The "old" foosball table makes its way to FHWS
The name of the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt is "for Applied Sciences": Dr. Marcus Schulz, Professor at the Faculty of Business and Engineering, took this literally and set up four foosball tables in the university building and integrated them into courses. With these traditionally well-known sport and play offers he would like to use and convert also scientific aspects, which a university would like to give to its studying as specialized knowledge, as well as also as so-called soft Skills with on their way into the occupation.
One of the challenges during the interdisciplinary studies is to ensure the networking of the subjects among each other, such as marketing, product development or production, which do not represent separate units. Professor Dr. Schulz, organiser of the "Initiative Tischkicker", believes that it is only when one learns how the individual contents become a whole that students reach the next level.
Students could also rethink their later engineering activities: Schweinfurt is characterized by large-scale industry, especially automotive suppliers. For many students, it is therefore the goal to work in large companies with well-known names and brands. It is often forgotten that there are also small companies that fulfil the same challenges and tasks as large corporations. For example, a manufacturer of foosball tables also has to optimise its production and consider possible partnerships, e.g. in China, in order to bring competitive products onto the market. In addition, investments must also be made in research and development, and the knowledge acquired (e.g. FMEA (impact analysis), project management, etc.) must be transferred.
Soft skills such as the ability to work in a team, dealing with stress and criticism, cross-faculty networking, time management and balance through the fun factor were a great advantage when working on table football, Schulz continued. The kicker brings additional advantages, especially for joint developments and teamwork: Instead of calculating physical forces exclusively theoretically, they are directly experienced when the bar bounces off the rubber buffer at high speed. Even the hard shots at the goal immediately made the demands on the material of the figures clear, which in the first tests are already produced in 3D printing at the FHWS. Production- and material-oriented topics could also be offered via courses, as well as marketing approaches or experiments with virtual reality.
The perhaps most beautiful side effect of the kicker, the professor continued, was the promotion of the community among students as well as between students and professors in joint games. The highlight of the joint activities had been a visit by Johannes Kirsch, Vice European Champion in table football and company manager of "Kivent", who, during a visit to the university, was competing against the president of the university, Professor Dr. Robert Grebner, and other professors and students. In addition to technical topics, his company also offers elements of event management. In addition, one could use table football as a medium of a psychological nature to get to know potential job applicants.