An intensive week in Belgium as part of the Sustainable Vehicle Design and Supply Chain Management course
The project, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, involved Skoda Auto University (SAU), the Finnish Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, the German Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg and the Belgian Thomas More University Mechelen-Anwerp. The international project aimed to develop three study modules reflecting current trends in sustainable transport from the perspective of different countries and organisations.
Skoda Auto University was represented in the project by Bachelor’s and Master’s students and researchers from the Department of Production Management, Logistics and Quality and the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Technical programmes and specialisations at SAU offer their students the opportunity to participate in projects, which is a significant advantage.
How do students perceive the opportunity to participate in projects, and how do they benefit from such an experience?
Bc. Alexandr Janko, a student in the Master’s programme at SAU:
“I was given the opportunity to go to Belgium for an intensive week as part of the Sustainable Vehicle Design and Supply Chain Management course. The project involves four universities, with each university sending six students. At the beginning of the week, we presented our research on the assignments we were given a month before the trip. Throughout the week, we attended many lectures on sustainable resources that are the future of vehicle propulsion. I took part in an international group discussing the advantages, disadvantages and future of cars powered by electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells. We visited the Colruyt Group’s warehouse, which already uses hydrogen-powered pallet trucks and lorries, so the tour was in keeping with our theme. We even took a ride in a Hyundai ix35 powered by electricity generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. At the end of the week, we presented all our observations and individual work. I met a lot of great people during the project. Moreover, I learned a lot of fascinating facts about current and future mobility. I really enjoyed the whole project, and I am glad I could take part in it.”
Pavla Vlčková, student in the Bachelor's studies at SAU:
“The third phase of the international Sustainable Transportation project took place in November in Belgium on the Thomas More University campuses. It was an honour to represent SAU in the final part of the project and to try to create a platform for the studies of the future graduates of the courses developed as a result of this collaboration.
The project focuses on sustainability in the automotive industry and emphasises the future sustainable resources can offer. This project phase addressed topics such as using electricity or hydrogen propulsion instead of conventional fuels. In addition, we discussed the future of autonomous driving.
During the project week, I learned to use interactive elements such as Canva or Thinglink more effectively, and we employed them to enhance the virtual environment used for studying the Moodle course.
As a participant in all three project parts, I can say that working in an international team has helped me a lot and has moved me forward in many ways. I have developed my skills and gained new perspectives and friends. In addition, I understood the value of teamwork in solving complex challenges. This project has taught me valuable lessons that I can apply to future projects and my professional life.”
Anastasiia Shvets, student of Bachelor’s studies at SAU:
“It was a great experience! During the IP week in Belgium, we visited the Tesla showroom and attended a lesson on programming driverless racing cars; in addition, we participated in interesting daily lectures on sustainable future transport. We met and collaborated with many wonderful people from Belgium, Finland and Germany.
We would like to thank our teacher, Ing. Tomáš Malčić, PhD, and the Belgian lecturers who hosted this year’s IP week. For example, they ordered a food truck for our welcome event and organised a tasting of Belgian beers. :)”
Nadiya Khrypunova, student in Bachelor’s studies at SAU:
“I attended the IP Week in Belgium and actively participated in the Sustainable Transport for the Future project. During this project, I gained a lot of valuable experience working in an international team, deepened my understanding of the topic, and participated in many workshops and visits, including PHOENIX CONTACT Belgium. They clearly demonstrated and explained many aspects of the operation of solar panels and charging stations. I also met students from German, Belgian and Finnish universities. Thus, this trip allowed me to improve my English conversation skills and not be afraid to express my thoughts in a language I am not completely fluent in. Moreover, I have gained further motivation to improve myself in many areas and to study topics related to future sustainable transport in more detail. I would like to thank Ing. Tomáš Malčić, PhD, for his valuable help and support, as well as the organisers and professors of the Thomas More University in Belgium.”