';

MY INTERNSHIP AT DT SWISS

Paul Schuler was an intern in the R & D department during the period between Bachelor and Master’s degree. In this blog post, the mechanical engineering student writes about his time at DT Swiss.

A typical morning …

It’s shortly after eight in the morning. I’m not the first in the office – but also not the last. I just turned the computer on and a meeting request pops up. My mentor Marek would like to discuss the current project progress. A meeting this afternoon fits well. Until then, I can prepare a short presentation and do some research to answer questions that are still not clarified.

“My project” is the investigation of rotational drag. Marek and I have developed a measuring method which allows us to compare different wheels regarding this drag. So in the past days I spent a lot of time in BPM, the DT Swiss wheel laboratory, to run further tests. These first results will be discussed today with Marek …

A look back

Now that my six-month internship is almost over, I can look back on an exciting project: with very little prior knowledge, an initial research was helpful to familiarize myself with the topic of rotational drag . The rotational drag of a wheel got almost no attention in the wheel business so far and was also a new subject for DT Swiss. This first familiarization with rotational drag was followed by a mix of theoretical considerations and practical tests in the laboratory. First simple tests soon led to the programming of an evaluation protocol for the testing. The programming language of Microsoft Office programs, called VBA, was absolutely new for me at the beginning of my internship. Step by step I was able to go in depth – and the evaluation protocol became more and more extensive.

However, even the best evaluation software can’t be used when there are no data. To get those data I’ve been busy with the programming of a simple microcontroller. The required parts were ordered quickly and from now on a photocell with appropriate programming measures the speed of the rotating wheel approximately 15 times per second. The captured data in combination with the evaluation program – including a few formulas from my mechanics lectures – finally provide the aerodynamic power loss, which counteracts the wheel due to its rotation. Does it make any difference whether the nipples are positioned inside the rim? How does the rotational drag behaves when the wheel has only 16 spokes instead of 24 spokes? And what is the role of the tire? For initial assessments, I was able to test our measurement procedure in detail.

The realistic incident flow of the wheel plays an essential role for the test results. Therefore, tests in the wind tunnel were also part of the project. The preparation and execution of the tests, which took place in a wind tunnel at Lake Constance, were not only very exciting, but also gave me the opportunity to deal with the transferred responsibility as a “project manager”. After all, renting the wind tunnel is not cheap at all. That means all necessary tests must be carried out carefully in a short period of time.

But also in Biel, where there is no wind tunnel, the project offered enough opportunities to leave the office and do some hands-on investigations in the BPM laboratory. For example, for the measurement of reproducibility. The question is how far the results will vary when we constantly repeat a test under the same conditions. A large number of measurements led to the optimization of the hardware and software – and was rewarded with increasing precision in measurements.

A ride among colleagues - Jan on the left and Paul on the right

A common hobby …

Meanwhile, it is just before ten. The “Z’Nüni-break” is on and all the colleagues are having a coffee talk. Who went biking yesterday, what is in the newspaper and is there any other news …? Alex from the marketing department announces the following: Today after work a few colleagues will go for a nice road ride. As usual, they want to go up the “home mountain”, the Mont Chasseral. That means an elevation gain of 1,600 meters. I already parked my road bike this morning in the “Velo-Rümli” in front of the office. Cycling kit, helmet etc. are in my locker anyways for spontaneous occasions like this kind …

The mileage of my road bike has increased steadily during the last weeks and months. Just a few kilometers away from the company headquarters, the Jura offers a many meters of altitude and many small country roads, which make the cyclist’s heart beat faster. On a regular basis the DT headquarters was also the meeting point to start off nice weekend bike tours together with colleagues. The common passion for cycling made it so much easier for me to get in contact with the colleagues and also to meet colleagues from totally different departments.

Outlook

Unfortunately, the end of my internship is coming soon. I could not have asked for a better time at DT Swiss. I was always excited to go to work in the morning, to develop exciting projects and I always felt comfortable in my office. Additionally, I had the pleasure to live in a region, which is made for cycling.

When I return to Munich to continue my studies, my time at DT Swiss won’t be over: Aside from my studies I will continue working part time for DT Swiss. And I am pretty sure that I will think back to a great time in Biel, every time we have “Z’Nüni-coffee” in my apartment kitchen…

Recommend
  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIN
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Whatsapp
Share
Tagged in

Leave a comment

*required fields