students, which holds all the individual parts of an instrument panel for the assembler. I had to adapt existing designs, build an initial prototype, get feedback on the cart and present the improvements over the old pre-assembly process in a workplace analysis. When I returned to the plant a few months later and saw "my" picking cart in use, that was undoubtedly a fantastic feeling.“

His friends often ask Niklas whether such dual studies are not incredibly stressful. "It's actually really not quite that bad. I work a 35-hour week in the practical phases and after work I have enough time to meet up with my friends and even go out at times. During the theory phases, there for sure is the one or other overly long day of lectures, but it usually becomes really stressful in the exam preparation at the end of the semester, when studying and practicing determine the day."

Car fan with love for nature

In general, the university is not just about studying. "I have met a lot of friends here who I frequently get together with in my time off.“ The time after a practical phase when Niklas sees his fellow students again is always exciting. "This is where we compare notes on what everyone has been doing in the particular company. It is always nice to see that we at Daimler are really working on exciting projects and tasks. Unfortunately, that is not the case in every company.“

Beside his love of the automobile, Niklas also likes to spend time out in nature. "It is super easy to combine. First, I drive with my car to a beautiful place and then go for a long hike there.“ He also uses the peace and quiet in nature to relax after a tiring day at the university. "After all the formulas, technical equipment and the noise, this is a great place to switch off.“ That is why Niklas also looks forward to help shape the future of mobility. He believes that it will be predominantly electric in 2030 – and thus in even better harmony with nature.

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