Professor Dudek, you’re the founder and managing director of IWT Wirtschaft und Technik GmbH which has been part of the Steinbeis Network since last year as a corporation under Transfer GmbH at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). What are the goals of your corporation and what benefit do you derive from the network-like nature of the Steinbeis organization in pursuing those goals?
IWT Wirtschaft und Technik GmbH sees itself as an institute of adult education, knowledge sharing and technology transfer at DHBW Ravensburg. So our focus lies in the development and organization of continuing professional development programs. Our target group is people working for companies in the region. We talk about “rounding off the engineer” and offering a variety of courses and seminars on business administration topics and personal development, but also specialist technical fields. Of course, as we want the courses we offer to expand, we’ll need more experts to come on board as lecturers in the future. My hope is to forge good contacts through the Steinbeis Network.
The emphasis of work at IWT lies in continuing professional development and knowledge transfer, as well as research and technology transfer. What services do your customers ask about, especially around Lake Constance and in Upper Swabia?
Knowledge and technology transfer is a further key area for us and it’s about providing companies in the region with advice and support with their development projects. To do this, we line up contacts for the companies with professors working at the DHBW in Ravensburg. They work on testing projects, analysis and consulting projects. There’s particular demand for topics like electromagnetic compatibility, lean production and telematics.
Could you give us some insights into your current projects? What are the main areas you’re working on and what trends are you noticing?
The biggest project we’re working on at the moment involves the verification and validation of user-guided IT systems. It’s an extremely interesting topic because it’s about finding ways to test complex software when the control loop under normal operation includes people. Because software has to be tested every time a new version comes out, wanting to automate testing is obvious. The only thing is how to automate the human part. Also, at what point does it make sense from a financial standpoint to invest in automated testing? These are questions we’re looking at extremely closely at the moment, using data taken from software development projects from a variety of partners in industry. And because more and more companies will network their IT systems (as in Industry 4.0) this topic will become even more important in the future.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote: “You cannot look into the future, but you can lay foundations for the future – for the future can be built.” What does your construction plan for the future look like, and how do you want to implement it?
I was over the moon in January 2015 when IWT Wirtschaft und Technik GmbH was selected to receive the honor of becoming a project sponsor for the RegioWIN Lighthouse Project (“BodenseeInnovativ”). This should bolster innovation even more after 2016, to the benefit of companies in the area. I’m sure we’ll also need support from other Steinbeis experts for this.
Professor Dr. Heinz-Leo Dudek is the director of IWT Wirtschaft und Technik GmbH, an enterprise in the Steinbeis Network under Transfer GmbH at the Baden- Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). The purpose of the charitable corporation is the development of vocational training including student support and the promotion of science and research.