The Carbon Company (May 8)

We left the hotel at about 8:15 this morning to travel to SGL, a company specializing in graphite materials and carbon fiber. Despite the fact that this is not the group we were assigned to, Kayla and I found this company especially interesting because we are both ChemEs, and the lecture was very chemistry-focused. I really enjoyed the entire visit, especially the showroom where they showcased some of their products. I was very excited to see a PEM fuel cell in the showroom because Luke Rattay and I wrote our engineering conference paper on that subject. SGL fed us a lunch of chili, potatoes, and salad, which was very generous of them.

From SGL, we got back on the bus to head over to Munich, where we would visit the BMW museum and BMW World. The museum was massive, and I’m sure that I could have spent far longer in there than we were allotted. It was really interesting to see the different motorcycles that BMW has produced through time and the airplane engines that they’ve made. Until the museum, I thought that BMW was mostly a car company, but as I have discovered, they have produced other products in the past and continue to produce them today.

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BMW Headquarters/Museum
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BMW World

In the late afternoon, we had some free time, so Kayla, Grant, Eric, and I went back to the museum to look at the more futuristic parts. There, we learned about BMW’s large focus on autonomous driving in the future and the electrified i-Series vehicles that the company has recently developed. We had an early supper in BMW World before the whole group met up again to go on a factory tour. The factory was enormous, but it was still small compared to other factories owned by BMW. Only four different vehicles were manufactured at this particular facility, so the machines were all tailored to those four specific models. It was really exciting to see all the robot arms and various machines at work, especially since I had never been in a factory like this before. The tour covered 3 km in two hours, visiting every part of the process, from molding to final assembly.

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Futuristic BMW Concept Car

After the tour, we headed back to the hotel in Augsburg. I elected to play cards tonight, and Grant and I taught Kayla, Jackie, and Ally a game called Palace.

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