Together they have taught at HHN for 48 years: Professor Hans Dieter Wagner (left) and Professor Jörg Wild (right). Now both are going into well-deserved retirement - in the interview they talk about the changes at the university, their common hobby and their very personal highlights.
Excerpts from the interview
What exactly has changed?
WagnerVery serious: the changeover to the bachelor's and master's system as it exists today. I was involved in that. In the past, the HHN had so-called diploma courses. So with the changeover, the entire SPO's had to be changed. Digitalization also changed the lectures. There used to be blackboard notes or the overhead projector with transparencies... and that was really a comfortable progress. Above all, of course, everything was smaller and much more intimate than today. The students were also a bit louder back then, they were more disruptive. But they were also good at discussing things - today they tend to just consume what we teach them.
WildThat's right. Back then, we still went to lectures with colored chalk and a wiper. The students were somehow more awake in the past, today there is rather a slight anonymity. Another thing that comes to mind: The cafeteria used to have much shorter opening hours. It closed at 2 p.m. It and the cafeteria were simply THE meeting place for daily exchanges - also with colleagues from other degree programs. But one thing has never changed in my lectures: Until today, we use PowerPoint, there have never been any sample solutions or complete write-ups from me. It's important to me that people write themselves, because from the arm it just goes straight to the brain - that's always been very important to me. Another story: telephone calls. In the office, we used to only be able to call Heilbronn. But out of town, to Neckarsulm, for example, the process went through the university administration's telephone switchboard.
You spoke at the beginning about increased anonymity among students. Do you nevertheless build a stronger bond with some of them?
Wild: Of course, definitely that. At some point, a student simply stands out more. I always wanted to encourage the good ones, not just the weaker ones, so we went to the lab together to research certain things, for example. That was always a lot of fun for the students and me, it was always super exciting.
Wagner: Yes, I agree. I am still on friendly terms with some students today. In addition to the classic lecture, I also supervised some of them in their final theses, for example, or visited them in the company during their internship semester. There are these students with whom you build up a closer relationship, yes.
What have been your personal highlights and milestones over the years?
WildHighlights were regularly the graduation ceremonies, now graduation ceremonies, because we saw the result of our daily work with successful and proud graduates. Positive milestones were of course also the conversion of precision engineering to modern mechatronics and microsystems technology, now mechatronics and robotics. From a scientific point of view, the two cooperative doctorates with the TU Munich in the field of haptics of control elements in vehicles were real highlights for me.
Wagner: Certainly graduation ceremonies are part of it. I was directly involved through my duties as program director and later dean, and for many years I stood on stage to present certificates. But I have also participated in the ceremonies outside of that duty. For me, it is simply part of the occasion to bid a proper farewell to students whom one has accompanied for many years and supervised in their final theses. In addition: the award ceremonies of the Dautel Design Prize at that time, and later the Schunk Prize. Since the learning factory is very close to my heart, the graduation ceremony is of course also one of my highlights, as well as company visits by my practical students.
Both of you have been imparting valuable knowledge for decades. Do you actually know how many students they have taught?
WildOnly recently, I tried to determine this once. It must have been about 2000.
Professor Wagner, you are shaking your head....
Wagner: Yes, I must confess that I don't know exactly... I'm doing the math... I come up with about 1,500 students.
We also say THANK YOU!
Thank you for your dedication and efforts. We wish you both all the best for the future!