Würzburg/Schweinfurt. “Forming ideas” – this activity has shaped the plastics technology course at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS) for 50 years. Around 130 participants celebrated this occasion as part of the 24th PolyKing training course (the term “King” is derived from the job title “plastics engineer”).
professor dr Volker Herrmann gave a brief historical review of developments since 1972. At the time, there was a considerable need for engineers in the fast-growing plastics technology industry. Accordingly, at the beginning of the winter semester 1972/73, the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture approved the application from the Würzburg University to set up the “Plastics Technology” subject.
The first professors were Dr. Heinz Riedelbauch and Professor Dr. Heinz Möhler, the first employee Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Siegel. As early as 1991, the degree program was able to double the number of places to 235. In the 1992/93 winter semester, the 500th graduate was successfully released to work. In 1997 the “PolyKing” working group was founded in order to be able to meet and exchange ideas for further training and networking.
In the 2002/2003 winter semester, the course was renamed from “Plastics Technology (Focus on Rubber Technology)” to “Plastics and Elastomer Technology”. In the summer semester of 2008, the faculty was able to congratulate the 1,000 graduates with the degree “Dipl.-Ing (FH)” before the switch from diploma to bachelor’s degree took place on October 1, 2012.
On February 4, 2020, the starting signal was given for the first technology transfer center SPPS (Smart Polymer Pipe Solutions) in Hassfurt. Tim Schülein is the institute’s first employee: in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) (Prof. Dr. M. Wilhelm), he is doing a cooperative doctorate in the field of the rheology of recycled plastics. Not only teaching and research are continuously optimized: In 2021 extensive modernization measures were implemented at the X-ray ring. In the 50 years of its existence, the course has trained 1518 graduates for the job market.
What’s next? Volker Herrmann focuses on four main areas: Firstly, the position of head of the technology transfer center SPPS will be filled by a new colleague.
In addition, it is intended to fill a new professorship for circular economy and recycling as part of the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria. In future, the topic of recycling plastics will play a key role in teaching and research.
The course is also developing further and in the future will offer a bachelor’s and a master’s course. fhws