It’s great to have Thomas Karstens from the Jade University of Applied Technology Wilhelmshaven Germany join us for a six month internship as part of our Welding Centre teams research deliverables.

Bringing a wealth of knowledge to the table after completing an apprenticeship with distinction and a Diploma as an International Welding Engineer.

One of many students to secure an opportunity to intern with us since our inception, Thomas comes to us through strong and established ties with world leading expert in weld design issues and University Professor, Dr. Adolf Hobbacher – a regular visitor to New Zealand delivering insights on welded connections subjected to high levels of loading during seismic events to our members and associated professionals.

General Manager Welding Centre Dr. Michail Karpenko said “In a time when we are working towards helping our members align with international best practise to be globally competitive – it makes sense that we keep lines of collaboration like this open to ensure we have a pathway to facilitate this more seamlessly.”

“We see this internship offering as a key step in facilitating communication between New Zealand and Germany, whilst allowing us to keep a tab on the latest processes and technology being adopted overseas – and of course fostering a strong future for our industry through student engagement and learning opportunities.”

“We know and trust the expertise of Prof. Hobbacher – and always feel confident that the calibre of students he connects us with will come with a good base knowledge of welding applications and more importantly – deliver to a high standard.  We’re certainly excited to see how Thomas can contribute to our projects through his Master’s Thesis and strong global background working in marine shipping as a mechanic on heavy cargo vessels.”

During his internship, Thomas will be exposed to a live research environment where he’ll be tasked with tackling industry led and requested assistance across a range of areas including  comparing the preheat requirements set out in different standards with the aim of improving the quality and reliability of welded structural steel connections for our members.

“Returning to studies and doing my Master’s was a logical step after an intensive and taxing four year career in seafaring – and when the opportunity came up to do it in New Zealand, I jumped!” Thomas said.

“I’ve got very fond memories of New Zealand, having previously completed a school year at Takapuna Grammar after learning of this countries reputation for sailing – something I’ve been passionate about since I was seven years old.”

“I’m so grateful for the chance to grow my industry networks, be exposed to great mentors and put my learnings into action by contributing to ‘real’ client projects.  Through this I’ll be able to gain international experience, become familiar with New Zealand welded connection approaches and improve my technical English language skills, and I hope this leads to future work opportunities where I’m able to help other countries grow and develop the welding sector further.”