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International Exchange Week in Porto

In March, Prof. Dino Schönberg and students from Fachhochschule Dortmund took part in an International Exchange Week in Porto, Portugal. On the third day of the Block Week Prof. Schönberg gave the presentation on the topic “Sustainability from the Club of Rome (1972) till today”.

The student of international master programme in Embedded Systems Engineering Madhukar Devendrappa, who was joining the Block Week on Porto, was sharing the feedback on this event:

Embarking on a journey to Porto, Portugal, as a participant of the Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) funded by Erasmus+ was a remarkable opportunity that opened doors to both academic enrichment and cultural immersion. Hosted by the esteemed Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP), the course on “Digital and Sustainable Manufacturing – Quality Management” promised a blend of theoretical insights and hands-on experiences, spanning from the 26th of February till 15th of March 2024.

The programme commenced with a warm welcome at the institute with prior information about the whereabouts, where a delightful breakfast set the tone for the days ahead. Introduction sessions and online lectures provided a solid foundation for the topics to be explored. As the course progressed, each lecture unfolded seamlessly, offering valuable lessons on sustainability, additive manufacturing, industrial marketing, and more. Particularly engaging was the opportunity to delve into PLC coding and to hone skills in drawing 3D models using SolidWorks.

Beyond the classroom, the cultural richness of Porto awaited exploration. An unforgettable highlight was the evening spent indulging in Porto’s traditional dishes and desserts at a renowned local restaurant Fundação. This gathering, attended by around 50 students from universities across Europe, fostered meaningful interactions and cultural exchanges, enhancing the overall experience.

A pivotal moment arrived on the fourth day, as I ventured into Porto’s city centre, guided through historic landmarks such as Porto Cathedral, Praça da Liberdade, and the iconic Ponte Luis I bridge. Immersing myself in the city’s rich history provided invaluable context, deepening my appreciation for Portuguese culture and heritage.

The pinnacle of my experience came with the Robotica event – a dynamic showcase of innovation and problem-solving. Witnessing students develop and compete with their robots, tackling real-life challenges, was both inspiring and enlightening. From racing on tracks inspired by Formula 1 circuits to tackling industrial automation dilemmas, the event showcased the intersection of academia and industry in a captivating manner.

Culminating my journey was the presentation of our projects – a moment of reflection and validation of our newfound knowledge and skills. The constructive feedback received from the committee underscored the value of the immersive learning experience offered by the programme.

As the curtains drew to a close on my time in Porto, I felt really grateful and satisfied. The blend of academic rigor, cultural immersion, and hands-on experiences had enriched my understanding of digital manufacturing and quality management while fostering lifelong connections with fellow participants. This trip wasn’t just about learning; it changed me in important ways. I’ll always carry the memories of Porto with me and the lessons I learned there.