Nordex SE

EANS-News: Nordex to fund an endowed chair in wind power engineering at the University of Rostock

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Research & Development

Hamburg (euro adhoc) - An endowed chair in wind power engineering is to be established at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology of the University of Rostock and should be ready in time for the autumn 2011 semester, with international applications being invited for the position. The chair is being funded with an endowment provided by wind turbine producer Nordex SE, which is one of the largest employers in Rostock with staff numbering around 1,000. The endowed chair at the university will initially be established for a period of five years and will be tied to a master´s course, which could commence in the summer 2012 semester. The rector of the University of Rostock, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schareck, is personally overseeing the matter and, from the outset, has been promoting the plans together with corporate sector sponsors from Rostock Business, Wind Energy Network Rostock, of which 80 companies are members, and the government ministries in Schwerin. "I am grateful for Nordex´s dedication. We want to cover the demand for good engineers in the regional economy ourselves and thus address the shortage of qualified specialists," Schareck said. As well as this, the new course will additionally reinforce the university´s engineering faculties. Explaining the reasons for Nordex SE´s decision to fund the endowed chair, the company´s CEO Thomas Richterich said, "as one of the pioneers in the wind power industry, Nordex is very keen to additionally extend its technological lead." At the moment, it is giving priority to recruiting new engineers in order to step up product development activities and to explore future technologies. Rostock Business is also providing support. "With the endowed chair, we have been able to create decisive added value for the renewable energies cluster in Rostock," explained Christian Weiß, who is also deputy chairman of Wind Energy Network Rostock. This joint success will generate an echo going far beyond the state borders, sharpening Rostock´s profile as a production site as well as a center for the development of high-tech applications for use in the technologies of the future. The idea to establish an endowed chair and, related to this, a master´s course was first raised one-and-a-half years ago by the Wind Energy Network Rostock association. "We need graduates who hold a degree specifically of relevance for this industry and who have received a grounding in offshore wind power technology," said André Iffländer, the association chairman. Wind Energy Network Rostock drew up a syllabus for the course and submitted it to the University of Rostock, which then modified it. The syllabus includes such subjects as grid connection engineering. Iffländer has since taken the idea one step further and considers part-time studies for people already in the workforce to be extremely important. "We want to strengthen and enhance wind power capabilities in Rostock," he said, adding that he is very satisfied that Nordex has agreed to fund the endowed chair. Like most of its peers in this industry, Nordex has sharply rising demand for personnel in its technical departments. "Looking forward, we want to do more to encourage the establishment of university courses so that we are able to cover these requirements. In individual cases, we also want to allow engineers already working for us to attend university courses," explained Eberhard Voß, the chief technical officer at Nordex. In selecting a suitable candidate for the endowed chair, the university and Nordex together with Wind Energy Network Rostock are attaching particular importance to an application-oriented track record in research and teaching. "A hands-on degree course will help graduates to find a job in industry later on," said Voß, explaining what he considers to be the decisive advantages of this endowed chair. What is more, the company is also interested in establishing research partnerships with the holder of the endowed chair, some of which can be executed at Nordex´s own laboratories. Nordex is spending heavily on laboratory and testing equipment so as to speed up the development of new turbines and to enhance product quality. For example, it has been operating the largest test stand for rotor blades in Germany for a number of months now. Wind power enjoys high political prestige in the German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Says the state´s prime minister Erwin Sellering: "I am pleased about this endowed chair. Renewable energies offer one of the greatest opportunities for Mecklenburg-West Pomerania for the future. We are already strong in this area but we could be even better, particularly in research and development. In addition, the endowed chair is important to cover skill needs in this industry." Minister of science Henry Tesch agrees: "I am extraordinarily happy about the initiative being taken by Nordex. The endowed chair in wind power engineering and the course which students will be offered in this area will strengthen the state´s position as a renewable energies." The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rostock is ideally equipped. "Areas of specialization are pooled and made available in concentrated form via the 19 chairs which are currently occupied," stressed the dean Prof. Dr. Egon Hassel. "We welcomed and immediately accepted Nordex´s idea and took all the steps necessary to ensure that the appointment process can be completed with minimum delay." Nordex greatly appreciates the fact that the region with the University of Rostock and the other research institutes located in the city has established an excellent research environment. "The new endowed chair will additionally enhance Rostock´s appeal to us and our employees," said Eberhard Voß, chief technical officer at Nordex.

end of announcement                               euro adhoc
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Contact:

Ralf Peters
Head of Corporate Communication
Tel.: +49 (0)40 300 30 15 22
rpeters@nordex-online.com

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