Already in the late 1950s the economic sector launched an initiative to establish a short-cycle technical college and later a technical college, which was transformed in the mid-1990s into the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Maribor.
The Faculty was actually established based on the economic sector’s need for highly-qualified staff, which the economy still needs to this day.
The importance of establishing cooperation between the economic and the educational sector lies in the exchange of expertise and research activities that are carried out in the Faculty’s laboratories in addition to the study programmes, as well as in the opportunities that we have at hand to solve production problems. This cooperation resulted in numerous examples of good practice in the field of materials, processes and technologies that have become established in production – from new measuring methods and procedures to products and construction solutions. To improve communication with the economic sector, our Faculty has established a strategic council, composed of representatives of companies with which we have established strategic partnerships for cooperation. Based on their viewpoints that reflect the needs of the economy, we upgrade and reorganise our curriculums and programmes. Taking into account the objective situation with regard to equipment, staff and expressed interest of the economy, we provide a more balanced educational programme in terms of theory and practical problems.
We think it is important that not only established companies are presented at fairs such as the International Industry Fair, organised by Celje Fair, but also craftspeople with their activities and products. We want our graduates to become acquainted with the craft production that is taking place in our direct vicinity and is introducing modern technology in production. We believe that craftspeople and entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly aware of the significance of own product development, design, construction, in addition to production and marketing. Here, the Faculty will be of great help – in addition to regular education, it trains students and interested entrepreneurs for the use of modern programming tools, machines, devices and measuring equipment. In terms of expertise, the Faculty can contribute much more than it already has, thanks to its extensive experience in professional and scientific work as well as its modern laboratory equipment.
As a rule, our former students become employed within three months of finishing their studies. Slovenian and foreign companies regularly send us requests for graduates. Despite these successes, our Faculty wants more. We want to get the best students so that we can help them become top-level experts for the needs of the economy, research and educational activities. To be able to create new knowledge and technologies that would be useful for the economy, we strive to have the best and most contemporary research equipment available.
Result of own development and good practice example: Testing of a gear with a damping characteristic.
Prof. Dr. Nenad GUBELJAK
Vice-Dean for Industrial Collaboration, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Maribor