17. January 2022 | Magazine:

Students Stay in Touch The DVS student group of the Institute of Joining and Welding Technology in Corona times

For many students, the past year and a half has been a difficult time: no personal contact with other students, no lectures and seminars at university and sometimes technical challenges to study online. The student groups of the German Welding Society (Deutscher Verband für Schweißen und verwandte Verfahren e. V.). (DVS) have also felt this. Therefore, they resorted to other formats to keep in touch with each other. One example is the group from Braunschweig.

The two chairpersons of the DVS student group Braunschweig Paul Diekhoff (left) and Tamás Tóth in the welding practice room of the Institute of Joining and Welding Technology. Picture credits: Paul Diekhoff, TU Braunschweig

At the Institute for Joining and Welding Technology at the TU Braunschweig, the consequences of the Corona protection measures were clearly felt. Particularly painful for the students were the closed doors of the practice room in the basement of the institute, the welding equipment was at rest. “Otherwise, we get together with our student group every fortnight in the evening after the lecture and show the beginners various welding techniques,” explains Paul Diekhoff, one of the two chairpersons of the group. It was also not possible to carry out their own projects, for example the construction of a barbecue they had planned themselves.

Normally, the meetings offer a lot more besides improving practical skills and learning different welding processes: “The personal contact with the students as well as the relaxed togetherness are already very lacking and make it difficult to maintain the network of the student group,” says Diekhoff.

Initial emergency measure becomes new digital offer

Logo of the Braunschweig DVS student group. Picture credits; DVS student group Braunschweig

In order to stay in touch despite all the restrictions, the student group increasingly resorted to social media. The exchange between the 45 or so participants is currently taking place increasingly in a separate WhatsApp group. With Instagram, another digital offer was created to inform the followers about the events of the DVS student group Braunschweig. Under the hashtags #WeldingWednesday and #HappyWelding, they regularly post pictures or exchange information with each other in the specially opened chat group. Many questions about welding are discussed and answered there.

Since the winter semester of 2021, “the basement” has been open again and the participants of the Braunschweig student group meet to weld and discuss. “We now hope that we can maintain the meetings in 2022 despite the rising infection figures,” says Diekhoff. Instagram and WhatsApp will, however, continue to be used for exchange.