Alex Hornsby

Product Design Engineering Graduate

Diploma in Industrial Studies

Work Experience July 08 - July 09 Munich

Tyco Electronics Raychem Munich GmbH

I deliberately chose the Loughborough BEng sandwich year option to take advantage of the Diploma of Industrial Studies award, a year long industrial placement, as I recognised the benefit of experiencing putting academic learning into a practical context. It was an excellent opportunity to gain direct industrial work experience. I was delighted when I was accepted onto the Tyco Electronics graduate sponsored programme and then informed my placement was in Munich working for Tyco Headquarters in their Quality laboratory in the Research and Development division.


My main involvement was testing heat shrink polymer tubing and being a key part of a small but vital busy team. Many of the tests were of long duration for example: thermal endurance tests took three months, accelerated ageing three weeks and tensile and ultimate elongation tests some three or four hours each. I was responsible for recording all my findings, completing relevant paperwork and once trained, using specialist equipment such as Impedance Analysers (BDC and Schering Bridge machines) for volume resistivity and dielectric strength tests and Instron Tensile testing machines.

I was also Involved in extensive characterisation of high performance materials including rheology, specialised electrical testing and viscoelasticity measurements.  This was a flexible role and involved supporting manufacturing and product management.  In this role there was plenty of scope for project management of sub projects such as specialist flame testing, as well as interaction with the other Tyco Electronics divisions, to broadening my understanding of the many different aspects of a multi-national company.  In the Munich role I greatly improved my basic German language skills and understanding of the German/Bavarian culture.

When time permitted I was on call to assist other managers within the company to carry out specialist tests and data analysis.

This was a very enjoyable hardworking year where I learned a lot not only about Tyco Electronics, but full time working, meeting deadlines and expectations in an industrial context; Health and Safety legislative requirements as part of my daily routine and the procedures and methods of a global corporation. Of course I also experienced meeting new people and making new friends and enjoyed a country I had never previously visited. I have been back since to meet the friends I made and to enjoy the famous Munich Christmas markets. For beer drinkers the Oktoberfest is worth a visit at least once in your life!