Year after year, the Pupils’ University offers prospective students from the 10th grade the opportunity to explore various scientific fields at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and to slip into the role of a student. During the technology week from August 08-12, 2022, under the motto “Engineer 4.0 – Shape the future!”, pupils were given an insight into the diversity of the study program in process engineering and chemical engineering.
After the welcome on Monday, the week started with an excursion into mechanical process engineering with exciting experiments on 3D analysis, characterization and image evaluation. In the evening, the participants got to talk to each other over a leisurely pizza dinner. On day 2, which was dedicated to thermal process engineering, the participants were able to explore and learn about the various methods of substance separation in a wide range of experiments on extraction and adsorption.
Project days at IEC
From Wednesday onwards, the IEC was also involved in the specializations of energy process engineering and chemical engineering. A guided tour of the Carbon Discovery Trail provided a thematic introduction. This was followed by two informative presentations on the questions “What does the catalytic converter have to do with making fire?” and “What will power tomorrow’s cars and airplanes?” before a well-deserved lunch break. In the afternoon, fuels and their exact composition were put under the microscope. Knowing that no reaction can take place without a reactor, the participants also learned how the environment can influence the course of a chemical reaction. How the high-temperature conversion processes taking place in the reactor can be predicted with computer support even without experiments was impressively demonstrated using the example of a fluidized bed. The day was rounded off with an annual highlight – test rides on our Segways gave visitors the opportunity to experience electromobility at first hand.
On Thursday, the students were given an insight into the processes and limits of conventional plastics recycling as well as the future-oriented research field of chemical recycling. The corresponding technologies were presented directly afterwards during a guided tour of our laboratories and large-scale plants HP-POX (synthesis gas production), STF (gasoline production) and SBV (gasification), which were marvelled at. The day was rounded off with an exploration of the city of Freiberg and a visit to the famous Terrra mineralia.
The last day of the student university was used for an excursion to the KraftWerk – Dresdner Energie – Museum, which was an important center of Dresden’s power generation for many years. With the help of numerous exhibits, films and lectures, the more than 100-year-old history of Dresden’s gas supply was told here. In addition, those interested learned everything about the path of water – from the source to the drinking water treatment plant. Around noon, everyone returned to Freiberg, where a final barbecue rounded off the eventful week. In the subsequent feedback round, the students were enthusiastic.
We hope that the Pupils’ University will encourage many young people to take the plunge and study science or technology, so that they can play an active role in shaping their future in an exciting and varied everyday working life.
Would you also like to try out what it feels like to be a student and look over the shoulders of our scientists? – The next Pupil University will take place during the fall vacations!