A decade of supporting engineering education

ABB supports education in a wide range of community programs worldwide. Its highest profile contribution is through the ABB Jürgen Dormann Foundation for Engineering Education which helps talented engineering students worldwide who need financial support to complete their studies.

As it enters its 10th anniversary year, the foundation is expanding further, adding a technical school in Switzerland – the first west European college partnership – to the 12 other countries where formal agreements with universities are in place.

The foundation and the ABB Technikerschule (Technical School) in Baden signed an agreement in late 2016, under which the Foundation will provide scholarships for three students a year. A Yumi collaborative robot, developed by ABB, as well as electrical products, have also been given by the foundation to the Technical School to support its teaching programs.

Scholarships, which cover for a maximum of five years of study, have already been awarded to students at partner universities in Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam. About 250 students have benefited from scholarships at 15 universities.

The latest agreement was signed two months after about 60 foundation students from around the world converged on Switzerland for a week-long foundation event, which is staged every two years for scholars. It was the largest such event held to date.

For many, it was a once in a lifetime event – the first time they have set foot outside their countries. For Sizwe Nkosi from South Africa, who was doing a one-year ABB internship in Johannesburg as part of his studies, the contacts with students from other countries was of prime importance. “It is also the first time I have ever been out of my country, the first time on a plane,” he said.

During their week in Switzerland, the students heard presentations by ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer and other ABB executives, and visited ABB factories, including the turbocharger plant at Turgi and a robotics showroom in Baden, as well as the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The students also made presentations on technical issues that they had been working on for several months in cross-cultural teams, and had them judged by a team of ABB research and development specialists.

The foundation was set up in 2007 to recognize the contributions to ABB by Jürgen Dormann who served as Chairman from 2001 to 2007, and was also CEO from two years from 2002.