MIET is a good engineering school

"A touch of Feuerzangenbowle"

Studying at the State Engineering School in Cologne, the furnished booth in the backyard, the mood of optimism and growth in the 1960s, the unlimited career opportunities for technicians: Karl Wilhelm Krause's memories are a piece of contemporary history.


"My connection to the engineering school in Cologne began at the end of the 1950s on a farm (slowly starting to become more technologically advanced) in East Westphalia, where we were stranded as displaced people from the East At the time in this sector I was advised to choose the agricultural machinery faculty, which was not exactly overcrowded at the time, for a mechanical engineering course I was aiming for - and only Cologne was an option in North Rhine-Westphalia preferred skilled worker training in an industrial company before applying for a university place.

As elsewhere, admission to the State Engineering School in Cologne was strictly regulated by admission in the 1960s - with a few peculiarities. The latter benefited me: I had to arrive early in the morning for the exam from my place of residence, but only to be relieved to see that as a half-orphan of the war I was entitled to so many social points (in addition to the good grade average of the technical college entrance qualification, achieved with Mittlerer Maturity plus "technical theoretical exaggeration" at the vocational school plus locksmith apprenticeship) that I am sure of a place at university.

When I was just 19 years old from the country, I moved to the totally strange and very distant big city without any personal acquaintance, equipped with the smallest financial means (the BAFÖG system was not yet born) for renting the furnished "shack" the war widow Ottilie Heine in a city backyard, food, study costs and tight pocket money, with three trips home a year.

For us, studying was pretty much a man’s business.

Back then, the female community was more likely to come together in the Werkkunst-Schule next door to the Ubierring, which in our jargon was also called “Musenschule” (and mostly also “Busenschule”). Likewise, I can only remember male lecturers, who were largely recruited from the group of experts at the local KHD group. At that time there was still a touch and smell of "Feuerzangenbowle" in the flair of the 60s.

At the time, our school had the addition “Nikolaus-August-Otto-Ingenieur-Schule” and my narrower department had the subtitle “Power and work machines”. I quickly used the initial specialization in agricultural machine technology in favor of generalization only as a door opener. Student life at that time followed its tight, absolutely goal-oriented course, which was largely geared towards graduation as quickly as possible - after all, with a general mood of optimism and growth in the 1960s “outside” in the economy for technicians, the unlimited possibilities and chances lured.

At that time, our perspective was not so global either, after all, the national selection of vacancies was sufficient.

I was part of the mechanical engineering-design final semester in the summer of 1966. The official farewell ceremony coincided with the day of the England-Germany football World Cup final. I was able to hear fragments of the radio broadcast on the way home to Bielefeld at Cologne main station.

I began my professional life in the pre-IT / CAD era, when the generalist design engineer was still in demand. And as an engineer, I kept this role throughout my career. After my development career at the board until the 1970s, I was a sales engineer and finally a craftsman until my retirement in 2007.

Particularly remembered is the “freefall grab sampler” I constructed for use in the Pacific to explore the manganese nodule deposits. I still have a small specimen that was recovered from a depth of around 5,000 meters south of Hawaii. Also worth mentioning are my advisory assignments during the period before and after the fall of the Wall on behalf of the Chamber of Crafts Hanover at the Stettin partner chamber and at the Poznan trade fair, as well as as a participant in various discussions between our medium-sized companies with the Treuhand-Anstalt in the course of the GDR transformation. This also means that I was commissioned to co-author an EU study on the role of medium-sized companies in Poland in the technical production sector.

Conclusion: In conjunction with the spirit of optimism of the 1960s, the solid equipment at the engineering school enabled me to start and continue my professional career successfully at the time. This course fully met my expectations and the requirements for satisfaction with my career goals, even at the end of my approximately 45 professional years. "

Dipl.-Ing. Karl Wilhelm Krause (born 1944)