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Presentation of Erwin Gächter and Christl and Horst Zimmermann sponsorship awards

The Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FHV) presented both the Christl and Horst Zimmermann and the Erwin Gächter sponsorship awards at the Rector's Day.

The winners of this year's two sponsorship awards are Jason Witzemann and Adrian Essig. "Both students have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their studies. Their cover letters and their careers have convinced us of their determination. Our sincere thanks go to the Zimmermann and Zass-Gächter families for their extraordinary generosity," emphasized FHV Rector Tanja Eiselen at the event.  

The Christl-und-Horst-Zimmermann-Förderpreis was awarded for the first time this year. FHV Master's student in Computer Science, Jason Witzemann, was delighted to receive a grant of 3,300 euros. The Zimmermann couple laid the foundations for the new sponsorship award with a generous bequest. The aim is to support students in the Department of Engineering and Technology at the FHV. "I would like to express my sincere thanks for this award and am delighted to have been selected for it," emphasizes Jason Witzemann.  


Passion for artificial intelligence

The 23-year-old completed his bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the top of his year, his bachelor's thesis and the first semester of his master's degree with an average grade of 1.0. In his final thesis, Jason Witzemann dealt with the topic of quantum computers and simulators and implemented an algorithm using a quantum programming language. During the course of his studies, the Vorarlberg native discovered his passion for artificial intelligence. In future, he wants to be involved in research projects in this field. Alongside his studies, the HTL graduate worked on the implementation of one of the largest IT projects in Vorarlberg and teaches data management to students on the bachelor's degree program.  

The Erwin Gächter Sponsorship Award of 3,300 euros was presented for the seventh time together with the sponsors, the married couple Hermine Zass-Gächter and Dr. Engelbert Zass. Students with a particularly high level of motivation and very good performance are honored. This year, Adrian Essig was selected from numerous applications. The Schruns native is studying for a master's degree programme in Computer Science at the FHV. Alongside his studies, the 27-year-old works as a software developer at Gantner Instruments. "I am delighted to receive this award and would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Zass-Gächter and the FHV team for this valuable support," says the Montafon native.  


From apprenticeship to studies

Adrian Essig completed an apprenticeship as an IT administrator and learned programming skills on his own initiative. After completing his Berufsreifeprüfung, he began studying at the FHV: "I wanted to deepen my knowledge. I chose the FHV because it has an excellent reputation and allows me to continue working alongside my studies. It's not enough for me to fulfill the minimum requirements in my studies. Rather, I take as much knowledge with me as possible," he emphasizes. Adrian Essig completed his apprenticeship, his training as a paramedic and his bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the FHV with excellent results. He is also active as a lecturer and as Chairman of the Student Council for Engineering and Technology.  


About the Christl and Horst Zimmermann Prize

Horst Zimmermann, who died in 2019, was considered a visionary with a fascination for Engineering and Technology and an entrepreneurial spirit. He was one of the co-founders of ECCON and previously shaped the Liebherr company in Nenzing for many years. His wife Christl was a driving force behind the "Women's self-help after cancer" association founded in Vorarlberg in 1982. For her commitment, she received both the Medal of Merit and the Grand Medal of Merit of the State of Vorarlberg, as well as the Leopold Bischof Ring. Christl Zimmermann died in 2023.  


About the Erwin Gächter Award

The Dornbirn couple Hermine Zass-Gächter and Dr. Engelbert Zass dedicated the prize to their father and father-in-law Erwin Gächter. Erwin Gächter was the second youngest of five children. Due to his family situation, it was not possible for him to complete a high school diploma or a degree. The Erwin Gächter Prize is awarded to FHV students who have an exceptional CV, are highly motivated and perform very well without having been born with it. "We would like to make a financial contribution to make it easier for the selected students to complete their studies," says the couple.