October 1, 2012

LSU Academic Program’s Abroad and the College of Engineering offered 13 engineering students the chance of a lifetime to live in Europe for five weeks during the summer while earning course credit by participating in Encountering Engineering in Europe, or E3.

For the first time, this year’s group included two students from other universities, one from the University of Virginia and one from Auburn. The students are treated to a global perspective of engineering and learn innovative techniques and methods all while experiencing a new culture by studying in Germany. Paige Davis, assistant STEP (STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – Talent Expansion Program) coordinator and instructor in the Department of Construction Management, led the program in its third consecutive year.

“E3 provides students a unique opportunity to study engineering in a global arena,” said Professor Davis. “Although the immersion program focuses on the technical content observed firsthand while touring factories, laboratories, and universities, students also gain invaluable lessons about culture awareness by traveling abroad for five weeks in Germany.” 

The students began the program by spending two weeks in Nuremberg, Germany, followed by four days in Berlin, Germany, two days in Stuttgart, Germany, two days in Füssen, Germany, and ended with two weeks in Brannenburg, Germany. The students participated in various classes at local universities as they traveled throughout Germany.

In addition to taking classes, students also toured factories, including Adidas, Staedtler (pencil-making company), Kuka Robotics Laboratory, Volkswagen, the Daimler facility that manufactures Mercedes-Benz, and the BMW Research and Development Center, where they witnessed innovative engineering and industrial techniques first hand.

“Visiting Germany was such an eye opening experience,” said Steven Hollander, mechanical engineering junior. “We got to see first hand how European companies operate and learn about their sustainable practices to ensure a better work environment and a better future. I loved experiencing the culture and truly understanding how their society came to be what it is today.”

This year the students were also offered an optional four-day pre-trip to Torino, Italy, so that students could get insight on another new culture.

“The pre-trip included excursions to the Polytechnic University, Fiat and Abarthfactory, Racconigi Castle and Mole Antonelliana,” said Professor Davis. “Of course, it also provided some great pizza, pasta and gelato, too!” 

During a free weekend, some students also traveled to Prague in the Czech Republic to experience a whole new city.

The students kept a blog to document the program throughout their trip. Each day, a different student would update the blog with some insight on what they experienced that day.  The blog can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/lsu2012e3/.

“In the end, we all learned how the ‘ordinary can be extraordinary when shared with the right people’,” said Professor Davis in her final blog post. “This was definitely the right group of people. I have enjoyed working with each of these students and will miss them all.”

For more about E3 click here.


Article written by Eric Camaradale, communications intern. For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092.    

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