Audi and SZE launch unique summer training programme

ADC2.jpgIntense professional training in the context of an engineering competition - this is what the Audi Development Camp, organised for the second time by Széchenyi István University with the support of Audi Hungaria and AUDI AG, offers. In the four-week English-language camp, students learn from international experts while solving real industrial problems in teams and competing against each other. This year, participants will be challenged to complete a hardware-in-the-loop simulation task related to the Audi e-tron.

Summer means festivals, beaches and relaxation - we imagine that is how students spend their holidays. But, could there be students who go back to school for the summer? Are there those who spend nearly a month of their precious summer free time solving engineering problems to a deadline? Of course there are! What better example of this than the Audi Development Camp started in 2019, a co-production of Audi Hungaria and Széchenyi István University, which was oversubscribed again this year - participants were selected through a round of selection procedures, until the camp finally had a field of 15 participants.

ADC.pngThe opening ceremony of the event was held in the lobby of the Department of Internal Combustion Engines and Propulsion Technology (Gallery: Márton Horváth)

It is no surprise that the Audi Development Camp is an attractive offer for students. In recent years, training programmes other than traditional education have flourished, whether it is an intensive, fast-paced course, a team-based learning project or a jury-scored design thinking competition. The advantage of these is that they allow participants to learn by doing, in a practical way, working on real problems, simulating real-life business situations, while developing skills and making new contacts. The learning process is therefore experiential and often highly enjoyable, so that through play, sometimes rivalry, and by stimulating individual motivation, participants can quickly produce excellent results.

Dr Barna Hanula, Dean of the Audi Hungaria Faculty of Automotive Engineering at Széchenyi University, referred to this in his welcome speech at the opening of the event on Monday, when he said that students love to learn - if they are taught the right way.

"Three years ago, we had an idea that we would give students a difficult problem to solve in four weeks. To solve it, we provide everything: excellent trainers, inspiring mentors, professional tools. Everyone I spoke to said it was crazy, it could not be done in such a short time, it would take even an experienced engineering team at least six months. We took a risk and in the end our calculation worked: each team completed the task to a high standard," he said, adding that this shows that, if the framework is set skilfully, the students are capable of sensational and sometimes surprising performances. The Dean also said that this year the educational programme has been further refined to make it even more effective in the successful implementation of the project.

"The automotive industry is undergoing the biggest change in its history in these years, driven by three different trends: e-mobility, autonomous driving and digitalisation," is how Karsten Büttner, Head of Hardware-in-the-loop Simulation Development at AUDI AG, describes what is happening in the field.

"The number and complexity of network functions in vehicles is increasing dramatically," he continued. "In order to successfully integrate these functions into our products, we have to develop software in small iterative steps, while the testing period also increases in length. A great example is that in cars today, we also have to pay attention to cyber security, simulating attacks, which significantly increases the need for inputs," he said, revealing that this is why the simulation of the Audi e-tron's electronic system was chosen as the theme of this year's camp, as it is one of the most challenging areas in the industry today - and one of the most marketable skills students can learn in a practical exercise.

Dr Dániel Feszty, Head of the Department of Vehicle Development, concluded the series of speeches with a brief history of Audi Hungaria, noting in particular that the company has established the largest development base in Eastern Europe in Győr, where more than 500 engineers are currently working.

“Our main mission is to pass on competitive knowledge to the next generations, which is why we have created this innovative form of training, which we call Audi Development Camp. We rely heavily on the students' current knowledge and we try to give them as much ammunition as possible in the form of training, lectures and workshops. Time is limited - we only give you the basics and you have to add the rest yourself.” - he addressed the students, stressing that what they will be doing during these four weeks is truly original and not yet part of their university education. For this reason, they particularly trust in the participants' capacity to innovate and to find effective answers to the most topical challenges through team-based knowledge sharing.

And there will be no shortage of challenges.

Over the next four weeks, the students will develop a model of the Audi e-tron battery in MATLAB and Simulink, which they will then use to run simulations to find the optimal parameters. The vehicle will have to perform virtually on the Nürburgring's famous Nordschleife circuit, which will serve as a benchmark for evaluating the product.

The students will be divided into three teams, the one with the best results being the winner.

ADC2.jpgThe speakers stressed that students will spend most of their time working in teams, with teaching limited to the essential basics.
Photo: Márton Horváth

Our portal also asked two participating students for their views on the camp. Ádám Domokos came to Győr from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, where he studies automotive engineering and is a member of the local Formula Student team.

"As soon as I saw the advertisement, I knew I had to participate. I'm attached to the brand and I think I can benefit from it. I'm not just killing the summer, I'm investing time and energy in my own development. I've already met some excellent professionals on day one and I'm sure I'll learn new things from them," he said.

ADC3.jpgÁdám Domokos already has experience in electric car development, but feels he can learn new things at the camp (Photo: Márton Horváth)

Moroccan-born Imane Moustakim, who is studying in Debrecen, thinks the same way, and sees it as a great opportunity to participate in a development project with a company like Audi.

"As a mechatronics engineer, I had planned to do more work on hardware-in-the-loop technology, which is currently the focus of my studies. I think the training will definitely look good on my CV, but participants can also get a job offer here after the camp. I hope all the hard work will pay off," said the young woman, who added that the next four weeks will be about learning and working, but also about meeting people and having fun.


Imane Moustakim is looking forward to working with the other students (Photo: Márton Horváth)

The camp will run from 3 July to 29 July on the campus of Széchenyi István University. The organisers have packed the programme with extra leisure activities, such as kite flying, themed barbecue evenings and cinema nights. In the next four weeks, the participants will also visit the Audi Hungaria plant, get a closer look at the work of the student racing teams, and be shown around the ZalaZONE test track.

Supporting partners

In addition to AUDI AG and Audi Hungaria, dSPACE, a world leader in the production of hardware-in-the-loop simulation tools, as well as Gamax Laboratory Solutions Kft., the Hungarian distributor of MATLAB software, are important partners of the event. Uni Inno Kft. is also supporting the event.

H-9026 Győr, Egyetem tér 1. 


(Administration Building 103.)

0036/96/613-700, 0036/503-419

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Monday  10:00-12:00 12:30-14:00
Tuesday  10:00-12:00 12:30-14:00
Wednesday  10:00-12:00 12:30-14:00
Thursday  10:00-12:00 12:30-14:00
Friday  10:00-11:00 12:30-14:00