Skip to content

Behind the scenes at the automotive company

Published: 14 April 2016

The first two students who won the Josef Pickenhahn Award had the opportunity to spend one week at the Tier One automotive supplier ZF-TRW Automotive operating in Arvidsjaur. The students, studying towards a Bachelor in Automotive Engineering, could follow ZF-TRW engineers' work as they develop future cars.

– It was an amazing experience that gave insight into an otherwise very secret world. I do not think that one realizes how much there actually lies behind a modern car. Getting to see the real scale of it all was definitely an eye-opener, says Erik Andreasson, who is studying in his second year within the Bachelor Programme in Automotive Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

– It was great to see what winter car testing is about; I had a completely different picture of the profession before. It was beneficial to get the feel of it, now I feel even more motivated to study, says Francesco Siciliani, who is in his first year of the Bachelor Programme in Automotive Engineering

Followed the engineers in their work

ZF-TRW Automotive is a world leader in active safety for cars and the students could follow different development teams within different projects and see how the engineers are working to develop future vehicles.

– It was rewarding to see the dynamics and the rules of procedure of the engineers, who does what, when and how. Then it was interesting to see how the theoretical aspects we learn in our education are applied in the real world, says Erik Andreasson.

– I have learned more about how engineers go about to analyse and adjust the dynamics of a car in different conditions, says Francesco Siciliani.

Created new relationships

Both Erik and Francesco think that the week in Arvidsjaur was very worthwhile and relevant to their education and future careers. They also believe that it is worthwhile useful to get to know people in the automotive testing industry.

– It was useful to establish new contacts; the engineers were very nice and accommodating. I will try to keep contact with a few of them and hopefully I'll come back some time, says Erik Andreasson.

– Automotive testing is the reason I moved to Sweden from Italy and if one has an interest in developing and testing cars it is imperative to seek such award, says Francesco Siciliani.

The Joseph Pickenhahn Prize was established in 2015 and annually offers to two proficient engineering students at the university to participate in development and testing at ZF-TRW's winter test tracks in Arvidsjaur. Contact Jan van Deventer for more information.


Jan van Deventer

van Deventer, Jan - Associate Professor

Organisation: Cyber-Physical Systems, Embedded Intelligent Systems LAB, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 493316

Also read