Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Kefferpütz
Research Assistant / PhD student at the laboratory of Control Theory and Robotics
What was your motivation to study Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at Darmstadt?
The decision arose from an interest in mathematics and physics. A degree in engineering seemed the best option to meet these interests and also to get a direct relation to the technical application at the same time. Engineering allows you to take active part in configuring the future.
Electrical engineering is found in all technical applications, so finally I decided on this course. I focused on automation technology to learn about subjects in mechanical engineering too. I chose Darmstadt because of the high reputation of the TU Darmstadt, both in science and in economy.
What do/did you like most about Electrical Engineering and Information Technology?
I particularly like the relation between theory and practice. From the study at the technical college (FH), I learnt that practice without theory cannot work satisfactorily and no technical progress can be achieved.
Furthermore, I recall various projects during the study or the thesis at the technical college (FH) and the university. A very special motivation was the sense of achievement in designing a real technical system that functions as intended.
Was the program of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology as you had expected it to be? What did surprise you? What is/was different than expected?
The study has met my expectations to the largest possible extent. Aspects such as team work or presentations were a significant part of the study. I had most positive experiences during teamwork. Successful teamwork, however, depends always on motivation and work commitment of all team members.
What do you want to do after graduation / post-doctorate? What was your first job after graduation?
After my PhD, I aspire for a position in research and development, preferably with the focus on control engineering. I could even imagine going back to science, but this depends on financial aspects regarding the long years of education including the doctorate.
In which industrial sector are you working now and what position do you occupy? Which is your position at the university / in industry now?
I am a graduate student at the Institute of Automation and Mechatronics / Control Theory and Robotics. I receive financial support through a grant from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
Which skills did you acquire during the study / PhD? Were they particularly helpful for your career?
I consider the ability to work independently in new procedures as very relevant skill. The necessary theoretical foundations of the study are a prerequisite for it.
Also, the experiences from the largely self-responsible organization in the research work will be helpful during professional life. Supervising the students during their thesis also results in leadership skills.
Certainly, presentation skills and the experience of team work are valuable too.
Looking back, was it the right decision to study Electrical Engineering and Information Technology?
Yes, the decision was right. However, I would study immediately at the university because I missed the theoretical depth at the technical college. On the other hand, from the study at the technical college, I got a special motivation for the university study and the subsequent promotion.
What advice would you give to future students?
A study should be chosen out of interest in the first place. Without this interest, there will be a lack of motivation to invest the necessary time for preparing lectures and exams.
I personally had very good experiences by learning individually in parallel with the lectures and also by preparing and following up with the exercises.
In the first semester, you should not get influenced by legends saying that the degree was not feasible within regular time. These are very subjective impressions, which depend crucially on the motivation of individual student.