Linz, May 2018: The Upper Austrian high-tech mechatronics research company Linz Center of Mechatronics GmbH (LCM) unites the best technician heads under one roof. In this academic-dominated environment, the training of a mechatronics apprentice was a premiere. Now, the first apprentice, Patrick Weißengruber, has graduated excellent.

3.5 years ago, an apprentice got the opportunity to learn at LCM. “We want to map the entire education chain, from apprentice to doctoral student,” explains Gerda Klammer, Human Resource Manager LCM. Also, because of the industrial need of highly qualified support, we decided for the first time to educate a mechatronic apprentice, adds LCM managing director Gerald Schatz. “The fact that this was a golden decision shows the joy of our team over the cooperation with Patrick Weißengruber – and of course his outstanding performance.”

Complete new education way for LCM

It was completely new education way for the Linz Center of Mechatronics, no apprentice has ever been educated before. Patrick Weißengruber, was therefore the only and first apprentice, an exotic. From the beginning, however, it was clear to LCM that Weißengruber was to receive the best conditions for his education. Responsible for the internal education was LCM employee Peter Heinetzberger, he designed the apprenticeship training for LCM, and thus for Weißengruber.

“Of course, we were forced to go new ways in order to provide the best conditions for Patrick,” Peter Heinetzberger describes the situation. For example, in terms of basic mechanical training, contacts were made with the Johannes Kepler University, which is very close to LCM, where tool-making technicians have been trained for several years. “Furthermore, there are hardly any routine activities with us, so Mr. Weißengruber was constantly required in new projects.”

How quickly Weißengruber can adjust to changing tasks, he has shown at the apprenticeship exam, explains Heinetzberger. “Although Patrick Weißengruber spent little time in programming SPS controls, but he still proved to be the best among his vocational college colleagues.”

Apprentices from well-known large industrial / production companies

Many of Patrick’s vocational colleagues come from well-known large industrial / production companies such as voestalpine, Fronius, TGW or Engel, who have been practicing apprenticeships on a grand scale for years. LCM is not a classic industrial or manufacturing company, but a development partner to the industry, which requires flexible and rapid response to changing demands from all employees.

“The three and a half year training was extremely varied and instructive,” summarizes the 20-year-old. “Now I’m a freshly-baked” mechatronics technician “and there are many ways open for me. Sure is only that I stay with the LCM! “

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