Success Stories

Success Stories

Success Stories of Graduates from the College of Ceramics

We think that every member of our college has good reasons to be proud of some graduations; and we do not intend to keep these success stories from interested future students. Here, we present people who loved to attend our college and who were able to achieve great professional successes.

“My further education in Höhr-Grenzhausen has imparted a good understanding of the technological interrelations.” Patrik Hirt


I have been working at Tondach Gleinstätten (Wienerberger AG) in Styria, Austria, for 11 years. We produce roof tiles. After my vocational training as an industrial ceramist, it took me three years of part-time education to graduate as a State Certified Ceramic Engineer. In our laboratory, I am responsible for quality: incoming goods inspection of raw materials and working masses is within my responsibilities as well as monitoring and checking the product-specific parameters (dimensional accuracy, strength, frost resistance etc.). What I appreciate especially in my field of work is the diversity. I often move around our production facilities, complete my tasks at the lab and must keep in touch with our graduate engineers and the management of our company. And, of course, there is also a lot of admin work to be done, e.g. reports, e-mails and documentation. My further education at the college in Höhr-Grenzhausen has especially imparted a good understanding of the technological interrelations, from the raw material to the final product - you must consider the work as a whole! This ceramic foresight has developed during my education at the college. And the professional and private exchange with colleagues from Austria, Switzerland and the whole of Germany has contributed to making my time in Höhr-Grenzhausen interesting and exciting. Last but not least, it was great to also get an insight into other ceramic areas beyond the roof tile industry.

Patrick Hoffmann: “There was a family atmosphere at the college.”

After my graduation as a State Certified Ceramic Engineer, I have been working at Ceram Tec-ETEC in Lohmar for two years now. I had the opportunity to work here on my final project about transparent ceramics in this company. This was a prefect start to my current job: my current focus is on R&D and applications engineering regarding the hard processing of transparent ceramics. I am regularly in touch with customers, for whom I manufacture customized sample components according to their specifications. Furthermore, I supervise and guide our apprentice. This is a great experience, because it allows me to experience education from a different perspective. Graduating from the technical college offers a lot more than just a “higher salary” or “better working conditions”.  Having a higher vocational education means that you are listened to in team meetings and with your superiors, and that my suggestions are taken seriously and are considered. But also, my practical experience is something that my colleagues in production request, which means that I can act as some kind of link. What I especially like, is the fact that there are always diverse tasks waiting for me and no day is like any other – there is no time for boredom and there are always new challenges. The best thing about Höhr-Grenzhausen was the personal relationship between teachers and students. There is a family atmosphere, almost like home. I was lucky with my year, which means there will always be fond memories of Christmas parties and “Dämmerschoppen” (the informal graduation party each year). It’s an experience I can only recommend!

Sunsiree Knaup: “I very much liked the project weeks and the excursions.”

Hello, my name is Sunsiree Knaup and I’ve been working for Wendel Email, a manufacturer of enamels and glazes in Dillenburg. It was here that I was trained as a material tester and the theoretical part of my education took already place in Höhr-Grenzhausen. Based on this experience, I was able to graduate as a State Certified Ceramic Engineer in the summer of 2015. Wendel entirely supported my full-time training course financially. I am now fully employed by Wendel as a member of the enamel laboratory staff. We develop new, innovative enamels for various applications, e.g. for the drinking water tank, in heating technology or for sanitary ware, such as bathtubs and sinks. As a material tester, I was working in quality management. My education as a Ceramic Engineer was then important in order to acquire extensive knowledge in the field of glass ceramics, so that I could then work in the development and later, possibly, in the field. Wendel offers ideal working conditions, since, beside the enamel laboratory, there is as well a ceramic laboratory, where we develop glazes, especially for the roof tile industry. I like the customer focus and the practical aspect in my work; there is something new almost every day. We develop products which are used in industry and in everyday life. The atmosphere in our lab is super. When I think back to my college time, it is this family atmosphere that I remember from my time there. It is more personal and intimate than at a rather anonymous university elsewhere. I also liked the various undertakings such as project week and excursions, through which we gained insight into the different companies of the ceramic industry – ranging from a fully automated roof tile producer to the small porcelain manufactory Meissen.