Keep studying or start working? It doesn’t have to be a choice.

Press information: Published on in Company, Locations

Many of us have been there – having to make a difficult decision about our future career path. Keep studying or start working? Doing both things at the same time is in fact possible: Studying in a dual system in Austria has gained in popularity in recent years. Together with companies, the university has created a co-op programme at university level. Students build on their academic foundation by adding focused practical training, boosting employment opportunities.

Along with other well-known companies in the region, KNAPP Systemintegration in Leoben has become a training company of the FH JOANNEUM and co-creator of the bachelor’s degree programme “Industrial Mechatronics” in Kapfenberg. In 2018, the university and the training companies started to develop a concept for the degree programme.

“It is important to us to establish future-oriented degree programmes to meet the need for a qualified workforce and to strengthen the region. Students gain a broad knowledge in mechatronics, electronics and computer engineering and also learn how these disciplines interact. Training companies such as KNAPP play a central role in this programme as it is the only way to make a comprehensive training concept possible that involves theoretical aspects, exercises in labs and applying what has been learned in practice”, says Wolfgang Belitsch, Head of Degree Programme of the new dual bachelor’s degree programme.

Advantages on all levels

As part of the dual design of the degree programme, students begin to participate in internships starting in their third semester, providing them with greater financial freedom as they balance work and studying. What’s more, students write their bachelor thesis in collaboration with the training company. Once they have gained a foothold in the company, the students have a significantly greater chance to progress into permanent employment or find a job in another company since by the time they have completed their degree, they already have some professional experience.

The collaboration with the FH JOANNEUM is an important milestone for KNAPP Systemintegration’s strategic human resources development in Leoben. What they need is qualified personnel with a solid education and training, who are in touch with the latest trends. Through the close collaboration with the university, KNAPP can incorporate their requirements, allowing them to co-create the future of industrial mechatronics on the job and training markets. And it’s not only newcomers who are in demand – career changers and existing employees are also welcome to join the programme.

Successful start of the degree programme

The first degree programme started in the autumn of 2021. To get a first overview of KNAPP and their solution portfolio, the students already had the opportunity to visit the company. There, they could experience the logistics systems in action. The RUNPICK, short for Robotic Universal Picker, is a robot for the fully automatic processing of large handling units for the supply of supermarkets. Franz-Alois Riedner, Head of Mechatronic Development at KNAPP Systemintegration in Leoben, provided the students with insights into the technology. For him, the collaboration between KNAPP and the FH JOANNEUM is an important element not only for personnel recruitment and talent management, but also for technology development: “Not only we as a company but also the students benefit from the active exchange of knowledge between research and practice. The goal is to design future-oriented automation solutions in a joint effort for the complex requirements of food retail logistics. With the dual degree programme, students continually apply the theoretical content they have learned in projects, deepening their knowledge.”

KNAPP has already received the first applications from students for the start of their practical training in the autumn. “We are pleased to see that the students believe in our company and want to enhance their academic foundation with a focused, practical training at KNAPP in Leoben”, enthuses Christian Becskei, Head of Human Resources at KNAPP Systemintegration in Leoben.

A master’s degree programme in “Industrial Mechatronics” is currently being developed. As with the bachelor’s degree programme, the concept is being designed in close collaboration between the university of applied sciences, KNAPP and other well-known companies in the region. The first master’s degree programme is set to begin in the autumn of 2024.

Come and see for yourself – we look forward to your visit to our company

The application deadline for the bachelor’s degree programme is at the end of May. At the Open House of the FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg and the Long Night of Research, you can find out more about the degree programme directly at the university. You are also welcome to visit KNAPP Systemintegration in Leoben to get a first impression of the company.

More information on the “Industrial Mechatronics” degree programme is available on the FH JOANNEUM website:

KNAPP recognizes and implements many new trends as an employer – you can find out more about the company’s comprehensive career opportunities at


May 13, 2022
Open House at the FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg.

Mai 20, 2022
Long Night of Research – with KNAPP Systemintegration in Leoben and FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg participating in the event.

End of May
Next application deadline for the dual bachelor’s degree programme “Industrial Mechatronics” at the FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg.

Press contact KNAPP Systemintegration GmbH

Christina Trummer
MarketingWaltenbachstraße 9
8700 Leoben | Austria
Tel.: +43 5 04953 6455


Press contact KNAPP AG

Margit Wögerer
Press Relations
Günter-Knapp-Straße 5-7
8075 Hart bei Graz | Austria
Tel.: +43 5 04952 2501


Contact person FH JOANNEUM

Wolfgang Belitsch
Head of Degree Programme “Industrial Mechatronics”
Werk-VI-Straße 46, 8605 Kapfenberg
Tel.: +43 316 5453-7310
Mobile: +43 664 80453-7310