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Building bridges between university and economy

TU alumni Thomas Riediger is manager at Porsche and is active as campus ambassador for teaching and research projects at Chemnitz University

In the past September, the Porsche Leipzig GmbH actively supported Chemnitz University of Technology in the development of innovative logistic and assembly concepts with the delivery of two Panamera V8 engines. For Thomas Riediger, the delivery of these engines was the start of an intensive scientific exchange: “Students of Chemnitz University get the chance to experience and do research on complex manufacturing systems with the help of digital technologies at first hand.” As Thomas Riediger is a Chemnitz University alumni himself, this is a very special moment for the manager.

Chemnitz University as base for an impressive career path

The Karl-Marx-City native sees Chemnitz University as interface of tradition and innovation: “Industrial history hands-on, so to speak.” Thus, he decided to study material sciences in his hometown and he still has fond memories of his time of study. “I received a solid fundamental education with technological and scientific aspects at Chemnitz University. Teaching in small groups, at the beginning in real seminar groups, is one of the best memories. A close and personal contact with professors, employees, and fellow students encouraged a broad and analytic exchange of study contents and offered a great mutual support.”

After an internship at the Innolab GmbH in the laboratory of the present Chemnitz VW engine plant, the practical experience at Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart set the ball rolling. “In the framework of my diploma thesis, I found my passion for the broad range of tasks dealing with vehicle construction”, emphasizes Thomas Riediger. In line with the construction of the new Porsche manufacturing plant, he took his chance and applied in 2000 for a new job – with success: “New job, new challenges – For me, a dream come true.”

At first, Thomas Ridieger took on tasks in the field of quality assurance and analysis at the new Porsche site. After three years, he was promoted head of quality control and guided the successful product introduction of the Cayenne and Panamera models. The promotion as head of planning in 2011 was hitherto the peak on the career path of the certified engineer. “The manager position covers a broad range of tasks over subsections – from car body construction, to paint shop, over assembly and test facility, to industrial engineering. The position offers me the possibility to co-design the long-term development of the plant site”, explains the head of planning.

(Author: Lars Meese / Translation: Alissa Hölzel)

Matthias Fejes

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