As part of the SUNRUNNER project (Stellenbosch and Reutlingen University's New Researcher), expansion of existing cooperation as well as the creation of joint structures and specialist modules between Stellenbosch University (Industrial Engineering Department) and Reutlingen University (ESB Business School) are being realised.
In order to link the global realities of the economic environment with its more complex issues of digitisation in industry on the one hand and the existing successful teaching and research center even more closely with the innovative thematic areas on the other, a two-year international research master's programme "Master of Science in Digital Industrial Management and Engineering" has been established with internationally excellent research universities. For the conception and implementation of this project, a step-by-step approach has been chosen. The first partner was Stellenbosch University, School of Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering, South Africa, which has been successfully offering a research master's for years and with which intensive and successfull cooperative relations already exist, to be followed by the next step of initiating and establishing the new partnerships.
In the course of the six-year SUNRUNNER project (after the further pandemic-related extension of the duration of the project until the end of 2022), the partnership with Stellenbosch University in the context of the MSc Digital Industrial Management and Engineering (DIME) has been intensified and the cooperation with Purdue University has been launched. This will be followed by other DIME universities from different continents being included in the DIME study programme, initially for multi-directional expansion, to an omni-directional networking of the international partnerships in the medium to long term.
Activities within the project
In addition to mobility measures for the development of research and didactic concepts up to implementation as well as the promotion of know-how transfer and exchange of experience, a pilot phase followed for the innovative research master's "DIME" - Digital Industrial Management and Engineering".
Furthermore, SUNRUNNER will promote the institutionalisation of summer schools and winter schools as well as the professional and didactic qualification of the teaching staff of the partner universities.
The existing individual contacts between the partners of ESB Business School Reutlingen University, and the Department of Industrial Engineering, Stellenbosch University, will be expanded by means of the conception and implementation of subject-specific short and visiting stays as well as workshops and the cooperation with Purdue University will be institutionalised and intensified.
Within the framework of the study and research stays for graduates and doctoral candidates at the partner universities, the project aims to further participants' professional and methodological development. The main focus of the stays is on the learning factories of the participating partners.
During the SUNRUNNER Summer School we had the unique opportunity to experience the daily challenges of an SME and to get to know a social project in South Africa. During the industrial project, we were able to gain valuable insights into South African corporate culture through close cooperation with the local employees. At the same time, the social project "Samaritan's Feet' and the time spent at Carel du Toit, a school for deaf children, emphatically showed us how important it is to set priorities in this area as well. The conversations with the children and their enthusiasm for this new phase in their lives are moments I will remember for a long time.
At Stellenbosch University, the Department of Industrial Engineering is the ESB Business School's project partner in the SUNRUNNER project.
The project is funded within the framework of the DAAD funding programme "Subject-related Partnerships with Universities in Developing Countries" with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).