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A-LAB – a space for innovation, growth, and mentorship

28 September, 2021

To foster and challenge young tech-savvy talent among university students, our colleagues at ALTAS ELEKTRONIK have built a special space within the company:  A-LAB. We talked to Dr. Julien Hansen, Technological Manager for Autonomy and AI at ALTAS ELEKTRONIK, about what A-LAB stands for and how both, employees and students, thrive because of it.

Experience and Know-how meet young talents and fresh ideas

How did the idea of A-LAB come to life?

Dr. Hansen: A-LAB is a logical development of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK's long-standing activities to link academic and industrial research. The initial idea came from our management. With the support of our "Research and Development" department, I have further pushed the foundation and the organization.

What makes A-LAB special?

Dr. Hansen: Especially, the composition of the team of young, motivated employees from an interdisciplinary environment gives the students at A-LAB a lot of potential for exchange and mutual inspiration. The creative leeway that students and doctoral candidates are given here gives them many opportunities to be creative and innovative.

The value of mentorship

Dr. Hansen, A-LAB is a place where industry and academic research come together.
What are the advantages of working at A-LAB for students?

Dr. Hansen: PhD students and undergraduates get the chance to work on application-related topics in a research-oriented environment at A-LAB. Our specialist departments can place exciting research topics and at the same time provide mentorship for the students.

Why is it important for students to have mentors?

Dr. Hansen: The project topics are often very specific and difficult to grasp at first. Due to the close collaboration between specialists and students, a quick exchange of knowledge is possible, and the students can quickly work independently. In addition, the results of the research will - to a large extent – be used in our day-to-day business, so it’s useful that the students get to know the existing departments.

What does this mentorship mean to your colleagues at ATLAS ELEKTRONIK? How does A-LAB enrich their everyday work?

Dr. Hansen: The students bring along fresh impulses directly from their university. This can have a stimulating effect on our company. The close collaboration with the students certainly reminds our colleagues of their own time at university. Additionally, the variety of research-related topics is an enriching addition to everyday work.

The A-LAB Program

Who can apply to A-LAB? Are you looking for students from specific disciplines?

Dr. Hansen: Generally, there are no restrictions. Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Underwater Communications and more ­– the range of specializations is very broad. Positions that are currently available can be found on the A-LAB homepage.

What are the chances that students participating in the A-LAB program will be hired at ATLAS ELEKTRONIK after graduation?

Dr. Hansen: The chances are very high. Through A-LAB, students are integrated into the specialist departments at an early stage. A large part of the familiarization process has therefore already been carried out. At the same time, the students have the chance to get to know ATLAS ELEKTRONIK as an employer. If there are suitable positions for the students, they have a good chance of being taken on. For the doctoral students, a transfer program is also being set up to ensure a smooth transition to a possible permanent position.

Dr. Hansen, thank you for sharing these insights on A-LAB with us.