European Championship of the professions: Silver for SICK mechatronics engineers - Jannis Borchert and Lars Keller come second at the EuroSkills 2021 in Graz, Austria

Sep 27, 2021

Waldkirch, 27 September 2021 – Sensor producer SICK is delighted about its success at the EuroSkills competition. The European Championship of the professions took place from 22 to 26 September 2021 in Graz, Austria. Jannis Borchert, a dual-studies student in mechatronics at SICK and Lars Keller, a process technician at SICK, proved their specialist knowledge at the highest level. They took second place together against Europe’s best young talent in the ‘Mechatronics’ category. 

Jannis Borchert (21) from Bahlingen and Lars Keller (23) from Weisweil entered the ‘Mechatronics’ discipline together as a doubles team. The tasks that they had to master during the competition were varied and demanding. In the first round, the two participants had to carry out the assembly, commissioning and programming of a previously known automated production plant under time pressure, as well as make adaptations to it and complete maintenance work. On the second day, the two had to add a new section to the existing plant. Here, too, tasks contributing towards optimization of the equipment had to be completed and, for example, the cycle rate of the production plant increased or its error rate improved. Ultimately, the doubles team was able to convince the jury of experts and win a silver medal for the German team of professionals. The two mechatronics engineers were radiant with joy as they accepted the award during the prize-giving ceremony on 26 September 2021. 

“Our dream finally came true after more than two years of intensive preparation – we are delighted about our medals and could not be happier! Participation in this European Championship was a fantastic experience for us both and gave us the unique opportunity to meet other young specialists from all over Europe. The feeling of being able to achieve maximum performance under time pressure against so many different people is simply indescribable. We have definitely developed through this experience – not just in specialist terms, but above all personally,” says Jannis Borchert obviously pleased. 

Long preparation time

The preparations for EuroSkills 2021, which was originally planned for summer 2020, had already begun in October 2018. In a first step, Jannis Borchert and Lars Keller were initially prepared for the German Championship, which took place in February 2019. The doubles team came second, successfully qualifying for EuroSkills 2021 in Graz. The participants used some of their allotted training time to prepare for the competition, though they most often trained intensively in their own free time during the week – particularly during the final months before the European Championship. They also participated in a training competition in Switzerland. The young professionals were supported and trained by Dirk Nopper, a specialist mechatronics trainer at SICK. 

Lars Keller completed his training as a mechatronics engineer at SICK in 2019, and has since been active in the company as a process technician. Jannis Borchert also completed his training as a mechatronics engineer at SICK and then started doing dual studies in mechatronics. 

In recent years, trainees at SICK have regularly qualified for EuroSkills (European Championship) or WorldSkills (World Championship) by succeeding in the German Championship. Only those who do well in the German Championship may compete in the World and European Championships. Both events are organized by WorldSkills International, based in Amsterdam. So far 28 young talents have qualified for the biannual World and European Championships for the professions, two of them winning the World Champion title in the ‘Industrial Electronics’ category. 

SICK supports young talent

As one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for factory, logistics and process automation, SICK offers young people a wide range of training opportunities. About 230 young people throughout Germany are currently being trained at SICK. By the beginning of the training period in September 2021, a total of 64 up-and-coming professionals had started their training or a dual-studies system at SICK. 

About EuroSkills 2021 

EuroSkills is the largest professional competition in Europe. Its objective is to improve the attractiveness, quality and status of professional training. The European Championship took place in Austria this year for the first time. The event was originally planned for summer 2020, but had to be rescheduled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. So the pleasure of the roughly 450 young specialists who gathered in Graz to compete against one another in about 45 professional categories was all the greater. Trainees, students and young specialists from industry, trades and services – and aged up to 26 – could participate. The German national team of professionals travelled with more than 70 people, 29 of whom were competitors, to measure themselves against their European colleagues in a total of 24 disciplines. The German team finished on the podium in twelve disciplines. The international format of the event takes place every two years in the form of a European Championship. The next EuroSkills will be in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2023.

SICK is one of the world’s leading suppliers of solutions for industrial sensor-based applications. The company, founded in 1946 by Dr. Erwin Sick and based in Waldkirch-im-Breisgau near Freiburg, is a technology and market leader with a global presence – with more than 50 subsidiaries and associated companies, as well as numerous sales offices. SICK achieved Group sales of about EUR 1.7 bn. during the 2020 fiscal year with more than 10,000 employees worldwide. Further information on SICK is available at
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EuroSkills_SICK-Team (© EuroSkills2021/Vidalli).JPEGVictorious SICK team: Lars Keller (left) and Jannis Borchert (right).

EuroSkills_SICK-Team2 (© EuroSkills2021/Thomas Hobiger).JPEGDual-studies student in mechatronics Jannis Borchert (left) and process technician Lars Keller (right) demonstrated their skills together in the "Mechatronics" category.