"Quality is passion and striving for perfection" - Werner Zimmermann, Audi head of quality assurance

During a one-week internship in Ingolstadt, Audi gave 32 students the chance to glimpse behind the scenes of today's most progressive car manufacturer through the eyes of an engineer.

As a participant, I got to see their famous factory and the inspiring Audi museum next to the delivery centre  after our guide informed us about the possibilites they offer in order to become an engineer of Audi on the first day. It was unbeliavable to watch the employees assembling the parts so that you can see a whole car in the end. The museum leaded us through the history of Audi from the beginnings to today, including the famous "Silberpfeil", a replica of the rosemeyer world record car and last but not least the Sportquattro, which became famous with Walter Röhrl and his success in the rally campionship.

The well-organized program continued with an excursion to the punching factory, where the engineers provided an insight into the technology behind pressing and riveting. There are several methods existing, including laser technologies, to make a symbiosis of various materials like steel, aluminium and even carbon in upcoming models possible. After lunch, we went on with a trip to the quality assurance where we noticed the great importance attached to quality within the Audi-family. The engineers give their best to reach high-quality standards from the beginning of the technical development, where they use the "meisterbock" to test the assembly of the car the first time, until the car's production ends. Each student could choose from a program and luckily I enjoyed a "Knister-Knaster-Fahrt" (test ride on their track) in one of the upcoming audi-models, where the engineers search for unwanted sounds in the car.

Moreover, Audi invited us to see the VSC - Vorseriencenter (prototype center) the following day. When we met in the rooms of the chairmen the competent engineer informed us about the departments included in the technical development and their respective responsibles. After showing us examples of Audi factorys from all over the world and their future plans, he told us about how the engineers work at the VSC and which departments we are going to see today, including the prototype assembly as well as the model department.
Inside the VSC, we were divided into groups of which I got to see the possiblities of virtual reality. Audi uses these symstems in order to test the assembling process even before any protoypes are existing. Quality can be tested by scanning protoype parts for possible deviations. After getting invited for lunch, we were guided into the rooms where the engineers assemble the respective protoypes. It was impressing to see upcoming Audi models bulit by hand as if they would come straight out of the factory - and altough everyone seemed quite busy, the engineers provided every question with a comprehensive answer.

After all, the week went by too fast :). It was a great and unique experience, especially for me as a car enthusiast, which demonstrated that the work of an engineer is both interesting and rich in variety. I will never forget this event and always connect with the invarily sympathetic employees. The engineers, our guide and the employees represented one big family (as I already experienced during my time at Volkswagen) who is striving for just one goal: Quality and perfection. The definition of quality, as given by the head of quality assurance, Werner Zimmermann: "Quality is passion and striving for perfection", proved once again what I already knew: Audi definitely is a car manufacturer I can identify with, as the company embodies exactly the values I want to represent - regardless of whether to make my contribution as an engineer or as a designer.