Guest Post by Lauren Hampton, Plastics Engineering Technology major
No matter how vivid the photos or descriptive the lecture, there’s nothing quite like seeing and experiencing another country in person. And, in today’s increasingly global business climate, it’s vital that students be versed in the culture and business practices of international partners. There is much to be learned from seeing how others do it. That’s why, every year, students in the Plastics Engineering Technology (PLET) program have the opportunity to travel overseas to visit plastics companies and universities and attend a plastics trade show, too.
On Thursday, Oct. 17th, a group of PLET majors embarked on an 11-day trip to Germany. We asked student Lauren Hampton to keep a travel log and tell us about the trip. Here is her report from the first five days:
DAY 1 — Thursday, Oct. 17
Day One… Here we go! All the professors showed up to the airport bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (specifically Mr. Meckley rocking his flip-flops and plaid cargo shorts). However, the students were slightly less bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Some would say they looked like zombies. Nevertheless, everyone was excited and raring to go!
The first flight went very well. Most slept, some listened to music. Then… DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN…. THE. EIGHT. HOUR. LAYOVER. Below are some of the activities students chose to participate in to pass the time, including: homework, card games, chit-chat, and of-course some sleep.
Homework! Of course!
Days 2 & 3 — Friday & Saturday
We arrived in Cologne (Köln), Germany early Friday morning. We had two free days in the city. During that time, we explored the city, ate lots of good German food, and took in all the beautiful views.
Cologne Cathedral and the Rhein River (Awesome Photo Taken by Dr. Jaafar!)
Jon Meckley, associate professor of engineering, with gelato.
Dr. Israd Jaafar, assistant teaching professor of engineering, and a giant pretzel.
Day 4 – Sunday
We attended the K Show in Düsseldorf – the world’s number one tradeshow for plastics and rubber. We visited a number of companies and learned many new things!
Dr. Gary F. Smith, assistant professor of engineer, and Mr. Meckley with a Race Car at the K Show
Interacting with Lifting Machine
Students at the K Show
Day 5 — Monday
We attended our second day at the K Show. We met with companies and got to see the new generation of molding machines! Then, we hopped on a two-and-one-half-hour train ride to Stuttgart. We arrived in Stuttgart around dinner time and spent the evening relaxing and getting ready for our next tour.
Virtual Reality at the K Show (Inside of a Blow Molding Machine)
Group Photo at the train station.
NEXT: The PLET students will tour the Mercedes Benz engine assembly plant followed by tours of the Mercedes Benz and Porche Museums. Then, they’ll visit several other cities in Germany before ending in Munich where they will tour the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim. We’ll post updates from Lauren as they arrive.
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