Shanghai/Friedrichshafen. ZF Friedrichshafen AG is continuing its involvement in Chinese university life. The technology company has extended its funding of the endowed professorship for car chassis technology and dynamics at the Chinese German College for Postgraduate Studies of the Tongji University in Shanghai. The professorship was established in 2012 and funding has now been confirmed for a further five years.
“The cooperation with the chairholder, Professor Dr. Yu Zhuoping, his colleagues and students has developed wonderfully,” says Jürgen Holeksa, ZF Board Member Human Resources and Governance and Director of Labor Relations. “This is why we have decided to continue funding the professorship over the next five years.” The professorship in Shanghai is the first ZF endowment established at a Chinese university. The company already finances several professorships at universities across Europe.
Since the professorship was established in 2012, ZF and Professor Yu have continuously intensified their cooperation. In the spirit of this cooperation, ZF development departments, the chairholder, his colleagues and students regularly exchange information on mobility trends and technical questions concerning driveline and chassis technology. The emphasis is on networking and working together, both at the university and at ZF’s Research & Development Center in Shanghai.
Furthermore, internships for students are available at ZF with the prospect of job offers at completion. Two bachelor graduates from Tongji University have also been accepted into ZF’s scholarship program. ZF also supports the university’s Formula Student teams.
In recent years, China has become more and more important for the automotive industry. “The market is extremely dynamic, especially in the area of future mobility trends,” says Holeksa. “For this reason, an intensive exchange between research and industry is more important than ever – and this is exactly what we wish to encourage through our involvement.”
ZF’s turnover in China totaled around €6 billion last year, which accounts for almost a fifth of the Group’s entire sales. After Germany and the USA, China is ZF’s third largest market, and the company employs 13,700 people there.
About Tongji University and the Chinese German College for Postgraduate Studies
Tongji University is one of China’s leading universities. It is under the direct control of China’s Department of Education and has around 40,000 students. German/Chinese cooperation is a tradition at the university and has played a role since its founding in 1907. The Chinese German College for Postgraduate Studies (CDHK), an institute founded in 1998 and run jointly by Tongji University and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), is the most successful scientific exchange project between the two countries. Unique to this institute are the endowed professorships, currently numbering 22, which are financed by international companies.