Beyond engineering

Expertise alone does not guarantee a job. That is why the TU Dresden imparts additional competencies to its students in Textile and Clothing Technology through the module “Wissenschaftlich-methodisches und Expertenseminar” (“Scientific Methods and Specialist Seminar”).

Experts of tomorrow: A seminar prepares the international students of textile and clothing technology for their future ©ITM, TU Dresden

Experts of tomorrow: A seminar prepares the international students of textile and clothing technology for their future ©ITM, TU Dresden

Through specialised lectures, the seminar looks beyond the discipline of engineering and teaches scientific methods and social competence. Representatives from business introduce fields such as textile machine engineering, textile and clothing production, in particular for technical and functional textiles or textile testing, while doctoral candidates explain the system of research. “We get a good overview of the diversity of the field”, says Pakistani Mohsin Fareed, who has been a student at TU Dresden since 2014.

Motivational alumni
Alumni of the degree course also participate in the seminar. “Last semester a TU Dresden graduate from Thailand who works at a university in her home country visited us and an alumnus from Bangladesh who is currently working on an external doctorate at the TU Dresden”, says Christiane Freudenberg, Executive Research Assistant at the Institute for Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology. “Seeing what can be achieved motivates the current students.”

In the academic portion of the seminar, students prepare themselves for the Master’s thesis. From creating a timetable to researching and introducing the planned topic, they practise a smaller version of what awaits them during their thesis work. This is important because they will apply for jobs with their final thesis and must meet both theoretical and practical engineering demands. Cooperation with partners from research and industry helps. It enables the students to focus on the practical side of their profession during their Master’s thesis already. “I experienced the optimal connection between theory and practice as an intern in clothing technology”, says Mohsin Fareed.

Soft skills in demand
Expertise is one, but social competence another crucial prerequisite on the job market for a career. “Soft skills are essential in positions of leadership”, emphasises Christiane Freudenberg. “A manager must be able to deal with employees. In the Dresden seminar, vocational education instructors explain the expectations and challenges that a manager faces, how team leadership succeeds, and what to do in the event of misunderstandings and conflicts. The seminar is meant to lay down the basic principles of successful communication because this is the key to initiating processes and projects and carrying them forward – and this is exactly what the students want to do later in their home countries.

More information about the Master’s programme