Severin Hoffmann (MAP 2005)

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Severin started the program as one of the first students in 2005 and finished in 2007. Today he works as external PhD student at the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart.

Hello Severin, why did you apply for MAP? Well, first of all “elite study program” sounded not bad. When I looked up, what was behind it, I liked especially the interdisciplinary emphasis, that is, the combination of materials science and chemistry engineering and process engineering respectively. I had initially thought about studying process engineering anyway.

Many study programs claim to be interdisciplinary. However, in the end it is often only an alongside studying of different subjects instead of a cooperation. Is it so much different with MAP? Definitely. The program is not only in the lectures but also in the projects a really felicitous symbiosis of both subjects. Last semester, for example, I worked on a project in which we simulated copper nano particles with molecular dynamics and shot them against a wall. The best thing is that this is interesting for materials scientists and process technology engineers both. The materials scientist always focuses on the material and asks what happens to a material under certain conditions. In this concrete case: How does it deform, do dislocations develop or does the material break when I catapult it with different speeds against a wall? The process technology engineer is in this case more interested in the result: Can I further disintegrate the nano particle by means of acceleration? And if so, how should I choose my process parameters, for example the speed? Thus, a project from which both sides benefit, and they fertilize each other.

“Elite study program”, that sounds like top level on the one hand and like a vast amount of study material on the other hand. Definitely. I have invested considerably more time than in my former study program. However, you can anticipate this in an elite study program, and I agree with that.

Did you spend time abroad? Before I started my final thesis I spent one month in England, namely at the “Center for Biometrics” in Reading. There I researched the resistance and the fracture behavior of natural fiber reinforced plastics. For this purpose I firstly made the samples, then executed tension tests and afterwards analyzed the fracture surfaces under the scanning electron microscope.

What made the program special for you? Would you opt for it again? The close contact to the professors is certainly exceptional about MAP. It was always a decisive motivational drive for me to work so close with the professors. I think it has to be that way in an elite study program: From whom else should the students learn leading abilities, after all the professors are the elite at the university. I would opt for MAP again anytime, not only because of the curriculum but also because of the personal development. I learned to debate with professors and experts and to ask critical questions. Above all, however, I came to understand that my work and my studies are even more enjoyable when I get more involved. In addition I had lots of fun to work together with students from five different countries and cultures.

What are your plans for the future? I do not have a specific plan, yet. Although engineers do not have problems finding a position these days I am still in the orientation period and weigh the different possibilities. At the moment I tend to do my doctoral dissertation first. But first of all I have to find out for myself if I want to do something new or if I want to continue the same field.