13/06/2018

PORTRAIT OF LUDOVIC STAUFFER

Deputy Director of the CIFOM and CPLN Technical Schools

Born in 1975

Lives in Le Locle

Brief Background

Ludovic Stauffer was born in Le Locle. He obtained a qualification in electrical and electronic engineering at the École d'Ingénieurs du Canton de Neuchâtel (EICN, Canton of Neuchâtel School of Engineering) in 1996, and went on to complete HES postgraduate training in IT engineering at the École d'Ingénieurs de St-Imier (St-Imier School of Engineering). After working as a CAD manager at Etel, then as a software engineer at Ismeca, he moved to TeleAlarm where he worked as a project manager and developer for highly-reliable electronic systems in the field of telecommunications and security. He subsequently headed up the company’s R&D team before spending eight years in Bosch's HealthCare division in a similar role.
After hearing about the creation of Neuchâtel’s technical hub, he applied for the role of deputy director of the CIFOM and CPLN technical schools, and joined the team in August 2017.

What was the rationale behind the merging of the CIFOM and CPLN technical schools ?

The CIFOM and CPLN technical schools have been managed by the same management team since August 2017 and form the “Neuchâtel technical vocational training hub”, or technical hub, for short.

This partnership was a truly pioneering step towards the creation of a Neuchâtel vocational training centre (CPNE) that was called for by the State Council and will eventually be made up of various skills hubs. The technical hub’s objectives notably include raising the profile of Neuchâtel's technical vocational training, creating strong links between the training centres, enhancing partnerships with the region’s industrial network and offering the various partners a single contact point at cantonal level.

What does the technical hub bring to Neuchâtel's innovation chain ?

As a training institute, our main mission is to provide the market with workers who are fully skilled in their area of expertise, with a solid technical background. Having acquired technical vocational maturity, our graduates can continue their training and specialise through engineering studies. If they wish, they can also deepen their knowledge with higher education training. To boost their efficiency and creativity, one common denominator needs to connect these young students: a passion for everything technical and for technologies. We strive to inspire this passion, through our teams of teaching staff who are equally passionate about what they do, and through current, rich and captivating educational material.

Clearly, despite being indirect, the contribution that a technical school provides to the innovation chain is fundamental because it focuses on the individual, and people are (and always will be, we hope!) key to any innovation process.

On the other hand, although our role is not to carry out research and development like our Microcity innovation hub partners, we support the region’s economic fabric to translate ideas into action. We achieve this via one-off assignments, notably workshops, practical work or our internship diploma projects for our higher education technicians.

An “Automation Academy” opened on your Maladière site in Neuchâtel in 2017. Can you explain what this is exactly ?

It has three main areas of focus.

The Automation Academy is, first and foremost, a training environment. Following the complete reconstruction of one of the buildings on our Maladière site, we created a central automation hall, open to the automation workshops. Designed in a collaborative style similar to that found in industry today, it is also close to our mechanical, electronics and IT workshops.

technical schools

Secondly, the Automation Academy is a partnership with one of the global leaders in automation, SMC. In this context, we launched a world first, the “Smart Innovative Factory” – a teaching system – last September. It promotes and develops knowledge geared to Industry 4.0. The first phase of this project is drawing to a close with some final adjustments in terms of material. The second phase will run throughout June with the deployment of “high” software layers (in particular an ERP that allows us to fully simulate logistics chain management), with our partner providing our teaching staff with regular in-depth training. From the beginning of the new academic year in August 2018, this smart factory simulator will train our students on cutting-edge automation techniques and technology, and familiarise them with the principles behind Industry 4.0.

Finally, the Automation Academy is also a platform for interaction, reflection and collaboration. Internally, it involves bringing various sectors together to work on common educational activities. In a wider context, its aim is the bringing together of economic stakeholders and academics, the creation of dynamic links and the development of expertise and skills of all those involved through a series of partnerships and projects.

Propos recueillis par Victoria Barras

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