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Shaping the future: FACC scholarship holders of Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences Wels take off with self-constructed drone

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Shaping the future: FACC scholarship holders of Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences Wels take off with self-constructed drone - Manufacturer publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Country: Austria Aircraft: Drones

As one of the world's leading technology groups in the aerospace industry, FACC is an expert in the field of innovative lightweight components - and imparts its year-long expertise to high potentials of the future. That is something to be proud of! Students independently developed a lightweight camera drone as part of a project within the framework of the joint Lightweight Design and Composite Materials degree program, which FACC launched in cooperation with the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences in Wels in 2018. This spring, the team of students successfully completed the complex training and demonstration project on lightweight design, thus impressively demonstrating the future prospects and opportunities for further development offered by the coveted bachelor's degree program. 

Innovative lightweight construction is a cross-sectional technology facilitating the implementation of key topics of the future such as sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and is thus an extremely important factor in securing locations. Lightweight construction is a central theme of the entire mobility industry as these innovative materials fulfill the above-mentioned requirements almost like no other – this is because less weight is more efficient and thus more environmentally friendly. As a result, composites have also been in high demand in aircraft construction for years.

"Whereas 30 years ago, the share of composites used in aircraft was only 13 percent, state-of-the-art models now boast a composite share of more than 50 percent,"explains Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC AG. As a technology leader in the field of composites, FACC makes major contributions to technical progress in aerospace. After all, not only aircraft are developing at a rapid pace - drones have long since begun to conquer individual air transport, and are increasingly shifting into the focus of research and development in their function as "air taxis", but also in logistics, search and rescue operations. As a pioneer in the field of urban air mobility, FACC is setting new standards for innovative air mobility solutions within urban agglomerations. In this context, lightweight construction and drone technology will play an essential role in the future. "Innovation has been a steady companion and growth driver for FACC ever since our company was founded. In addition to our core business, urban air mobility is a growth segment that holds great market potential for us. The next milestone in the evolution of drone technology will be the use of drones for individual passenger transport. Drones offer enormous potential, particularly in their function as air taxis. As one of the leading aerospace groups, FACC is right at the forefront of this development.” 

Alongside industrial partnerships, FACC also focuses on interacting with students. The construction of a lightweight camera drone, which has now been successfully completed after a lengthy research and development phase, is a truly exemplary student project. Through a sophisticated design, the scholarship holders were able to reduce the weight of the structural components by 40% compared to comparable models - lightweight construction par excellence. The small flying object not only showcases the know-how of the students and their intensive cooperation with FACC - it will also encourage other young high potentials to deliver top performances. 

Actively shaping the future with know-how 

Lightweight construction technology is booming, which therefore not only makes it a promising topic for the future, but also a highly exciting one. After all, developing and making optimal use of composites requires a high level of technical expertise that is not easily available. High-quality training programs are few and far between internationally, and lightweight construction experts are in high demand worldwide. "Knowledge and competence are crucial for the development and application of novel technologies - the demand for future specialists is high. In 2018, we therefore took over the patronage of the new and innovative bachelor's degree program in Lightweight Construction and Composite Materials at the campus of the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences in Wels. There is no substitute for knowledge, and it becomes all the more valuable with a regional education that creates international opportunities,"emphasizes Machtlinger. 

The high potentials of this degree program are top achievers: this is also demonstrated by the challenging drone project at the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences in Wels. A team of students enrolled in Lightweight Construction and Composite Materials put their skills to the test and worked intensively on the development and construction of a lightweight camera drone over the past few months. The highly complex project was recently concluded - it is not only impressive, but has also successfully completed its “maiden flight”. “The students have delivered a really top performance," enthuses Dr. Gerald Reisinger, Managing Director of the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences. “The joint study project not only impressively demonstrates the complex and innovative techniques involved in drone technology, but also the great opportunities for further development offered by this FH degree course in Wels.”

Seize the opportunity & secure a place!

"Top-class and exclusive study content, excellent job prospects in a strong economic province, an attractive research environment and modern infrastructure at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Natural Sciences at the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences in Wels - the unique bachelor's degree program in Lightweight Construction and Composite Materials speaks for itself," emphasizes the head of the research group, FH Prof. DI Dr. Roland Hinterhölzl. The application period for admission to the program has already begun, and there are still a few sought-after places available for the program beginning in autumn! "Anyone with an interest in lightweight construction and the natural sciences, such as chemistry or physics, and who wants to work in an outstanding future-oriented field is very welcome," adds Hinterhölzl. 

Applications are open to school leavers who have successfully completed higher technical colleges (HTL), colleges for higher vocational education (BHS) and academic secondary schools (AHS), and to future students without a higher education entrance qualification (Matura) who are enrolled in a university entrance qualification course (Studienbefähigungslehrgang). Further information can be found at www.fh-ooe.at/lcw.

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