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AICON University Forum: Metrology Education and Experience for Students

by Wibke Dose on May 15, 2018 From Industry Focus, News And Comment

How has optical metrology developed over time? What measurement tasks does it solve? What is everyday work like in a metrology company and what are the job opportunities in this business?

These are some of the questions that students from metrology/geodesy, mechanical engineering and related university courses are asking. They need answers to orient themselves, to think about their future career. And they would like to gain practical experience.

To help students answer these questions, AICON initiated the University Forum.

Every spring, we invite students from various universities and colleges to visit us for a day and dive into the diversified world of optical 3D metrology.

After an introductory lecture about industrial optical metrology, students can explore the “open campus”. Here, AICON experts demonstrate our wide product portfolio and, after a short presentation, the students may do some hands-on work and ask any questions they have. Open campus allows the students to move freely on the site and gain a greater understanding of AICON products, services, and operations.

“In the past, students and their teachers regularly visited AICON to learn more about optical 3D metrology,” Robert Godding, CTO at AICON, explains, “so we decided to initiate a new event and bundle these visits into one informative and inspiring day.”

Since 2014, numerous students and their teachers take this opportunity every year. On 8 May 2018, it was time for the 5th AICON University Forum.

“The University Forum is a chance to show why AICON could be a valuable future employer for students and to point out that they can work with us to research and write their final paper or do an internship,” says Godding. “At the same time, students have the chance to get to know peers from other universities and to discuss their research interests.”

AICON is always looking for qualified and motivated new employees, and the University Forum offers an ideal platform to find them. An example of this success is AICON’s employee Anna Fiedler. She studied geodesy and geoinformatics in Hamburg and visited the AICON University Forum in 2015. A year later, she wrote her master’s thesis at AICON and since December 2016 has been permanently employed at the site in Braunschweig, Germany. Student-Introduction-to-AICON

In Anna’s role as Software Test Engineer, she has various tasks. One aspect of her work is the development of new features for the software platform AICON BendingStudio. Anna likes to develop new ideas for smaller features and to evaluate their functionality. Additionally, she tests larger innovations regarding their usability and functionality, ensuring the new features are intuitive, that they simplify the handling for the operator and that the software is optimised.

An exciting project for Anna was the introduction of the new tube and wire measurement solution BendingStudio with ROMER Absolute Arm. Here, an existing hardware system had to be united with an existing software. Besides creating a new test database and testing functionality, usability was the big topic: How does the user have to handle the hardware to get optimum results from BendingStudio? Can the user measure all types of tubes and wires? What are the limits of the system?

“For me, it is important to influence the further development of BendingStudio to constantly improve it. It is great that my criticism, ideas and solutions are appreciated and discussed,” Anna Fiedler summarises.

Even this year, 40 students from Oldenburg, Hannover and Wolfenbüttel came to Braunschweig to dive into the world of optical 3D metrology for a day. Amongst them was Jens Golze, currently doing the master’s course in geodesy and geoinformatics in Hannover. “It’s a very, very interesting event. I have learned many of the basics at University already. But here, I can see reality, how the systems work in the field. That is great! The atmosphere here at AICON is very good; everybody is nice and friendly.”

Henrike Schleifer studies at the Jade University of Applied Sciences. Right now, she focuses on close-range photogrammetry, which gave her an instant interest in the photogrammetry system AICON MoveInspect DPA. Other systems impressed her too; “I am very surprised about TubeInspect. I have never seen anything like that before. You can learn a lot here at the forum.”

Henrike’s lecturer Heidi Hastedt has visited the AICON University Forum since its beginnings in 2014. Every year, she takes 15 students to Braunschweig. “The AICON University Forum gives students a comprehensive insight into current measuring systems and applications of optical 3D metrology,” says Heidi. “Theoretical contexts are illustrated with practical examples, which is limited in academic teaching.

“The students’ feedback is always positive; they are curious and learn a lot. The learning effect is measurable.”

Wibke Dose

Wibke Dose is a member of the AICON marketing team in Braunschweig, Germany. As a writer and communications specialist, she is responsible for various types of content. Before joining Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, Wibke worked as a radio journalist.