PMT FACULTY ON PAPER – THE SERIES
interview with Prof. Weichmann
Professor Dipl.-Phys. Weichmann has gained 12 years of teaching experience at HdM. He offers students courses in Gravure Printing, Pre-Media and Pre-Press, Information Technology, Metrology and Mechatronics.
How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
I like it when my students understand what I want to teach them. So, I work on putting the contents in a way they can understand. However, it is often a complex matter and students’ learning efforts from are essential. Additionally, I like to combine the theory with practical experience. For example, in Information Technology, students first learn about programming and then apply the contents of the lecture directly afterwards in the exercises.
What inspired you to become a professor and what is your favorite part about teaching at HdM?
Printing and all related parts are a very interesting field of economy and knowledge. I worked in this field for nearly 20 years in the industry. To teach this knowledge to young people, which then can bring it together with their enthusiasm to the industry and fertilize it, is my motivation. HdM’s possibilities regarding space, equipment and staff are an ideal environment for this goal.
What do you value most about the PMT major/curriculum?
It is a good mixture of theory and practice. Especially in the later semesters, when working in small groups on interesting topics, the supervising and working with the students is most fun.
What are some common characteristics, passions, and/or career goals of student in the PMT major?
Many students know about the printing industry and they like producing communications which can be print, web pages, decorating packaging products, or even movies. The areas they can work in are numerous; with brand owners, printers, prepress companies, supply industry like paper industry, ink companies, etc. So, a job within the development department, the sales or purchase departments – depending on the preferences of the student – can be a first career goal. Becoming a leader of such departments is often in reach after some years.
What advice would you give to students entering the PMT program?
This is a study with a degree as bachelor of engineering. So you should be interested in practical work and having some practical skills helps. On the other hand and at least as important: A student should be able to deal with and is interested in mathematics, physics, information technology, material sciences, etc. which build the indispensable basis for the advanced engineering courses and for working in this industry in an engineering area. If you are aversive to sciences and math, you might not be happy with this program. Additionally, it is about thinking in structures and abstract dimensions and that is often another topic the students have to get used to, as this seems to not be as important of a topic in high school.
What advice would you give students for being successful in your courses?
So, learning and forgetting afterwards is not a good idea. Follow the courses continuously and try to understand the content during the semester. Ask questions, if you did not understand, but ask them early and not at the end of the semester, when the exam is only a few days away. Do the exercises and really try to understand what you are doing. They reflect the contents of the course and if you were able to solve the tasks there (by your own understanding I must add) you should be fine in the exam too.
What advice would you give to students graduating from the PMT program?
You also can choose lectures from other courses like media informatics, packaging printing, advertising, etc. However, most of these lectures are in German. So learning German to a level that you can follow German lessons should be an important goal. This knowledge is also needed in the internship you will do at an external company for six months in the fifth semester. To be able to navigate and communicate in German at an appropriate level, even in international oriented companies, is very important.