New HTEC for Lithuania’s Preeminent Technical University
Zaventem, Belgium. June 1st 2012: On May 8th 2012, Haas Automation Europe took part in the grand opening celebrations of the first Haas Technical Education Centre (HTEC) in Lithuania, in Vilnius, the capital city.
The new facility is located at the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) and was established under the auspices of Haas Factory Outlet (HFO) Abplanalp Engineering UAB. Mr Viktor Perfilov, the company’s technical director, was instrumental in the creation of the HTEC, which is equipped with a Haas CNC Mini Mill and a Haas ST-20 CNC turning centre.
Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania. It boasts several universities, a thriving economy with strong, financial services and IT sectors, and many, small to mid-sized engineering companies.
“VGTU has a very good reputation in Lithuania and the Baltic countries,” says Mr Perfilov, “which is one of the many reasons why we are very happy to have the HTEC based there. The commitment and vision of those involved with creating the HTEC sets an example for other technical schools in the country.”
Host during the grand opening celebrations was VGTU rector Mr Alfonsas Daniunas, who after the ribbon cutting ceremony addressed an audience made up of students, local government officials, the press and representatives from Haas, Abplanalp and the HTEC industry partner companies. He told them how he thought the new HTEC would benefit the school and its students.
“Firstly,” he said, “this wonderful HTEC facility will help VGTU to attract and enthuse ambitious and hardworking students who want to make careers in the very exciting world of modern manufacturing. It will also help us as an institution to build contacts with industry, at home in Lithuania and also internationally. Just as importantly, the new HTEC will have a positive impact on the economy of our city and region, because we now have the facilities to train technical specialists for local employers.”
VGTU is in fact the largest technical university in the Baltic countries and in its 50+ year history has graduated more than 60,000 students, many of whom work in the city’s many and diverse manufacturing industries.
Mr Bert Maes is HTEC coordinator for Haas Automation Europe: “The Lithuanian economy has grown spectacularly," he says, "notwithstanding the 2008 financial crisis - but unemployment rates are high. Helping workers to re-skill is one of the surefire ways to reduce unemployment. So, more training programmes are needed, in advanced metal-cutting machine tools amongst others. In that regard, VGTU can indeed be seen as an example for other technical schools in Lithuania. Being part of the worldwide HTEC network, with the long-term business support of Haas Automation is a positive starting point to reach out to young talent and unemployed people."