Challenging myself in Germany

Acquiring experiences and skills a little further

Reflections on the lessons learned

Still three weeks before I leave to Finland. In this post, I want to open a little more the contents of my studies. I took the following courses in the exchange, Microprocessor Technology (5 credits), Industrial Communication (5 credits), Control Engineering (5 credits), Digital Feedback Control and Simulation (5 credits), Power Electronics (5 credits), German History and Culture (4 credits), German A1 (8 credits), German B1 (4 credits) and the Internship (30 credits). These reason to choose these was, those were the most suitable courses for me taught in English. Here is a short conclusion from the courses.

Microprocessor Technology

The goal was to understand the microprocessors technology and the focus was on the ARM processors. There was two lectures every week and 6 labs in total. Each labs took around 4 hours but there was a need to be well prepared with a code to pass the lab. The main topics were GPIO ports, Interrupts, Timers and BUS technologies. I likes this course the most since it gave good aspect for playing microprocessors, suchs as Arduino or ESP. It was also the hardest and time consuming.

Industrial Communication

Aim of the course was to understand the principles of the Ethernet and how the developed protocols and technologies came with it. In additional it was including 3 labs and there was a visiting lecturor from Festo company who introduced the other bus Technologies from the field, like CAN open, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, IO-Link, etc. The was no need to put a lot effort for the course, due to we didn’t dive too deep in the subjects. Instead there was short observation of differrent comminucation technologies. Odd thing was that the labs wasn’t related to the lectures. For example we had to hack into other network by using APR spoofing and the fastest guys won chocolate.

Control Engineering

This was maybe the most confusing course I had and there is not much I can say about this. First when I read the description of the course, it didn’t sound too bad, but it is analythical and mathematical course indeed. The tempo was fast and there was no time go through the things more than once. As a Finnish guy, used to adaptive pedagogy and with a vocational background it couldn’t follow. The topmost thing from this cours is the feeling of emptines. Anaway, there was 2 lectures every week and 3 laboratories. We calculated controller parameters, modelled and simplified systems.

Digital feedback Control and Simulation

This was basically as hard course as Control and I quote the whole chapter from Control Engineering. The differrence was that we played more with matrixes and calculated digital controllers and obervators in state-space represntations. In addition, there was a Simulation course where we had every second week a lecture and 3 labs, which I liked the most, because we practised with Matlab.

Power Electronics

The theme was to get to know the basic power principles of electronic drivers such as Buck converter and boost-converters and their features. Additionally we had 3 labs and we get to work in a cleanroom. I likes how the professor put effort for teaching instead just giving lectures. I recommend this for people who are interested about making own power electronic projects.

German History and Culture

This was wery interesting course, I did not expect that I would learn so much more about the worlds history. The lecturer gaved eye-catching lessons and his enthusiasism was contagious. We had a trip to Nürnberg to see the Hitler’s counsil building and another one to lake bodensee. I recommend this for everyone for it’s giving general education.

German 1 & 2

The German 1 was mandatory for exchange student’s and we started an intensive courses in September 3 weeks before the other courses. There was approximately 30 hours classes per week until the main studies started. Then we had lesson once in every week until the exam before christmas holidays. The language leves wasn’t high in my group, due to there appeared 5 new students in intervals during the fall. It wasn’t either easy to learn because our teacher didn’t talk English. I took the German to replace The Conrol engineering course.

I think I cannot recognize any of these courses in my Professional studies, but instead  to elective studies. That might not be necessary, because I’ve already have enough elective studies back in Finland. The internship is significant factor and possible to be recognized into my studies. In overall, the highlight of my exchange period was the internship, where I found a lot confidence from the field of automation and IoT. unfortunately, when it comes to school, I don’t feel I received big advatages for my profession in comparison to the amount of spent time.