For German exchange student Steffen Voigt, the challenging economy has directed him toward a better experience than he ever imagined.
Voigt, who is working on an advanced degree at the University of Freiberg (one of Pitt State's partner universities), began searching last fall for a company to fill his program's requirement that students complete an international internship. With companies under economic stress, that proved hard to come by. But he found a willing partner in education when he contacted Dr. Russ Rosmait at PSU.
Rosmait, a professor in engineering technology, invited Voigt to come to PSU for a few months and help him test a new thermal analysis unit that had never been used in the U.S. Voigt agreed to take it on as his master's thesis project, and has since made exciting discoveries with the technology. He's also received an education in metal casting, a relatively new area for him.
"It's been amazing to be here," said Voigt, who hopes his expertise with non-ferrous metals will help him land a promising technology management job in Germany after graduation. A fan of American sports, he said experiencing the Superbowl has been one of the highlights of his stay. "I have to admit, I need a steak or a schnitzel now and then, but it has been great to be here. I've gotten to know other international students, and I've never felt lonely or lost."