RWTH students succeed in Siemens Rapid Prototyping Hackathon

27. June 2017

In Siemens’ “Global University Challenge” students from eight universities worldwide participated in developing ideas for enabling the “digital twin”. The digital twin refers to the availability of a digital representation of machines, components or manufacturing processes and thus is an important key factor for future industries. Five finalists got the chance to refine and prototype their ideas for gathering information for the digital twin and ensure product quality in an onsite Hackathon at the gasturbine manufacturing facility in Berlin in March 2017. Two RWTH teams were among the five finalists!

Justin Mattman, 28 year old master student in Management and Engineering in Production Systems at RWTH Aachen University, shares his experiences at the Rapid Prototyping Hackathon: 

“I believe the Siemens GUC was a great platform for students to engage with Siemens on futuristic trends and this time the theme was about the “Digital Twin”. The main task was for students to submit their innovative ideas regarding ways in which new measurement methodologies could enhance or enable the Digital Twin.

The best part of the GUC, in my opinion, was the community collaboration that took place during the ideation phase. Siemens experts and students from around the globe took earnest efforts in collaborating and providing constructive criticism for every idea. Thanks to those suggestions, I started with one idea and ended up with something totally different. There were many clever technical and business ideas and the chance to engage with both the experts and fellow students from across the globe is a good enough reason for every student to participate.

I was fortunate to be included in the top five ideas and got the prestigious invite for the Hackathon at the Siemens Turbine Factory in Berlin. Here, we were expected to bring our ideas to life with a physical prototype in one week. The pressure was high, but the learning curve was also very steep. Meanwhile, we got the opportunity to visit the turbine factory which is certainly an engineering marvel in itself. During the prototyping phase, my team got the opportunity to interact with the workers at the shop floor and we received invaluable feedbacks during the implementation phase. We also got an opportunity to collaborate with another student team from China during the testing of our idea. Interacting with students and Siemens employees from different parts of the world during the hackathon was certainly a memorable experience. In the end, we had to pitch to Siemens’ top management and convince them to invest in our ideas.  Overall, the GUC experience is certainly a feather on the cap for every student pursuing to become an engineer irrespective of their branch of study. “

6 students of different RWTH teams that engaged in the Global University Challenge are now working as interns at Siemens, either in Aachen, Berlin or Princeton (USA).