Projects and solutions: At KSB, students work on practical challenges.
Dr Stephan Bross (right) appreciates the knowledge young people can offer.
Benefits for companies and universities
For the pump and valve manufacturer, cooperation with universities offers many advantages. These include gaining
KSB access to the latest scientific developments. New concepts, theories and technologies can be tested in
practice. “Working with us allows university partners to apply their knowledge to practical applications,” says
Bross. “Many students are motivated by the prospect of collaborating with us to solve concrete problems from
The universities also stand to benefit. “It is an opportunity for us to keep abreast of developments and demands
on technological innovations from the industry directly,” reports Professor Shuhong Liu from the Institute of
Thermal Engineering at Tsinghua University
in China. The university’s department of energy and power engineering has conducted research with KSB on the
of boiler recirculation pumps used in power plants.
“The cooperation has helped us to expand our knowledge in evaluating the operating reliability of new pump
prototypes and refine our research methods,” says Liu. It is thus possible for universities to incorporate more
practical elements into their programmes.
Interdisciplinary teams create innovations
For mechanical engineering companies like KSB, cooperation with universities has previously focused on disciplines
such as mechanical engineering, hydraulics, materials technology and electrical engineering. Today however,
emerging technologies and digitalisation are boosting interest in specialist fields relating
to mathematics, information technology, process engineering and physics. Data analysis
and evaluation are playing an increasingly important role across all industries.
“For us, strengthening the capacity to innovate means connecting with experts from different disciplines and
bringing them together,” says Bross. Digitalisation and new technologies are making tasks much more interconnected
Cooperating with university spin-offs and start-ups is also becoming more and more attractive for established
companies. “These dynamic firms work within a great environment and have innovative ideas,” says Bross.
KSB cooperates with numerous scientific institutes worldwide. Research and development work is often part of
publicly funded projects.
Opportunities for students
The company also establishes contact with students directly. KSB offers young academics a wide range of
opportunities via internships, thesis topics for various disciplines and jobs as student trainees, enabling them
to get involved in projects at a practical level. In addition, young people can apply for dual study programmes or
schemes combining study
and apprenticeships – the perfect mix of theory at university and practice in the company.
A positive side effect: Companies that establish contact with young talent early on are rewarded with skilled
staff in the future. After all, an early collaboration with KSB can often be the start of a career with the
company. Students already know ‘their’ company, its processes and many of its employees. Human resources
departments therefore see universities as an important channel for recruitment.