Reward for best apprentices' ideas

The first round of the Helmholtz DKB Apprenticeship Award has started. IT apprentice René Kuschke has entered the competition with his projekt.

The regular computer courses put the ten in-house training computers in Building 10 through their paces: here a wrong check mark, there yet again saving to the wrong folder – in the heat of the battle, the participants easily make these mistakes. After a training session, the hard drive is close to smoldering, metaphorically speaking. The result: the data garbage created by the users slows down the computers more and more. In their technical jargon, the IT staff call this performance problems due to different software states. Maintenance effort is high, as prior to the next training sessions the computers have to be laboriously reset, back to scratch, so to speak. To remedy this, IT apprentice René Kuschke and his trainer Dennis Siuchninski have come up with a solution. Their idea was to install "PC guard cards". Such a card protects the computer as soon as it is switched on. When the computer is restarted, it is set back to its original configuration. This means, the data is available only temporarily, up until the computer is shut down. This is very practical not only in the event of a virus attack, but immensely simplifies maintenance of the training computers, because constant settings are always in place. Moreover, all updates can be carried out simultaneously at predetermined points in time. To this end, René installed two operating systems on each computer: for training sessions in German and in English language, respectively. "Configuration of the guard card was a little tricky. I had to teach the card to protect both operating systems and not only one," he explains.

Each computer features also a second hard drive, so that participants of two-day courses do not have to restart their exercises afresh. The latest daily results can be saved to that drive. This is why the second hard drive does not feature this special protective card. 

With his idea, the 21-year-old intends to not only optimize maintenance of the training computers, but also to gain points in the first apprenticeship award of the Helmholtz Association and the Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB), which is endowed with 5,000 Euro. René Kuschke has been apprenticed at the MDC for about one and a half years. After graduating from school with a university entrance qualification in June 2012, he began his apprenticeship as an IT specialist for system integration at the MDC. 

The award is in recognition of outstanding achievements by apprentices in the 18 centers of the Helmholtz Association and their contribution to supporting the scientific research. 

Those wishing to find out which Helmholtz Association apprentice will win the award – perhaps it will be René – are cordially invited to attend the award ceremony on 10 April 2014 between 6.30 and 9.30 pm in the Leibniz Saal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Jägerstraße 22/23, 10117 Berlin). 

For more information, please follow this link (in German)