Roman Gottschalk

Nationality: German
City, Country: Lübeck, Germany
Study program/Degree: dual course in Mechanical Engineering; specializing in Product Development, Materials and Production, M.Sc.
Year of Graduation: 2015
Employer & Position: Nordischer Maschinenbau Rud. Baader GmbH + Co. KG., Development Engineer of Fish Processing Machines

Why did you choose to study at the TUHH and do you now think it was a good decision?
I knew I wanted to do a dual course because a friend, who had completed a dual course at BASF, told me that the things you learn can be applied practically even when you are studying. I also wanted to study at a university so that I got the best education possible. This interesting combination existed then at the TUHH in conjunction with the company Baader. Even looking back today, taking part in dual@TUHH was very good. From a professional perspective, my course prepared me very well for my current job. On top of that, I gained memorable international experience that has expanded my horizons, both linguistically and culturally, thanks to TUHH’s exchange program with the University of Waterloo in Canada.

What was your motivation to study your subject and to choose your career?
I played a lot with Lego as a child, then with Lego Technic and Lego Mindstorms as I grew older. I realized then how fun I found building new machines and then bringing these to life by programming. Moreover, I was excited by the prospect of being able to combine the TUHH’s theoretical knowledge with practical experience at a partner company. That’s why it was quite clear to me from an early stage that I wanted to become a mechanical engineer.

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing, in my opinion, is that I can contribute to the complete development of a new machine: from the concept stage and designing it at the desk, to testing the pilot machine in the test workshop, to testing the prototype on site at the customers’ premises, for example in Norway
or Scotland. These trips are often very tiring, but I am learning an incredible amount on site and it is a great feeling when the customer is satisfied with the new machine.

What do you use in your career that you studied at the TUHH?
I make use of different things I learned during my studies – it depends on which components or devices are in development at the time. I often use
my knowledge in mechanical science and design theory because, for example, our filleting machines are made up of lots of mechanical devices. But I also worked extensively in automation engineering, fluid power technology, sensor technology and FEM analysis when working for the company during my studies, and I now make use of this knowledge on a regular basis.

What does your typical working day look like and which competences do you need for it?
I am currently project and engineering manager for the development of a fish processing machine. Therefore, on the one hand, I have to develop and
test the machine’s mechanical devices, but, on the other hand, I cannot lose sight of the bigger picture and must ensure that the other team members are able to complete their tasks to the best of their abilities. In addition, I travel a lot at the moment to test and try out newly developed machine functions on site at the customers’ premises. Sometimes it is not easy keeping everything under control, but it is still a lot of fun.

If you were president of the TUHH…
…I would definitely expand dual courses at the TUHH further.