Students to work on new tech in Germany

Two of La Trobe University’s brightest engineering students are about to head to Germany on an internship with the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE)

Fourth year Engineering students Shaun Kelly and Ash Donnison will depart for Germany later this month to work on electronics research at the Fraunhofer IESE based in Kaiserslautern.

Shaun Kelly and Ash Donnison are currently completing their Bachelor of Electronic Engineering and will be heading to the Fraunhofer IESE to work on various projects including autonomous cars that need to make decisions on racetracks, and smart factories that contain robotic components that are required to communicate with each other.

Shaun Kelly believes he will gain invaluable experience in Germany and be able to bring it back to his family farm in Euroa.

“I expect to grow in maturity and as a professional and I expect to be thrown into the deep end quite a few times at Fraunhofer IESE,” Shaun said.

“When I come back I aim to use the skills I’ve learned to set up robotic systems on the farm such as drone surveillance, automatic gates, weigh systems and water sensors.”

Ash Donnison is excited by the opportunity and believe internships like this can only help Australian students.

“We can learn so much more from other cultures and work environments and then adapt them to improve our own,” Ash said.

“With the experience I will gain, I am always open to returning to work in the country as it will be a unique opportunity to help the communities I grew up in.”

Prof Dr H. Dieter Rombach, Business Development Director and founder of the IESE has driven the transformation of Kaiserslautern, Germany over the last 20 years.

The town of about 100,000 people has been turned into a major German research precinct as part of the IESE’s ‘Smart Rural Areas’ initiative and will be the workplace for Ash and Shaun during their internship.

La Trobe Engineering Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr Peter Moar presented ‘The Digital Transformation of Regional Areas’ event alongside Prof Dr Rombach in Bendigo on Tuesday and believed there were a lot of similarities between Germany’s towns and Victoria’s regional areas.

“Prof Rombach’s visit to Bendigo provided us with great insight into how our own rural cities and towns can develop into the future,” Dr Moar said.

“We can take what the IESE has achieved with Kaiserslautern and use that to transform rural cities such as Bendigo into technological hubs.”

La Trobe University and the Fraunhofer IESE will continue their strong relationship into the future with the student internship program and Smart Rural Areas initiative.

Media Contact: Dylan May – - 9479 5353 / 0407125909

Image L to R: Ash Donnison (Student), Prof. Dr. H. Dieter Rombach - Business Development Director and founder of the IESE, Shaun Kelly (Student), Dr Peter Moar - La Trobe Engineering Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur in Residence.