TRUMPLER International recently hosted its second China Leather training course in collaboration with Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

Five universities participated in the event, designed to teach and motivate budding Chinese leather technicians. The event follows on from the course held last year at Jiaxing University.

The course brought together 26 students in their third year BSc course who are specialising in leather technology. In addition to Sichuan University, the students hailed from Jiaxing University, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Qilu University of Technology and Qiqihar University, from where the students travelled for 60 hours by train to attend the course.

The opening ceremony was officiated by Sichuan University’s Associate Professor Chen Hui and a warm welcome from Professor He Youjie started the event. In attendance were representatives from the leather departments from all the universities, viz., Professors Luo Jianxun and Ma Hewei from Jiaxing, Professor Xu Wei from Shaanxi, Professor Song Bizhao from Qiqihar and Professor Wang Yulu from Qilu. A number of the professors remained for the entire course and participated in a number of the events. The entire event was coordinated by Trumpler’s Mr Liu Sihua, who also provided pastoral care for the students.

The training course was held over six days and covered various aspects of leather manufacture from raw hides and skins to finished leather. Bovine and ovine raw materials and recipes were provided by Trumpler for processing from the raw, wet blue and crust state. Up to 12 Trumpler technicians and scientists were present throughout the week, including a number from Germany and Spain, to assist with the recipes, products and explanations. This course represents a significant commitment from Trumpler and investment in time and expertise.

Health and safety was ensured as Trumpler provided students with their own set of safety glasses, laboratory coats and safety shoes. The course material was presented in English with Chinese translations as well as electronic and printed versions in both languages. The students responded well to a more informal method of instruction from technical experts actively engaged in the industry. The course also provided the students with the opportunity to practice their English, learn English leather terms and for students from different universities to meet and interact with each other and to realise that they will become part of a global leather community in the future. This aspect of the course is particularly rewarding based on the emotional student presentations and speeches during the course summary and farewell dinner.

Student feedback scored more than 90 % with "excellent" and "very good" across five different categories ranging from "course enjoyment" to "course relevance" and "course expectations met". Students asked for more practical work in the tannery and to relate leather manufacture to final leather articles. The course was praised for its "creative education in connecting industry and technology" and the staff for their "selfless contribution" and "patience and professional sharing".

Trumpler China managing directors Mr Klaus Zhang and newly appointed Mr Joaquim Linzoain, who also attended the opening ceremony and dinner on behalf of Trumpler International, expressed their delight with the students and the course.

"Trumpler China is so pleased to host such a distinctive event and to inspire the next generation of leather technologists and scientists. We look forward to welcoming many of the students into the leather community in the future and to more information sharing and support events from Trumpler," they said.

A number of the universities have already requested to host the event in 2018 and discussions will commence in due course.